When Shay was little all he ever wanted was a big red fire truck he could ride on. Every time he saw the commercials he would jump up and down and pull on his fathers sleeve. He would drunkenly promise him he would get it for his birthday to get rid of him. Shay could picture it in his head, riding on the shiny new fire truck. "It even has a siren!" He remembered the commercial saying. But by the time his birthday rolled around his father was out of work. Apparently his beer gut was keeping him from doing a job right. Even at a young age Shay couldn't think of any job that being fat could keep you from. Even some firemen on TV were fat. But being that the boss was an old friend of his Dad's and made sure he got unemployment. His dad figured, no work, money, beer. Shay didn't fit anywhere in the list. Somehow a few months after Shay's 5th birthday his dad managed to fit wife into his list. Shay loved her to death. She was beautiful, kind, and always included Shay. But no matter how strong she was she couldn't stop Shay's dad from hitting him. At first it wasn't so back. Occasional slap to the back of the head. But when food and bills cut into his beer money things got bad.
"Get over here you little shit!" My Father hollered. I quickly grabbed the beer from the smelly fridge and ran it out to my father. He smiled coldly in his faded green recliner. "Open it." His new favorite game changed from slamming my head in the door to making me open his beers with my teeth. I whimpered as I bit down on the cap. Three on my teeth were already broken from opening the beers. And my teeth were so nasty sometime it hurt when the air hit my teeth when I breathed. I closed my eyes tight and pulled until I heard the satisfying pop. I handed my dad the beer and hurried away. Even on my worse days my step-mom Angie could cheer me up. "Com'meer darling." She coo and set me in her lap. She hated how my father was but she stayed because of me. Sometimes she promised she would take me away from here. She tells me stories of how happy we'll be and I dream about it all night.
One night when I was sleeping I was awoken by loud yelling. "You worthless bitch! You spilled my beer!" I heard my dad scream. I heard a loud slap and Angie crying. I rushed out of bed and ran into the living room. "Well if it isn't the little hero." He hissed. Slowly he put his Playboy down and grabbed my by the hair. "If your her hero who's yours? Nobody! You hear that?! Nobody loves you!" He screamed into my ears. Then he threw me into the wall. "Morons." He mumbled and stumbled into the kitchen. Angie rushed to my side. "Go back to bed, Shay, go." She whispered pushing me lightly. I looked at her with my tear streaked eyes. She was my hero. I thought. That night I dream about Angie in a flowing red cape.
In the morning he had a large purplish bruise across his face. "Well champ, looks like you're not going to school today." My father said as if we were old friends. After awhile I understood the routine. I get beat, I miss school. Sure teachers got suspicious. But when parent teacher conferences rolled around my teacher was under the impression that my dad loved me so much and we were always on family trips. Me, my step-mom, and I. I was excused from school whenever I needed. But I still had to make up the work. That meant, I had to be my dad's slave and punching bag and I still had work to do.
I started picking up bad language from my dad. I love getting attention and the kids all love when I walked around doing my impression of a tough guy for them. It didn't take long for the teachers to notice the small circle of giggles. When they went to investigate they witness me dropping the 'F' bomb. My dad was phone called immediately. When I got off the bus he was waiting for me. He placed his hand on the back of my neck and squeezed putting his face near my ears. From a distance it look as if he was friendly telling me a secret. "So you like talking shit huh?" He whispered leading my into the back yard. "Let see if you still like it after this. He sat me down on an old cinder block and picked up a small black bag. He smile and stuck his hand inside pulling out a fresh dog turd. "Here, eat shit." He said shoving it in my mouth. I gaged and tried to escape the horrid thing but he shoved it down my throat. I stay outside for hours crying and trying to throw it up.
I had come to the conclusion my dad was crazy. An evil villain. After awhile I started to realize Angie's promises were just mere stories. I stopped dreaming of he taking me away. Instead I started dreaming of running away myself. Hiding in the woods or an old house. I wished I could make myself brave enough. But I was five. The thought of being alone scared me. More then it scared me to stay with my father.