Shoes for Running, Shoes for Fighting

Run if you can't fight.

That had been the first lesson he learned. Telo knew he could never overpower - or really, even just defend himself against - his mother. In his unhappy childhood memories, that apartment was quiet. Not a peaceful, loving quiet, but a terrified silence because noise had consequences - consequences that left bruises and scars over his body. Telo learned how to shroud his existence in silence. He learned to walk against the wall and furniture, memorized which tiles creaked under his weight, mastered the art of holding in his breath. He ran, in his own way. Fighting happened elsewhere. In school he fought because he could, and that cowering, running boy seemed, then, like a faded recollection. The adults never tried to understand him. They labelled Telo a troublemaker, a menace, and left it at that. None had any sympathy for him, so he learned to have sympathy for none.

Fight if you can't run.

That had been the second lesson he learned. At age thirteen he mustered what courage he had and ran out of the apartment. The streets were dark and violent and chaotic and something told Telo that running would not save him. Not that it mattered, as a hatred towards the world that had been steadily welling within him was on the verge of exploding. And it did. In a fury of punches and curses nobody could have expected from a boy his age - he grounded the first unfortunate devil that looked at him wrong. Those years of running had taught him well; Telo was swift as a cheetah on his feet, he controlled his breathing to such extent that fatigue became an alien concept. A small crowd formed around the scene. Some cheered him on, and Telo realised then that the days of running were over. To his adrenaline-clouded mind that scuffle was only the first in a crusade of vengeance against that world that had shown him nothing but cruelty. When running stopped being an option, only fighting remained.