Stephenie has it all. I just decided to play with her characters and add some of mine.
Pre-read by TeamAllTwilight.
Warning: contains domestic abuse. Edward is around 7 years old in this one.
"Class dismissed!" the nice teacher said loudly.
I put my books in my backpack and shuffled to the door, head down, hands tightly gripping the straps of my backpack.
"Hey, Masen!" I looked toward Fred. He always tried to be friendly, but I never knew if that was his intention when we were really alone. "You wanna meet up here in an hour? We're going to play ball."
That sounded nice, but I wasn't allowed out of the house after coming from school. And if I was late, it wasn't a good idea either.
"No, I can't," I mumbled, scurrying away.
The walk home was memorized a long time ago. I couldn't say that I didn't want one of my parents to pick me up as it was happening to the others, but if I happened to do something to upset them – I didn't want everyone to see them hitting me.
As I arrived home, rising on my tiptoes to reach the upper lock, I realized it was one of those days. It was quiet and I could do whatever I wanted for a few hours.
In the kitchen, I found some leftover pizza that was too hard to eat and flies were partying on it. I couldn't eat that, so I tried to find something in the fridge. There was absolutely nothing – just a bottle of milk that looked green and some eggs, which I had no idea how to cook. Defeated, I retracted to my room. No food today. Maybe later tonight, when they got hungry.
I started doing my homework, but fell asleep while trying to write nicely from my position on the bed.
I shot up when I felt a hand on my hair. "When did you come back?" Mom asked, running her hand through my hair. I liked it when she did that.
"Earlier. I did my homework," I told her.
"Good. Come, you must be hungry." She took my hand leading me to the kitchen. She thrust a carton box at me. "It's Chinese."
I looked inside the box. It was mostly empty so one of them had eaten before me. There were weird things inside – they looked like bugs. But I learned at school that Chinese people eat bugs so I shrugged.
"Where is the fork?" I mumbled.
A hand collided with the back of my head. "Say please, boy," Dad barked. "And you don't need a fork. Here, use the sticks."
I had no idea how to eat with them. It was then that I realized I'd never eaten Chinese in front of them. They were usually sleeping. And I was using a fork.
Mom seemed to be in a good mood, shoving Dad aside and showing me how to use the sticks. I watched her fingers carefully, to learn how to do it then she passed the sticks to me. I imitated the way she had held them, but the weird bug that I had caught, flew onto the floor.
"Incompetent boy!" Dad snarled, shoving a fork in the carton. "We're trying to teach you new things and you aren't even trying."
"Edward, he doesn't know how to use them. Let me show you again, Anthony." Mom crouched next to me, taking my hand in hers. It looked so easy like that. Together, we caught some rice between the sticks then brought them to my mouth. I tried not to wince at the spicy food, knowing it wouldn't be good for my tummy. After she helped me a few times, her hand disappeared and I was eating alone, glad I mastered that. No need for them to hit me.
"Do you want a glass of milk?" Mom asked, beaming at me.
The green milk? No. I shook my head, inhaling the spicy food.
"Some water? It will soothe the burn."
This time she didn't wait for my response and brought me a glass of cool water. I gulped from it gratefully. It tasted like chlorine for some reason, but once a month, people were cleaning the conducts. Or so I heard.
When I tried catching another bug between my sticks, I managed to send it on the floor again. It was slippery.
Dad grabbed my ear, making me shout in pain and drop the food. Then, the back of his palm connected with my right cheek. "Stupid boy! Good for nothing. Give me your hands."
I tried to resist, clasping my hands behind my back. He caught my shoulder, shoving me and I toppled over, falling. My elbows and knees were throbbing. He sat me at the table, planting my hands on the table, fingers spread. I had no idea what he was going to do. Then I saw the sticks in his hands and snatched my hands away.
"Do I have to duct tape them? Keep them there until you learned your lesson, Anthony!" he shouted.
I gulped, tentatively putting my hands back. The sticks hit my fingers, making me wince. I tried not to cry, but it hurt so badly.
"I won't do it again," I begged him. My fingers were red and I could see some blood there.
"Why should I believe you?"
I whimpered. "Pleaseee."
"Oh, there's the magic word. A little too late, Anthony."
"Edward, stop it. He has to go to school!" Mom stopped him.
The last hit hurt the worst and I couldn't feel my fingers. I thought she was on my side, for once. But no. She was worried people would see. They had no idea that people already saw the bruises on my ribs when I was changing for P.E., but no one said anything.
Dad grabbed my collar, raising me from the chair them pushing me toward the door. "Get to your room!"
I rushed there, closing the door quickly. I looked down at my red fingers and let the tears fall. Was it ever going to end? They always found a reason to hurt me. Even when I was sure I did something good, something that made the proud. Like that time when I managed an A in Math, but they wanted A plus, plus. They kept telling me I was stupid. Then why were they expecting such good grades?
The door opened, and I tensed up. No more. I hiccupped, running my hand under my nose. Mom slipped inside, taking a seat next to me. I was on the floor, near the door.
"Let Mommy see. You didn't deserve it now."
I smiled, happy she was on my side for once. I offered her my hands.
"Does it hurt badly?"
I nodded, feeling my tears falling from my face. "I can't feel them," I whispered.
She hugged me then got up. "Come."
I followed her to the bathroom where she washed the blood and put band aids with little animals on them on my fingers.
"Liz, where's the Vodka?"
I cowered into Mom's side as Dad stepped into the little bathroom. He looked at me then at Mom.
"It's in the kitchen. Try not to drink it all," she answered him, hugging me to her chest. She was always good with me, but when she got angry, she was really scary.
"Stop coddling him! That's why he is so stupid. He doesn't know anything!" he barked, stomping away before glaring at me.
I bit my lip, but it was in vain. I burst in tears again. It always hurt, maybe worse than the physical pain when he said such things. My teacher told me that I was smart, but he thought I was stupid. He thought I was some kind of robot that didn't have feelings.
"Now, Anthony, stop crying. Be a big boy," Mom admonished me. "And you father is right."
Of course. She would side with him, probably afraid he'd hit her too.
"I got an A plus in Geography," I mumbled, looking at my feet.
"That's very good. Was it a test?"
"A pop quiz. I was the only one to get A."
"Very good. You make me proud. Let's tell your father."
I bit my lip, but nodded. He wouldn't be happy. He wanted two pluses. He wouldn't care I was the only one to get an A.
"Edward!" Mom said loudly, smiling.
He was leaning against the counter, drinking from a bottle. I hid behind Mom, wondering if I could just slip into my room.
"What?" he asked, narrowing his eyes at me. "What have you done now?"
Mom wrapped her arm around my shoulders, bringing me to her side. "He got the best grade in class on a Geo pop quiz. A plus."
Dad raised an eyebrow, surprised. "Is that so, Anthony?"
"Uhh yeah," I muttered, shrinking into Mom when he approached me.
"That's very good. I'm proud of you." He put the bottle aside and extended an arm to me. I stifled a sob, and walked to him. I waited for the slap or whatever he had for me. But he surprised me by hugging me tightly before raising me up in his arms. "That's what I always want to hear." He kissed my forehead.
When he put me down, I felt dizzy. He hadn't done that before. I felt good. I felt great. I had to get a good grade again.
"Now, go to your nightly bath then off to bed."
I nodded, scurrying away. It was difficult to wash with the band aid on my fingers, but I managed to do it. Once back to my room, I quickly finished my homework before slipping under the blanket right before the door opened. Mom grinned, approaching me.
"Good night," I said back.
When I woke up in the morning, I knew it was going to be a horrible day. The door of my room banged to the wall. Dad was standing there, fuming.
What had I done? I wondered, blinking rapidly to wake up and be alert if he asked questions.
"What the fuck did I tell you about your sneakers, boy?"
"They stay near the wall, in the entry hallway," I answered quickly.
"Which fucking wall?"
My eyes widened. I looked down, gulping. He was going to hit me. I just knew it.
"Take your stupid bottoms off!"
He had promised last week to never do it again. "Mommy!" I yelled.
She didn't seem to hear. Dad laughed, rolling his eyes. "She's sleeping, Anthony. So try not to make too much noise." He wrenched my pants down, turning me on my tummy.
"No! I won't do it again!" I wailed, squirming away.
"Stay fucking put or I'm going to hurt you worse!"
I froze, wondering how worse was worst than worse. Something rubbery hit my cheeks. He was hitting me with my sneakers. It hurt and my flesh throbbed. With the corner of my eye, I saw his hand raising high before the shoe connected with my flesh. Hard. I moaned, biting the pillow as tears streamed down my cheeks.
"I won't do it, Dad! Please."
"Shut the fuck up! You always say that. Maybe now, you'll remember it."
When he was sure I learned my lesson, he threw the sneaker at my head, making the spot throb in pain. When the door closed behind him, I hugged my pillow, and kept sobbing. He had promised Mom to stop it because I couldn't stay on my chair at school. He had agreed. What was I going to do today?
When I saw the watch, I panicked. It was seven thirty. I jumped out of the bed, tugging my pants back, hissing when the material rubbed against my tender flesh. I brushed my teeth quickly, packed for school, changed my clothes and rushed out of the house.
I couldn't even walk. Every step resulted in painful burning from my butt. Tears gathered in my eyes, but I refused to let them slide down my cheeks.
People slammed into me, walking hurriedly, not seeing me. The nurse at school always told me I was too little and scrawny for my age.
"Good morning, Edward," my teacher said warmly when I entered the classroom.
"Good morning, Mrs. Geoff," I answered back, smiling. I liked it when people called me Edward. I hated the name Anthony, but my parents kept calling me that.
Taking my seat, I couldn't help but wince at the sharp pain. I was glad no one saw it.
On lunch break, everyone was happy, except me. I never had money to buy anything. So I sat at one table, listening to my tummy making noises. It hurt and I knew that not eating combined with the spicy food from last night had upset it.
"Aren't you hungry, Edward?" Mrs. Geoff asked me, sitting next to me.
"No," I mumbled, pressing my hand to my tummy.
She looked sadly at me. "Here, eat this," she said softly, putting a sandwich on the table in front of me.
My mouth opened and closed. I wasn't allowed to accept anything from strangers. But I was hungry. And she was always good with me.
"Edward, you need to eat," she said gently. I couldn't pick it up until she left, afraid she'd see my fingers and question me. I had tried to keep my sleeves over my fingers all day.
"Thank you," I whispered, eyeing the big sandwich. I looked at it surprised. There were so many things inside!
"It has ham, salami, salad, mayo, cheese and tomato. Enjoy." She smiled before getting up and leaving.
I grabbed it and bit down on it. It was like heaven. I hadn't had such good food in so long. I finished it quickly, probably too quickly. If I got sick, they were going to hurt me. I knew it.
When school let out, I had an A plus, plus in English and an A plus in Math. Maybe they'll spare me.
At home, I was greeted by the smell of alcohol and loud moans. He was beating her again. I slipped inside my room, doing my homework, waiting for one of them to realize I was home.
It didn't take long for the smell of alcohol to make me sick. I didn't make it out of the room, throwing up on the floor. They were going to be really upset.
I felt a hand on my back and tensed up before, gagging again.
"What happened? Are you sick?" Mom asked me worried.
"What the hell did you eat, boy?"
If I lied, it would be worse, so I told them about the sandwich. Mom started rolling up my carpet then went to put it in the bathtub. Dad was really angry.
"You know that mayo isn't good for you," Mom said, returning to my room. "And besides, what did we tell you about eating from strangers?"
"I was hungry," I whined.
"That's because you didn't eat your food last night!" Dad snapped.
"Spicy isn't good for me." I realized my mistake as soon as I opened my mouth.
His eyes blazed, and his fists balled up. "Clean your carpet then come to me. I'll take care of you attitude!"
It took me a long time to finish cleaning it, because the smell was so strong that it made me throw up again. Until Mom took pity of me and sent me away. But it wasn't exactly pity since she knew I was going to get hurt.
I found Dad in the living room. He stood up from the couch and slapped me with the back of his hand. I fell backwards. When he advanced to me, I scrambled on my elbows, crawling in reverse. Until I hit the corner and brought my knees up, trying to shield myself. It was the belt today. When he landed the first stroke, I realized, somewhat happy, that it wasn't with the buckle. I tucked my head in my chest, putting my hands over it, sobbing. It stung so badly. He didn't stop until I nearly started to throw up again, but this time from the snot I was swallowing.
"You aren't getting anything to eat! And you will clean the kitchen!" he screamed, swishing the belt over my head, but not hitting me.
I didn't move from that spot until I was sure they were both asleep. There were red, angry splotches all over my skin. And they hurt.
I washed the dishes and cleaned the floor before I decided to put the plates in the cupboard. Bringing the chair near the counter, I got up and stretched to put the plate in its place, but I fell.
"Anthony!" Mom yelled.
My elbow was throbbing. Did I break it? I hoped not because there was no insurance.
"How many times did I tell you not to climb on chairs?"
"I'm sorry. I was trying to help," I mumbled.
"Well, stop helping before you kill yourself! Did you break anything?"
"I don't know."
"Edward! Come here!" she shouted over her shoulder.
I crawled under the table, staying there, hugging my knees. I saw Dad appearing in the kitchen, but didn't move.
"Can you see if he broke anything? He fell from the chair," Mom explained.
"Where is he?" Dad wondered.
"Right here… He was here, I swear. Anthony!" she shouted. "Daddy's here! Let's see if you need to go to the hospital."
After some time, Dad's head appeared under the table, grinning at me. "Come here, kiddo."
I shook my head, refusing to go next to him again.
"Get here when I tell you!" he yelled, waving his hand, trying to reach me.
I was always safe there. They couldn't reach me.
Half an hour later, he gave up, going to bed. I started rocking, wondering again if it was ever going to end. We used to be happy. They used to be good to me, to take me to the park or for ice cream. That was gone. For almost three years now. Every night, I prayed that things would go back to normal.
I'm really worried about you guys think of this . So please be honest.