Cuts and Bruises

Drake's biological father dies. As Drake travels to the funeral, he ponders the past and thinks about the future.

"I am stronger now, wiser now than ever before. I don't need-I don't need. Darn! I can't find a good note for this song," said Drake as he strummed on his red electric guitar. He sat on his bed in his cozy loft on a warm, summery day in June. It was the second day of summer vacation and Drake was ecstatic. He and his stepbrother, Josh had landed summer jobs at Sunny Day Camp, a camp for kids with mild special needs (Drake was to be the music counselor while Josh taught art) and Drake had plenty of time to work on some new songs with his band, which was developing a small following around their San Diego suburb.

"Hey, Drake! I'm so psyched about our jobs as camp counselors this summer," said Josh as he walked into the room. "This is gonna be the best summer, don't you agree?"

Drake smiled and said, "Absolutely, my brother! Working with some awesome kids during the day and rocking with my band at night!"

"With me as your manager," Josh smiled.

Drake gave him a cautious look. "Ahh, Josh, about you being manager," he said, putting down his guitar and jumping from the bed. "I'm not sure you know a lot about managing a band."

"Drake, Drake," he said, putting his hands on Drake's shoulders. "Trust me. I will be a great manager, just—"

"Drake, I need to talk to you," said their mom, Audrey.

Drake saw his mom in the doorway, looking like she was about to cry. "Mom, what's wrong?" he asked, a bit of softness entering his voice.

Audrey forced back her tears and said, "I need to talk to you, Drake Michael. Now."

Drake felt worry enter him. Audrey only used his full name when things were extremely, extremely serious.

"Ah, ok," Drake, said.

Drake looked at Josh and Josh gave him a rub on the shoulder. Drake, then, walked outdoors onto the patio, where his mom was sitting on the porch swing. Drake studied his mom's face. She looked like she had been crying. Drake sat down next her and took her hand, something that he didn't do often.

"Mom, what's the matter?" he asked, warmly.

Audrey looked up at her son through her tear-filled eyes and hugged him, tight. Drake hugged her back.

"Drake, I got a call from your aunt Rose," she said, wiping her tears.

"Dad's sister," he said, uneasy. "Dad" wasn't Walter, Audrey's second husband. "Dad" was her first husband, Drake's biological father, the man he had forgotten about, the man who hurt him and his family.

"Yeah, Dad's sister," she continued. "Um, I don't how to tell you this but um, Drake, your father died last night."

Drake's eyes grew big and he felt like he had been kicked in the stomach, the wind being taken from him. He couldn't believe it.

"When, how, um, did he, um, die?" Drake asked, rubbing his eyes, trying to prevent the tears from coming down his cheeks.

"Cancer," she said, running her fingers through his red hair. "He drank a lot."

"I remember," said Drake, feeling more tears come to his eyes, which he rubbed away, hard as to rub away the pain of those memories. "I remember him drinking and hitting."

"Drake, sweetheart, don't think of that now, ok?" she said, softly. "That's all done with."

"No, it's not," he said, softly. Then, he got up and said, harshly. "Cause I still feel the cuts and bruises."

With that, Drake walked away from his mom, leaving her to cry more. Not over her ex-husband's death but her son's reaction to it.