Word Choice features original works of fiction and poetry. Read Luis Negrón’s short story, The Chosen One.
Ever since I was little I’ve heard my mother tell the story, more than once, that when they presented me at church, barely forty days old, the preacher predicted that I would not be like other boys, that every step I took would be a step toward Jehovah. I grew up with the certainty of being anointed.
My brothers and father were opposed to this idea. Papi swore to my mother that they weren’t bringing me up right, that all the church and religion was going to ruin me. My brothers, backed by Papi, never went to church. They made sure I had something to talk about in Bible class when we’d discuss Job and his trials. They’d hide my Bible and my neckties. They’d spray me with a hose minutes before the bus arrived to take Mami and me to worship. If I cried, Papi would make me fight them and would shout at me: “Defend yourself like a man, goddamn it!”