After Ruby dissappeared, her family has been falling apart before her transparent eyes.
|We sit at the table for once together but not as a family but like strangers. Dylan sits with his head low, his brown hair covering his face with shadows. Mom's face is stained with tears, with many more falling. I sit with them quietly and no one pays any attention. My dad- he just continues to takes sharp breathes and whimpers into his hand. I look back at Dylan, I reach out for him but stop instantly when he jumps up from the table. He glances between our parents with a hateful glare and then rushes out of the room and up the stairs. I look back at the two, who didn't move. They stayed frozen like ice sculptures. After a minute, mom spoke up.
"Why!" She yelled out. She cried a bit more. "Why?" She asked again in a hush tone.
My father muffled his answer. I stood up and came close, he shuddered.
"Jack, why?" She whispered again.
I leaned in closer to hear but he was silent was as a corpse. I take a step back and look around at the once sunny yellow kitchen, now drenched in secrets and misery. I wanted to help them, but they won't notice me.
With a soft sigh I leave the room, head up two sets of stairs and quietly go into Dylan's room. He's sitting by his desk, where I would usually interrupt him and his video gaming. I use to jump onto his bed, making loud giggles, smiling and whining for him to play with me. Now I sit on his bed, and he continues to stare at the wooden desk as I wasn't there.
Reaching out for him once again but falling short, I fall to the carpet with a hushed bang. He doesn't notice. There's a knock at the door and mom peeks her head in.
"Hey, may I come in?" She asked, sliding half her body into the room
Dylan makes no noise, just shrugs his shoulders.
She carefully sits on the bed, I scoot over to the other side by the windows. There's a engine revved up outside and I go to look. Down at the driveway was dad, in the driver's seat, sitting in the white car in the black night.
'Please don't go. Not to the tavern. Not to Todd Daddy.' I pleaded with my head against the window. One mistake was bad enough, but doing it twice. . ?
As he pulls out of the driveway, I hear Dylan huff behind me, and I look above me to see him leaning on the window as well. I look back at the bed where he had left mom. She had her hands folded and eyes closed. Leaving the window, I sat beside her and laid my hand on her's ; she shuddered and another tear fell.
Dylan the turned viciously around. "I told you he was no good!" He yelled suddenly
I could see the tears on the edge of his eyes. He held them back. "Why didn't you listen to me!" He cried out. He pulled at the curtains, but mom stayed silent
'Dylan stop! It wasn't her fault!' I yelled back. He just snared at her. 'It wasn't your’s or her’s, so stop yelling! It doesn't help.' I said louder.
Dylan turned away, making a disgusted noise and mom sniffling. I get off the bed and walk to his side. He looks out into the far distance, paying me no attention.
'You know this doesn't make any of us feel better, so please stop.' He ignores me. I turned my voice sweeter. ' Please big brother, please stop.'
"This doesn't help us, Dylan." Mom said finally
I nodded and walked to the far corner of the room, sitting with my legs curled to my chest.
"Ruby wouldn't want this." I shuddered at the sound of the name.
Dylan crossed his arms at the window. "Bet he does," he muttered. "Bet Jack's going down to Todd's tavern right now and , just celebrating."
Mom looks up. "He is dealing with this his own way."
I stay quiet. Dylan shakes his head in disbelief; I don't blame him.
"You're never here!" Dylan said loudly. " You don't know him like we did" He lost his voice then. "He hated us, and we tried to tell you that. He never had anything nice to say, called us names." He said in a whisper
Mom looked at him, unsure. "I don't think you're telling me everything Dylan." She said slowly.
My brother turned to her and gave her a look. "He called me a loser for always being on the computer and taking programming." His voice got louder. "He calls you a blonde twat behind your back and called Ruby a mutt!"
Mom suddenly stood up. "I will not be having you talking about your stepfather like this!" She said threw the tears that trailed down her face. "I will go get him from that damn tavern and get this sorted out once and for all. Maybe then you can stop having this illusory grudge against him!" She stormed out of the room.
Dylan went to the doorway and watched as she went down. "It's real and you god damn know it is."
Mom paused at the steps and turned her head to him.
I stood behind him pleading for him to bite his tongue, because the next sentence was gonna make us all feel bad. My pleas fell on deaf ears though.
"You gave us a drug addict first time around and now an abuser." Dylan said in a cold and heartless tone. I took a step back, winced and tried not to think about the memory, though it came to me on crystal clear vision. White powder in the air, sugar all over the furniture and a scary laugh haunting my dreams.
You said we were gonna be safe." Dylan said with my thoughts matching.
"Jack isn't an abuser." Mom defended.
His body slacked to the side. “What about when he hit you last week? What do you call that?”
Mom had no answer for him.
“He was the only one here, I was over Levi’s and you were at work. Jack and Ruby were here together. Where are they now?” With that, he walked back into the room.
Mom sat on the step and started to cry some more. I stayed there for another minute before going off to where Jack was consoling himself with a large dark bottle that probably smelled bad.
He sat alone at the long tall bar. He was hunched over, with his tears making puddles on the glossy wood. Everyone in tavern stared at him, not hearing anything from the obviously grieving man.
I heard the name again in his low congested moans.
“Where are you. . .?” He whispered
An anger boiled in my stomach. The man I had called dad no longer sat before me, but instead someone with guilt. Just the thought running through my head made me want to scream out but I held it in. I don’t know these harsh feelings or why they are targeting him, though the unknown knowing that he deserved it poisoned me all over, I knew that wouldn’t make either of us feel better.
‘Please Daddy, don’t cry. I’m not angry, I promise. Just go back with Mom and Dylan, they need you now.’
Instead he picked up on of the bottles laying near him and sucked the last of the liquid in it. I tried to rub his back, like mom would do when I would get a bad dream. It didn’t make him stop though.
“I’m sorry Ruby, I didn’t mean to. I’m sorry.” He sputtered
‘I don’t want you sorries, I want you go back home. They need you there, and you need someone as well’
But just like when I first woke up, till I saw them in the bright light of the doorway, no one listened to me.