Scott's Demise: Part One of Angel
“…i take to the corner
as you take another sip
i watch quietly
as reality tends to slip…”
It always happens like this. He comes home drunk. And he's nasty.
“I don't even know why we had you.” He'll say after knocking the soda out of my hands. “You're such a fuck up.”
My mom will try and get him to cool down. He's drunk, she says, he's not thinking right. She suggests that they go on a walk. He refuses. He's drunk because he lives with us. He's drunk because we drive him mad. Yeah, there's a natural progression here. I've heard this a million times before. And I don't want to make it a million and one.
“I'm fucking talk to you here.” He'll raise his voice. “It's your fault I'm like this.”
“No, dad,” I can't keep from snarling, “It was your choice to get drunk tonight instead of going to work.”
Jack's face contorts in anger and I know he is going to hit me. I'm cringing inside already. It's like fucking clockwork. I'm just standing there, wondering when he is going to hit me when his fist makes contact with my nose. I've learned not to show my pain or anger. It's quicker if I don't. My mom goes into the other room. She's learned not to interfere. Then she won't get hurt. To me, it seems futile to try and stop this.
He punches me in the gut. I take it silently. Bravely. Courageously. Still standing. It was when he slapped me in the throat that I fell. I took the rest of it like a sacrificial lamb. Afterwards, he let me go back into my room. Like the many times before, I stared up at the ceiling and hoped that my nose would stop bleeding soon. Even across the living room and behind two closed doors, I could hear my dad fucking my mom. That was her role. . . . God, I fucking hated my life.
The only thing that made it better was Scott. The light in my life. The silver lining of my cloud. We met in a mall. How cliché is that? In an arcade, even. We were playing some game with an IR gun attached. That's infrared for you lamers.
Five dollars later, we got to talking. I found out most things about him. Like me, he was terribly frank about anything and everything that was asked about him; event though I was left feeling like he was holding something back. That night, he took me home to have dinner with his family. They probed me. If you must know: my father works the graveyard shift in the local ER. My mother works in a small accounting firm; taking orders for coffee and writing down sporadic notes from the boss that fucks her for fun. Me? Yeah, I go to school. But I've been held back a few years and it looks like I am never going to get out of this hell-hole of a town.
Scott wanted to know if I could spend the night. I was ecstatic. My mom said I could. My dad . . . who cares? It's not like I would have come home if my mom had said no. Mom knows I love her. God knows I do. But, whenever I have the opportunity to skip, I will.
We stayed up most of the night talking. He knew I was hiding something and he wanted to know what. I didn't want to tell him. But he kept pressing the issue until I snapped. And I told him everything. I showed him my bruises. My dad broke my wrist once. But being the RN, he was able to reset my bone and put a cast on it himself. He made up some bullshit story about how I fell off my bike and broke it. But it was him. He slammed the front door on my hand as I was fleeing. That taught me never to try and run. Cigarette burns were on my back from when dad used to smoke. He said he burned me so that I would never, ever smoke. It worked. And the bruises . . . they went away. But new ones replaced them before the old ones even faded. I think this is what made us grow so close. He became my confidant. I would call him whenever dad would beat me up.
And now I'm back to where this all started. My nose had stopped bleeding and the pain had become a dull ache that twisted around in my stomach. I picked up the phone and dialed Scott. Even though it was one in the morning, he picked up. And he decided that it might be a good idea if he came over. I agreed. My father was probably unconscious by now. We made plans for him to come to my window. I stared at the phone after we hung up. My stomach twisted up in emotions. My better judgement screamed at me to just pick up the phone and tell him I would be alright. Better than Dad find him here. But I didn't.
Minutes later, Scott rapped at my window. I let him in. We curled up in my bed and I told him about my father's recent episode. He consoled me and held me close as I cried. Pain was shooting through my body from just his touch, but I couldn't pull away. He was my anchor right now. And I was just beginning to feel a bit better. My tears had almost dried when I heard my father scream my name. His feet pounded to my door, which flung open. Scott and I jumped to our feet. I wasn't sure what I had done this time. But I had a feeling this would be it for me.
“You little shit!” He screamed.
He pulled his hand back, winding up for the punch, but Scott stopped him. Scott tried to hold his arm in place. Jack looked furious. His eyes were blood red. Dad looked at Scott and started wailing on him. Each punch seemed to shake the whole place. On his last punch, I heard a loud crack. Scott began coughing and trying to catch his breath. But Dad would have none of it. He drug Scott by his hair. I tried to stop him. Tried to fight back.
. . . But it was too late.
I was in shock.
“That's not Scott,” was all I could say.
Dad turned to me, “You should leave.”
And I did. Fuck it. I was all too happy to leave. I grabbed my pup, Poochie, all of the money that I had-- and some that mom had given me-- and I skipped. I laid down most of my money on a train. Denver seemed like a nice enough place. Better than where I was.