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#5 Elite, my Gatoi Revised

nienna's picture

Elite, that was her name. She looked exactly the same as all the other ones I had had before. However, when we first met, on that specific Sunday morning in 2008, I thought she would be my saving grace. She would be the one to help me accomplish all my dreams. She would be the one.

Our relationship lasted exactly 4 years, between breaks and comebacks. It did not take me a long time to realize that Elite was not as easy to keep up with as I initially thought she would be. She was too demanding, too rigid, and too orthodox. She asked me to do things I have never thought I would have to do in order to achieve my goal

She was chaotic, dealt with too many people at the same time, was both hated and loved. She was as controlling and caring as a mom, did her job with such beauty that made me end up falling for her. Thus, when reading Butler’s text I could relate to Gan’s struggle. We both met our Gatoi’s’ around the same age and knew that our world could change completely if we let ourselves fulfill their desires. Having our Gatoi’s playing a big role in our maturing process made it hard to distinguish whether if she actually care about us or was just trying to take advantage of our innocence.

Elite was more than just an encounter. Elite was my contact zone, Elite was my home, safe place and high school. At this point, I want to clarify some points about Elite. It was a mix of regular high school and pre-military independent courses. The students in my course were exposed to a large amount of Sciences and Math at a college level and the minimum of English and Portuguese, just enough to get the best rankings on admission entrance exams in exchange of free tuition, room and board.

I studied 14 hours a day along with my classmates and professors (We had them studying to make their classes better). I had people from every bit of Brazil, with different accents and cultures sharing the same daily struggle. I had classes on Sundays and University-level mock tests every Saturday. That was something exclusive to my course.

Since we studied harder, we tended to have better results in academic competitions. As our “reward” for high rankings, or contract clause, we had our smiling faces publicized all over the town in billboards. I remember my picture day how I was not happy. I had already studied 14 hours, I had a test on the next day and the photographer insisted on “smile!” My class was the unit making the sacrifices for the school to seem perfect in results, and I was pretending to be happy and being a little hypocrite in my statements for the billboard. After my readings, I empathized with both the abandoned kid and the people reflecting over their smiles in Ursula Le Guin’s Omelas.

“How can you devote yourself so much to this high school? You don’t have to do that! You look miserable” That was my mother talking to me after I denied to go to the mall for the third time in two months for an ungraded problem set. “How could I made such mistake? They are taking advantage of you! Can’t you see it?” I decided to never ask myself that question because it was easier believe I wasn’t just a way to make profits, but that I was someone that mattered. However, I couldn’t stop questioning myself after reading Butler’s story. My experience clarified the text and the text make me want to clarify what was happening, not only with my time on Elite, but with all sections on my life.

How would I be able to determine whether I am being taken advantage off? In my relationship, work, “friendship”, etc. I tried to look for evidence that would support my point in my life. Up until today, two years after graduation, I still receive messages asking how I am doing, if I am happy with my choice, how is America doing. That shows that Elite cares, since I can’t fulfill any interests. But it wasn’t enough to prove anything.

‘"I was afraid."


"I still am." I could admit it to her here, now.

"But you came to me ... to save Hoa."

"Yes." I leaned my forehead against her. She was cool velvet, deceptively soft. "And to keep you for myself," I said. It was so. I didn't understand it, but it was so.’

In that short dialog, Gan enlightened my whole view about the topic. You are never able to determine whether someone is or is not trying to take advantage of you, but it’s up to you decide your own intentions towards someone and trust they will be reciprocal. At that point, it seemed that Gan and Gatoi were falling for each other, but Gan could never be sure. Yet, he trusted he were more than just a host and hoped for the best. That was what I did, subconsciously some years ago when I decided Elite loved me back. Now thanks to Gan, after evaluating someone’s intentions I’ll be able to purely trust. Like we do in that confusing times.

Works Cited

Butler, Octavia E. "Bloodchild and Other Stories." Washington Post 1995: n. pag.

Washington Post. Web. 03 Oct. 2014. <>.


Ursula LeGuin, The Ones Who Walked Away From Omelas.The Wind's Twelve Quarters. New York: Harper & Row, 1975.