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Victim to Victor: David's Journey
Right now I am sitting here in this cold, musty theater. The movie is almost over, and now I am regretting even coming here. If mom finds out I am gone…let’s leave it at that. The movie wasn’t all that great, but I needed a break from my house.
Mom has been acting worse lately. Mom is an alcoholic, a bad one at that, because when she is drunk she gets violent. I don’t know how many times I have been beat, but it all started when I was 12, see what happened was, my dad divorced my mom, for some other girl, which happened to be her best friend, and dad just ran off with her. Mom has never been the same.
The movie is over now, so I am heading outside, the sun is starting to set in the sky and I don’t have enough money to catch the bus. I was lucky when I found the five dollars lying on the street; that is what I used to see the movie. I need to get home before mom realizes I am gone. See, I wasn’t supposed to leave the house today, because I “forgot” to give mom all of my paycheck, so now as punishment I can’t go anywhere this weekend. I had to call my boss and tell him that I was sick just so he would let me skip work. I am going to be dead if I get caught out here, so right now I am trying to hitch-hike. Nobody has stopped yet, so I decided I am going to start walking, well, running actually, that way I can get home faster. Dinner is in less than an hour and I live 20 minutes away from the movies, by car. I stop, because I realize that if I run then I will get thirsty and that will only make things worse, so I start hitch-hiking again.
A red truck suddenly stops, and I take that as my queue to get in.
“Where to?” the guy asks.
“I need to go the corner of Jefferson Park”
“Alright” said the man.
His truck smelled like decaying flesh, but I didn’t complain, better to be with him, than what I was getting ready to face when I got home. The man’s name was Ted. He was from North Carolina and moved here, because he wanted to be alone. I didn’t talk to him much, but he told me how, when he was my age, he was a stud, all the ladies killed for him. That was very hard to believe considering he has a gut belly and a comb over. Me myself, well I am not the ladies type of man, in fact, my last girl friend was in the first grade, but that doesn’t really count, because she only liked me for my Cheetos.
“Alright here we are son.”
I thanked the guy and hopped out of his truck. He drove away, and the exhaust burned my throat, I watched as he turned right around the corner. Ok, so now here I am in Jefferson Park, thinking of a way I could sneak in my house. It would be kind of difficult, because my mom could be in one of three places, the kitchen, the living room, or in her bedroom, and if she was in the right room I would get caught. My house is basically a rectangle, my room is in the back by the only bathroom in the whole house, across from my room is mom’s room and to the right of that is the living room and in front of that is the kitchen. I finally came up with a plan, here it is, I am going to come from the left of the house and sneak in through my bedroom window.
I start running to the house, because it was very close from here. When I see the house, I put my plan into action, I start coming up from the side of the house and head back to my bedroom window. I opened my window slowly, cautiously. If I make a single sound mom might come in here. I climb through the window and close it shut quietly. Whew! I made it. I start looking in my room for my bag, because I still have some school work to do, but I can’t find it. I could have sworn I left it in my room, by the door, but it isn’t there. BAM! My door smacks against the wall and I see my mom standing the in the middle of my doorway holding my bag. My heart sinks, because I know there is no way she could have had that without coming into my room today.
“WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?!?!”
She has bloodshot eyes and looks enraged, I think trying to come up with something that will save me from this beating, but even I know there isn’t a way out this time.
“I- I – I went out.” There I said it, maybe it won’t be as bad, I told her the truth.
She starts coming towards me with the bag in her hand. I cover my face for protection, but there is a pause, when I look up she isn’t in front of me, so I turned my head to see where she is and that was when I felt it, the sharp stinging of the coat hanger against my back. I don’t know how long it has been, but when I woke up it was dark outside and I was in pain.
I went into the kitchen to grab something to eat. I found a chicken leg in the fridge and decided that I would just scarf that down. I went down the hallway and into my bedroom to grab my pajamas, so I could take a shower, to ease the pain from my beating. When I got in the bathroom I cut on the hot water and let it run while I went through the medicine cabinet to look for some kind of medicine. I found some Tylenol P.M and jumped in the shower. The water was scalding hot and my back burned, I cried out in pain, but only for a second. After my shower I went straight to bed, because I had school tomorrow.
I woke up around five this morning and took another Tylenol before I went to school. I was lucky and caught the bus by just a few seconds. When I got to school today I realized I forgot to do my homework, which sucks, because I am so close to failing this class. I went into Algebra 1 part 1 and took my seat. There is a new student in the class today, and nobody is talking to him. Whatever happened to welcoming people with a smile? I didn’t want to be the only one to do it, so I just stayed to myself; I was already considered the weirdo.
So, right now I am in lunch, and my school is pretty cool, because they allow us to eat outside if we want. I eat outside, because I like to go out whenever I can. All of the guys are either playing football or basketball, that is, all except the new kid. I see him sitting at a table all alone, so now I am walking over there to see if he wants to talk.
“Hey man what’s up? My name is David. What’s yours?”
“Nothing much. I’m Ryan.”
“That’s cool. Where did you move from?”
“I am from Savannah, Georgia.”
“Did you like it?”
“Yeah it was nice, but I didn’t have that many friends."
“Well, you can have friends here, but if you hang out with me you’ll be called a weirdo.”
“I don’t mind, I mean you are the only one that has talked to me all day.”
“Hey lunch is almost over. What class do you have next?”
“Oh me too! Do you wanna go together?”
“Sure, I don’t know where it is, so that would be great.”
After lunch we dumped our trays and went to digital input. Ryan was telling me about his old school, but then he asked me how I like it here.
“It’s pretty cool, I mean I have lived here my whole life, so I wouldn’t know of any better places.”
“Is there anywhere you want to go?”
“Well yeah, I want to go to take a trip to California one day.”
“Oh that’s cool.”
The rest of the day Ryan and I just talked about different things in life. He asked me about my family and where I work. When I got home mom was passed out on the couch so I went to my room quietly and started working on my homework. When I was finally in my room, I could feel the pain in my back, I guess I hadn’t noticed it before, because I was talking to Ryan. I went to take another Tylenol. Ryan is a cool kid and I can’t wait for school tomorrow. For dinner tonight I went, grabbed a yogurt and went to bed; I thought I should make something for mom, but last time she told me, if I ever cook anything again without her permission she was going to cut my fingers off.
For the past two months now Ryan and I have been getting along real well. I have been over to his house to do a couple of projects, and we have gone around town together. I finally have a friend I can trust, I even told him about mom and how she beats me with just about anything. She has been real quiet lately, but I can tell she is just cooking inside. Sometimes mom is like a volcano, she just sits there and waits and waits, building up whatever hate she has inside, and then she just erupts and does something crazy. Last time this happened mom poured drain cleaner on my hand and set it on fire. I had to wear a hand wrap and tell the other kids I burned it while setting things on fire. I just hope it isn’t like that this time. Today is Saturday and Ryan is going to sleepover; mom said yes, because lately I have been “good.” It is nine o’clock right now and Ryan and I are going to see Rush Hour at the movies. I went in the living room to ask mom if we could go.
“Hey mom, is it okay if Ryan and I go to the movies?”
“Sure, be back by 11.”
We got to the movie theater and bought popcorn with some money that Ryan’s parents gave us. They are really nice people. For Ryan’s birthday they took us four wheeling, which is the most fun I have ever had. The movie was over around 10:45, so we started running back to the house. By the time we got there it’s 11:10, and I go to let mom know that we are back and sorry we were late, but mom is already standing in the doorway of the kitchen and the living room, and she looks enraged. I tell Ryan he should go back outside or wait for me in my room, but he doesn’t move. Mom comes running towards me and grabs a knife off of the counter.
“YOU WANNA SHOW UP LATE AT MY HOUSE?!?!”
“M-m-mom! I am sorry, we didn’t realize how late it was and we ran all the way back here.”
“I’LL SHOW YOU TO BE LATE”
She was coming towards me with the knife and I was shocked. I turned to push Ryan out of the door, but instead he jumped in front of me. I turned around and saw Ryan staggering on the kitchen floor with the knife in his body, his blood dripping on the floor, staining it red. It was then that I realized what had happened. Something inside of me was churning, clawing at me, like a caged animal, I grabbed a knife and stabbed my mom neatly in between her breasts. She looked at me with something that looked like pleasure? I ran over to Ryan and told him to hang in there. I went and called an ambulance, they came pretty quickly. I wasn’t allowed to see anyone for the next couple of hours; they were both in the ER, Ryan and mom. I fell asleep sitting in the waiting lounge, when someone shook me on the shoulder. It was Ryan’s parents, they looked mournful.
“What’s wrong?” I asked.
Ryan’s mom sat down and put her arm around me.
“David we have some bad news….”
“What?! Did Ryan not make it?!?!”
My heart was pounding and my hands were starting to sweat, I couldn’t control my thoughts. Was he dead? My best friend, dead, because of me. I couldn’t bear this.
“No, no, no, David. Ryan is fine sweetie, it’s your mother. She didn’t make it. We are so sorry honey.”
My mom was dead. I didn’t know how to act, thankful, relieved, sad? My mom was dead and I would no longer suffer. I had mixed emotions about this, but that wasn’t really important to me.
It has been a couple of months now, and your probably wondering what happened to me right? Well I will tell you. I ended up living with Ryan and his family, which is better than I have ever imagined. Ryan has gotten a lot better and can finally do regular stuff again. In fact right now we are sitting in a car, and I have no idea where we are going we have been in this car for about five days now I think. Today is my birthday and he told me it is a surprise, so he blindfolded me.
“Ok. Are you ready?”
He told me to take off the blindfold and look out the window. I took it off and let my eyes adjust to the bright light, shining down on my face. I looked at Ryan and he was beaming with joy, he pointed out the window. I turned my head slowly and there it was, the state sign saying: Welcome to California.