Michael was not vain. But he couldn't stop staring in the mirror. There was this long, large scab on his cheek and his eyes were fixed on it. Cautiously, he raised a hand to finger it, wincing slightly at the touch. He was glad no one was around to see. Especially Ma. Or, more so, Dad. Ma would get all fussy and Michael couldn't handle when she did that. Dad would... well, Dad would pride himself on a job well done and then make it worse.

Of course Michael had made him angry right after he got home from his high school reunions. Not only was Dad completely drunk, but he had been wearing that huge class ring which had... well, hurt. A lot.

Michael's fingers were still brushing the scab. Without quite thinking, he dug a nail under the scab and ripped it off, blood sliding down his cheek again. He stared into his own eyes as the blood trickled down, faintly wishing he'd just keep bleeding. Bleeding and bleeding until he bled out and just died. Then he wouldn't have to deal with Dad's crap anymore.

But then it would all fall on Nate. And Ma. If Michael wasn't around he couldn't stop Dad from beating on Ma and Nate, taking it all for himself. He couldn't let that happen.

Michael brushed the blood off his cheek with the back of his hand. If this cut wasn't going to turn into a scar already, it was definitely going to now.

A forever reminder of Dad.

A/N: To anyone following I dTromluithe, The Devil Herself and/or The Five Stages: I'm deeply sorry I haven't posted in a while. I hope to remedy this soon, but I am leaving for school tomorrow and classes start up Tuesday. Sorry!

I love reviewers and live for constructive criticism!