This is a long overdue update I know. The time came last month when I normally update both my stories in one go and since I finished the other stories chapter first I updated that, then as I was writing up this chapter I learnt someone very close to me had died. So for the last week or so I've been busy with my theatre workshop and that. Also I know the last chapter was rather er..crap, but it was relevant. Sort of.
Diapers. Pacifiers, babygrow, a crib, a high chair, a changing table, a teeny bathtub, a carrier, a little car seat and a push chair. That's only half the stuff a baby needs. Half the stuff we need to buy- sorry, half the stuff I'm paying for. Months of wage down the drain, or more accurately, my envisioned new car. We've three months left and I'm feeling the strain. Marnie is oblivious to the fact that since I'm paying, I get an opinion. But so far she's chosen every thing except the diapers, which was left to me. I've been delegated to the role of bag carrier, since Marnie 'can't do any heavy lifting' which apparently even includes pacifiers, but I know all this is bullshit as the other day she managed to move Karen's easy bake oven for her pretty fine. And that thing is quite hefty.
Currently I'm on my break at TGI's and I'm alone out back on the stoop with a cigarette, Clyde had graced me with his presence five minutes ago, but not being a smoker he went back inside to hunt out any left over dessert. Last week Clyde gave Bebe the My boobs are REAL! badge, which is pretty funny.
So far I've spent half my break on the phone to a very drunk Stan, who seems to be upset about some thing; but isn't making enough sense to explain. Cigarette in hand I wedge the phone between my ear and hunched shoulder, nodding to myself as Stan mutters some thing inaudible.
"It's shit, its shit! The whole thing, just a big pile of...of...stuff, y'know? I don't know. What's up with that?"
"I don't know either buddy." I simply reply, taking a drag. I don't know whats up Stan's ass but I'm miserable because Marnie seems to still 'like' me; at least, before she had to collect me from the police station last Tuesday.
After a lot of shouting and confirmation of Butters's true gender, we managed to explain to the cops what we'd been doing. They let us off with a warning but we had to have our parents collect us from the station. My mom can't drive so I decided to call Marnie. She showed up and took one look at us all, and Craig's still present boner, and looked more pissed off than I'd ever seen her before.
"Your mad at me aren't you?"
"I'm not mad Kenny."
"You are I can tell."
"Alright then, I'm not mad." she sighed, grasping the steering wheel tightly. "I'm furious. I'm furious I had to come all the way here to get you, but you individually? I'm not mad or furious, I'm disappointed. Don't you think its time to become more responsible? Just a little?"
And that sucks so much more than anger.
I haven't spoken to her since then, and it's gotten me a little wound up. I still can't understand what she means, I am responsible. The moment my dad left I took charge and helped out, I clean up after Kevin and watch out for Karen. I earn the money and pay the bills and I'm taking responsibility for this child. If that's not responsible, I sure as hell don't know what is.
After Tuesday's fiasco, Butter's was definitely grounded. I wanted to do some thing about it but I couldn't. A sure fire way to piss off your partners parents is to challenge their parenting. The minute I had enough cash, and everything sorted out, Butter's would come and live with me. I'd make sure of it.
Eventually I'm forced to hang up on Stan, after he fails to understand 'bye', 'okay, see you later' or even 'Stan I have to fucking go'. I toss the stub of my cigarette on to the frosty tarmac and stamp it out as is employee policy. Just as I enter the warmth of the building my phone sings again, vibrating against my thigh. Reaching for and retrieving it I see that the caller I.D is blank.
"Kenny?" It's Kevino.
"I need your help. Like a lot this time." A small chill runs up my spine, a desperate plea is hidden beneath small words.
"What is it?" I ask carefully, my stomach doing back flips.
"Look I gotta go- just meet me in the parking lot behind the Pizzeria-"
"That abandoned dump?"
"Exactly. Kenny I really gotta go." His voice is urgent now, scared. "I'll see you there. Please." The line is cut and the dial tone rings through my ears. I hang up on my own end, and I feel my cheeks drain, I'm worried.
"Don't cry, I'm sure they'll have leftover wings tomorrow." Clyde's voice teases from beside me and I cough, clearing my throat.
"I have to go. This is big." I root through my pockets, through my keys and the packets of gum I swiped from all the other employee's in a bet I won on weather the fat lady would order two desserts or not. A lot were mint and bubblegum, two nicotine, and I don't even want to say several others. These guys have strange taste in gum. I locate my swipe out card and give it Clyde. "Please just do this for me man, its urgent."
"Alright." Clyde says eyeing me warily. He puts my swipe out card in his own pocket and piles the dirty plates he has in the dish trolley as Jesse wheels it past. "Where are you rushing off to?" He adds and follows me as I barge through the swing door to the changing room. I grab my jacket from my locker and zip up.
"It's Kev," I say. "It's urgent and I have to meet him behind the Pizzeria."
"If you can find it." Clyde snorts. He goes to the communal cupboard at one end of the room. The communal closet is where we dump lost and found items recovered from the staff rooms. (If a customer loses some thing and doesn't reclaim within a week, we keep for ourselves. They leave some nifty stuff.) The closet also has a tiny 'disaster kit', in case people incline to dine at TGI's in the middle of a disaster or something. Inside is -or was- a fire blanket, (but we donated it to the homeless guy who roots through our trash), a roll of bandage gauze, a whistle and flare, and a flashlight. Clyde gave me the flash light which left the bandage the only remaining piece of the kit. I don't know what happened to the whistle and the flare, but Clyde, Khloe, Chip and I all suspect Crazy Steve.
The Pizzeria is back in town, but its only on the edge; down behind The Chinese restaurant. That's right, the car park behind The Pizzeria behind The Chinese restaurant. And that's what they're actually called. The Chinese and The Pizzeria. South Parker's are very imaginative. Turning on the flash light I make my way down the weed infested track aside the currently closed pizza place. When I arrive its empty, so I wait for Kevin. After a few minutes of freezing my balls off some body else arrives, but it isn't Kev. It's a tall dark haired man whose probably a little older than my brother. His face is dirty with what I assume is just dirt, and he is wearing stone wash jeans and those builder boots with steel cap toes. He also has on a mud brown jacket with closed pockets and he looks confused to see me at first, but then calm. He walks over with his hands in his pockets.
"Are you Kenny McCormick?" he asked. "Kevin told me we could find you here."
It sounded so formal, like on TV where the agents or the drug barons meet, and they act so cool and casual. But I didn't have time to feel cool, because I felt pain. His fist has made connection with my jaw, and I staggered backwards holding it.
"You fucker!" he shouted swinging at me again. "Where's my money?" Everything snapped in to place like a jigsaw puzzle.
"I don't have it!" I shouted back. "I don't-" I was kicked back and to the ground. I tasted dirt; I tasted blood. The blood tasted bitter, acidic. Of course this would happen sooner or later. Kevin was completley broke, but would still buy his drugs, then when the feds turned up he would 'ask me for money' by sending them after me. I didn't know what to do, this guy could kill me and he was barley trying. The only way out of this was to grass Kevin up, tell them I'm nothing to do with him anymore. I can't do it to him, I can't; but I have to, there's people who need me. Really need me.
"Kevin lied-" I spat as I sit up, salivating on the ground. "He doesn't have the money, so he sent you after me, I'm nothing to do with him!" My blame is black and white.
As if on cue, the true perpetrator arrives from around the corner, hands stuffed into the pockets of his checked zip up. His long dirty fringe shielded his eyes along side the darkness and made it impossible to tell where he was looking; but I could tell from the way his lips were set and pursed, he was guilty.
"I said he was here, not to hurt him.." Kevin mumbled dumbly and the guy walked over to him, shoving him back.
"Where is my fucking money? I've waited two weeks, and if you don't have it Scott will have my balls, and I'm not getting in shit cause' of you!" he shouted. So it was Scott who ran this thing. I've always thought he was a leech, taking scraps from other people, but now it makes sense that he's the ring leader, he always came across as a sadistic tyrant. In that way, you can tell he and Cartman are related.
Kevin slammed in to the wall and looked up at the guy through his fringe. "Seriously man." he said quietly at first. "Gimme' till tommoro', I swear I'll have it then."
"That's what you said last week fuck tard." Our attacker seethed through his teeth. "No, no more waiting, you'll just run away." He took aim and swung at Kevin, landing a blow across his face that echoed in between the cinder block walls. I didn't think fast enough to stop him. Then as Kevin reached for his face the man repeated the attack in to his stomach.
"What the hell man?" I shouted at him but remained frozen in place, I didn't know what to do or why I couldn't move. Maybe part of me knew that Kevin deserved this, and that I had to have him face the consequences of his trouble.
"What?" the guy snapped, throwing a pissed off glance at me over his shoulder. "I'm doing my job dude, and I'm also doing you a favour really, what kind of brother sends his dealer after his kid brother? Kevin's seen me enough times, he knows what dirty cut-lery I carry..." The man shoves Kevin down with one hand and roots through his jacket pocket with the other. Through the layers of dark fabric I could make out his hand close in to a fist around some thing before he slid out a knife. A rusty knife with patches of dried blood splattered down the blade and plastic handle. The plastic is befitting. I myself wouldn't spend money on a weapon I might have to dispose of one day. But despite that revelation it's still a knife, and Kevin's still my brother.
The vines that have me rooted to the spot snap suddenly, and I ran forward and dragged the man up and off Kevin and hit him. I hit him on the head and back and face with my flash light. The hit draws blood from his face, spraying it across the concrete. I grab the arm that he holds the knife with and twist it behind his back, squeezing the wrist tightly until his fist springs open, and the knife falls to the ground with an equally dirty clatter.
"I'm Kenny fucking McCormick," I mutter harshly in to his ear. "Do what you like, but I die and I come back, seriously. You can't get rid of me." I deliver a final punch to the back of the mans head, and shove him forward in to the wall. He slumps down to the ground in either unconsciousness or defeat. Picking up the blade I toss it in to one of the rusting dumpsters, and it silently sinks deeper through the black bin bags.
Kevin is stood up now. He's wiping his chin with his sleeve, blood staining the dingy gray jacket, but the substance is all to familiar to him. "Thanks." he says weakly . "I owe you."
"You do." I reply instantly, anger boiling up. "You really do Kev, and more, you owe yourself. You have to stop this shit man."
"I am." Kevin's response is as quick as mine. "After this, its opened my eyes-I need help. I'll stop."
I think he's telling the truth because he sounds sad; like he might cry. But I've heard this all before no matter what emotion he's over come with.
His first beating. 'I know, I can't believe I got involved in that shit. Never again. Seriously.'
His first time waking up in hospital, blood stained bandages up and down his arms. 'This is serious I know. This messes you up. I'm sorry. It's over, I'll get help as soon as I'm released.'
Arrested. 'They let me go with a warning, they know I'm a good kid they said. That was scary, I won't do that stuff ever again."
It's all the same. And nothing I do can stop him. And nothing is pushing me to the edge where I deal him a mind blowing testament. I just keep believing his lies again and again. I can't help him.
"It's over now, Uncle Kevin is never going to let any of this crap near the baby." And there it was.
"That's the thing Kev." I begin the hardest decision I've so far had to make, and I have minutes to decide and do it. "I don't want you near my kid. "
"What?" Kevin simply frowns. Every thing about Kevin is simple.
"I've heard that revelation crap before, but you never meant it. No...until you stop, until you really stop- your not meeting my kid."
Kevin's face is ashen, and I know his chest is collapsing in on itself in agony. But I have to protect my child, my vulnerable unborn baby; not my irresponsible older brother. If any thing, he should be taking care of me. He can't go on like this- we can't go on like this.
"There's a rehab clinic in Denver I checked out a while ago. I can get some one to drive you up there tomorrow."
"Tomorrow?" Kevin echoes and suddenly he's tiny. He's a little boy whose done some thing wrong and the punishment seems devastating.
"Because I don't think you should stay at home." I continue. "Your hurting me. Your hurting mom and Karen. Your actions affect us all and we hate to look at you and know what goes on when you leave the house. Don't you want to do some thing with your life other than this? Don't you have dreams or aspirations?"
I've gone to far and I know it. Right now getting Kevin to the clinic is the primary goal, I shouldn't be confusing him with philosophical crap. But maybe it will give him some thing to think about while he's there.
I've never seen him look so lost. Growing up, Kevin was mighty. He was the older brother you admired when he coolly slunk out the house with his friends, a bottle of Jack Daniels stashed up one of their sweatshirts. He told awesome tales of parties and girls with huge tits. But now he looked small and lost and pathetic. Maybe one day I'll look up to him again. Some day.
"AHH! IKE STOP IT!"
Karen sprints past me to hide under the jungle gym, and is chased by Ike Broflovski who has some thing cupped in his hands. I'm sat on the park bench next to the play ground with Kyle. No, we're not being paedophiles, we're here with our younger siblings. Every once in awhile on a nice day Kyle's mom forces him to take Ike to the playground, and I always accompany him with Karen. Some times Craig comes with Ruby, but today is Kevin Stoley's birthday and they've gone to get drunk some where.
This morning one of Kevin's old friends from high school drove him to the clinic in Denver. Blossoming across my cheek is a bruise, a rainbow of purple, blue and even yellow bruising. Kyle and I had a brief discussion about it, cause' I can't expect to walk around with this bad boy and not be questioned. Now we were just relaxing whilst our siblings played.
"So Butters is still grounded?"Kyle sighs scratching his head. "Well I guess we can't all have moms like yours or Craigs..." he leans back on the bench, sunning his face. Craig's mom didn't punish him, she was just 'relieved he didn't get hurt'. I don't get it either.
"My mom doesn't know." I admit. "I had Marnie pick me up."
"Really?" Kyle opens one eye and looks at me. "I'm guessing she wasn't happy with that?"
"No she wasn't. She said she was disappointed in me." I shrug as if I'm not bothered. "She told me to take more responsibility." I snorted.
"And don't you agree?"
I sit up quickly, frowning at the Jew. "What? Kyle I'm one of the most responsible people I know! Look at all the crap I deal with." Kyle shakes his head in obvious disagreement.
"Taking responsibility isn't always about taking charge of everything around you." he replies. "Some times responsibility means for you, looking after yourself. I guess you could also class it as self respect."
"You don't think I look after myself?"
"I don't mean it like that, look at it from the outside view, if you don't watch out for yourself and think about your actions you could end up out of the picture, and who would take responsibility for everything else? Ultimately, you can't do all those things if your not around to."
There's a reason Kyle's one of the smartest kids in school.
"At least you make sense of everything." I mumble leaning back. "But I guess your right, I guess Marnie's right."
"Does this mean your together or something?" Kyle lowers his tone and glances at me curiously. "It just sounds like something off TV, like that film, Knocked Up.' " I laugh dryly.
"No way man, no way." I squint through the suns glare. "Films like that, they glamorize it. And Juno, that makes teen pregnancy seem fun right? Fuck no." I lower my voice too. "Me and Marnie aren't together either, and I already have someone I like."
"Really?" Kyle sits up and smiles cutely. "Who? C'mon you can tell me Kenny." And he's right I can. If there's one person I trust in all of South Park aside from Butters, its Kyle. "You really want to know?" I sigh and Kyle nods. "It's Butters. Butters Stotch is my boyfriend and I don't give a crap what anyone thinks."
Saying that suddenly relieves a heavy load off my chest. I feel lighter and happier already, and I see that Kyle is staring at his knees in deep thought. He clearly doesn't approve.
"Well you know what Kenny?" he looks up and I inhale deeply. "What?"
"That's great, good for you." What? "And you know what else?" Kyle continues. "I'm gay. And I like Stan." Wow.
"That's...big news..." I can't help but grin. "I thought you were going to slate me,"
"And you me." Kyle gives a weak and nervous smile.
"So have you told Stan?" Kyle's face darkens. "Don't get me started." he frowns. "First he tells me he doesn't like me, then he kisses me, and then asks for time alone. Then something happened last night and I did something really stupid..." Reflecting on his last words, Kyle's face tightens and if I'm right he looks like he might cry. Fuck.
"So I only have three to four months left, but time flies." Kyle stares at me from under his lashes. He's grateful I changed the subject. "Yeah, not long." he sits up again and lets out a suppressed sigh. "You excited?" I just wish I'd chosen a different subject.
"No." I admit and suddenly its my turn to feel like I might cry. "I'm fucking terrified."
Nearly there, but I'll most likely time skip again. I'm not an organised person at all so I haven't thought a whole lot about it, but I'm trying to come up with names. So any suggestions from you guys would be great. Thanks!