"You are under my roof and will fallow my rules. Understand." he tells me for the millionth time. It's not a question. It's a demand.
"Not for long" I mutter under my breath. I turn around and walk out the door before more fighting can happen. I just got home and he is already complaining. It's completely stupid, I was only 5 minutes late and he was so pissed off. I could smell the booze on his breath. I saw his bloodshot eyes, not a big surprise actually. I've already crossed the road and am walking away when he comes out onto the side porch yelling at me again.
"Where do you think your going! Get your ass back here now!"
"I'm going out, just try and make me, I might be back later if not have a good life drinking your way to the grave!" again I'm yelling at him. Not my brightest idea but maybe he will leave me be for awhile.
He shouts back " Fine go you ungrateful prick!" it doesn't bug me anymore. I am grateful to him for taking care of my mom and me. He isn't my real dad, my real dad pulled a gun on me an my mom. My mom met him a few months after and after a couple years they got married. My name is Josh, I'm 18 and about ready to move out.
I ended up going to my girlfriends house to spend the night. Her name is Jessica and her parents have told me I can spend as long as I need there. They understand what is going on at home. Though I wish I could just move out and find my own place now I am tired of living in places where I don't make the rules, not that my girlfriends house is bad the only thing there that is slightly annoying is that I have to smoke outside and that only sucks when its raining out. Other then that it's a nice place to live. It's in a small town, the house isn't that big but big enough for the 5 of us, me, my girlfriend, her mom, her moms boyfriend, and her younger brother. Like I said before though I'm ready to move out.
I decided to stay for a few days. It was nice, there was no yelling, no one getting pissed at me for stupid things, and most importantly I was able to write without being called a fag. At my parents house my dad would always call me a fag for writing, he thought that it was gay because it was poetry and I was using it to express my feelings. He is such a dick sometimes. Most of my writing is done at my girlfriends and Joeline (her mom) and Jeff (her mom's boyfriend) love all my writing whether it's a poem or a short story. They always give me their opinion on my writing even if it's that it's not my best work. It's still good to hear.
I stayed for a few days and one night well I was out for a walk I saw firetrucks go by. I decided to fallow them because I wanted to know what was going on and make sure no one got hurt. I love fire but not when people get hurt by it. Following them I didn't realise where they were going until I got there. They were going to my parents house. It was my parents house on fire. When I saw it up in flames I started running. As I got closer I noticed everyone was out on the front lawn. Mom and my younger sister. She is only 7 and is in tears holding on to my mom who is also in tears holding her aswell. My dad ofcourse is laying on one of those boards the paramedics use to carry people. I walk up to my mom and sister and they both hug me holding tightly crying. My mom keeps saying it's ok to cry but I can't. I havn't been able to cry since I was 7. Instead I ask if dad is ok. "He is fine just passed out." she replies still crying a little. This is where I notice the 3 beer bottles laying near him. Leave it to dad to drink tell he passes out well the house burns to the ground and his wife and daughter break down.
My parents and sister stayed in a motel for awhile until the insurence came. They got a new house with it and had plenty left over. A few days after they moved in my mom called me at my girlfriends and asked me to meet her for lunch the next day. She said she had something important to talk to me about. I didn't know what to expect. When I got there the next day she was already waiting for me. I sat down and ordered a coffee because I wasn't that hungry and was a little short on cash. Her meal arrived and we ate mostly in silence we talked a little mostly about nothing in particular after she was finished we got up and left the resturant. We were standing outside when she turned to me and said " I know you don't like you father and that you have been planning on moving out when you had enough money don't try to tell me otherwise." I said nothing because she was right and she knew it so she continued " I understand why you don't like him and why you want to move out so I am going to give you an option here is a check. It is what I have been saving up for you for the past 3 years and what I think you deserve from the insurence seeing as a lot of the stuff you had that was destroyed in the fire, you paid for yourself. With it you can use it to replace what you had and continue living with us or go find your own place, I don't care which you choose but what ever you choose know that I love you and always will." I took the check. I looked at it and couldn't believe what I was seeing. The check was for $5000, I looked at her shocked she just smiled and said " You don't need to thank me its nothing less then what you deserve, just promise me if you move out you will call every few days and let me know everything is ok." I just nodded. I couldn't speak this would give me enough to live for awhile well finding a better job. I hugged her and she hugged me back squezzing me tightly " I love you mom thank you so much and I promise I will call." I said softly into her ear. She pulled away she had tears in her eyes as she said " I love you too. I knew what you would choose and know you always have me if you need me." she smiled at me tears running down her face and looking at her I noticed things that I didn't before. She had huge dark rings around her eyes, her eyes where red from crying, she was pale and she somehow looked older then she was. I realised that she was just as unhappy as I was but unlike me couldn't leave. For the first time in years tears welled in my eyes and I hugged her again as they started streaming down my face. It was the first time I cried in 11 years and the tears weren't for me but for my mom. We stayed like that for what seemed like ages. After we pulled apart we said our goodbyes and went our seperate ways.
I found a place to live quickly and found a new better job just a few weeks after moving in. It was a nice sized 2 room apartment. the living room doubled as my bedroom and it had a bathroom with a shower. It was nice, not to big but not small either. I kept my promise to my mom and called every few days. She always sounded so happy to hear me. Things were finally looking up for me. A few months passed when I got a call that would change everything. I got home from work and noticed I had a message. I didn't recognize the number. The message was from a Mr. Klayton, he said he was my mothers lawyer and that there was something he needed to speak to me about as soon as I could. It was only 7 so I called the number back. " Mr. klayton's office. This is Barb how may I help you?" said what sounded like a younger woman. " Hello my name is Josh Winters, Mr. Klayton left me a message I was calling back to see if he was in?" I was slightly nervous saying this, I never liked talking on the phone. "One moment please." was all I heard before I was put on hold, though I wasn't on for long before a man came on the other end saying "Mr. Winters I'm glad you got the message and got back to me so soon. Is there anyway you could come to my office tonight, I'm afriad something terrible has happened and I would rather speak to you in person about this." I didn't have any plans so I agreed and he gave me his adress. I hung up and grabbed my coat and left. I had no idea what was going on but I knew it couldn't be good, I couldn't have imagined how bad it was.
I arrived at about quarter after 7. Mr. Klayton was waiting in the reception room for me. We went to his office. After hanging my coat and sitting down Mr. Klayton began explaining why he called me. " Mr. Winters I'm sorry to be the one to tell you this but your mother has passed away. She has commited sucide she overdosed on sleeping pills. I am truely sorry young man." his eyes showing only compasion, as mine became dull and blank. I was instently numb, I just couldn't believe it. My mother sounded so happy on the phone when we talked. He noticed my blank expression and continued " She left a note for you and I have it here if you wish to read it now." as he was saying this he was reaching into a drawer and pulled out a sealed envolope and put it on the desk infront of me. " I havn't opened it out of respect." he said looking quite troubled. Almost absent mindedly I reached out and picked up the note. I opened it and unfolded it holding it in my hand unfolded for a few seconds before looking down at it. It read,
I am so sorry for this. I have failed you and your younger sister. John your step dad was a blessing after what happened with your real father, or atleast I thought he was. After marrying him I started noticing changes like him drinking more, him always being angry, and the constant criticism. You probably didn't notice when you where younger, I know he started getting hard on you when you where only 7 and it just got worse for you from then. I am glad you left, after you left he didn't have you to take his anger out on so he took it out on me instead. I am not as strong as you, I couldn't handle it. I can't believe you put up with it for 11 years, I wish I was as strong as you. Strong enough to leave but I'm not and this is the only way for me to be free I have left you my half of mine and your step father's money I hope it is enough I want you to take your sister from that house and take care of her. I know it's a lot to ask of you but I only ask because I know you can handle it. I am so proud of you and I am sorry for every mistake I have made please forgive me.
My tears hit the page like bombs. In one year I have cried more then I have in 7 years of living with that demon of a man. I sat for a few minutes in silence, Mr. Klayton didn't speak he understood I needed a moment. After a few minutes I dried my eyes a fierce angry shot through my entire body and as I looked Mr. Klayton in the eye I knew that same furocity was showing in my eyes. Looking him in the eyes I said " My. Klayton I need to get custody of my younger sister and if you are willing to be my lawyer I can and will pay your fee right here right now." He seemed startled by my forwardness, but in only a few seconds the surprise left his face and was replaced by a smile and the same furocity I was feeling " Mr. Winters I would be glad to be your lawyer through the proceedings but on one condition. I will only accept the job if you promise you will pay me nothing. Your mother was a lovely woman and I wish to do this out of respect for her." I looked at him with joy I havn't felt in years " I gladly accept your offer, and thank you" I said as I stood up and held out my hand. He stood and shook my hand firmly I was so happy I pulled him closer and hugged him, he hugged me back.
The custody battle was much easier then expected. A few days after speaking to Mr. Klayton for the first time my step father was in an accident. He was driving home from the bar, drunk ofcourse, and drove off the road plowing into a telephone pole. He was thrown from the car and died instantly. The courts did not fight my demand for custody because I had a regular job, savings, no criminal record, and a good appartment. My sister came to live with me. It took awhile but she slowly rose in spirits and things went back to normal, well as normal as they could. We didn't stay in the appartment long I was promoted at work and with my parents inherritance I was able to work nights and take collage courses during the day. We moved into a nice small house with my girlfriend near the collage but not to far from my job that it was an inconvenience. I'm not going to say we lived happily ever after, we still had our share of problems after that but atleast we where free and living a normal life