Chapter Two

Chapter Two

A Chapter by J.A.N



Pulling, pulling.

Pulling, pulling, pulling myself up.

Up from what? I can feel a series of bruises developing,

the sting of… oh, God….

Pull. I can taste iron, my fingers sticky of syrup and dried blood. Keep pulling, pull, pull, tug. Slowly but eventually I open my eyes, staring straight up at the ceiling fan in the kitchen. I slowly get up and prop myself up against the wall and view the scene in front of me, broken glass, broken plates, spilled milk, food and some blood along with the tracks of...footsteps.


Arms weak, legs heavy

Who I am…?



I shuffle over to the kitchen window, the minivan is gone, gone, gone. And thoughts are overflowing, rememberingrememberingremembering. I fell asleep, she left. She left without thinking twice on who to take to the hospital. Part of me, just part of me wants to get to that hospital and scream at her and award her the worst mother but the other, well… the other part understands why she did what she did even if what she did was the wrong thing to do. But than again, what ever is wrong as long as it’s in the name of love, right? I examine my hands and forearms, a few scratches and bruises and smeared blood, knowing the water faucet won’t do the job, I go into the bathroom down the hall and turn the shower on cold. I pull the sweater shirt and t-shirt over my head and pull the jeans off and slide into the cold shower and rinse off. There’s massive bruises on my abdomen from where pa hit me but nothing compares to the pain of the cuts. I scrub off the thin scabs that formed during the last few hours, turn the water off, get out, dry off and search for the peroxide. Behind bottles of nail polish and air dye, I find it and screw the cap off and pour it down my arm. I hear and feel the sizzle but I don’t look at the depth of the cuts or the size. I grip the towel around my waist and walk down to the basement. Behind that door is a room filled with shelves upon shelves of books read from cover to cover, drawers filled with papers upon papers of hand written plays I wrote when I was twelve to seventeen and dozens of maps and charts are plastered on the walls, there’s a desk on the left wall piled with folders containing the histories of authors from around the world and unsharpened pencils and a jammed printer without ink sitting next to an old computer and a keyboard that’s letters are fading and a twin size bed on the right side and clothes scattered all over the floor. There’s hundreds of thousands of words in there but none of them can explain the feelings I have, against pa and towards mom. I enter the room and open the closet, there’s nothing but empty hangers in sight. I eye some basket ball shorts and a white undershirt from the other day lying on the bed, it’s dirty but that’s all I have. I throw them on and find some sneakers and head out the door and into the November much of Cleveland, Texas. I run down the porch steps and off Williams Avenue and onto the street, past the neighboring houses and water tower overlooking it all. My lungs are aching but I keep going, I keep running until the hospital is in sight, a little less than half a mile away.


Through the doors, past the nurses station, down the hall. White halls, surrounding, terrifying, blank canvases predicting life and death. Children with cuts from sticks, alcohol poisoned teenagers, men with hammered toes, women in labor, elderly men and women racing in wheel chairs… Or at least that’s what I’d like to imagine. I pass through a few corridors, people dressed in scrubs;

I don’t bother to acknowledge much else.


Blink, breathe, don’t pass out.

Inhale, exhale. Keep walking.


Eighty years of secrets sits in an uncomfortable chair, staring out a window.

I can hear him whispering… “Darling, Laura. Come home.”

I hate this part, watching them. But perhaps it’s but my imagination.

I pass through another corridor, a little more lively.

Little kids pitter patter up and down the hall with a parent or two beside them.


“Craig, what are you doing here?” I turn around, startled.

Aunt Becca, bright pink scrubs, shinning blonde hair. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Barbie at the age of forty-two. I think, I think, I think but I can’t get the thinking to cooperation with speech. She rushes over to me, I see the concern in her blue eyes, “Uh, we… I…Listen, can you find out what room pa is in?” I ask, realizing that I’m aimlessly wandering around the hospital. Now she’s the one startled, she runs off toward the nurses station and I walk off and search for the waiting room where I find mom sitting there with her in head in hands until she hears my footsteps, she gets up and hugs me tightly... the things you choose to do when you love someone or maybe, when you feel sorry for them.

“Darling, are you all right?” mom is staring at me, sympathetic. I feel uncomfortable under her eyes, smothered. I nod my head and sit down as  Becca enters the room. "Gwendolyn, how come you didn't tell me?" she's on the verge of tears, "You know I work here. I understand he's your husband but d****t, I deserve to know that my brother is in the hospital with five broken ribs and a punctured lung." she hisses and crosses her arms, whimpering. Mom doesn't look at her, just pulls a few dollars out from her wallet and says, "Craig, mind getting me a coffee? I need to speak to her alone." she eyes me for a moment and I take the cue as I see Becca's judgemental gaze at the bruises on me, her mouth gaps a bit but I know what she's going to say to mom - that I need to handle myself better, I need to get over this, I'm not the only one suffering for what happened and most importantly, I cannot cause pa to be admitted to the hospital again but for the comforting part, she'll keep her mouth shut about what I did, just like she did for pa. She covered for him, we all covered for him even though he hurt one of our own. Family love, family crime. I take the stairs to the cafeteria and buy two coffees and to give them some time, I sit down and take a breath. Punctured lung echos through my head, I done that. But I don't feel bad about it, I don't feel anything but...someone, someone tapping me on the shoulder. I turn my head and look up. Brown hair, blue eyes, five freckles south of her right eye and lips worth kissing without a cause, dressed in a hospital gown and I can't help thinking... looks legal. She gives a little grin, "Got a smoke, dear sir?"

© 2011 J.A.N

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I love it :) I'm excited for stevie to actually become a part of the story. Write, write, write! :D

Posted 11 Years Ago

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



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