I hated my parents

The snow crunched under the tires as Roger quietly pulled into the drive. He pulled the keys out but made no effort to get out of the car. The cold however, seeping through the car and his leather jacket got the better of him and Roger climbed out and hurried over to the side of the house. He had done this so many times over the years he had it down to an art. As Roger climbed up the fire escape ladder he always left hanging outside his window he dreamed about when he could finally leave this hell hole. A junior in high school he only had to finish one more year after this, then he could leave for wherever and become famous, strumming his guitar for millions of screaming fans, no longer having to worry about his drunken father. His boots slipped on the frozen metal bar and Roger clutched the ladder more tightly until he caught his breath again. He was not afraid of heights, but he certainly did not want to fall from the second story onto the icy concrete.

Heaving his window open, Roger rolled inside. He quietly hurried, stripping down to boxers and his undershirt and pulling on a pair of sweatpants. He was already in bed before he realized he forgot to lock his bedroom door.

"Damn," Roger muttered as he rolled out of bed onto the floor. He made his way over to the latch, but he could hear heavy thudding outside in the hallway. The door burst open, revealing his father, piss drunk, carrying that black belt. Sounds of Mrs. Davis' crying could be heard in the background.

Mr. Davis didn't say anything. He never did.

"Mark?" Roger whispered into the phone, his father snoring in the background. "Do you think I can crash at your place tonight?"

"Roger," Mark rolled over, blearily glancing at his clock "Its one o'clock in the morning."

"Mark, please…"

"Yeah, course you can" Mark told his friend, rolling out of bed to go unlatch the door. He hung up, slipped on his glasses and staggered sleepily across the room, scratching his but.

A few minutes later Roger showed up at the door, shivering. "Mark, Mark let me in!" he called quietly, teeth chattering.

Mark swung open the door, about to ask why Roger didn't drive, but stopped short.

"What the hell happened to you!"

He asked leaping aside to allow Roger into the house. He was only wearing sweatpants, an undershirt and his leather jacket. He had slipped into sneakers with no socks on. But that was the least of it. Covered in bruises, his bottom lip as well as his nose was bleeding profusely and his left eye was steadily developing into a black eye.

"Keep your voice down will you?" Roger implored. "Don't want to wake your mom up."

"That actually sounds like a good idea!" Mark answered even as he hushed his voice. "What the hell happened to you?"

"Nothing life threatening, it looks worse than it is…"

"Roger," Mark began weakly "Your dad did this to you, didn't he? You said it was fine, that it wasn't going to happen again,"

"Mark" Roger cut his friend off "I don't want to talk about it. Now I thought you'd be cool with letting me crash here, but if not I can go somewhere else."

Mark sighed. He wanted to help his friend with more than cleaning him up and offering a safe place to sleep, but Roger wouldn't let him. He looked hopelessly at his friend. "Come on, I'll help you get cleaned up, you can sleep in my room."

Roger smiled at his best friend "Thanks Mark, I don't know what I'd do without you."

Mark nodded, thinking I sure know what you'd do without your parents.

Later that night the two boys laid awake, lost in their own thoughts. Mark glanced over at the young guitarist, his eyes were red and his face was screwed up in a fight against tears.

"Roger its okay…" Mark whispered.

"I hate them Mark, I hate them" Roger choked, tears streaming down his face and splashing on Mark's pillow.

"Hate's a strong word" Mark reminded him cautiously.

"I hate them" Roger insisted adamantly.