"Don't you do anything useful? You stupid hippie!" Steve was more drunk that usual, and having no girlfriend to yell at, he turned to the next best thing…Ghost. "Get outta my way you scrawny fuck." Steve pushes Ghost out of the kitchen doorway as he goes for another beer. He opens the door then cusses. "Damn! There's only one left!" Steve points angrily toward Ghost. "Do something useful for once. Go get me more beer!" He threw the empty bottle at the wall beside Ghost, the glass shattered, barely missing Ghost's pale face.
"Alright Steve, just try to calm down while I'm gone." Ghost hurried out of the house, but not before Steve started yelling again.
"What? Calm down! You fucking calm down! I can't –"
Ghost closed the door and ran. Steve got worse as time went by, rather than better. Ever since the return from New Orleans….nothing has gotten better. First Steve became even more antisocial then usual. Then, he refused to play in the band, thus breaking up LOST SOULS? And now this.
Ghost tried not to think about it too much. He didn't want to walk into the store crying. It was obvious, especially to himself, that Ghost was high-strung. His wiry hair had gotten thinner and lighter while his skin seemed more fragile. Dark circles were etched under his tired blue eyes but even still, Ghost knew that everything would end up ok…at least he hoped so.
At last, Ghost entered the store and looked around for beer. He grabbed the kind that he knew Steve favored, forked over the money and reluctantly headed back home. If all went well, Steve would drink about two more beers then pass out for at least twelve hours.
Ghost opened the door.
"What took you so god damn long, huh? Were you out trying to get yourself a girlfriend?" Steve grabbed the large paper bag. "You know damn well that ain't gonna happen." Steve pulls the pack of beer out of the bag and is silent.
"Is something wrong? I got the kind you said you—" Ghost was interrupted.
"Is something wrong? Is something god damn wrong? Of course something is wrong! I don't drink out of fuckin' cans! You should know that by now you useless fuck!" He grabs a can of beer and opens it. He takes a sip and grimaces then starts to walk toward Ghost. "Thanks for wastin' my money jackass!" He pours the remainder of the beer over Ghost's head.
"I'm sorry Steve. I could use some of my money and get you bottled." He tries to diffuse Steve's rage but nothing could help him right now.
"And you know what that would mean?" Steve questions. Ghost shakes his head. "More—" Steve picks up the rest of the beer in the case. "Goddamn waiting!" He throws the case at Ghost's feet
Pop tabs fling off the cans and beer seeped out onto the floor. The smell was atrocious and Ghost was terrified.
"I will hurry back" Ghost ran out the door and all the way to the store. He dashes to the beer section and makes sure to grab the bottled beer this time. As he's pulling the money out of his pocket, the cashier looks at his cheek.
"Did you know you were bleeding?"
"Keep the change." Ghost slammed the money down and ran as fast as he could back to the house. Steve was pacing back and forth when Ghost entered the house again.
"Did you get it right this time?" Steve pulled the beers out and smiled. "I'm amazed." He forces the top off and takes a deep gulp.
"Steve…" Ghost stated quietly. Steve leered toward him. "You cut my cheek." He whispers while touching his cold, shaking hand to his bleeding cheek.
"Oh yeah?" Steve stood up, finished his beer and dropped it on the couch. "Lemme see, musta been when I threw the case." Steve walks over to Ghost and punches him in the eye. "Serves you right!" He shouts then pushes Ghost to the ground. After one more beer, Steve passed out on the couch and left Ghost sitting on the cold, beer-drenched carpet, holding his cheek. All night Ghost stayed there…on the floor, too afraid to wake Steve. So he laid down on the damp carpet, curled up in a little ball and fell asleep. Steve awoke in the morning with no reconciliation of what had occurred the night before. His head was throbbing, worse than usual and the room stunk of beer. He began to walk toward the bathroom when he spotted Ghost shivering on the living room floor.
"Ghost, hey, wake up." Steve nudged Ghost with his foot. Ghost shook his head and fearfully faced Steve. A gasp escaped Steve's lips as he spotted the dark black bruise around his left eye and the cut on his cheek. "What happened?" Steve questioned, unable to remember on his own.
"Are you still angry?" Ghost uttered quietly. Steve touched his head.
"What the hell are you talking about?" Steve questioned. Ghost ran to the bathroom and locked the door. "What's wrong? Ghost, what happened to your face? I didn't do it, did I?" Steve waited by the door for a response. There was none. "Damnit Ghost! What's going on?"
"I can't…." Ghost muttered while taking deep breaths to keep back the tears. "I can't stay with you anymore." He forces at last.
"What!" Steve shouted then banged on the door. "You can't what!" The bottled anger from the previous night rapidly returned. Ghost fell to his knees in front of the sink, his pale hands still grasped the edge of the sink. Tears began to fall. Steve had never yelled at him. But last night he did. And last night, Steve gave him a black eye. Ghost couldn't help but cry, even as it pained him so. Every tear that fell out of his left eye hurt…and it hurt even more knowing it hurt because of Steve.