He stalks her, coldly in the night. The bushes rustle as he hunches into them, shrouded by their embrace. He peers through them, watching, waiting for her. He looks at the moon, notes its shadow, and then swiftly brushes the raven hair from his eyes.
She should be here, he thinks, it’s time.
A red car pulls up into the driveway that draws his gaze, but it shifts as she gets out of the car. He watches her walk, watches her float to the door. He breathes quicker and sweat glides down his dirty face.
He stares enviously, now noticing the boy with her. “Undeserving,” he labels him. He starts to backpedal and the bushes shake. She peers past her boyfriend, into the bushes, and for a moment, he is happy. For that second, he feels like she finally sees him. But she just looks back at her boyfriend and kisses him goodnight.
He longs for that kiss, but knows he will never own it. She looks back to the bushes and wonders what she feels. She continues to wonder what the lingering feeling is as she pushes the door open, satisfied with her night.
He stares a while longer, savoring her loitering beauty. He thinks for a moment, calculating the time in his head by her schedule. She’d arrived late, around five minutes late. He realized he’d be home late and he began his journey home.
“Where the hell have you been?” his father bellows, shaking him wildly before tossing at the floor.
He scrambles to his computer and begins typing. Every keystroke is effortless and without fault. He presses enter as the robotic voice recites what he’s written,
“I apologize. I was visiting a friend.”
“You don’t have any,” his father retorts, causing his heart to sink. His father sighs continuing, “What have I told you Antonio, over and over again?”
“There are those to be loved,” the computer voice begins, “and those to be hated. I was born on accident.” Antonio’s hand shook, not wanting to continue, but he has no choice. “I was born a scorn to the universe. My only purpose is to…”
“Keep typing,” his father prompts, “now. Type what we’ve told you.”
“My only purpose is to die, to fill a grave when my time comes and until then I shall serve you and mother. I will do whatever you tell me because you keep me alive until my time comes.”
“Good boy,” he father scoffs, “you’re lucky your mother isn’t home yet.”
Antonio grabs his computer and rushes up to his room. He instantly opens up a web page with a picture of her, Nikol. .
Beautiful, he speaks in his mind, a treasure to the world.
He breathes more calmly now, thinking he is alone. Antonio’s eyes run around the room, hunting for the lotion. He begins to rummage through the drawers until he hears the door below slam shut.
“He’s done what!” he hears his mother’s shrill voice screech.
Seconds later, Antonio feels her moving closer. Her anger blasts the door open and teems in his room.
“You’d better have a damn good reason for leaving boy! Who the hell were you with?” she screams.
Antonio closes the pictures of Nikol and finds the program that allows him to communicate.
“I was with no one mother,” the computer reads. “I apologize for my lack of punctuality but I shall begin the chores promptly.”
She snatches his computer from him and locks the door. Her husband sits downstairs, already aware of the occurrences above him. Antonio’s mother undid her belt, it was sleek leather, and he knew his punishment. He stands erect and shuts his eyes.
“Open your eyes, you worthless worm,” she commands.
He eyes lids rise slowly to the sight of a belt rushing towards his face. It collides with a sharp thwack and his father, still sitting contently in his chair, laughs heartily. His mother delivers another hard whack to the side of his face and the black belt is now spattered in red. Antonio wants to reach for his face, he wants to wipe his blood, but he has learned that that simply leads to harsher punishment.
His mother commands him once more, “Open your eyes!” he had winced. She takes the weighty belt buckle and knocks him in the head for his insubordination. He struggles for a moment, attempting to hold his composure, before completely collapsing.