Seven ish years later
Seven years seemed to fly by faster then Richard had imagined. As the weeks turned to the months which turned to years, Richard was getting worse and worse by the day. The nightmares seemed to be getting worse and worse. Richard tried going to doctor after doctor but every one of them kept telling him that it was nothing, the nightmares would pass, they'll pass. Yeah, well, the nightmares and day terrors were not passing at all, to make matters worse, the VA was not helping him or his family which made Richard stress even more, in turn, making him drink more making his wife and child on the receiving end of everything.
Mick thinks it started when he was around seven years old.
He was playing with a kid in class throwing paper balls at a girl.
"Would you two stop it!" The girl shouted.
Mick blinked when the teacher looked up. The yelling girl tattled on them. Of course! Miss Jane walked up to Mick and Travis.
"You two can miss recess now, I told you before to leave Kate alone."
Mick's heart went cold as Miss Jill went over to her desk and started to write out a detention paper. When she came up to Mick's desk, he took the paper with shaky hands.
"I would like one of your parents to sign this," She said.
Mick started shaking his head as he took out his folder and put the paper in it.
"No, not today, today's Friday," he said. "Today's Friday."
Miss Jill looked at him with questioning eyes but didn't press any further.
"I'm sorry, but there are consequences to your actions young
Mick sighed. The rest of the day seemed to go by agonizingly slow, he saw through the first recess and helped clean up the art project that everyone was working on. Come on, why can't this day be over with yet? Why is it not two o'clock yet?
Later that day, Mick stepped inside the house, careful to not scare his dad who was probably on the couch passed out anyway. Mick was right as he quietly stepped inside and saw his dad on the couch sleeping. He thinks he was sleeping at least. Mick hesitated for a second and watched as his chest rose. Okay. He was still breathing. Charlotte was at work right now so Mick placed the paper on the table next to the couch. Mick then quietly went down the hall to his room and closed the door. He put his backpack on the ground and turned on the tv. He laid down on his bed and watched tv, not really paying attention to it. Only imagining what his dad's reaction would be.
About an hour or two later, Mick sat up and quickly turned the tv off when he heard the squeak of heavy boots on their way down the hall. Mick's heart started to race as he watched the door opened and Richard peered inside.
"Why'd they make you miss recess?" he asked.
Mick shrugged. "I da know."
Mick flinched when he saw a look of annoyance on Richard's face as his eyebrows narrowed.
"What do you mean I don't know?" his voice was starting to rise.
"You do know, you just don't wanna tell me," Richard got closer to Mick
Mick hesitated for the longest time trying to think of an excuse. He honestly forgot why he got detention.
"Me and a boy were laughing too much," Mick said finally.
Seconds later, Mick got shoved back and hit the ground, his head hitting his dresser.
"Why did you lie to me?! I told you not to lie to me!" Richard finally shouted at him. "Are you really that stupid?!"
Mick gritted his teeth not moving from that spot, he tried his best not to let the tears seep through his eyes. The stinging from the slap across the face didn't hurt as bad as the words. He was stupid. He knew better than to use those words.
He watched silently as Richard crumbled up the paper and threw it at his head before exiting and slamming the door. Mick waited until he didn't hear his footsteps. Even after that, he still waited a few moments before going over to get the paper. With shaking hands, he unfolded it and smoothed it out. He looked at it. Mick sighed, letting a few tears escape onto the paper.
At least he signed it.