The characters in here are all human, and this is the second part/AV from my fiction "Voices" Check that out if you wish. I am also taking requests! Check out my profile for more information!
It was hard… being alone. There was no one to talk to, to laugh with, cry with.
At night, when it was cold and freezing you had to lie alone in bed, cuddling the pillow and curling up under the covers, pretending you were being held by a lover, a parent, a sibling.
When you went to school, people snickered at you under their breath, and if you listened carefully you could hear them whisper among themselves as you passed by in the hallways.
"Look, it's that boy. My mother says he lives like a barbarian because he doesn't have a mother to teach him any manners."
"My daddy says it's too bad he doesn't have a father. He thinks the boy could use a good beating to set him straight."
"Did you hear? People are saying Jack's gay."
"Must be because he's all alone, who knows what he does with himself at night."
It really hurt when people associated your sexual preference with your lack of parents. But I've learned to deal with it, push it down and walk away. I keep telling myself "Only four more years… only three more years… Just two more…" and now I'm in my final year of high school with these inconsiderate, harsh telling brats.
Who were they? Thinking they knew what it was like being me. Maybe things would have been different if they'd known, but then again, perhaps they would have laughed at me even more. It wouldn't have happened if only I had kept walking, if only I'd fought back…
If only I'd had parents to keep me inside.
It's always my fault.
But if you told Bunny that, well… let's just say the last person to dare a try ended up in the hospital… that was five months ago, and the kid's still there under a coma. Charges were dropped on lack of evidence, and also considering the only witness is a vegetable.
Bunny's my guardian, even though he's only ten years older than me. He said he knew my parents through his cousins, who were ski enthusiasts. Eventually over time, Bunny became a really good friend of the family, and my inadvertent guardian. I've never seen him as a parent figure though; more as a brother, there to protect me and lead me, but…
"Hey, Bunny, can I talk to you about something?" It was Friday night, December twelfth, and that day at school had been particularly painful, filled with worse sneers and taunts. The only good part was the knowledge that I wouldn't have to see those jerks for another two weeks.
"Huh? Oh, uh, yeah, go ahead mate," he said absentmindedly, hunched over a book about paintings. He was studying to become an art major, and our little apartment was filled with his sketches, oil and chalk paintings. He didn't like to use actual paint unless he was painting for Easter, one of his favorite holidays (though that's not why he's called Bunny).
"Could you look at me for a second?" I snap, and he spins in his chair with a huff, eyes narrowed dangerously.
"You have a reason for using that tone with me?"
"I asked if I could talk to you, and in my experience, when two people talk, they look at each other." I stood glaring down at him, and took a moment to once again appreciate his features.
He had a good build with finely defined muscles, a really light tan, and narrow, clean-shave face. His nose perked like a button, and his hair was dyed dark white so it almost looked gray, and was feathered, making him look younger rather than older. He even had symbolic tattoos on his upper biceps, and a pert mouth. Absentmindedly I licked my own lips before finally looking into his eyes.
His beautiful, sharp mountain green eyes. So clear, so open, so true. He was the epitome of strength and grace….
Everything I wasn't. And it tore at me inside.
"Mate?" came his Australian accent, and… I couldn't do it. I couldn't tell him about my troubles. I wanted to preserve his beauty, his innocence I was obscene to even think...
"Never mind," I clipped out, before turning on heel and hurriedly walking to my room, where I slammed shut my door and locked it, before sinking to the ground and bowing my head.
You're so weak. You won't even ask for help from the one person who cares most about you.
"No, he doesn't."
He is family.
"He is a guardian," I argue back. "He wouldn't even be here if the title didn't hold him down," I spat out, angry at the truth I believed in.
A knock. "Jack, who are you talking to?" My eyes widen. "Jack?" Another knock.
Why don't you tell him, Jacky? I do get so lonely talking to just YOU.
"Shut up," I mutter.
"Go away, Bunny! I don't need to talk to you anymore." The knob above my head jiggled a bit as he tried to open the door.
"Jack, we need to talk. I got a call from your principal earlier today. I know what's been happening at school."
Ohh, this should be interesting.
"Shut up!" It almost comes out as a shout and the knob jingles a little more urgently.
"You too, Bunny! I tried talking to you earlier, but you were obviously too busy for your buddy Jack, so just go away, alright?"
"Why didn't you tell me earlier those kids were picking on you?"
I choke out a laugh. "What am I in, elementary? I can deal with them, Bunny. I always have," I whisper the last part to myself. There's a moment of silence followed by retreating footsteps and I breathe a sigh of relief. I wait a couple of minutes, during which time the hurt of knowing Bunny didn't care enough to try and get to the bottom of things sunk in. Then, I stood up and took off my hoodie, followed shortly by my shirt, shoes and socks.
Walking away from the door, I go to stand in front my full length mirror, right next to the window, where the light from the moon is the only thing laminating my room, and my reflection in the mirror.
Where Bunny was muscular, tan and clean skinned, I was pale, skinny, and marked.
Scars outlined in a pink ting spelled out words along my arms and stomach: useless, trash, disappointment, orphan, whore. I always knew this to be the truth, and with others who can see it now too (you don't know the things they say behind my back), they must be true.
I want to cry. Scream in outrage.
The wooden floor feels like ice beneath my bare feet, but I just stand there. My room is bereft of everything but a bed, mirror and closet. I'm a waste of space; I breathe air that should've been given to someone else who would be meaningful to this world. Instead, I continue to live.
Others say I squander the gift of life given to me, a gift someone else would have been happy to have.
Well, then, why don't I just die and give it to them, I say. I wish I could… But I'm so weak.
Suddenly, the footsteps return and the lock on my door clicks. Heart beating fast, I panic. Bunny doesn't know. He doesn't know. He doesn't know. The mantra repeats itself in my mind over and over again, before I spring into action, sliding under my bed into the tight space it offers, hiding. He'll look in the closet first, and while he's distracted I'll slide out and run out the door…
"Jack, I – " he stops midsentence, realizing I'm not in there, and turns toward the closet. Now!
I begin to slide out from under the bed, but I must have been making a lot of noise. Either that or he found out quicker than I expected I wasn't in the closet. Either way, he turned to look at me as I was halfway out from under the bed on my back. My scars open for him to see.
"Oh, Jack," and he reached down to grab me, but I was still in panic mode. I struggled, hitting my legs on the underside of the bed, finally being half dragged, half carried out. I tried to run, but he held my arms in an iron grasp. "Hold still, hold still! Dammit, Jack…" as he got a good look at me, I could see tears begin to well up inside his eyes, and I stood there, frozen in silence. "Oh, God, Jack… what have I done?"
I couldn't say a thing. You? No, not you, stop crying, please! It's not your fault! I'm the one to blame. I screwed up, it's my fault. Please, stop crying. Please, please, Bunny. "P-please, stop," I whispered, my lip trembling.
I shook my head, sniffed and tried to hold back the silver tears blurring my vision. "N-not you… me." Suddenly, I hit his stomach with my foot, pushing us apart, and he landed on the ground with a surprised gasp. I didn't give him time to recover as I raced toward the door, sliding around the corner and sprinting down the hallway to the front door. He knows. He knows. He knows.
"JACK!" Oh God, he's right behind me! Everything seemed to slow down as my adrenaline kicked in. I ripped the front door open after annihilating the locks and raced down the hallway, down the stairs to the bottom floor, and out into the street before even a minute had passed. I could hear him tramping after me, calling me.
"Stop it, stop! Go away, leave me ALONE!" I shouted the last word, pumping my arms and feet as I hurried to put as much distance between us as possible. My bare feet slapped the concrete ground, jarring my bones from my ankles to my jaw. Tears cold as ice ran down my face.
Run away, Jacky. Run away and into what happened all those years ago…
Fear radiated off of me, widening my eyes to where I could see almost completely around me. Afraid for what would happen if I was caught by Bunny. But then, something unexpected happened… A car drove by.
Cars drive by all the time, sure, but this one… it stuck out because the lights only flashed on when it turned the corner and caught sight of me. Then, a familiar jeering face leaned out the driver's window, the car slowed down and I stopped in my tracks.
"Well, well, well, what do we have here?" he called out, finally stopping right beside me. I could hear the engine stutter off, and saw the car doors open, saw all four of the top jocks at my school step out, slam the doors behind them and walk forward. I felt my heart pound, smelled the alcohol on their breath. My heart was telling me to run, run away now; I knew what was coming… But my mind told me no.
This is what you deserve. You can feel it, can't you?
I shivered, an action not gone unnoticed by them.
"The little whore knows what's coming, don't you?" sneered the quarterback, Jake. He looked down my body, trailing his eyes lazily and slowly over my torso, and down before coming back up to settle on my eyes. I shivered once more, finally realizing how naked and vulnerable I was. I crossed my arms over my chest, but they seemed to take it as an opening to pounce.
"What'cha covering up for?" one called. Someone beside him cat-called and Jake lunged.
I was caught off guard, tackled almost to the ground, then lifted and thrown over his shoulder. "Let's take him for a ride, boys!" Laughs and jeers followed, along with hooting as I was shoved inside his car, squished in between two tacklers. The car sped off, passing Bunny as he ran down the street. It was so sudden; I hardly had time to pray for him to look before we were off…
I almost cried at the injustice brought upon me by myself.
We drove around for such a long time, it seemed hours where it was only minutes. Finally, Jake turned into the mall's abandoned parking lot, parking diagonally across five parking spaces with his black SUV, with its tinted windows and empty trunk… Oh, God, no one's going to find me. The realization hit me hard in the gut. Like a sack of rocks. I felt a drowning sensation and began to choke on my own tears. Jake turned around in his seat and smirked.
"If you're gonna choke, I'll give you something to gag on," he laughed, cruelly, and I tried to climb out the back, their laughs following. "Alright, boys, I get first turn, hold him down for me." I'd crawled into the trunk, and when I turned around, there he was, leering above me. I trembled.
"I love it when they beg."
And I screamed.
The first thing I became aware of was the smell of antiseptic and wool. Light shined behind my eyelids and I dreaded to open them. I couldn't remember where I was, and then, it hit me. The SUV, the trunk, running away, the argument with Bunny.
My eyes shot open before retreating back into the darkness they were once enveloped in. A muffled sound came from my left, repeated once more.
"Jack…" I carefully cracked my eyes this time, edging them open bit by bit before finally opening completely. A shape moved into my line of sight, fuzzy but finally sharpening into Bunny's form. When I saw him, I couldn't register anything but the happiness and misery his face brought forth in me.
Then, I took in the details. He'd been crying, severely. Crystal tears fell down red tear-stained tracks, his nose was slightly pink (probably from blowing his nose), and his eyes were glazed over with worry, with a small flame of anger.
"Bunny," I croaked out, before falling into a heap of sobs. I couldn't move my arms, and when I tried, something tugged at them. I looked down to see needles attached to my skin. A soft finger touched my chin and I jerked in surprise.
"Oh, Jack, Jack… look at what they've done to you… I swear, if I ever get my hands on those boys, I'll – I'll-" and then he himself cut off into a series of sobs and gasps. It was shocking, seeing someone so strong cry, and over me nonetheless…
Look at the misery you've caused! The sudden shock of pain brought with the voice was enough to send me back into the darkness.
Six months of pain. Of going through the motions, seeing those boys put in jail, going to therapy sessions. The first time I caught sight of myself in a mirror after being released from the hospital, I almost threw up. My eyes both had a yellow-black ting to them, my nose was swelling, the left side of my mouth puffing up, my ears looked almost torn… My body was even worse.
And I couldn't even walk right. The jocks were put away for six years on accounts of rape and abuse. And Bunny… he took it the hardest. Took to drinking more than usual, and he tried to be there for me, really he did. But I just couldn't trust anyone after that second time…
"Jack," he said one day, while he lay on the floor, I on the couch. It was raining outside and the house had a cool feeling to it. I didn't answer him, but he continued anyways. "Why didn't you tell me about the first time?" I lay still, not daring to even breathe.
He sighed, took a long drink of his liquor, and spoke again in a raspier voice. "The doctors said there hadn't been much tearing, but there were… scars," he choked up, "from before. Dammit, Jack, why didn't-" No longer able to bear it, I jumped up and ran out of the room, followed by his sobbing.
By next Christmas Eve, things weren't much better. I stopped trying to let people in, stopped trying to recover. It wasn't working anyways; the Voice was so strong inside my head. Bunny still drank, but it did little to help with his grief over me.
The time was 11:50 p.m., I sat naked in the tub, warm water embracing my body, blurring my scars and bruises. Even if I had recovered, I would always have these scars, physically and mentally, to remind me. And I couldn't live with that all my own. Maybe if I had someone who loved me… but there was
no one… And then, I laughed. But there is someone, Jack… There is if you'd just let him in.
-two days ago-
Bunny hadn't had a drink for six days. The Voice hadn't shown up for the past three. It was a good day, with Christmas three days away. While Bunny was out taking his end of course exam for his final collage class, I was at home, actually trying to cook dinner. I was making a lemon zest chicken, with potatoes and salad. It was hard, but I wanted Bunny to come home, exhausted only to smell my wonderful cooking and see the table set out with cream white cloth, candlelight, pristine plates and one of two of his presents set out on his plate.
And that's exactly how it happened. "Well, mate, ain't this a lovely surprise. Thank you," he hugged me, tightly, and for a few brief seconds I smelled his warm cologne, felt his sleek muscles beneath his shirt… and for the first time in years, I did not feel fear.
But with all great things, they must end before we are ready for them to. He released me and we sat down to a wonderful meal, where I told him he could not open his present until we were done. After plenty of praise and blushing, the table was finally cleared.
"Now, do I have your permission to open your gift?" I lightly laughed, the first time in months, and a sweetly graceful feeling overwhelmed me.
"Yes, Bunny, you have my permission." He was staring at me in such concentration I squirmed. "Well?"
"I-I don't know, mate. I think that was a pretty good gift you gave me just now." We looked at each other for a few moments before he cleared his throat. "But seeing as how you went through the trouble of getting this for me…"
"There's a part two, but you won't get that until Christmas," I warned, smiling lightly as he carefully unwrapped the gift.
"Is that so?" Then he gasped. "Jack… is this?" I nodded, blushing lightly as he pulled out the pastel and chalk kit from its box.
"I-I remember you saying how you wanted those, because of their colors and texture." There was a silence during which he glanced between me and the colors in a mixture of joy and fear. "D-do you like it?" He looked up at me, before gently placing the gift on the table, standing up and walking over to me. Softly, he grabbed my chin and led me into a standing position. All of my insecurities came forth then as my fear disappeared.
"Like it, Jack? Mate, I love it… but…" Here, the fear topped his eyes again.
"But?" I whispered, inadvertently leaning into his embrace.
Then, I felt a soft intake of breath as he braced himself.
"But not as much as I love you…" And then, he leaned down and kissed me. Once more, adrenaline raced through my system, and I felt every nuance of his kiss. The soft way his mouth moved along mine, tracing my lips and then his tongue, pressing along before I let it through to explore my mouth. And then, I kissed back, putting every ounce of pain, hurt and injustice I felt into it; and he just soaked it up, bearing the burden with me.
And I loved him for it.
Pulling back, he held me by my shoulders, looking deep in my eyes, searching with his clear green ones for something. Please see what you're looking for, I begged. But he didn't, I could see it in his eyes. There was something in my own I was missing, and I didn't know what it was. But he knew.
I shook my head, backing up as his hands fell from my shoulders. "Jack, wait-" but his hands didn't move from his sides, and I turned away, not looking back. Not once.
I was broken for the last time…
And now, here I lay, in the cooling tub, about to pay the piper for the life I did not deserve, and I still didn't know what it was I missed inside.
I'd left a note for him to find when he got home in an hour. It read:
I'm sorry for everything I've lead you to. Your drinking, your anger, your sadness and pain. All because I couldn't protect myself. I didn't tell you about the first time it happened because I was afraid you'd look at me in disgust and call me weak like all the others. I thought I could bear my burdens alone, until it killed me. I was wrong about the first part, but the second part came true. This was not your fault but for one part… What was it I missed? When you looked at me that night, you didn't see something, and I wonder; what was so damn terrible about me that I couldn't have your love? I was going to give you myself on Christmas; that was part two to your present. But then I realized; who'd want such a broken, twisted present like that? I think I've always loved you, but now I'm not sure anymore. I do know one thing more than anything else, though… I'm sorry.
I smiled, and sank into the tub until the water submerged me completely. Opening my eyes, I saw the most beautiful sight; the light of the moon shining through the window up high, once again the only light in this room of darkness. And it lit up the water like a moonstone. I felt bathed in tranquility as the air escaped me little by little. I don't know why I was trying to wane out my demise, but something kept me from dying right then and there… But all that is golden cannot last forever.
Lights. Red, blue, white. They flash against my vision like fireworks. I'm cold, but something scratchy envelopes me. Is this Heaven? And then, a voice.
"Jack, don't you dare give out on me. Jack!" I slipped out of consciousness, only to "awake" inside an ambulance, if the sirens gave any signal to that.
"Jack, I'm not giving up on you." It was Bunny, I knew that, which meant I wasn't dead yet. I closed my eyes, ready more than anything to give up, but then, his next words stilled my mind. He leaned in and whispered, so lovingly: "You were missing life, Jack. Life that I'm prepared to bring back into you, if only you'll let me."
If you only let him, he can save you. He will carry the burdens with you, save you, heal you…
I had only to stop breathing, to not inhale once more and I would die. No more pain. No more misery or anger, no more insecurities or cruelty and abuse…
And no more Bunny. No more kisses or hugs. I wouldn't experience a morning waking up in his arms warmed by the sun, or have the pleasure of feeling soft linen sheets upon my body he'd loved the night before. I wouldn't have another sunny walk, or warm snowy day spent cuddled in his arms.
And I realized… I would lose more than I could ever gain by Death.
I inhaled and whispered back: "Merry Christmas…"
Before you say that that seemed a little cruel to end it that way, remember: Jack's second gift to Bunny was going to be himself, but he planned on killing himself because he felt that that would be a terrible gift to give to someone he loves. So by saying, Merry Christmas, he gives Bunny himself. From there you can figure it out –smile- . For those of you who got it without having to read this, sorry for the waste of time! So, this just flowed right out, didn't it? Again, did not take the route I was expecting, but it DID reach the destination I had in mind. Comments?