"...Just a game." Sara finished. I hadn't been paying attention
so I just nodded like I knew what was going on.
I'd been off in my own little fantasy world. My family always
said I was "too high in the clouds" but I couldn't help it.
Dreams were so much better than life. I could be anything I want,
do anything I want. There, I was happy.
I'm Tristan, by the way. Sara is, like, one of my best friends.
One of my only friends actually.. She goes off on stories
sometimes and forgets my VERY short attention span. I put up with
it, and she puts up with my daydreaming.
Sara realised I wasn't paying attention, I guess, because I saw
her shake her head and smile. I grinned back at her and she
flipped me off. Just like always. It's been our little ritual for
a long time now. Sort of like some peoples' secret handshakes.
"How much of that did you hear?" She asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Uh... I, uh..." The bell signaling the end of lunch sounded its
high, shrill sound just then. Talk about saved by the bell!
"See you tomorrow!" Sara said, but I was already gone.
"But you promised, Harold! You promised you would take some time
off to spend with the family!" I heard my mother yell at my
father down in the kitchen. These fights were the norm around
here. They would wait 'til they thought I had gone to bed and go
at each others' throats.
"And you promised to love me forever, but what do I find? Some
other man's underwear in my car!" Dad yelled back. That was also
normal, mum cheating on dad.
I heard a cup slam on the kitchen counter, presumably mum
cleaning the dishes and having gotten angry. Cabinets slamming,
footsteps on the hardwood floor. My parents were very upset at
I can't stand them fighting. It's true, dad is almost never home
anymore because of his job. And mum does cheat. They're not
suited for each other, I knew that. I didn't much like them and I
absolutely hated when they fought.
I crept downstairs so as not to alert them I was coming. Standing
outside the kitchen door, I listened.
"You hate the kids! You always have!" Dad yelled at mum. My eyes
widened a bit. I knew that mum wasn't the nicest person, but I
thought she still, you know, loved me and my sister.
"Yeah, and? At least I take care of them, unlike you!"
"Who pays the bills around here? Me!" Dad said. I swear,
sometimes they both could be such children. "You haven't had a
job since you dropped out of highschool!" Ouch, bringing out the
old high-school-dropout slam.
I heard the swish of clothing as mum turned her back on dad. I
waited for a moment, holding my breath in the silence.
Suddenly, the sound of breaking glass and a grunt sounded through
the house. I swung through the door in an instant and saw as dad
hit the ground, mum holding a broken beer bottle in her hand.
"WHAT DID YOU DO!" I screamed at her. Dad was the one I liked
more. He was actually pretty cool, when it came down to it. So
this scared me and pissed me off. "YOU BITCH! HOW COULD YOU HURT
DAD LIKE THAT! YOUR HUSBAND!!"
I looked once more at dad and raced out of the room. I took the
stairs back to my room two at a time and slammed the door behind
me, locking it shut. I slumped against the back of it, tears of
anger streaming down my face.
It took me several minutes to calm down enough to try to figure
out what to do. I stood and looked around the room, my blank
room, so unlike any other teenagers'. Cold was flowing through me
I knew what I had to do. I needed to leave. Get away from this
hell. I didn't want to leave Hayley here with that psycho bitch
downstairs, but I couldn't stay here anymore. I'd come back for
I quickly threw together a backpack of stuff I'd need. Quietly, I
went across the hall to the computer room where we kept a stash
of emergency cash. I grabbed most of it and shoved it into the
I heard crying coming from downstairs. I figured it was mum,
getting drunk again. I snuck down the stairs, paused a second to
listen at the kitchen door, and went out to the front hallway.
I looked around me, soaking in the last of this house so full of
memories. I pulled a piece of paper from my pocket, wrote a quick
note to Hayley, and stuck it in the hiding place we used
I silently opened the door and stepped out into the night air...