Sorry for the long update time, I had some stuff I needed to be dealing with and I was still working out the storyline. Now that I have, I need to warn you that this really, really is un-Waltonish. It's T for a reason and will include references to suicide. It will be another long update time I'm afraid as my first GCSEs are coming up, so sorry about that. Anywho, onwards with the story.
The image of the dining table was once again recalled to the front of his mind, now with all the seats filled. Then, as if it had been waiting for him, the image came to life. It was quiet; uncharacteristically so for their family meal. Somebody coughed. He, John-boy, was glaring around the table. All of his siblings were looking away, most of them at their own laps. They looked uncomfortable. In fact, the only person looking directly at him was his father, his face set. John-boy met his gaze last of all, staring deep into his eyes. He seemed…. angry. It was odd; it was rare for him to be angry at his father.
"So you all feel that way, huh?"
"John-boy…" this was his mother. She looked distressed.
But John-boy was already standing, still glaring at his father. After a moment, he moved swiftly to the door, grabbing his jacket on the way. "Well, I'm not staying here with people who think I'm some kind of criminal."
"John-boy, please!" His mother followed him to the door, staying his hand as it hit the handle. Her eyes were shining with tears. "Please don't do this."
"I'm sorry, Mama, I really am. But I just can't stay here with people like…" –he glared at his father again – "people like him."
Without warning, Olivia slapped him. "Don't you dare talk about your father like that!"
He held her gaze, even with his face smarting, pure fury emanating from him. Nearly a full minute passed. For a moment, it seemed like he wouldn't go through with it, that he would just storm up to his room.
But now; still watching his mother, he opened the door and was gone. After a moment, the door opened again and he heard his mother run after him.
He didn't turn around. He just kept walking towards his car.
"John-boy, get back here!" This was his father. Now both his parents were after him. He could hear his father's heavy footfalls catching up with him. Not that it mattered.
He had reached his car now. He flung open the door, and was about to get in when a hand grabbed his upper arm and held him tight. He turned into it so that he was face to face with his father.
"Listen here, John-boy," he hissed through gritted teeth. "Ep has handed you over to us in the knowledge that we will punish you ourselves. If you leave this house he will have to arrest you." He shook him. "Don't you know what that means?"
As John-boy stared back, he could feel his eyes moistening, but he kept his jaw set. When he spoke, his voice was low, trying – and failing – to stop his voice from shaking. "But I didn't do anything."
His father gave a long, shaking sigh, trying to control himself. "Alright then. You explain what happened then."
John-boy slowly shook his head. "Oh, no. You've missed that chance. I tried to explain it inside, but you didn't want to know. You've made it perfectly clear what happened. According to you I'm a thief, so that's what I am. And thieves aren't welcome in this house, you've made that perfectly clear too."
He pulled his arm from his father's grip, got in his car, and drove away into the night before anyone else could try to stop him, leaving his family staring after him in despair.
These images confused John-boy. Were they a memory? They couldn't be. He would never treat his father like that, nor his father him. Besides, this 'memory' didn't feel the same as the ones from his childhood. No. No.
But if it wasn't a memory, what else could it be?