+At the point of a gun+
I’ve been abused for as long as I can remember. Well… is it abuse? I mean, she only hits me when she’s mad at me (and that’s nearly every day) but dad says she does it because she loves me. See, I’m not a perfect kid: I don’t have straight A’s like my older brother, I’m sort of a rebel when it comes to following directions from my parents, and I’m me.
I admit it. I hate everything about me. My whole life freaking sucks and sometimes I just want to jump off a cliff and die.
Ok, so about my mom…when she’s in a good mood she’s okay with me. But when she’s in a bad mood-which is 97% of the time because of me- she beats me and yells at me with words that would make any kid feel unloved: ‘I wish I never gave birth to you!’ or ‘You never bring joy into my life, only problems!’. If your mother (or father) says these things to you, I feel your pain. But if they doen’t, well, you’re one lucky bastard.
“Hey, Miiikeyy!” I waved my hand wildly over my head as a jock with some friends passing by across the cafeteria caught my eye. The jock grinned, waved goodbye to his buddies, and jogged over to me with a sweaty brow. “Did you just have football practice?” I asked as he sat across from me with a slight pant and nod, “Yeah, man. It was so intense we had to do, like, nearly 1000 push ups.” I rolled my eyes at how Mike liked to exaggerate a lot. “If you did 1000, you could’ve died smart-alick.”
“Well maybe I did die and you’re actually talking with my ghost.” Mike laughed as I threw a French fry from my plate at him. “So, what’s new?” he asked and I shrugged, licking the ketchup of my plastic fork, “Nothing much. Oh, but I just got a new bruise yesterday.” I swiped my bangs away from my fore-head and my friend cringed at the purplish-blue bump. “Crap…let me guess. Your mom.”
“No way, how’d you guess,” I added sarcastically and took a huge munch into my hamburger, making a disgusted face, “Anyways, it doesn’t matter. Let’s just change the subject, ok?”
I hummed a tune, then grinned as a thought popped up, “Hey! You going to Bella’s party tonight?”
“Huh? Oh, uh, yeah…are you?”
“Obviously not. She doesn’t invite ‘emo-losers’ like me, remember?” Mike shook his head in disappointment, “If you’re not going, I’m not either.”
“HA! That’s hard to believe. Your, like, the most popular guy at school and everyone will miss you.” My friend shot me a grin, “Really? Am I ….cute too?” I laughed with a knit of my eyebrows and we bothchuckled while some people around us stared with the ‘why-are-they-hanging-out-together’ looks.
Just because I’m classified as an ‘emo’ and Mike is classified as a ‘jock’ makes some people think that us hanging out together is not cool. But, who cares, right? I mean, we’ve known each other since we were kids and have been best buds for a long time.
“Hey, Jake,” Mike cut in as he turned around to stare at a couple of girls, “I’ll be gone for a bit. JUST for a bit, so don’t think I’ve abandoned you.” I laughed weakly in response, “Hey, you know what? I was just going back to class right now so you can go and talk to your ‘honey bunch’.” My friend turned slightly red and I chuckled, wishing him good luck with his crush.
As I saw him fade away with the preppy girls, a sad feeling melted over my heart. “Goodbye, Mike,” I mumbled, “You’ve been a great friend.”
At home, mom started to yell at me again, saying how pathetic I was to drop a China plate on the floor. “You idiot!” She burst, “Clumsy! Go upstairs and do your homework!!” I did and my whole body felt numb as I walked into dad’s room instead.
He wasn’t around, not that I cared much. In fact, what I actually wanted to find was something in his drawers. He kept it well hidden underneath a pile of neatly folded clothes, but I found it anyways and took it out with a slow walk to the bathroom.
It was around 8:00 P.M. Mike was probably having fun at the party with the people he belonged with. But…
I reached out forthe Verizon cell phone in my pocket and dialed a few numbers with a shaky hand. At first, no one answered, then a loud voice did, trying to talk over the music in the background, “H-HI! JAKE? IS THAT YOU!” I chuckled and pulled the phone away from my ear a bit, “Yeah, Mikey. This is me.”
“HEY! ARE YOU COMING?”
“Uh, no…I’m not.”
“You know why…listen, I just wanted to say good-“.
“HOLD ON! I CAN’T HEAR YOU.” There was a rustle, then the music faded away and Mike, with a loud laugh, started to talk to me again, “So, what’s up?”
“Um….” I stared down at the object in my hand, “Mike?”
The tears stung my eyes, “I-uh…uh, w-well….”
“Jake? What’s going on?” his serious voice suddenly made me start to sob, “M-Mike. I- I’ve got a gun in my hand…I’ve got a GUN.”
“…..Jake…oh my god, Jake…calm down.”
“NO!” I placed the gun on my head as tears streamed down my face, “I’ve had enough…it’s everyday…I’ve had enough…” My jagged breath quickened as Mike started to panick, “Please, Jake. Just calm down and realize what you’re doing. I want you to put the gun down, please do it for me.”
“I..I can’t….Your my best friend, Mike. You were my only friend….” The boy on the receiver started to breathe fast and he begged me not to shoot myself, “Jake, please don’t do it!” I put the phone aside on speaker and squeezed my eyes shut as I placed the gun on my head.
“Sorry, Mike. It’s not your fault. It’s mine. It’s always been mine.”
“It’s not your fault, Jake” Mike sniffed hard, “I was always caught up with my other friends instead of you. I’m so sorry…Please, give me another chance...give your mother another chance!”
My lip began to tremble as those words rang in my ears, “My mother? She would want me dead.”
“That’s not true, Jake. Your mom cares for you sh-she just… doesn’t know how to show it.”
….Mom only got mad at me when it involved doing things that were bad for me or wouldn’t help me.
There’s always a positive and negative consequence to choosing life or death. I was quiet for a bit, then said, “Bye, Mike.” Before he could respond, I hung up on him and still kept the gun on my head.
‘Give me another chance… give your mother another chance.’
And so right then and there, I made my decision.