The companion piece to A Slow Descent, you should absolutely read that first. Perhaps April did not get things quite right.
If I was a dog, they would have put me down by now. That's what they do with the really violent dogs, even if they've been calm their whole lives. Some dog goes off, bites a kid or something, even just once, and he's a goner.
Sometimes, I wish I were a dog. Because when you're human and you make that one mistake, you have to deal with it, or be dealt with, make up for it, or be put away. Unfortunately, you don't usually get to decide which. This wasn't my choice. Although, I guess a long string of indecisions on my part led to somebody else making a big decision for me. Because I needed help.
My mom decided that, based on about five seconds of evidence. It was over a year ago, not long after Senna's death in Everworld. I was at home making a sandwich when this guy my mom had been dating, Eddie, Ed, something or other, walked in like he lived there or something. Well, I didn't feel like talking, so I ignored him, or tried to, didn't say anything to him. But the guy came up and stood right behind me, like some kind of spook.
"Hey Dave, how was school?" He asked, like he really cared or something, like we were friends.
"Really?" I turned to look at him, wondering how long he could possibly drag this conversation out.
"Because your mother tells me you've been having some trouble." Oh, that. Well, life wasn't exactly easy. Senna was dead, which just, it wasn't, it's not easy. For any of us. Everworld was out of our control; we just wandered around, dragging each other someplace we didn't know of yet. Breaking an arm over there is like having your liver removed over here. Really debilitating. No one could fix it and I thought it was growing wrong, which didn't help the pain. I slept even less because of it, seeing less and less of the real world all the time. Some times I forgot where I was. I'd jump out of my skin if a door were slammed, ready to defend myself with a sword that I didn't have, and didn't need, in this world.
Ed still stared at me expectantly, his eyes glossed and beady.
"It's fine," I repeated. He nodded, stepped back.
"Well, your mother's really worried." He looked at me like I should be sorry. I'm sure she was really worried, just like he was so freaking concerned.
"She shouldn't be," I pushed past him to put away the bread and stuff, picked up the sandwich, when he opened his mouth again. I set it back on the counter. I really didn't want to hear anymore.
"Did she ask you to talk to me?" He moved towards me again, closing the gap.
"No, I just see how things affect her. I'm concerned for her, so I'm concerned for you," he had that Chicago accent, really nasal, really annoying. "I took it upon myself to intervene here. Seeing as your dad isn't around, maybe you need another guy to talk to." Hopefully, you can see where this is going, what kind of a jerk I was dealing with.
"He's around as much as he can be." Get the message Ed; it's not your place. He looked at me like I'd just said the dumbest thing he'd ever heard.
"Hey, you know, I'm just trying to help out a little bit."
"Well you're not." If he had shut up then, life would be a lot easier. Breathing, for example, would be a lot easier.
"I was your age once. I know how it is. Guys need guys, right?" He slapped my chest with the back of his hand, like we were old pals. "And with your dad not around," he trailed off for a moment before continuing. "Well, from what your mother tells me it's a pretty lucky thing actually. Sounds like the guy is a real bastard."
This is the part where I hit him. My fingers curled into a fist as the tendons in my arm, the same arm that was broken in another world, tightened and swung, impacting harshly with his jaw. He stumbled back a step, but recovered, and was swinging at me before I had a chance to say anything. It was a forceful blow, but not well aimed, enough to knock a tooth loose. After that, it was a flurry of adrenaline. I hit him a few more times. My lip was split open and then he shoved me, hard. I tumbled backwards, caught my back on the edge of the sink and brought more than a few dirty dishes with me to the floor. A plate, a cup, and a knife clattered down to the tile. We stared at each other for a few moments, chests heaving with breath. Then he lumbered towards me again. Everworld instincts, that's the only way to explain it. I grabbed the knife off the floor. It was longish and sharp, like you would use for cutting bread or meat or someone that calls your father a bastard. Swung it up towards his face and he froze. Exactly.
"Don't touch me," I threatened from the floor. He held his hands up, real startled and babbling.
"You are one messed up kid. What the hell do you think you're going to do?" I climbed up off the tile slowly; tried to keep the knife steady in his direction. He backed up until he bumped into the opposite wall.
"I'm going to tell you how it is," I said, wiping the sweat out of my eyes. "You don't know anything," I waved the knife around, "About me, or my father, and probably very little about my mother, understand?" He stepped away from the wall. I gripped the knife tighter, but I know he could see my hand shake. His voice was dangerously low.
"I understand that you are every bit the psycho your mother warned me about. You need help and she can't give it to you. She shouldn't have to, understand?" He mocked me, and my illusion of strength fell.
"She doesn't need you, she doesn't want you around, and she would be a whole hell of a lot better off without you." He finished and grinned maliciously. I swallowed hard.
"Fine." His eyes widened as I raised my left arm, trembling as I brought the knife towards my wrist.
This is the part where my mom walks in. I'm sure that you can gather the assumptions she might have made.
"David! What the hell?" Her voice cut through the room, so high, an octave only dogs can hear. I relaxed a little, looked over at her for just a second, when Ed tackled me, the air rushing out of my lungs when we hit the floor. We wrestled for control and it's blood and sweat and gasps of air, but I didn't know why I was fighting anymore. He pinned me easily, putting more weight on my wrists until I let go and the knife slipped from my fingers.
"It's over now," he whispered. And I could hear my mother crying on the phone in the background, explaining to the police that her son had gone crazy. Well, maybe I have.
A/N: Edited this thing to death, and still am not entirely happy with it. Ah, well, hope it was vaguely entertaining. More to come once I've edited those partsto pieces as well. Oh yeah! Let us all hail the greatest title ever! It means four bodies and is a part of your (yes, your)brain. See, anatomy class does help with writing. Review?