Chapter 11: Tears of Whiskey

I can hear the sound of glass hitting against glass. The sound of the whisky bottles being opened for the first time. He is getting drunk again.

" Daddy," I say quietly pushing aside Trystan so I can be the first to see my father. Trystan tries to pull me back but my wrists are too small, they just slip out of his hands.
Once I climb off the last stair, I peak around the wall leading into the kitchen. There is my father. Tall, huge and monstrous. I have known him all my life, so how can I possibly be intimidated by him still.

He is sitting at the kitchen table. Hands in fists around the fragile glass bottles. Every couple of minutes he takes a gulp from it and winces from the burn that closely follows. His eyes land on the stains covering the floor, then back to the bottle.
He looks tired. His arms lie on the table with no strength left in them. He fights to keep his eyes open, and shadows hover underneath. Even his head lulls a little too far forward giving me the impression that he is bowing down to someone. I feel Trystan's hand around my arm. He's looking at me, pleading. Asking me to not do anything I might regret. I don't know what to do. I'm scared again.

"Dad," I say, turning my attention back to him. His head pops up slowly until he's facing me.

"What the hell happened, Charlotte?" He yells with a slight slur to his words. He is drunk, the whisky already moving to his head. I have to tell him. He's my dad, he has to know. But I've been around him when he gets angry. I don't want Trystan to see me so weak.

" After the fight, after you left. Sh-she," I make a slicing movement across my wrists, unable to rely on words anymore, " i-i took her to the hospital, and waited. The doctor said she'd lost too much blood on the way. Nothing they could do." I wait.

He is still at the moment. Then just as soon as I think he isn't going to do anything. Quick as lightning, he has his hand raised in the air and then slashes it across my face.

"How could you let her die, you little monster." I have felt the sting of the slap many times before, but his words hurt me more than the contact.

Trystan has moved in front of me by now, glaring up at my father. His arms locked in a defensive position behind him, but still around me. "How dare you protect this criminal? Who are you?" He demands.

"How dare you accuse your own daughter of being a murderer?" That costs him a slap across the face. A small scream escapes my mouth, but Trystan won't let me in front of him.
" Who are you!" My father is an inch from Trystan's reddened face.

"Trystan Mellity." He speaks softly.
"Well, Trystan, how dare you speak to me with such diligence? You have no business talking to me that way!"

"I have every right to speak to you, in any way I wish." That costs him a blow to the stomach.

Trystan! I want to scream, stop talking. Just leave! But I don't because I know without Trystan, I would be lying on the floor. Beaten to nothing.

"Stop hurting him, please, dad!" He doesn't listen to me, just hits him again. I hear his nose crack, "Trystan, go. To my room. Now. Pack the suitcases with all the clothes you can find." He looks at me, wondering why I'm saying what I am saying.

"Do it! Put anything you think I might need. Clothes, soap, make up. Whatever. Just do it!" He looks at me for another minute before nodding and moving towards the stairs. I hear him curse under his breath, spit, and then start climbing.

"Where do you think you are going?" My father asks. His eyes are dazed. They can't keep still, always wandering around the room.

I can hear Trystan's worried footsteps above me. Slams from the closet door opening and closing. I stand my ground. If he wants to hurt me, fine, so be it, but I am not leaving out of weakness. " I am not going to let you hurt him, or me anymore, father. You killed her, not me. I am through with you. I am leaving."

Perfect timing. Trystan, you are my life saver. He tumbled down the stairs with two very full suitcases.

"And where do you think you are going to go. You have no friends. No place to stay. Going to spend the week on the streets again. By then you'll be fed up and come running home." I hate to admit to it, but he is right. I have no place to stay.
He isn't right about one thing though. I wasn't on the streets last time. I spent one night, and then Daunavin took me in.

Like I said before, it was November. I'd spent one night on the streets, well, not quite a night. It was nearing two or three A.M. It was snowing fairly heavy now. I couldn't see passed two feet in front of me. I was about to give in, head home right then, when a figure stood in front of me. Just like that.

I thought he was God coming to take me away, but no. The man held out a hand. I didn't know who he was or where he was going to take me, but I was too cold to care at the time. So I grabbed it. He hid me under the rather large coat. Protected me from the nasty snow. Pulled me into a house not too far from where he found me. He gave me shelter.

Later on I found out he was Daunavin Perry. I told him everything while covered up in a large red and blue blanket by the fire with a cup of hot chocolate warming my hands. It was then that I first trusted someone. The first person I trusted was a complete stranger.
" Charlotte is going to stay with me." I hear Trystan say. My father moves his hateful glare from me to him.

" Oh, being the hero are we. Taking in the helpless. Well, you know what. Fine! Leave. Good riddance is what I have to say to that." My father grabs the bottle of whisky and slumps back down at the table. He doesn't cry though. If he cries, maybe, just maybe, I will stay/ But he doesn't, so I grab one of the heavy suitcases full of clothes, and follow Trystan out the busted down door.