I stared blankly at the TV as I downed all of my beer in about one gulp. How many was this now? Five…six…maybe seven? It's hard to keep track. I'm so tired that my brain is all fuzzy and all I want to do is sleep. I haven't slept in two days. I've tried but I can't. Every time I close my eyes I see HER and I don't want to see her. I never want to see her. Every time I see her I wake up in a cold sweat, my heart beating so erratically that I always think I'm having a heart attack. I don't know what brought on this sudden string of nightmares. What I do know is that every time this happens, I'm a prisoner inside my own mind. There is no escape, no way for me to have peace until she finally decides to leave me alone again. Even then though she lingers, in the back of my mind, like a fucking disease or something.

You walk on like a woman in suffering

Won't even bother now to tell me why

I realize I'm watching some fucking stupid infomercial and grab the remote so I can flip through the channels and find something else to watch. It's late so the volume is pretty much muted. Nobody knows that I'm awake right now. Connor and Mark are asleep and the last I knew Cooper was locked away in his room, listening to music. He probably has or will eventually fall asleep with radio on and I'll have to go in there and shut it off so it don't wake Mark up and make him start bitching.

As I flipped through the channels, one of those Ultimate Fighting shows catches my attention. I stop and stare at the violence on the screen, shaking my head at it very slowly. One would think I would love shit like this but I don't. Not on nights like this. It's a trigger, stirring up memories that I repress for a reason. Usually I can watch it with Mark as long as I have something else to distract me and keep my damaged little mind from fucking with me. Tonight though, there's nothing. No distractions, no Mark-just me and I can't hide. Not anymore.

Caroline let out a feral scream as she smashed her fist into Joseph's face. I don't know how the fight started this time. I was just watching TV with Annabelle with Mom sitting on the chair, drinking like she always did. Joseph came home and Caroline left the room and then the next thing I knew, they were screaming at each other and a brawl was spilling into the room. Now Annabelle was hiding and I was crouched down in the corner, watching everything unfold right before my eyes. Part of me was just numb to all of this. This wasn't the first time this shit had happened and it certainly wouldn't be the last. Not with the way my parents were with each other. But I could hear every blow being delivered between them and even putting my hands over my ears couldn't make it stop.

Joseph managed to grab her by the back of the neck and punched her in the stomach, making her double over and lose her breath. She was taller and hit harder but he was heavier and he still packed pretty powerful punch himself. "Stop it!" I yelled. "Stop it leave her alone!" I always yelled at him to quit hurting her but never the other way around. I don't care if he gets the shit knocked out of him but for whatever reason, I can't stomach him attacking her. It's not because I hate him more than her. I hate him violently but I'm pretty sure I hate her more. But I don't love him the way I love her and I don't want him to love me back like I want her to. I want him to die and just go away already. All he is is a bully. That's it. Other than that, he's fucking nothing.

"Stay the fuck out of this boy!" he snarled, turning back around to glare at me. That momentary distraction cost him big time because Caroline raked his eyes with her sharp fingernails and kneed him in the groin as hard as she could. He groaned in pain and she began punching him over and over again, not stopping until he was a bleeding unconscious mess on the floor.

"Mother fucker," she growled, kicking him one last time before returning to her chair. Her hair is a mess, her knuckles are covered with his blood and her mouth is bleeding from where he must have hit her in the other room. It don't even faze her though. She just grabs her scotch and downs it, now even in more of a foul mood than usual.

I slowly got up to my feet and approached her, despite the fact that I could hear Annabelle crying and telling me not to. This wasn't a good idea. I knew that but I was going to do it anyway. I was an idiot like that.

"What the fuck are you doing?" she asked, glaring at me when I go within reach of her.

I gulped and tried my best to not flinch at her cold gaze. She never looked at me without contempt in her eyes. Not ever. In a perfect world I wouldn't exist. That was what she always told me. I was never supposed to be born because she didn't want me. Nobody would ever actually want me. I wasn't worth the trouble I caused. "You're bleeding," I said quietly.

She rolled her eyes and wiped the blood from her mouth with the back of her hand. She didn't get all of it though and I found myself reaching out to touch her when she grabbed my wrist and twisted it so violently that it almost snapped right then and there. "You fucking keep your hands off me or you'll be pulling back a stump," she said, her cold eyes nearly turning black they were so hateful. "You understand me?"

"But Mommy-" I was cut off by a hard punch to the face and I fell to the ground, clutching at my jaw because it felt like it had just been broken.

"Fucking retard," she grumbled, standing up and kicking me in the ribs before stomping off to the other room, which allowed Annabelle to come out of hiding and cradle my head in her lap as I trembled violently.

You come alone, letting all of us savor the moment

Leaving me broken another time

I turned off the television and got up to my feet. All the alcohol I had consumed seemed to rush to my head and I groan, nearly falling over because I'm so dizzy. WHY did I let her have this effect on me? WHY couldn't I just fucking make it stop? This was ridiculous. She was dead. Her body had been dismembered and burned until there was nothing left. I had made damn sure of that. But every time I tried to push her out she kept returning, her hold on me even stronger than before.

You come on like a blood-stained hurricane

Leave me alone, let me be this time

I shifted around in my seat, staring at my principal Mr. Garcia and trying not to be bored out of my fucking mind. I was in trouble for flooding the toilets in the boys restroom; apparently they frowned on that sort of thing. I couldn't imagine why. All I had been trying to do was have some fun. What was the harm in that?

"Can't I go yet?" I finally asked. I was tired of just sitting there. I was ready to go and I wasn't going to humor Mr. Garcia much longer by sticking around.

"You can go after I talk to your mother," Mr. Garcia replied.

My heart officially came to a stop for a few seconds after those words left his mouth. "What?" I had misheard him. I had to have. He couldn't have said that. That was a fucking death sentence.

"I called your mother and she's coming here to discuss your behavior," Mr. Garcia confirmed.

Oh dear Jesus. I sunk down in my seat and shook my head in disbelief. I was going to die. I was going to fucking die. I had to get the fuck out of there before it was too fucking late.

You carry on like a holy man pushing redemption

I don't want to mention the reason I know

That I am stricken and can't let you go

I didn't have time to run though. Caroline came bursting in just moments after Mr. Garcia gave me the bad news and she was already in a rage. She slapped me clean across the face, making my head rock to the side violently. "Are you fucking kidding me?" she yelled, slapping me again before I even got a chance to recover from the first blow. "ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?"

"Mrs. Lawson!" Mr. Garcia explained, seemingly horrified by the violent display my mother was putting on.

"Shut up!" Caroline snarled, not taking her eyes off of me for an instant. I shrank back, unable to just disappear into my chair like I was trying to. "You think you're cute James? Is that it? You think you're fucking cute?"

"N-" BAM! One punch equals a broken nose. Right in front of the principal she breaks my fucking nose. She don't give a shit. She's angry which is dangerous in itself and judging from the smell that was coming off of her she was at least half drunk, which made her temper even worse.

"Mrs. Lawson!" Mr. Garcia got out of his seat which proved to be a bad idea. Mom took that as him defying her and she clocked him too. He fell back into his chair, not even able to get mad over the fact that she had just hit him in his own office. He was too busy staring at her in total fear. He looked into her cold eyes and saw not an ounce of humanity staring back at him. There was just the anger and the nothing. The cold, hard nothing that haunted me every day.

When the heart is cold, there's no hope and we know

That I am crippled by all that you've done

Into the abyss, will I run

"We're going," Caroline said shortly. She grabbed me by the arm and yanked me up to my feet. "MOVE your ass!"

I wanted to drag my feet. I wanted to push her away and scream at her to leave me alone. But I didn't. I followed her dutifully out of the room, my blood pouring out of my broken nose and into my mouth. I followed her to the car and let her take me home, where she literally beat me with her belt until she got tired and then she went upstairs and got into yet another fight with Joseph. Same shit, different day.

You don't know what your power has done to me

I want to know if I'll heal inside

I went into the bathroom so I could begin rinsing my face off with cold water. My body was calling for sleep but my mind wouldn't even dare consider it. I couldn't go back and wake up to another nightmare. When I went to sleep, it all felt too real. It felt like it really was happening all over again. Mark said I needed therapy for my issues. It wasn't healthy for me to be still having problems with all this. I didn't want therapy though. I knew what they were going to say. They were going to say that I needed to forgive her and yadda yadda yadda. I had seen a lot of movies and TV shows with psychiatrists in them so I knew the crap they liked to spew.

Honestly, I didn't think I had it in me to forgive her. Not after everything she did to me. If it had just been physical abuse then maybe…but it went so much deeper than that. I fought for her love and approval for seventeen years and not only did she reject me every single time, but she spat in my face as well and relished in telling me how much she hated me. How useless I was, how unworthy I was of her love, how I shouldn't have even been alive…pretty much anything to hurt me. And hurt me she did. Oh how she fucking did it.

I can't go on, with a holocaust about to happen

Seeing you laughing another time

"You're insane," Mark informed me as he followed me around. I was trying to peacefully pick flowers and he wouldn't leave me alone. It was really starting to get on my nerves. "You're fucking insane."

"Why?" I asked. "Why am I insane?"

"Because every Mother's Day you do this thinking something else is going to happen," he replied. "And it's NOT. NOTHING is about to change! Why can't you see that?

"You don't know that," I said stubbornly. "It could be different."

"No it won't!" Mark insisted. "Jesus fuck Lawson! Get it through your skull before she burns you again!"

You'll never know how your face has haunted me

My very soul has to bleed this time

I didn't listen. I never listened. I entered the kitchen with the flowers in my hand and found Caroline smoking her morning cigarette and drinking her morning scotch. "Mom-"

"Why do you try so hard?" she asked, giving me the most annoyed look that she possibly could.

I blinked, not sure how to answer.

She got even more annoyed when I didn't answer right away. "Hey! I'm talking to you!" She set her cigarette in her ash tray and glared at me. "Every fucking time Mother's Day rolls around you come in here with something that you're always shoving in my face…is it really fucking necessary?" She shook her head and knocked the flowers out of my hand, making them fall to the floor. "I don't even LIKE you. WHY are you trying to suck up to me?"


"Wait." Uh oh. Already I could tell this wasn't going to be good.

Another hole in the wall of my inner defenses

Leaving me breathless, the reason I know

"If you really want to give me a good Mother's Day present, then do this…" She got up to her feet and grabbed a butcher knife. "Take this-" she handed me the knife "and be dead by the time I come back." She smirked at the crushed look on my face before leaving the room and leaving me feeling completely defeated.

That I am stricken and can't let you go

When the heart is cold, there's no hope and we know

That I am crippled by all that you've done

Into the abyss will I run

"Lawson? What the hell are you doing up?"

I looked over at Mark, who had gotten up without me even realizing it. "Huh?" I said in confusion. I shut off the water and grabbed a towel so I could dry my face off.

"What are you doing up?" Mark asked again. His eyes were half shut and he looked ready to fall asleep on his own two feet. "Fucking hell its late. Come to bed."

"I'll be there in a minute." I wanted to reach out and talk to him but I knew there was really no point. He knew how badly Caroline fucked me up but he truly didn't get the extent of the damage. He hadn't cared that his mother hadn't really cared all that much for him so how could he understand the pain I was feeling? The answer was simple: he couldn't. Not in the way I needed someone to anyway. I was alone. I was fucking alone in this department and that was the way she liked it. It made sure she could keep fucking haunting me.

You walk on like a woman in suffering

Won't even bother now, to tell me why

You come alone, letting all of us savor the moment

Leaving me broken another time.

I looked back into the mirror and my eyes widened. My reflection wasn't my own anymore. It was hers. She was looking back at me, her cold eyes glaring daggers into me and a cruel smirk dancing on her lips. Fuck! Without thinking I punched the mirror, shattering the glass into pieces.

You come on like a blood-stained hurricane

Leave me alone, let me be this time

You carry on like a holy man pushing redemption

I don't want to mention the reason I know

"Lawson!" Mark shook his head and pulled me back by the scruff of the neck. "What are you doing? Have you lost your mind?"

I shrugged. Honestly, I've never had it but I didn't feel like saying it. Instead I was too busy staring at my bloody hand, the pain it was giving me being enough to distract me from the haunting. For now, SHE didn't matter anymore. All the things she had put me through, the way she made me feel, the way I couldn't let it go-it didn't matter. For now anyway. It was the only a matter of time before she reared her ugly head once again. I was never going to be free from her, no matter how much I tried.

And sometimes-just sometimes, in a sick sick way-I think I like it that way.

That I am stricken and can't let you go

When the heart is cold, there is no hope and we know

That I am crippled by all that you've done

Into the abyss will I run

Into the abyss will I run

I can't let you go

Yes I am stricken

And can't let you go