That should have been it. That should have been enough for him. I mean, he had me didn’t he? Right back where he wanted me. Shitting myself so badly I could barely remember how to breathe, let alone walk. He helped me home with the weight of his arm around my neck like a chain. He talked a bit, and as we walked I sensed another change in him. Every now and then his arm brought me in closer, his hand a claw on my shoulder, and I swear I could hear his heart pumping in his chest, and his breathing getting faster. It was that thing I always sensed under his surface. The thing that swam and rippled and hunted underneath. The thing he ultimately had little control over. The thing that wanted to come and out play every now and then, rearing its monstrous head and showing him how fun life could be.
We got home and he steered me inside and closed and locked the door behind us. He nodded to the stairs and we walked up them side by side, him snorting with amusement when the heavy sound of snoring followed us down the landing from my mothers room. “Think I’ll have a little word with her in the morning,” he whispered then. “I’ll tell her all about your little stunt, and how I caught up with you and talked some sense into you. She’ll be really impressed with me. She’ll be really touched I cared, and didn’t just let you go. I’m gonna’ tell her you got a bit freaked out by the wedding and everything. I’ll tell her you’re okay about it now.”
He opened my door and sort of dragged me in, using his arm to trap my face right against his heaving barrel chest, and there I could feel it vibrating all over him. He was crawling with it, alive with it all writhing and fizzing inside of him. I just wondered how bad it was going to get. “That’s it, that’s it,” he was saying, as if trying to soothe me, as if in some twisted parody of father and son relations, we had bonded over Halloween style terror in a beat up old caravan. He told me to sit on the bed, so I did, and he closed the door and stood right next to me. His was breathing in and out very fast, air whooshing in and out from his widened nostrils. I sat and waited. I felt numb and broken inside. “Stupid little prick,” he said then, his anger choking his voice. I stared at the floor and chewed at my lips. “What are you?” he asked me and kicked my leg. “What are you?”
“Stupid little prick,” I told him.
“Look at me when I’m talking to you.”
I looked. I hoped there was nothing but fear in my eyes, nothing else that would enrage or disappoint him. “Stupid little prick,” he said again, with his small eyes glinting and a moistness to his lips. “Learnt your lesson?” I nodded. “Need any more?” I shook my head, keeping my eyes on his. “Don’t believe you,” he said and thumped me in the back of the head. I curled forward, over my knees, squeezing my eyes tight shut, clamping my teeth together over my tongue. He punched me again, in the back of the neck. “Run away again,” he was saying, panting over his words, as the blows continued to rain down, on my head and my back. “And I’ll drag you back and make you watch while I cut your mother from her neck down to her cunt. Got it?” I fell forward then, down to the floor where I bunched up small and kept my arms over my head. “Got it?” he asked again.
“We’ll start anew tomorrow,” he said from above. “We’ll start fresh. We’ll draw a line under this and pretend it never happened. We can be like father and son, if we try. If you do what you’re told and be a good boy.” There was one solitary kick that collided with the side of my head, and that was it. He stepped back, and he breathed out, and I knew he was finished, and I knew that if I had looked up and seen his face, there would be calm upon it. Calm, and satisfaction, and just the tiniest, smallest trace of guilt. “That’s better,” he said, walking towards the door. “See you in the morning.”
I stayed on the floor for a while, my head buried under my arms, wrapped up with pain and darkness. The thought of getting up and doing mundane things like turning off the light and climbing into bed depressed me beyond belief. I thought I might as well just stay on the floor if that was the way things were going to be. I might as well just stay down, if that’s what he wanted, if that’s what made him happy. I would just stay down and crawl about on my hands and knees and never lift my head, never raise my eyes or speak a word or anything. He’d be happy then, the murderous psychotic bastard…
Eventually I did get up, and when I did anger came with me. It came out of nowhere, crashing into me like a train, making me stomp to the wall to turn my light out, whip back my covers and throw myself into my bed. It wasn’t anger at him though, or anyone else. It was me I was angry with. It was me I wanted to kick and punch and stab. It was me I hated so much I wanted to punch my own face in. Stupid fucking idiotic prick. Pathetic little twat, even trying it. I decided never to tell anyone about it. I would do like he said, unpack my bag in the morning and pretend it had never happened. I guess, for a while at least, I gave up. I didn’t want to run, or hide, or fight back or anything. I just wanted to be left alone. I just wanted music, and my hand stole out from under the duvet to fetch my Walkman from the bedside table. I pulled it into the darkness with me, placed my headphones on and pressed play. I’ll start this off, without any words, I got so high, I scratched til I bled.. Kurt rasped into my ears, and I cried a bit then, for stupid reasons, like wishing he was still alive, and wishing I was dead…love myself better than you! I know it’s wrong, but what can I dooooo?
So after that, time passed. I didn’t fight back like Anthony and Michael wanted. I didn’t see the bright side, or the beauty like Lucy wanted. I just kept going. There was acceptance, and resignation. I sought out whatever would soothe me, drugs and drink and music and being alone.
Don’t know how long I would have wandered on like that, in my own fuzzy little haze, in my self-constructed numb existence. One day tumbled into the other. I didn’t pay attention to much. But then things happened, things unravelled, and so did I, things that I’ll tell you about next…things that led me to where I am standing right now.