Chapter 3

The final moments

John sat in the interrogation room and looked across the table at the cop, "Well John, how are you?" The cop asked casually like this whole thing was nothing to be too serious about.

"Can we cut this shit please… ask him the questions so we can get out of here." Vernon said with anger. The cop gave him a resentful look and then sighed pulling the file open.

"Alright then, you want to skip the pleasantries it's fine by me. John please tell me in detail where you were this morning around say… midnight."

"I was at home." John said.

The cop stared at him, "That's very detailed."

John gave him an annoyed looked and said, "I was at home, in my room listening to music and trying to fix my guitar."

"Anything else?" The cop asked giving him a you might as well just say it look.

John shrugged his shoulders and the cop knew he would have to ask if he wanted to get John to admit to it. "Had you engaged in any drinking or drugs at any time?"

"Smoked some pot, dad gave me a beer but I didn't drink it…left it in my room un-opened." He said putting his hands behind his head and leaned back.

"Alright, please tell me in detail what happened after that… and what happened the rest of this morning up until you came to school."

John looked at Vernon who nodded, John sighed, "I was in my room working on my guitar trying to relax and stuff… well around maybe twelve-thirty ish I heard my dad come in… he sounded pretty drunk so I shut my door and turned up the radio. A few minutes later I heard my ma and old man get into it you know… yelling throwing shit… it happens a lot so I don't think much of it. Well next thing I know I hear a real nasty scream from my ma… I mean really nasty, not like normal… I stood and left my room heading towards the kitchen to make sure she was you know…. Still… breathing. I found her on the floor of the kitchen bleeding pretty bad, I don't know what he had got her with but he got her in the leg. I guess he was pretty mad that night… I went to help her up, get her leg wrapped, and as I set her down on the chair in the kitchen dad came in…" John stopped at that moment and his eyes latched on to a spot on the table and just stayed there he looked at no one and his eyes glazed over, "Keep going John." Vernon said.

"He… he yelled at me for helping ma… said she needed to learn a lesson... he thought she was having an affair, that she had had a man over during the day… but I know she hadn't… I was in and out most of the day, there was no way she could have gotten a guy in and out with out me seeing him… I didn't exactly go to school that day…I ran in after school to see some friends and then you know… talk to someone. Then I went back home, I would have caught her, anyway… my old man started yelling that I was a lazy sleeze ball, a no good piece of shit brat who didn't do nothing. I told him he needed to take ma to the hospital… but dad wouldn't have it. He said he wouldn't pay for it either. At that point I got…." John stopped and glanced at Vernon then back at the table, "I got scared… real scared… sometimes dad gets this look in his eyes, you just know he is going to do something. Like when he burned me with a cigar for spilling paint…. You just know your in trouble and that you need to get away from him. I tried to leave the kitchen, but he stepped in front of me, said if I wanted to leave I'd have to get passed him. I tried to duck but he grabbed my hair and threw me down and punched me. I stood up figuring if I could get one good hit in I could get out of the house for the night… sometimes I stay with a friend you know… crash on the floor when things get bad at home. Well I stood and he kind of laughed and said I was pathetic… I didn't want to fight him… he is just to big and I can't… I mean you think I look big for a high school kid… it's the layers you know… I wear a lot of clothes to look bigger… I am actually pretty small. I knew I didn't stand a chance… he came at me and I pulled back and slipped on the blood on the floor from my ma's leg… he got my forehead with his boot. He dragged me up and pulled my arm behind my back and pushed me into the fridge. He kept pulling on it, said he wouldn't stop till I cried and begged. I… I didn't do it… I was strong and kept my mouth shut so he kept pulling, he must of realized I wasn't going to yell because he yanked my arm hard and pulled it out. I yelled then though… probably worse then my ma. At that point ma had passed out on the table and he turned to her and started yelling for her to get up. That's when I ran… I made it out of the house but dad chased me and got into his car. I got away by running through the yards… until I found Vernon's house."

"Why did you go there?" The cop asked casually trying to sound like he wasn't impressed.

"He was the only adult I knew that would believe me… that would help me… no one really likes me that is… I can admit it… He is the only teacher I could think of that would help me…that had enough power to keep my dad away from me… I can't… couldn't handle my old man like I was."

"So… you just left your mother the way she was?" The cop asked.

John looked at him and grew defensive, "I had no choice, it wasn't like he was attacking HER anymore, he was attacking me and he kicked in my face and dislocated my arm, even if I had stayed I couldn't have done ANYTHING for her… no matter if I wanted to or not. If I can't even protect myself how am I supposed to protect her!" John yelled angrily.

"No need to get worked up John… it's all going to get worked out." The cop said. "What happened when you got to Mr. Vernon's?"

"He let me inside and his wife patched me up, cleaned me up, let me shower and sleep there and then let me eat in the morning, got me to school… and told me we would come down here and sort this all out…he is a good man." John said not looking at Vernon.

"Is this all true?" The cop asked Vernon.

"Everything at my house yes, is true and you can question my wife if there is any doubt. As for what happened at his home I wasn't there but from what I saw at the school today I believe every word."

"Do you and your father fight often?" The cop asked.

"Normally I avoid home when I can, so we don't fight as often as we did when I was younger… but if I am home and he is drunk then yes… we fight quit a bit, he usually starts um, I don't fight back often either… which is why I am so pretty right now." John said motioning to his face.

"How often does he hit your mother?"

"More then me… honestly I am amazed she is still alive…" John said tears coming to his eyes, "When I was a kid I would fall asleep to her crying… as I got older… more brave, stood up to him more he paid more attention to me… but he has always aimed it mostly at her. The fact she can still walk is incredible."

"Alright… well that's all I need… in about five minutes the chief will bring in a doctor to have a look at you… hold tight until then." The cop got up and left.

John looked at Vernon, "Don't you tell anyone got it?" John barked.

"Tell them what?" Vernon asked annoyed.

"That I am scared of my old man… I got a rep to up hold and I don't need people knowing that I'm a coward."

"You're hardly a coward… you know how many kids would be to scared to come forward and tell the cops what's going on… when your dad was attacking you at school I was told you pushed the girls back so they wouldn't get hurt. You faced him to keep the others out of danger… you sound pretty brave to me." Vernon said bringing his hands together to rest on his stomach. He leaned back and closed his eyes. John sat there in silence contemplating what Vernon had just said. Finally after much to long a silence a doctor walked in with the chief of police.

"Alright John, I am sorry we can't have you do this in a more private area but under the circumstances we need you to remain at the station… you have claimed that your father had hit you and left marks correct?" The chief asked.

"Every day of my life." John said feeling his defenses going up.

"Alright, then if you are okay with it please show us…" The chief said, "We need the doctor to try and see if he can tell how old some of the marks are."

John rolled up his shirt sleeve and showed the doctor his arm, the burn looked just as nasty as it had the first day it had happened. The doctor examined it, "Looks pretty fresh… when did this happen?"

"Awhile ago… I spilled paint in the garage… so my old man grabbed his cigar."

"Any others?"

"Besides my face?" John asked.

The doctor examined the boy's face and then said, "Really fresh, obviously, any others?" John looked at the chief a second and then said, "No…"

Vernon cleared his throat, "John… I know you have your pride but this is no time to be modest." John sighed and slowly stood, he gave a glare to Vernon and then pulled off his shirt. He turned around and showed his back to the doctor and the chief.

"Oh my…" was all the doctor could say. He stared with out even coming close to examine John. He stood there a moment and then turned around, his chest and stomach and upper arms were also covered.

"What did he use to do this?" The doctor said, the doubt in his voice completely gone, he rushed forward and looked over the boy's body.

"Sometimes it was a car antenna other times I am not quit sure… he would just grab what ever was near by…"

"Alright son, please sit on the table now." The doctor said, John did what he was told and the man felt up the boy's leg, then up his arms, "Have you ever had any broken bones?"

"I don't know, I couldn't walk on my right leg for a few months… had to set it and limp a lot… but I figured it was just sprained or something." John said.

"There is just to much damage… I would need to take him to the hospital for x-ray's to get the extent of the damage. But most of the scars I can see are pretty old… some are newer… all the visible damage though has been over years… Jeff I am sorry… but it's looking like the kid is telling the truth…" The doctor rushed out of the room with out even paying John a final glance.

The chief stared at the boy with bitterness and then said, "We are going to bring your father in to talk to you both at the same time… don't think this is over yet… your stories DON'T match up… and we will be here as long as it takes to get to the bottom of this mess…"

The chief left and John sat down not even bothering to put on his shirt, "I knew it… I am screwed."

"What do you mean you are screwed? The stories don't match but we have more alibis then your father does…" Vernon started but John cut him off.

"I know Jeff… and so does my old man… he is a family friend… or at least a friend of my dad. The chief is on my dad's side…. I had no fucking idea that he was the chief of police. I am so screwed." John said. He felt the tears coming to his eyes, he didn't want to cry, he didn't want to show how weak and pathetic and desperate he was but he couldn't help it. He had finally broken and told someone what was happening, not to mention thanks to his dad the entire student body thought he was a fucking weakling, and now this, he thought he was so close to being free and as it turns out… his old man was still one step ahead. He slammed his head down on the table and started to sob, he let out a frustrated yell and started to bang his head on the table over and over.

Utter shock had taken Vernon he rushed forward and grabbed the boy and pulled him back, "NO! LET ME GO! I CAN'T WIN! HE IS JUST GOING TO LIE AND MAKE ME SEEM LIKE THE CRAZY PERSON! I MIGHT AS WELL PROVE HIM RIGHT! LOOK AT ME COPPERS I AM PHSYCO!" John screamed.

"KNOCK IT OFF BENDER!" Vernon yelled, the boy looked up at him the tears streaming, "I am so sick and tired of this wrap I got… I ain't that bad a person… I ain't just a burn out no good waste… Imma person V-man… and I can't take this anymore… I need to get away from him… if I don't get out of this… if I can't get away from him… I am going to really lose it."

Just then the door opened and the chief, two other cops, a man in a brown tweed jacket and glasses, and John's dad came through the door. John quickly put on his shirt and wiped his face, he locked all his gates, put up his defenses. It was time to put on the brace face, time to be tough. Vernon sat down slowly and all the other people sat down in chairs accept for the two extra cops.

"Alright John, I would like you to meet Mr. Jones, he is a doctor also. He is just going to sit in and listen… now let's start." Jeff said casually.

"Alright, look John, I am willing to forget everything, let bygones be bygones and allow you to come home. We can talk it all out and you can apologize to your mother and we can move on." John's dad said.

"I don't need to apologize to her for anything… I didn't hit her… you did." John said with as much a serious tone as he could muster.

"John it's okay to admit what you did… I told them the truth… about the knife and why I had to do to you what I did… your mother forgives you… she is at home in bed resting she says she forgives you completely. You can come home no need to be afraid."

"I don't WANT to come home…. Not as long as you are there… it isn't safe if you are there." John said trying to keep his eyes locked with his fathers.

"Don't be silly… you know the only reason I attacked you like that was because you were beating your mother so bad…"

"I have never hit a woman unlike you." John said.

"Now listen to me young man, you know I would never lay a hand on your mother… I would never lay a hand on you unless you made me."

"I never made you do anything… you attacked my ma with the knife because you were drunk and pissed off… just to let you know I was home all day… didn't go to school… she didn't have anyone over… your just a jealous paranoid shit head." John snapped, "And I bet you anything you have been cheating on my ma for four or five years… found a pairs of panties in your truck… found a rather dirty letter from a woman named Amber… she's under 18… so now you're a woman beater and a fucking pervert…" John's father slammed his fist on the table and said, "Don't you make up lies like that you little shit… I am trying to offer an olive branch…. This is your chance to avoid charges… to avoid Juvey… are you really going to throw it away because your to proud to admit you got caught."

"I'd rather go to jail and rot for twenty years then spend one more day in a house with your crazy ass… I am sick and tired of your unpredictable bull shit… sick and tired of your lazy, stupid ass fucking bull shit… either you move the fuck out and leave me and my ma alone… or I go to jail an you can keep banging your 17 year old high school sluts. I refuse to live under the same roof as you… even if it means lying with you about what really happened. You attacked my ma…and when I fought back you attacked me… and when I ran you chased me…"

"LIER!" His father shouted.

"Let's calm down… John, your father's story holds more water… there is more proof on his side…"

"Have you talk to my ma?" John asked.

"And it seems that despite the fact Mr. Vernon's wife does confirm everything you said we still…"

"HAVE YOU TALK TO MY MOTHER!" John yelled.

The chief stared at John and then glanced at John's father and then back at Vernon, "No we haven't…"

"Then you don't have shit… she was there, she had the gash on her leg from THAT ASS HOLE to prove it… ask her… she will talk." John said.

"She is at home in bed resting… she can't be questioned…" The chief said.

"Why didn't he take her to the hospital… if I attacked her, why did he not just knock me the fuck out, and take her to the hospital. He chased me around all night and she never got to the hospital… is she still alive dad… or was she dead when you got home you careless ass hole!"

"Mind your fucking mouth, if your mother had died I would have done far worse to you at school… you wouldn't be here."

"You here him threaten me? Why does no one care that he threatens me?" John asked feeling his old self coming back.

"Because you deserve it." His dad said.

"Oh yeah?" John asked.

"Yeah you do because you're a little shit… a useless piece of shit and you've always been worthless."

"Come on old man, give it to me I can take it… show me the love." John said.

"Oh I will give it to you… right across the face!" His dad barked.

"YOU SEE HIM THREATENING TO HIT ME!" John said standing up. "And which one of you pussies are going to do something about it… none of you… you're going to let him get away with it… he is going to beat me and my ma until we are black and blue because your either paid off your fucking to chicken shit to put him away!"

"John… sit down." Vernon said. John looked at him and took a breath and slowly sat down.

"Why do you listen to him and not me… huh… you a queer with this guy… you think I am the pervert and you're a fucking queer?"

Vernon looked at John's dad and said, "Don't even bring me into this Mr. Bender… I am the principle. It is my job to make sure all the students are taken care of… not to say your son and I are best friends, in fact he gives me a lot of trouble at school, but he is still a student and I will look after him until I am sure he is in the proper hands which I am sure is no where near you."

"Don't you dare tell me what is best for MY son… I know who you are Mr. Vernon… Richard right… yeah I know you and your wife… can't have any kids of her own… she will take anyone's kids won't she… maybe it's you who is the problem… have bad seed buddy?"

Vernon stared at him, then he cocked his head to the side, "Am I hearing this right… you think my seed is the problem? You think that is why my wife is infertile?" John's dad crossed his arms over his chest and sat back, "I am just saying… rumor around town is you two been trying for years to have kids… and all I am saying is that just because you can't have kids doesn't give you any right to scoop up other people's kids and play the pity game with them."

"I am just going to log that away for now…" Vernon said.

"What the fuck are you talking about?" John's dad said.

"Nothing."

"Gentleman please, we are getting far off subject, this is supposed to be just between John and his father now let's get back to this." Doctor Jones said taking notes.

"Are you going to admit what you did and come home?" John's dad asked, the annoyance in his voice prevalent and dangerous.

"No." John said.

"Well chief… there isn't much more to discuss… what are we going to do." John's dad said to the chief.

"I need some time to review the evidence and figure things out… before today is over someone has to be taken into custody. Until then you and your son will be here in the station. Mr. Vernon I want you to come with me, give these two a chance to talk alone." The chief said.

"Are you kidding me, I am NOT leaving John alone in this room with his father… not after…"

"You have no choice, either you come or I have those two drag you out." The chief said pointing towards the two cops standing by.

"Fine… John keep your self cool alright?" Vernon said casually.

John nodded and glared at his dad. Everyone left the room leaving father and son alone staring at each other.

"You're being a fool boy." His dad said.

"Hardly… I want out of that hell hole and even if it means I have to go down I will do it…"

"Escape isn't worth jail son."

"Don't call me son… I ain't your son… ever since you came around you been beating me… and my ma… then again I don't think it would much matter… even if I was your real son I don't think you'd love me anymore."

"Probably not." The man said with an evil smirk, "Your just to easy to bully." his old man said. "When did you find out I wasn't your real dad anyway… your ma said she didn't want you knowing…"

John looked down, "I've known for a few years now… explains a lot about why I don't look like you at all… turns out my real dad was a good man… for so long I thought I would be just like you… thought my old man was such a bad person that there was no way I could get around it… your blood in my veins… like fucking poison… you have no clue how happy I was the day I found out… it was like a message from God… he was yelling at me that I could be a good person… a decent person. You know my real dad was a pilot… I did all kinds of research… he flew jets and stuff… a real humanitarian."

"Don't flatter yourself, you will never be like that shit head… he was bright and charming… you're just a stupid lazy little twerp."

"Well if I can even be half of what he was I will still be ten times better then you."

"You ungrateful little shit…" His dad said standing up.

"Ungrateful, why shouldn't I be… you never gave me nothing but scars and a black eye… your worthless and dead to me. You ain't nothing bu trailer trash, a shit stain in some fat man's shorts, or a zit on the face of some ugly ass nerd. You ain't ever going to be anything to me. I hope you die cold and alone and ugly and I hope you roast in hell." John spat.

His dad came at him and John shoved back from the table, he fell from his chair and as his dad came at him the door opened.

"What in the…" the chief started.

"Oh Jeff… uh… he fell out of his chair… I was going to help him up." The chief looked at John who was breathing heavy with wide eyes, he made himself calm down and nodded, "Yeah, that's it." John said standing up trying to keep him self from shaking.

"You two go with the cops to the cell, someone else just came in to talk. We will come get you in a little bit."

OOOOOOOO

John sat on the bench in the cell and stared out the bars, Vernon came down every few minutes to talk to him and then would disappear again. John had one clue as two who was in the room being asked all kinds of questions. He hoped it was who he thought it was and he hoped they were saying all the right things.

This whole ordeal was just what John had been hoping for, either way he would get out of his house and away from his "old man." Not his father, but his old man. There was a difference, there had always been a difference.

John's dad had fallen asleep on the other side of the cell and for a long time had looked peaceful and at rest, John wished the man really was at rest, never to wake up again but he wasn't that lucky. Eventually he woke up and said, "Hey boy, how long we been down here?"

John didn't say anything and he heard his old man move to a sitting position. "Hey shit head… I am talking to you… how long we been down here?" He asked again standing and walking over to John. He grabbed the kid by the shirt and said, "You better answer me or…" Suddenly people were coming down the stairs and he released John. The boy dropped onto the ground and sat there watching the large group walk down.

"Well look who got out of bed… my beautiful little wifey… come to bail me out?" He asked with a rather charming smile. John's mother limped over using a cane to walk. She looked at her husband and then down at her son who tried to avoid her eyes.

"Come on John let's go home." She said in a soft voice.

"What?" The old man said.

"I have come for John…" she said not even bothering to look at him.

John looked up at her in shock, he saw Claire standing behind her with the rest of the breakfast club smiling. The chief stood off to the side with some cops and Vernon and Lilly stood behind the Club. John slowly stood and came towards the door, "Don't even tell me you are leaving me in here… I won't let you go home with him… not after what he did to your leg…" John's dad started.

"It's over Howard! I told them the truth so now I am leaving you… I will be hiring a lawyer to draw up papers… you better sign them… and then get the fuck out of my life." One of the cops came forward and unlocked the cell door, John slowly walked out keeping his head down. The door shut and as the cop locked it John's old man threw himself against it and screamed, "YOU STUPID CUNT! I AM GOING TO FUCKING KILL YOU!" He reached his arm through and bars and grabbed at her. Mr. Vernon walked forward and grabbed his arm quickly slamming it down on the bar. There was a sickening crack and John's dad let out a scream. "That's for talking shit about my wife you bastard."

"Jeff did you see what that mother fucker did!" Jeff stared at his once best friend… they had gone to high school together… he had known him since they were kids… how had he not known…about the monster.

"I didn't see shit." Jeff said walking towards the stairs.

"YOU SLIM BALL! AFTER EVERYTHING WE'VE BEEN THROUGH!" Everyone turned and started to walk away, "COME BACK HERE I AM GOING TO RIP YOU ALL OPEN!"

OOOOOOOO

John stood outside the station on the steps and looked at his mother, "I can't believe you did that…" John said.

"Honestly I can't either." She said with little to no expression on her face. "Do you have the papers Mrs. Vernon?"

"I do." The woman said walking over.

"What papers? The divorce papers?" John asked casually with a small smirk.

John's mother said nothing and quickly signed some papers and then handed them back to Lilly.

"Alright then… take care of him." John's mother said turning to head down the stairs.

"Wait… what just happened… mom… aren't we going home?" John asked. His mother kept walking towards a taxi. The driver held the door open and John stared in shock.

"Ma?" He called.

He felt Lilly stand next to him, "John…" Lilly started.

"MOM!" John shouted taking off down the stairs towards the taxi. She was already sitting in the car and she pulled the door shut. She rolled down the window and looked at John, "It's better for me this way… and for you… don't take it personal… you were my first kid… and my last… but I can't take care of you John… I ain't mother material… be good for them." She rolled up the window as John started to speak, "Ma… wait a second you can't just leave me!" The taxi pulled away from the curb and slowly made it's way down the street, she didn't look back, and John stared until the taxi turned a corner, and then he stared even harder.

OOOOOOOOO

John sat on a swing in the park. He had turned and ran as soon as he saw the people approaching him. He had assumed that once his old man had been put away, he would take his mother home, he would help her heal, and he would take care of her until she got better. They would be a real family. But as soon as she had gotten him out of trouble she had left him. Abandoned him and left him standing there like a stupid little kid, he had expected to go home with her and have a mother a real honest to God mother… he had been wrong. She hadn't even said she loved him, had she ever loved him or had he been a burden. John felt someone beside him and he looked to see Lilly and Vernon standing there.

"How you doing?" Lilly asked kneeling next to him.

"I'm fine. No skin off my back, the old bitch don't want me that's fine… let her go buy her damn drugs…"

"Don't say that John… please… she was doing what she felt was best for you."

"Best for me huh… well it isn't like I wanted to live with her anyway… she wasn't much of a mother." John said trying to hide the hurt in his voice. "What happens now… did she sign me over to DCFS or what?"

"Well John… I was hoping…. I mean… we were hoping….that maybe you would consider… living with us." John's head snapped towards Lilly, "Your shitting me right?"

Lilly looked at Vernon who rolled his eyes and said, "Well n-no John we weren't… your mother signed you over to us as your legal guardians… well she signed me as your legal guardian… Richard's just… Richard… but… I'd… we'd love to have you."

"I ain't any pity case." John said standing and starting to walk away.

"This isn't about pity John…" Vernon said out of the blue, John stopped and turned to look at him.

"You need us… as much as we… Lilly… needs you." Vernon said trying to hide his slip. John stared at them and then looked down the long stretch of road. It was getting cold out and the sun was going down. He looked back to Lilly and Vernon, he put his hand on his wife's shoulder and said, "Come on, give it a try… at least think about it shit head." Vernon said with a smile.

John smirked at them and after considering a second more he walked over, "You got one week to impress me… if you don't sell me by then maybe this could work out… so there you have one… one week… impress me V-man."

R&R Let me know what you think of this 3 chapter one shot. It is complete and I won't be adding to it! But I hope you enjoyed!