Everything is decided for me. Can't this one thing remain undecided!?
|Chapter 1 - Prelude
The silence in the room scared me. I looked across the table and found myself staring into his brown, emotion filled eyes. It wasn't the I hate you look, it was more of a I'm completely disgusted, get the hell out of here sort of look. I looked beside me. My little brother, barely 12, sat with a look of utter fear on his face, and completely in front of him sat Mom. I knew that she'd understand. I'd had hoped she'd understand, but judging by her face, she's just as scared as I am.
She looks up at me and etches a fake smile across her face. "Are you sure honey?"
I looked up, "Of course I am! Why wouldn't I be sure."
He looked up. "It's disgusting."
"James!" Mom cut in, "that's rud--"
"No, Mom, let him speak his mind." I grabbed her hand, "it was because of him that I decided to tell you guys tonight."
He stared at me in disbelief, "Me?" he asked, bewildered, "because of me?"
"Yeah," I replied, keeping the look on my face straight as to not show that I was scared shitless, "because of you."
"Oh, so it's my fault that your head is messed up?"
"Oh, shut the hell up Morgan! He's messed up!"
"No he is not! He is my son, your stepson, and we'll love him," she stared into space as if she were thinking, "gay or not!"
"The hell I will." he replied, "he's of no relation to me."
I heard the glass plate hit the floor and shatter, then heard the front door slam behind him.
"Mom--" she held up her hand. She rose from her chair and took toward the pantry door.
"Why is Mom and Dad fighting?" my brother asked.
I didn't want to lie to him. To be completely honest, I felt sort of bad for him. His voice had barely started to change and he was already seeing his mother and father fight like children over whether or not they believe that their seventeen year old high school senior was some sort of mutant monster.
"They just disagree over something that I told them."
He looked at me. "Oh."
"Everything will be fine by bedtime." I touched his nose, "finish your peas."
"Josh..." he looked into my eyes, "I don't care if you like guys. You'll still be my brother."
And for the first time this week, I felt a smile stretch across my face.
Chapter 2: Cold Fingers
Bedtime rolled around and he had not come back.
Mom had sunk into a pitiful depression which sort of scared me.
I heard my brother walk into my room, "Josh?"
"Mom said that you would read me a story."
I picked him up and instead of taking him back to his room, I laid him on my bed.
I searched my mind for some sort of old bedtime story that I was told when I was younger. Finding nothing, I ended up just making something up on the spot.
"There once was a person named --.." I cut off, I couldn't think of a name.
"Peter." injected Sam.
I stared into space. I had a strange urge to just tell him to go to sleep. I had come up with absolutely no proper ending to this story and I felt frightened that my anger would make it horrible for him.
"Peter woke up one morning and decided that he wanted to get some milk from the market. He jumped out of bed, ran down the stairs and walked outside. It was cloudy outside and he knew that a storm was coming, so he made himself walk so he could enjoy the last couple minutes of fresh air before the rain started. Peter made his way down the road and came to a stop. Standing in front of him stood a large bear. 'You mustn't pass!' screamed the bear." I paused, I sat up straight and looked into his eyes. He was completely mesmerized.
I continued the story, "'But why can't I pass?' asked Peter. Peter knew that if he could reach an agreement with the bear, it would finally let him through. Then he could get his milk and be on his merry way. 'I am the ruler of this street, and I say that you mustn't pass.' the bear looked down at Peter, 'this is my home. You will trample through it and leave muddy footprints and leaves on my neat sidewalks and curbside.' Peter was confused. 'This is everyone's streets.' stated Peter, trying to sound tough, 'but if I must, I will remove my muddy shoes and carry them on my person.' The bear thought about it for a moment. 'Alright, young human, you may pass.' So Peter took off his shoes, placed one shoe in each hand and walked through the street. He now knew that with a little bit of compromise, even the worst of creatures can reach a proper decision."
I looked down at Sam again.
"Can you tell me the story again?" he asked, giving me a huge set of puppy dog eyes.
"Sure." I replied, feeling slightly guilty because it was my fault that Mom hadn't been able to tell him this story.
I repeated the story several times before he fell asleep then, remembering that he is sleeping in my bed, I took to the couch and fell asleep.
I felt the ice cold hands reach around my neck.
I felt every breath leave my throat as it was squeezed.
I gasped, expecting to not be able to breathe and felt the cold hard floor smack my face.
"Just a dream." I muttered, as I climbed back up on the couch.
I searched the room. The door was still locked, which means that step dad from hell still isn't back from his angry spell. I wondered what time it was, and naturally my eyes found the blue and red clock that was nailed to the wall.
I had slept for seven hours... that was enough.
I got back up off the couch and walked into the kitchen. I heard a glass break and the scurrying of feet.
"Mom?" I asked, as I found her blue eyes.
"Shh. Don't wake your brother." she screeched. "I am going to go try and find your--"
"James." I finished, remembering that I wasn't of any relation to him anymore.
"Yeah," she said, looking up the stairs, "if I am not back, get him up for school at seven thirty."
I nodded, realizing that if she wasn't back I would have to skip school today. This pleased me.
I watched her scurry around the kitchen some more. She grabbed Sam's medicine from atop of the refrigerator and laid them out elaborately on the counter.
"And don't forget his breakfast."
She turned towards the back door and dropped her back.
With a few choice curse words and a thud, she sunk onto the floor to pull everything back into her bag.
I bent down to help her, and she looked up at me.
It appeared that she had aged thirty years overnight.
"Joshua?" she said, staring at me.
"Yeah?" I replied, worrying at the sight of tears from her eyes.
"You're so grown up," she started, "such a transformation."
I smirked, where was she going with this?
"I'm sorry, Josh. Just remember that."
And within a second, I was staring at her back as she walked out the back door.
Chapter 3: Where's Mommy?
It had turned seven thirty, so I walked into Sam's room and gently shook him awake.
I hadn't heard anything from Mom since she left a few hours ago.
"Josh?" he asked, "Where's Mom?"
"She went out to look for your Dad." I replied. It was true, Sam was only my half brother. James and Mom had him after her and my father got divorced. I don't talk to my real father, he never made any effort so I tried my best not to either.
Everybody said that we resembled each other though, the same flat, blonde hair. The same dark brown, endless eyes. I've heard it all before.
"Oh, do you know when she'll be back?" he asked, looking slightly uncomfortable with the idea of being here alone with me.
"No," I said, touching his nose, "but she told me to get you to the bus if she wasn't here."
I got up and went downstairs to fix him some breakfast. He came downstairs, took his pills and ate his breakfast.
Then I dismissed him back upstairs to get a shower and to brush his teeth.
I waited until I heard the shower running and then I walked up the stairs behind him. I walked into his bedroom and pulled open his dresser drawer. From the drawer, I pulled out a pair of jeans, a t-shirt, and some boxer-briefs. I laid them on his bed. Then slipped back downstairs before the shower stopped.
Fifteen minutes later, he came sulking down the stairs. I was surprised to see him actually wearing the clothing that I picked out for him.
"You ready for school?" I asked, tussling his hair.
He shrugged his shoulders.
"Hey, buddy, come up here." I grabbed under his arms and put him on the counter. "Mom will be home soon with your Dad, I promise. Let's just get you to school."
We walked outside and within five minutes the bus had arrived. He climbed on board and sat down. I stood at the street corner waving to him until I could not see the bus anymore.
I returned back to the house and found myself sitting on the sofa. Everything in this house fit the theme. Dark red and black. It was cool, providing that those are my favorite colors, but it was also a little disappointing because they were also his favorite colors.
I shuddered at the thought of having even one thing in common with him.
To kill this thought, I started to wonder around the house. I walked through my bedroom, seemingly overlooking the humongous pile of dirty clothing and trash that scattered the floor, then somehow made my way into Sam's room.
I looked at his bed, it was unmade.
The yellow blanket and the matching pillow were hanging off the edge of the bed. I bent down to pull the pillow up when something caught my eye. A small patch of red was stained into the yellow sheets. It was very hard to miss.
Was he bleeding in his sleep?
I thought of all the possible reasons, everything from an overly-scratched bug bite to the most horrible thing I could think of: bed bugs.
Somehow, I knew it was nothing that I could think of. Perhaps I'd just have to ask him.
I removed the yellow sheet with the small stain and put on a fresh one, it was dark blue, because it was mine, but I thought it added a nice distraction from all the yellow in the room. I walked downstairs and put the stained sheet onto of the washer, which was also in the kitchen.
I was halfway to the living room, when a thought hit me.
I never checked their bedroom.
Before I could stop myself, I found myself standing in their bedroom.
I was staring at a bed with pillows, sheets, and a blanket that matched the living room's colors. Perhaps we were too color coordinated in this house. I am starting to think that is a bad thing....
I made my way over to the TV stand, this was the only room in the house besides the kitchen and the living room that was allowed to have a TV. That was James' rule.
I touched the large flat screen and it was cold, it made me wonder what kind of TV shows he liked to watch.
I was thinking about him again, which scared me even more. I hated the thought of him, but I couldn't seem to keep him out of my head.
Why was my being gay such a hard thing for him to take.
It wasn't hard for me to understand, although I still don't understand if I am or not.
How could I say that? After I've torn my family apart? I don't understand. I could hit myself for being so stupid....
I made my way back towards the bed. It was perfectly made, all nice and fluffy, with mountains of pillows and the black blanket.
It pissed me off to see perfection in any where where he would, could've, or had slept, so I jumped into the bed and kicked things around until I was no longer angry.
The only thing left of the bed was sheets. They were a very dark red, but it wasn't like the red in the living room. They were faded, the color was almost drained out of the center.
And here, too, I found red stains.
I started to freak out a little.
Why was everyone bleeding in their sleep?
A couple of things bothered me, but the worst were the questions: Why? and How?
This story will be completed at http://www.fictionpress.com/~unforgivabledeeds