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Pimping Your Ride

There was a young Brazilian boy named <a href="http://www.blogthings.com/sexybraziliannamegenerator/" title="Sexy Brazilian Name Generator">Eduardo</a> who loved cars. He wasn't just content looking at them from afar, mind you. He was in love with the dream that he might someday race cars for a living. He spent countless nights lying awake, wondering what it would be like to zoom past the chequered flag and take his place on top of the podium, hearing the Brazillian national anthem play as the crowds chanted his name.
Eduardo came from a poor family who planted crops for a living. Whenever he could, Eduardo would ride his little donkey to the nearby go-kart track and watch the richer neighbourhood kids race, often imagining himself behind the wheel instead of on his saddle. After the races, he'd get on his donkey and head back to the farm. Sometimes the meaner neighbourhood kids would scare Eduardo's donkey by honking loudly as they whizzed by on their new motorcycles.
The donkey was the only thing Eduardo owned. The only thing that was his in the whole wide world. He bought Livia when she was just a foal, or a <a href="http://www.spottedass.com/faq.htm">baby jenny</a> as young female donkeys are called. The stable dealt only with horses, and sold Eduardo the donkey at a very cheap price. It took Eduardo all of his life savings to afford her.
He became known as the boy with the donkey. Some villages joked about how Eduardo was the Brazilian version of English Mary, who had her little lamb. No one knew <a href="http://www.niehs.nih.gov/kids/lyrics/mary.htm">if Mary loved her lamb</a>, but everyone who saw Eduardo knew that he loved Livia.
Maybe more than his dream of driving. Maybe.
And therein lies the dilemma, and the start of my story.It was the normal Saturday Brazilian afternoon. Eduardo the boy with the donkey was at the go-kart track, standing outside its fence, with Livia by his side. Esvami Menezes, the son of plantation owner Djavan Menezes had a new exhaust system imported from the United States and was tearing up the track. Eduardo knew that it would only be a matter of time before the rest of the boys bought themselves some new-fangled go-kart modifications to win the edge back. The back-and-forth had been going on as long as he could remember.
A shiny, black Cadillac <acronym title="Sports Utility Vehicle">SUV</acronym> pulls up just behind where Eduardo was standing. The tip of a cane sunk into the gravel, followed by expensive-looking leather shoes. Rodrigo Cabral, a long-time business rival of Djavan Menezes, walked up to Eduardo, the tip of his cane dipping in the gravel every two steps he took.
Mind you, Eduardo was concentrating so intensely on the race that he didn't realise Señor Rodrigo was standing right beside him until he felt a tap on his shoulder.
"Menino burro", called Señor Rodrigo, which roughly translates to "Donkey boy".
"I want you to race with these boys for me".
Eduardo didn't know much about Señor Rodrigo, except that he had no children and owned the plantation which one of his uncles worked at.
"I want you to race with these boys for me. I will buy you a cart of your own, and you will race them at Porto Alegre's annual go-kart race. You must beat them for me."
Eduardo couldn't believe what he was hearing. A go-kart of his own? It wasn't a big race, but surely Señor Rodrigo was archangel Michael in the flesh, come to reward Eduardo for something good his forefathers did.
"Will you do it for me, donkey boy?"
Eduardo blinked. The dream of a million sleepless nights boiled down to this very present moment.
"Señor, I would do anything to race at Porto Alegre."
"Good."

Seven months had passed and Eduardo had proven himself as good a go-kart driver as any of the other competitors. The town newspaper picked up the cinderalla story of how "Eduardo the donkey boy was going to race with the rich boys"; "Eduardo represented the common folk of Brazil"; "Eduardo the adopted race car driver of millionaire Rodrigo Cabral". Whatever was going to keep the presses hot and the people reading.
Porto Alegre is in 3 days. Eduardo is nervous but confident. Not the arrogant confidence that boasts about winning, but the happy confidence in just living in the moment. Or at least he was happy in the moment until Señor Rodrigo called on the telephone.
"Eduardo, I read the papers. Congratulations, you're famous."
"Thank you for this chance, Señor Rodrigo, I will not let you down."
"I know you won't. But there is something I need you to do."
"Consider it done Señor."
"You have to get rid of the donkey. My friends are making fun of me for sponsoring the "donkey boy from Guaiba."
"I am the donkey boy from Guaiba."
"But I am not the donkey man! I will not have a donkey boy representing me. You said you'd do anything to race, so get rid of the stupid donkey, or you're not racing this Monday!"
"but Señor…"
"Eduardo. I want the donkey dead. I want you to have nothing to do with the donkey, because I want nothing to do with the donkey."
"but what will I have after Porto Alegre?"
"There'll be other races. Bigger ones. We'll put you in those".
And Rodrigos hung up the phone.
Eduardo was stunned. He was going to take Livia to the race. He was going to take Livia everywhere. She was part of who he was, whether farmer or go-kart racer. If Porto Alegre would determine his future, Livia defined his past. Maybe he should drop the past and move onward. Being a race driver definitely had more prospects than farming.
And so he decided. He'd race Porto Alegre come Monday. He took up the syringe and injected a lethal dose of adrenaline into Livia's heart. Her heartbeat slowed and then faded.
His heart broke. But there are bills to pay, and dreams to be made real.<? /*
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An analogy before my first day at work, come Monday, at the Ministry of Education. They have insisted that I dissolve HIgharc Design, a company I started, because government policy prohibits employees from having any business interests. Like Livia, Higharc is young, but it has been my identity and the work of my hands. Her registration expires on Tuesday, and I intend not to renew it.
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