Watching My Own Movie

October 4, 2010
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They say your whole life flashes before you just moments before you die. I guess I could say that was true for me. For me, the memory I saw was the first time my dad hit me. Not just like a little pat on the back, but an actual slap across the face. The day he hit me was two days after my mom left him.
“I’ll be right back,” he had said to me, as he slammed the door shut behind him. I had run to the window, to see him cursing to himself. He didn’t come back, not until two days later, when he threw a raging fit at me. He had been drinking. I was only eight. Do you think an eight year old should have to go out to get his own food, because his father was out drunk somewhere?
That day he slapped me was the beginning of the many years I would have to spend being abused. I was so scared any time he came home from a stressful day at work. I knew what it meant. He would walk over to me, take off his belt, and hit my back with it, strike after strike.
In some ways, my mom was responsible for this too. I wouldn’t have scars on my back and upper thighs if she hadn’t left. I had seen her packing.
“Where are you going?” I had asked her. She was taking piles of clothing out of her dresser and putting it in suitcases. She already had two filled. She ignored me and called for Dad to come. I heard yelling, and then doors slamming shut. There was no I love you, no goodbye. Just leaving.
Dad would call me names. He would say I was too lazy and never going to accomplish anything in life. He said I was too weak, too sensitive. He said he hated me. He said I had to be tougher. Dads don’t say that, do they?
The weird thing is, you would’ve thought that I would remember one of those moments when Dad and I were best friends, me up on his shoulders, and him making airplane noises. I didn’t. I remembered the pain. I remembered how my heart sank. I remembered me bursting into tears. Because that was why I became who I am now.

* * * * * * *

After the rumble, me and Ponyboy went to visit Johnny. While I was waiting to visit him, I saw that witch, Nurse Roberts. I remembered what I had had to do to get out of the hospital. “Come on!” I had said to the nurse on my last day of being a patient. “Let me go. I’m fine, see?” I moved my right arm around in the sling to prove it. Truth was, it did hurt a little, but not much.

“Dallas. You understand there’s consequences to not letting an injury heal?” Nurse Roberts had said. Blah, blah, blah. I don’t care. I had been getting tired of her. We had been arguing for over an hour, and she still wouldn’t let up. Then I had remembered something.


“What?” Nurse Roberts responded.

“Can you get that bag over there?” I had asked. She got my green backpack, and I opened it. There it was. I took out my trusty pocketknife, and held it like I was going to use it, firm enough to scare her. Nurse Robert’s mouth dropped open. She slowly backed away, terrified for her life.

“I...I...have t-to get a new sling for your arm.” she had bluffed as she left the room. I threw the blanket off my legs, slipped on my shoes, and ran out of the room. I had managed to leave the hospital without having to threaten anyone again. A few days later, I had come back to visit Johnny in the hospital with Ponyboy. I’m not scared of rumbles. I’m not scared of the police. I’m scared of losing the person I love. It’s too late now though, because Johnny died.
I had never really liked any of my “brothers”. I went to Darry when I was 16, trying to escape my dad. Then Johnny had came. I instantly liked him. The way he never talked back, unless it was really important. The way his eyes grew big when he got scared. I don’t know, I just did. He was my best friend. And now he’s gone.

I shook my head to clear my thoughts, because you don’t let anyone know that you’re upset. That’s the way it is when you’re a greaser. I started to think that I wasn’t sure so if I wanted to do it. Then I realized that I was in it for Johnny. And Greasers don’t give up.

Next to the alley where the rumble was, there is a small supermarket, Hank’s Goods, which has everything the gang likes. I zipped open my bag. There were only two weapons I carried around, a knife, and an unloaded gun. The gun is what I took out. I don’t know why. I threw my hoodie over my lowered head. When I walked in, I started to take Ponyboy’s favorite drink, when a clerk tapped me on the shoulder. I whipped around.

“What are you doing?” the clerk asked suspiciously. I lifted my gun, and the clerk’s eyes widened. He threw his hands up. “No, please don’t. I have a wife and kids at home. Please.” I backed away, not saying anything. I ran as fast as I could.

There was a phone booth nearby, and I went in it. I could already hear faint sirens. I dialed Darry’s number.

“Hello?” Darry.

“Darry! Thank goodness. Listen, I don’t have a lot of time to explain. I was going to rob Hank’s, but someone caught me. Get the gang to back me up. I’m at L’oreal Avenue. Right where the rumble was. HURRY!” I hung up, and started to back into the alley.

I didn’t have to wait long. Sodapop was already running over to me. I could hear the footsteps and the sirens getting closer. The gang arrived just shortly before the police did.

“Why?” Soda asked. I lowered my head. I didn’t know why.

Several police cars pulled into the alley, trapping us. Darry pulled us behind a trash dumpster. The police were looking the other way, so they didn’t notice. I shook off Ponyboy’s grip on me. It was time.

Taking the gun with me, I stepped out into the light. I knew it was going to happen. I slowly pulled up the unloaded gun. The idiot cops didn’t know it wasn’t loaded. Then as the gun shot into the night, bullets darting at me. I said sorry to everyone. I’m sorry I wasn’t good enough, Dad. I’m sorry I didn’t save you, Johnny. I’m sorry that you left, Mom. I’m sorry I won’t be here for you, Sodapop, Darry, and Ponyboy. And then as the bullets hit me, sending sharp pains throughout my body, I had a flashback.

“Where have you been?” Dad had asked. I was late from my walk in the park, which I enjoyed.

“The walk took a little longer than usual.” I had said, shaking. He was mad. And then he whipped his belt out, and hit me over and over again. I had spared my life by protecting my head, but I still had the scars on my back. It was the first time that had ever happened. I had forgiven him, and I shouldn’t have.

My mind was filled with so many regrets. I didn’t care anymore, because that was it. I was dead.

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