Home. Home is not somewhere I enjoy. I loathe home. Home dwells in two worlds: this one, the one we are—almost all of us—present in, and Hell.
Home wasn’t always this way; once it was a place of happiness, joy, and even laughter. Now, all it is, is a place of pain, anguish, yelling and tears.
I’ve never been all too certain when everything changed. Maybe it was when my…Father—I use this word without a hint of love, or sense of feeling as though he is my father, or what a father should be—lost his job. Or possibly it was when Father pawned Mother’s—again, no sense of what a mother should be, at least not any longer—wedding ring was pawned to pay for Father’s newly acquired drinking problem; they have to collect a tab sometime. But, maybe it was just them.
All I know now: Home is not somewhere I want to be.
Walking home is the most peace and quiet I get. Ever.
People look at me; at the bandage on my jaw, the split in my lip. They take in my piercings; I know what they think then, and it’s exactly what I want them to think. ‘Oh, look at all those piercings and those bruises and bandages! Surely he must be a delinquent!’ If only they knew…
Although, I often wonder: if I had no bruises and such, and only had my spider bite, brow and ears, what would they think then?
For a moment, I snap back to reality, from the cages that are my thoughts, and press the button for the crosswalk, and long enough to notice the fuzzy white stuffed-bunny across the street—not the one I was set to cross—in a little boutique. Quickly, I changed my course, running through the crosswalk and ignoring the irritated drivers. I looked back for a moment, and waved my apologies.
I walked into the tiny shop, and swiped the bunny from the shelf. I squeezed it in my hands, smiling. It was soft, and very plus. It had an extravagant silken bow around it’s neck, adorned with expertly stitched cherry blossoms. I checked the tag; only $3.50.
“Wow,” I breathed, surprised by how cheap such a quality product was.
I walked up to the counter, working on pulling my wallet from my backpack, it slung over one shoulder, me not looking. The lady looked at me quizzically.
“You getting’ a gun?” she smirked.
“Nah,” I chuckled, “just my wallet.” I pulled it out, waving it.
“Don’t worry, I was only jokin’,” she smiled warmly. “I can tell you’re a good kid.”
“No one’s ever said that before,” I sighed, handing her the bunny.
“Shame. For your girl?” she asked , scanning the tag. She took a hairpin out of her chestnut brown up-do, and stuck it in the key hole on the cash register.
“No,” I quietly chuckled, “I don’t have one of those—at least not the way you mean. It’s for my little sister.” She looked surprised, and shut the money drawer. She quickly tapped a few buttons, and sighed as the register beeped. She pressed a few more buttons once again—presumably the correct ones—before smiling and handing me the bunny.
“No charge, hun.” Her blue eyes disappeared when she smiled. She reached out and ruffled my—oddly natural—bleach-blonde hair.
“W-why?” I asked, smoothing my hair.
“Because, I like your heart. Not many people care about family anymore—least not around here.
I scoffed. “Yeah, I know what you mean.” I watched as she tilted her head to the side, clearly confused by my comment. “Aha, I’ve said too much already. Bye.” I said, turning around and walking to the door.
“No,” she said sternly. “You sit, and you talk,” she ordered, sliding over a chair and ‘slamming’ me down into it. “TALK.” I pressed my lips tightly together, and glanced at my watch. 3:30…If I’m not home soon…
“Ma’am, I really can’t. I-- ”
“Talk!” She glared, and I squirmed in my seat, while absent-mindedly running my finger over the bunny’s satiny bow.
“M-Ma’am…If I don’t get home soon…” I looked her in the eyes, hoping my urgency was conveyed properly. She sighed.
“Fine, tell me one thing.” I nodded.
“I like you more than anyone but my sister.” I stated. “And I just met you.” She looked surprised—and she was right to.
“More than you mother and father?” I nodded, standing up.
“Way more.” And with that, I walked out.
I began to jog, and sped up, until i heard feet pounding the pavement behind me. I looked back, and sure enough she was running after me. I sighed, and slowed down.
“H-here. Take my…number!” She panted, doubling over. “Call me…if you ever need help.” I took it, and smiled awkwardly, making sure not to show my teeth. She hugged me quickly, “I may not know you, but I know kids like you don’t deserve this.”
“Thanks,” I mumbled as she let go, and nodded.
“Now, run,” she advised, turning back to return to her shop.
And, I did.
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