Chapter One

Chapter One

A Chapter by J.A.N

Ben stood up, shook his head and grumbled, “I am so sick and tired of you, Dewayne! All you do is take, take, take. You took Gwendolyn from me, you took my son, you took everything. And just ‘cause you got that damn boy of yours with her don’t mean I won’t have her again. Sixteen years and counting, are you stupid Dewayne? I’ll never give up. I will have my family, I will fight until the day I die.” He balled his fists up -



“NO!” I scream, jolting up right.

I look over to the bedside table, 4:54 AM.

Steadying my breathing and wiping the sweat from my forehead, I get up from bed; I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep again, I know that ’cause it’s like this every night, the nightmares. But these are worse, their getting more powerful then ever. And I can’t do anything, I can’t go back and stop him or defend Ben, it’s obvious. Done and over with, four years gone and went and not one word ever said. No police report, no nothing. What would have been the use? I would have still had the nightmares. Perhaps, I could have served him justice. But I would have ended up just as he, fighting for something that would only ever cause me to keep losing and getting doors slammed in my face and hell, it would cause me hell and feeling worthless. But is it much different from what I have now, is it? I have pain, and guilt. But mostly pain and I cannot handle the pain, the emotion. I learned something from my father, if not anything else. I learned to numb the memories, the ones that hurt me the most. His way is reading psalms and sipping Jack, while mine… it’s, it’s more difficult than that. For three years straight after that night in July, I took razor blades to the flesh. But when I no longer felt the pain from a few lines, I took it deeper. Most of the scars are faded now, except the two huge red bumps of tissue on my upper right arm. Always covered by a t-shirt sleeves and never noticed, not to anyone else but myself. I passed out that night, woke up in a daze and found Pa beating Mom on the kitchen floor. After that, after I saw how bloody and bruised she was, how weak she was for days afterward, I swore to myself I would never do it again. It’s been a year, an entire year since then. I have written pages upon pages, words all over along with hand drawn pictures, all of it contained with feelings, with secrets and desires. But now… I can’t write. Since the nightmares have gotten worse, I can’t write. I cannot describe what is growing inside. I begin sweating again, cold, cold sweat. I block everything out, and I’m running away from myself, I know what I’m doing but I don’t stop. I close off all thought as I open the bathroom drawer and the familiar metal grazes my fingertips, it’s new and sharp. I don’t stop, I don’t think, I don’t breathe.


But I stare.

… Staring as I did before.


I sat

I sat and I stared

I sat and I stared and I did nothing

Nothing at all



Feeling numb

Felt numb


I sat

I sat and I stared

I sat and I stared and I did nothing

Nothing at all



And the time passes, like years.

I hear my alarm go off in my bedroom, it’s 8:30 and I know Mom’s awake now. She’ll be coming down to here to the basement any minute to wake me up. I pull myself up from the floor and turn the shower on and I wash away the blood, I wash away myself. Slowly, I dry off and put some fresh clothes on, a black t-shirt and jeans and as I walk up the stairs, I pull a sweat shirt over my head. When I enter the kitchen, painted a disturbing pink and checkered floored, I see Mom cooking breakfast. Bacon, eggs and pancakes, the usual and Pa’s sitting at the table, already drinking. While taking a seat across from him, Mom slides our plates in front of us, she doesn’t say anything until she herself is seated. “Morning, you two.” She gives a little smile but doesn’t look up at either of us. Pa grumbles, and starts eating, chewing so loudly; I am disgusted, I feel a strange buzzing and I feel my face flush red and I’m screaming, whateverwhateverwhatever. It doesn’t make any sense, but I scream while I scratch at the cuts on my arm through the sweat shirt. I’m provoking him, like an animal.“Craig!” Pa shouts, “What the hell’s your problem?” Not again, not again, I think. But I can’t stop staring at him, thinking about what happened. But what happened? Nothing, he said nothing. It’s just some nightmare I had when I was fifteen. I’m out of my mind, he said. But the nightmares repeat, every night and I want to change everything, erase it. Or forget him, forget myself. I could, I could just leave it alone. But not now, I can‘t. He’s drunk as hell and flaming mad, how stupid of me to set him on edge.

We throw insults like knives, m**********r, worthless, no good, jobless, and round and round. And he stares at me, silent. Mom looks between the both of us, startled, scared out of her mind but familiar with the situation. And then, he opens his mouth and drags out the word as slowly as possible, “Cutter.” And that sends me flying across the table at him, scattering the food everywhere. I see Mom in the corner of my eye, standing up and wanting to break up the fight. But she can’t, she’s not strong enough. I hit him, and I hit him again while his nose bleeds and then he takes the beer bottle that’s spilling on the floor and smashes it against my head, although I feel the throbbing, the pain - I don’t back down. In fact, it fuels me and I take another swing at him, again and again. The whole time I’m screaming, why?why?why?why?why?why?why? But he doesn’t answer, he swings his fists into my stomach and then I fall back, I fall against wall on the floor beside him, covered in our blood. He stares at me, looking dazed and then… and then he goes unconscious. I want to sleep, I think to myself, I’m ready to sleep. But Mom’s kneeling beside me, crying. She inspects the damage to my head, I feel her picking pieces of glass out, I hear her whispering, whispering, whispering my name and then it gets louder, no longer a whisper.

And she says - she says, “We have to go to the hospital.”

© 2011 J.A.N

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your writing is so detailed, it creates such a clear image in my mind. I wish I could write the way you do. You are truly a gifted writer. Love this story so far.

Posted 12 Years Ago

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Added on May 19, 2011
Last Updated on June 4, 2011



Conroe , TX

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