I lay in the dark as I listened to my brother fuck his girlfriend in the next room. It got so old. She was a total whore and he knew it but hell, he didn't care. And since he didn't care I lay here and shut my eyes against the darkness, listening to the sounds of cheap sex rattle the walls. I rolled over and looked at the clock, its blood red symbols laughing at my blood red eyes. How long had they been going at it? Two, three hours? Only the devil knew. It was three in the morning and I had school in a few hours. What an inconsiderate asshole.
"Just shut the fuck up," I muttered rubbing my eyes and rolling onto my back. I reached for a cig and lit it. The tip glowed in the black, pushing the shadows away. Grey tendrils drifted from my lips, searching for a way out of this hell hole. It found none and was swallowed up like an innocent child.
I finished the cig, the and rattling moans still bouncing off the walls and into my head. I think I've had enough. I stood and walked to my door, pushing it open, and strut towards my brother's room like a victim to the gauntlet. I knew it wasn't going to make any difference, but I had to try. I pushed the door open and the sounds of sex assaulted my ears even louder.
"Hey," I muttered. Nothing. Shadows falling and rising. Sweat and sickly cries.
"Hey," I said again this time louder.
My brother finally saw me and he pushed Jenny off him, "What the fuck you doing Tommy?"
"I got school in the morning, so shut the hell up so I can get some sleep."
"Hey don't tell me what to do! Dad's drunk ass is gone for the night and it's the one time I can get some damn freedom in this house!"
I rubbed my eyes again, "Yeah sure, just let me sleep."
"Just get your ass back in bed lil brother," he said pulling Jenny back on top of him.
I closed the door and wished I was somewhere else. I went back to my room and closed the door. I lit another cig and felt a migraine coming on as my brother started banging his bitch again. I wished this cig was a knife so that I could swallow it.
In class, my mind was miles away, my eyes trained on the window like a marksman on his target. The teacher was talking about something that wasn't interesting and school bored me. I hated it. Mindless drones forced to accept information without a chance of opinion. Christ I was tired. My eyes felt like they might roll out of my head and onto the desk. I looked to my left and saw students who were zombies with eyes that had died long ago. I looked at the teacher and saw a puffed up chest stuffed with pulsing egotistical bullshit. Power trips for the weak. I yawned and thought about my dead friend, Chris. Rumor had it that two cops had offed him. Shot him out in some field because Chris had shot one of the cops' niece. What a wonderful merry go round that was. I felt pissed when I heard the news. Of course the cover story was Chris had tried to escape questioning and the cops were forced to shoot him, but most people suspected foul play. Course nothing came of it. Fucking cops hiding behind their blue suits of status and shields that did anything but protect. If I could find those two bastards...I'd kill em. I felt partially responsible too, because I had provided the gun used to kill the cop's niece. Shit, now that was something to dampen my day. I wanted to bleed, shit, throw up, anything, something to get these feelings out of my rotting body that God had humored by calling a temple.
The bell rang and I was gone.
Home is where the heart is. If my heart was here, then my life was a lot sadder than I gave it credit for. My father was home, but he was most likely in his room on a bender. I quietly tip toed past his door.
My room was a mess but that had stopped bothering me a long time ago. I locked the door and turned on some heavy metal. I didn't like it, but it was nice to have something more pissed off than me in the room. I closed the blinds and collapsed on my stomach on the bed. The screaming singer on the cd was talking about gutting someone. I grinned and thought it was just all talk. None of these pussies could actually stab someone. I reached under my mattress and pulled out a ten inch knife I had bought at a flee market. Same place I had bought the pistol I had given to Chris. I watched the blade as I twirled it in my hand an imagined what it would be like to stick it in someone. It seemed like it would hurt a lot. Would there be as much blood as I saw in movies? Would the person moan? Or would they scream? How long would it take for them to die? I didn't know the answers today so I stuck it back under the mattress and pulled out a little bag from my pocket. I drew two lines of coke from the little bag and snorted them both. Their goes my problems for a little while. Bye bye you little bastards see you soon.
The next day there was a football game at school and I decided to stay and watch. I don't know why, I hate football and I hate the whole team spirit bullshit, but I stayed. I sat up in the highest bleacher and watched the jocks bash each other's brains out. No one sat next to me, but that was fine. I watched the crowd's moral rise and fall like a sleeping baby's belly as our school battled on the field. I was tired, but for some reason I stayed. My eyes began watching the crowd more then the game and I wondered if any of these people would die tonight. I wanted to get high. I wanted to jump off these bleachers and fly away, but knew that if I did that the only thing that would be waiting for me was the cold hard ground. I watched as the teenagers around me laughed and cheered while holding the mask of a lie on the faces. Or were they wearing masks? Was it possible that this was the really who these people were?
I gagged suddenly and quietly threw up off the back side of the bleachers. Look out below. I wiped my chin and checked to make sure no one saw. Shit. A girl was walking up towards me.
"You ok?" She asked.
I nodded and scrubbed my chin harder, "Fine."
"You sick or something?"
She was fat, but I recognized the look in her eye. She was starving. Starving for someone to notice her in this sea of people. All these perfect people with their perfect bodies wrapped up in their perfect world. I wanted to throw up again, but I held it in.
"Sick?" I asked, "You could say that I guess."
"My names Kim, can I sit with you?"
She looked like she was about to cry for a second, "But you don't have anyone to sit with."
Suddenly I felt like weeping. I put my face in my hands and controlled my breathing. "Ok, you can sit."
A smile burst forth from her face. A pretty smile. She climbed the last few steps and sat down next to me, "I love these footballs games," She sighed.
"I hate em."
She giggled, a brook of cheer that bubbled from her lips, "Then why do you go silly?"
I looked at her, my jet black hair getting in my eyes, "To watch people. Same reason as you."
"Yeah well-" She stopped and then giggled again. It was like rubbing a cheese grater against my ears. "I guess you got me there!"
I wished to God I had wings.
"So you're Tommy right?"
I glanced at her, "How'd you know?"
"Well with the whole Chris thing last year. I know you were like his only friend."
I continued watching the puppets of life dance and cheer around me, "Yeah I guess so. He had a girlfriend though."
Kim cocked her head and rolled her eyes to the night sky, "Well, she got over him pretty fast after."
"That's cause she was a whore," I muttered.
Kim laughed again, "You're funny Tommy."
I looked at her, "You want to get high?"
Her eyes grew the size of doughnuts, "What? You mean like, do drugs?"
"Well no shit, I'm not talking about riding up in an elevator." Were people really this stupid?
She stood, "No that's ok, in fact I think I'm going to go now. Uh nice meeting you."
As she walked away I made my fingers form a gun, "Pow" I whispered, shooting her in the back of the head. In my mind I watched her tumble down the bleachers, blood pouring out of her as people screamed and ran.
I wanted wings. If God didn't give me them, then I'd grow them. I walked home and got high.
The next day was Saturday so I didn't have school. I lay in my bed staring at the ceiling till two in the afternoon. At two I sat up and rolled a joint. I inhaled and felt the crutch of sleep release me as something else accepted me into its grasp. I opened my night stand drawer and fished around for my coke. I came out holding an empty bag. Damn. I shoved the drawer closed and lay back down on my pillow. I inhaled from my joint again. Phewwww. I smiled to myself as I closed my eyes.
There was a party tonight at someone's house. My dealer Travis was going I think. I could get some more coke there. I should let him know. I reached for my cell phone and flipped it open. One missed call? Who the hell would call me? I looked at the name and rolled my eyes. Chris's ex, Melissa. What do you know, a voicemail too? I listened to the message. She wanted to go to the party with me tonight. Oh joy. I text her and told her sure, what the hell. Then I dialed my dealer.
I put out my joint, "Hey it's Tommy. You going to that big party tonight?" I hated talking on the phone.
"Yeah man, you looking for a hook up again?"
Idiot. "Yes I am. Same as last time."
"Ok but the price has gone up," I heard Travis mutter. He was sounding far off. Like he was talking away from the phone.
He coughed into the phone, "Sorry man, supply and demand."
I sat up, my head hurt, "Well I demand you give me the shit for the same price."
Travis laughed, "Sorry bro, it'll cost you twenty more. See you tonight." He hung up. There was a fire in me. A blazing scorcher that had sprung up out of no where. I was MAD. Cheap bastard. Cheap fucking bastard. I threw the covers off me and leapt out of bed. My foot hit something hard and pain stabbed threw it.
"FUCK!" I screamed, fury coursing over me. "FUCK TRAVIS! FUCK EVERYTHING!" I picked up my alarm clock and threw it against the wall. It shattered without a tear or a cry. I flipped my bed and kicked the mattress over and over again. What the hell was I doing? Am I this pathetic? Why the hell was I so mad? Ah damn.
The party was in full swing when I arrived with Mellissa. She had talked the entire time about her shoes and I had smoked weed and watched the road whiz by as I drove. This wasn't a good idea.
I parked the car outside the massive house and saw it was all lit up. My buzzed brain told me to giggle at the lights so I obeyed. The first thing I wanted to do was to get rid of Melissa and find fucking Travis. Melissa and I walked up the front law, approaching the handful of teens who were chilling outside.
"Yo wassup," one of them ventured. I ignored him. He laughed and then turned to his left and vomited. It was brown like the color.
I walked inside and thumping music stabbed my ears. Melissa let go of my arm and disappeared into the crowd. Good, let's hope she stays away.
People were clustered together, talking, dancing, laughing, making out, drinking, whispering, and pretending to have a good time. Drugs were everywhere. People were doing lines off the granite countertop, chicks were rolling grass, tripping on acid, and a few hovered above us on X. All the good stuff. Where the FUCK was Travis? Someone shoved a joint into my hand and a plastic cup of alcohol into the other. I ditched both. Some girl was trying to grab my ass as I pushed my way through the throng of the damned. I turned around and abruptly slapped her across the face. She fell sprawling on the floor where she stayed and began rubbing the wood floor. I shook my head and moved on. Maybe Travis was upstairs? The music was too loud and I wanted to be the one who pulled the power, but I couldn't find where it was coming from and all these doped out faces got me lost because they all looked the same and they all looked so sad. I wanted to cry with them, but I needed to get high.
After a half hour I found the stairs and stumbled past the people talking on them. I ignored the couples making out in the hallway and searched the bedrooms vigorously, as if I was compelled by something so strong I couldn't say no. Sex, sex, more people having sex, it was like opening the same door again and again except the people inside had different colored hair. Is this what my generation had been boiled down too? Endless sex, drugs, and making sure you look like everyone else? I wanted to laugh as I realized I too had conformed to this lifestyle in my hunt for my dealer.
"Travis," I said as I pushed a door open and saw him naked on top of some broad. He turned to me and gave a little wave, not even breaking his rhythm.
"Hey Tommy! Didn't think you'd come," He said between thrusts. I turned away disgusted, my stomach acid boiling.
"I got your stuff under the bed. Go ahead and get it, just leave the money. I have some unfinished business," he said pointing to the blonde under him. She too gave a little smile and wave.
I needed to get out of here. The smell of stale sweat and weed infiltrated my lungs and nostrils. I opened my mouth to breath but swallowed rot. I closed my eyes and quickly strode to the bed and stooped, retrieving the little brown box Travis carried around. I reached into my pocket to drop the cash when sirens overwhelmed the sounds of music and red and blue flashing lights poured uninvited into the bedroom windows.
"SHIT!" Travis yelled, rolling off the girl. He fumbled for his clothes and my heart was like thunder. I kept the money and ran, the little box tucked under my arm.
I heard Travis behind me, "Hey what the fuck man?!"
I kept going. People were jumping out windows, flushing drugs down toilets, crying, flipping the cops off, laughing. I tripped half way down the stairs and then decided to go back up. The cops were at the front door.
My lungs absorbed decaying air as I felt a sickly sweat caress my face. I kicked open one of the bedroom doors and it appeared the couple inside didn't care about anything but each other. They continued to fuck as I rushed by them and jumped out the window, head first, my box of heroin tucked tightly in my arms.
The window shattered as my head hit it and it hurt a lot more than I thought it would. I felt warmth trickle and explore my hair. Blood. I hit the ground hard, knocking the breath out of my lungs, which was ok. It was stale anyway right? I felt my wrist twist and snap and somewhere a scream tried to escape my lips but since the air had been knocked out of me, the guards did their jobs and it did not get out.
I stood shakily, realizing what I had just done and I chuckled, my breath returning. Then I looked up. A cop stood not five feet from me, his eyes wide.
"You damn crazy kids! Get your hands up!" He yelled un-holstering his weapon, not sure what to do.
Fuck. I was busted. On a whim, I threw the box of tar at his face and it struck him squarely between the eyes. He screamed and went down. I took off.
I heard him close behind me a few seconds later and I knew that if I got caught that I was going to jail. Shit, shit, shit, fuck you Travis. I was down the street, not sure where I was going, my shoes pounding the road as my heart pounded my chest. Stupid, stupid, stupid, fuck you Travis.
"It's not his FAULT!" I yelled into the night. "It's YOU'RE fault you fucking idiot!"
The cop behind me was closing his distance. I took a left and cut across a lawn. I had to loose him or I was going to loose my freedom. Terror seized me at the thought and I ran harder.
I was running out of breath fast and by the sounds of it, this pig had plenty of steam still. Weren't they all suppose to eat doughnuts and be fat? Just my luck to get the Muhammad fucking Ali of cops.
There. A church. Sanctuary. I had to loose this bastard. I sprinted across the street and looped around the back of the church, having enough distant between me and the pig that as I turned the corner he didn't see me. I ducked into the back door of the church.
There was a service going on. I found the sanctuary and slid my way into the back row, steadying my breath. The old lady next to me looked at my sideways, her eyes judging.
Suddenly I wanted to just lie down and cry. I shook my head and closed my eyes. What was I doing? Just what the fuck was I doing? Had I fallen this low?
The pastor at the front was talking about forgiveness.
"The Lord has compassion on those who have wondered astray," He proclaimed. "Just because you sin, does not me he has cast you from his flock. He is a God of love. He will take you back no matter what you have done, no matter how many times you have sinned. He still loves you and he always will. You just have to say yes."
I put my face in my hands as warm tears trickled from grief stricken eyes. The doors burst open to the sanctuary and the sweating cop strode toward me, eyes on fire. It was over. As he grabbed me and threw me to the floor, slapping cuffs on me, I croaked over and over again, "Yes...yes...yes...I say yes."
Copwright to Elias Witherow 2009