OFF TOPIC: Alone again (Short story for Fictionpress)
The whole story wasn't about me at all. *********************************************
I sit by my bed, my arms hugging my knees close to my chest. I clamp my mouth shut to keep my teeth from chattering; the heating cut out about a week ago, and no one fixed it. I never asked them to. I can feel my ribs through the thick leather of my jacket. There hasn't been any food in the house for a couple of days.
My mom's gone out, as always. I don't know where; she can't go drinking or shopping. My dad does it, but he doesn't like my mom to do that sort of thing. I think she's gone to see her friend. My dad doesn't really like her to have friends, either, but he's out most of the time too, so he doesn't always know what she does. He likes to think he knows.
The phone's cut out too. I know it is, because if it wasn't, there would have been calls from school. I haven't been in for a few days. My dad wanted me to stay home for a while, just so he could "look after me". Not that he's been doing much of that. He's out at some bar. He works all day, then comes home drunk, usually after midnight. But today, it's Saturday, so he's been at the bar all day. Which means it will be worse. I hate the weekends.
I hear the wind outside; it's loud and whining, and I hug my knees tighter to my stomach. My hair falls in my eyes; it hasn't been cut or washed for a while. I don't move it. I'd rather stay hidden. Hopefully, if I stay like this long enough, I'll just fade away.
My stomach rumbles, and it hurts. I grit my teeth, but stop when I accidentally bite my sore lip. It's bruised and swollen. I look down at my hands. They are covered in cuts, though most of them, I did myself. I think that if I hurt myself enough, he will stop. He's got me beaten. Beaten bad.
For about the tenth time today, tears come to my eyes. I don't blink them away, so they begin to fall quickly down my face. I don't make a sound; I never make a sound. I bury my head in my arms, my back aching as I lean forwards. My fingers are numb and dirty, the nails long and jagged. Maybe it's better if I don't go to school. Everyone thought I was weird, not taking care of myself. They never see the bruises. He always makes sure no one will see them.
The hard floor is hurting my feet and my ass. I lie down on my side and curl up tight. I don't feel like getting on my bed, where it's a little more comfortable. I'm too exhausted. I have no energy. He knows he's won; why won't he stop?
I think about just leaving the house. I have nowhere to go, but anywhere's got to be better than here. I could steal some of my dad's money, hitch a ride somewhere far away - but who's gonna pick up a scrawny, terrified looking kid? Probably no one but creepy old guys and druggies, and I'd much rather stay out of that scene. So I lie on the floor, tears dripping into my hair and sleep evading me, as always.
I hear a noise downstairs, and though I don't know what it is, I know it won't be my mom. She never makes a noise; she's learnt that by now. I don't know why she doesn't just leave. Maybe she has. Then I hear a shout; I can't tell what he says, but I can tell he's angry. He's always angry. I don't know what I do to make him angry. I guess he just can't stand me being the way I am.
"Boy, get your feet down to your father now, you son of a..."
He's closer than before. Obviously climbing the stairs. I don't move. His voice is slurred and harsh, but that's no different from usual. The tears come quicker.
He's roaring into thin air, just general practice. He doesn't expect me to respond. He's showing me who's boss. I got that, dad. You're the boss. I hear him crash onto the landing, just by my bedroom door. It's closed, but I can't lock it. There are no locks in this house, apart from on my parents' bathroom. My dad's the only one allowed in there.
"You pansy, you better say you're sorry!"
He's right by my door. I don't move. I can't stop him, not when he's this mad and this drunk. He waits, and then the door slams open, letting in a chilling blast of air, carrying the distinct scent of sweat and beer.
"You... if you dare enough to being rude... why not you come here and fight me!"
I don't move. He knows I'm here. I'm always here. He knows I don't have the nerve to leave. He stumbles over to me; I hear his breathing get closer.
"You're a disgrace."
He sounds almost sober when he says that. I know it's true. I'm useless. I don't defend myself. I feel a massive blow to my stomach; he's kicked me. I groan slightly and fall onto my front, tears still falling fast. He kneels down beside me and takes hold of my left arm with both of his hands.
I cry out, but my throat is dry and hoarse, so I barely make a sound. A rocket of pain shoots down my arm, which I try to move, but can't. The way he does it so deliberately, you can tell he really means it. You can tell I really deserve it. He stands up and leaves.21