Generation 2, Chapter 18

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I haven’t been to the graveyard in a long time, I didn’t have a reason to come here anymore; my Father followed me around everywhere I went and even if I did go to the cemetery, it’s not like anything else would change.. I still wouldn’t see my Mother. But, it felt so weird being here now, seeing the freshly dug grave of my buried ex-girlfriend and Mother to my twins no more than one hundred feet from where I sat.

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Not many were here; Hitomi and her daughter Helena, Gareth and Gibson, Lucy, Anya, and Faline’s husband and their daughter Sherri. Faline’s parents and her brother were here earlier, but left before anyone else after Faline had been buried. None of them even bothered to make eye contact with me or the boy’s, they didn’t say a single word to us. Julia didn’t come along because she wasn’t very fond of Faline, Bennu and Bahiti waited at home, too, having no desire to be here for Faline either, but I don’t blame them.

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I looked to my sisters along with Lucy and Helena, seeing them with sad faces as they mourned my ex, some crying, some not. Helena had grown into such a beautiful young woman just like my gorgeous Lucy, looking at my daughter last out of the bunch and I could see her crying as Helena tried to console her. My adopted daughter of my long dead best friend was crying over a Mother that wasn’t even hers, and here I sat without a tear in my eye. I didn’t even know why.. It wasn’t remorse, I wasn’t unhappy per say, I wasn’t crying or even really all that sad.. I guess I was just indifferent and only here for the twins’ sake.. Gareth and Gibson were behind me by my mother and father’s graves and I sat alone on a bench that my father had sat on 8 years ago, the night I first saw him. 

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“Didn’t I warn you something like this would happen?” I jumped a little in fright as I heard my father’s voice ringing in my ear out of nowhere, looking over and seeing him standing in the grass, looking down at Faline’s grave where the last of the grievers stood that I failed to mention; Faline’s husband and daughter.. I didn’t reply, looking to them as well and soon my gaze went to the ground once more. “She was so pretty.. So young.. Is this catastrophic enough for you yet? That’s two on their list now.. Do you really think that she died from just falling down t-”

“Shut up.. Just, please.. Shut the fuck up for once.. The Mother of my son’s, my ex is dead and you really want to question that? Right now?”

“What? It’s not like you had even an ounce of care for her in your entire body..”

“You can’t just leave me alone.. Can you?” I asked.

“You ask such funny questions all the time.. I’m here because you need someone to talk to.. You can’t talk to your wife, your children, your sisters.. No one is here to listen but me,” he replied. I sat there in silence for a few more moments, not knowing what to say to him.

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“Your sisters..” He began again, my attention going to my father briefly and noticing he was looking at them with a small smirk on his lips.

“What about them..?” I wondered.

“Just.. Look at them..” He continued and I kept my eyes on my father instead, seeing his expression calmed, happy, content, admiring his daughters and I finally looked to them as he had requested.

“Yeah.. They’re all grown up.. What the fuck about it?”

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“Wow.. Hitomi has such a beautiful girl.. Anya looks just like Mom, doesn’t she?” He asked with a chuckle, looking to me with a smile and I scoffed.

“Shut up…”

“They’re all so pretty..” He continued.

“Yeah.. Don’t you wish you could tell them that yourself you fucking asshole?” I asked, looking to my father then with a smirk and he still kept his smile.

“It’s fun to see you try and torment someone. You’re only tormenting yourself,” he replied, but I was confused.

“What does that mean?”

“Again, with the funny questions.. Don’t you ever get tired of asking them?” He wondered with a smile and I turned away, losing my smirk instantly and focusing on the ground again.

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I sat there in a short silence, trying to ignore my father, but he still refused to go away, “Have they ever wondered about me?” He asked.

“Who..?”

“The boys.. They’re by your Mother and I’s graves.. Have they ever asked about us?” He repeated.

“Yeah, I told them that their Grandmother was a saint and that their Grandfather was someone they should never waste their time thinking about..” I replied, looking to my father then with another smirk and he was the one with the serious face this time.

“They should know their history.. Why are you depriving them?”

“Maybe because you’re nothing to be proud of..” I retaliated, looking to him with a serious expression filled with anger and he then smirked, mocking me almost. 

“Heads up..” He replied, nodding his head towards Faline’s grave and I looked to where he motioned, seeing Faline’s husband walking my direction, though his eyes were set on the boy’s behind me.

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I stood to my feet, ready to talk to him if he needed to but his eyes were filled with grief and hate as he continued to stare at my sons the closer he got. The expression he carried with him didn’t please me at all and it seemed as if he wanted to do something to the boy’s, so I stepped in front of him and stood like a brick wall, keeping him from going any further and he looked to me then, “I need to talk with Gareth..” He more so demanded than asked.

“Oh yeah? Why’s that?” I questioned.

“Jason.. If you were ever going to be a decent human being in your entire life, you’d let me go talk to him and get what I need to say off my chest,” he rebutted but I held my ground.

I chuckled a little, “You don’t know shit about me. Now tell me why you’re giving my sons the stink eye at their mother’s funeral,” I requested sternly, still not letting him pass me.

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“You know why.. That boy is nothing short of being the Devil himself and it makes me pity you on how you don’t see that,” he replied and a tingle went up my spine full of rage at his words.

You pitying me? That has to be the joke of the day..” I replied with a pathetic chuckle, seeing as how he was at his wife’s funeral claiming I was the one he pitied when really he should only feel sorry for himself and his daughter. The moment he implied an insult towards my son was when I knew for sure that he wasn’t just going to ‘talk’ to Gareth..

Let me pass or I swear I’ll-”

“You’ll what, exactly..?” I questioned, stepping up closer to him in an intimidating manner and he adjusted himself within his dark suit.

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“He..” Faline’s husband continued, yet stopped to gather his next words, “Gareth did this to Faline, I’m sure of it..” He continued, “I was downstairs, watching television with her and she went upstairs to get something.. I heard another voice, his voice.. The next thing I knew, she screamed and I watched her fall down the stairs myself.. I watched my wife die before my very eyes..” He struggled to say, tears forming in his eyes and I noticed his body begin to shake. “The noise.. The sound of her neck breaking on the way down the stairs will forever be in my mind and it’s all because your son did it.. It’s all his fault my wife is gone..” He replied with a dead serious tone and expression. I could tell he wasn’t going to stop trying to get passed me, but one thing was for sure, there was no way I would let him.

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You really want this to happen..? He just lost his mother.. What do you plan on doing exactly? Teach him a lesson as if he doesn’t already know how terrible he feels about her accident?” I asked, hearing him then chuckle to my words.

“Yeah.. Accident.. That’s exactly what it was..” He replied sarcastically.

I was done with this arguing, this pathetic attempt on blaming my boy for Faline’s death and I waited for an opportunity to put him into his place and get him to walk away. “Hey, whatever you were going to do or say to him, how about you say and do to me instead? I’ll be sure to give him the message” I offered an ultimatum.

“No.. Now let me by, Jason..” He refused.

“What is it? Are you going to beat up a little kid? Tell him that he’s the Devil in disguise? Tell him lies like Faline never loved him just to make him feel more like shit? Just get out of here, asshole.. You’re not getting any closer to my son and I guarantee this is the last you’ll see of him,” I threatened and I watched his face grow in rage.

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“Do you know what I see when I look at him?” He asked me and I shrugged.

“I don’t give a shit what you see,” I replied but he continued anyway.

“I see a soulless, evil, conniving boy that got away with murder and I want to teach him a lesson for killing his own Mother.. My wife.. The Mother of my daughter!” He replied and I clenched my fists in anger.

“You want to teach my son a lesson? I would absolutely love to see you try,” I somewhat threatened.

“He’s like a miniature version of you, only more hollow and pathetic inside. What’s that old saying? ..Like Father, like Son?”

“Keep talking, bud, and I promise you’ll find yourself six feet under just as your precious wife is,” I threatened more and his eyes widened in both horror and rage.

“You piece of shit!” He called out and took a swing at me, though I expected it coming and I moved my body back and out of the way of his fist. 

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I swung back, hitting him straight in the jaw as hard as I could and I watched him fall to the ground before me. I climbed on top of him and shoved my fist into his face again and again, making sure he would regret ever talking ill of my son and I could hear voices around me, though I couldn’t make out what they were saying; all I wanted to do was see this man pay for what he had said and make sure that he would never so much as think to come near my boy again.

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I felt the strength of Anya and Hitomi, pulling me off of him with all of their strength and my sisters voices soon entered my ears, yelling at me to stop. Hitomi and Anya held me back as Faline’s husband stood to his feet and I yelled out threats as he staggered away from me, bleeding from his nose and lip, “Is this how you imagined spending your wife’s funeral!? Huh!? Taking out your grief on my boy, you fucking piece of shit!? If you ever talk about my son like that again I’ll fucking kill you, do you understand me!?” I yelled, trying to break free from Anya and Hitomi but they refused to let me go as I watched Faline’s husband walking away from me quickly.

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Faline’s husband and daughter went passed the gates and left, I then jerked myself from Hitomi and Anya’s grip, “Get the fuck off me!” I demanded, feeling them release my arms and I could feel how hot and enraged my body was from what just happened. 

“Jason.. Don’t you think that was a little inappropriate timing?” Anya wondered.

“What the hell is up with you? He just lost his wife.. Calm down, alright?” Hitomi tried to compromise and I shook my head.

“Just leave me alone.. Thanks for coming, but just go home now,” I more so demanded, walking towards the twin’s who were looking to me in shock by my parents graves, ignoring everyone else that was there.

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I went to the boys and looked to their faces, noticing Gibson was more worried than Gareth was. “Dad.. Are you okay?” He wondered. I looked to his emerald eyes for a moment and tried to calm my still quickened, anger filled breaths. 

“Yeah.. I’m fine, son..” I encouraged, placing my hand on top of his head and tousling his hair gently. Never did I think that Faline’s husband would try and start trouble with me or the boy’s at her funeral, I imagined him too weak to move and grieving too much to even come up with the conclusions that he did. What if I had decided not to come? What would he have said to Gareth? ..Would he have done anything to him..? I felt my heart beat beginning to race again at the thought of him hurting one of my boys, but I tried to put it passed me, more than happy that I had decided to come with Gareth and Gibson now knowing that Faline’s husband might’ve done something drastic. I was glad I was here to protect them. 

“That was awesome,” Gareth said with enthusiasm, a smile on his lips when I looked to him and I chuckled lightly.

“No, it was wasn’t.. Forget what you just saw,” I replied, looking down at my pants and noticing the they had scuffs in the knees, “Dammit.. These pants are ruined now,” I let out softly, sighing and looking back to the boys.

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“Dad!” Lucy called out behind me and I sighed even heavier this time, knowing she wasn’t going to like what she had just witnessed me doing. I turned around and I could see in Lucy’s face how bothered she felt, “What the hell was that?” She asked.

“Nothing, baby girl.. I’m sorry, I just.. Lost my temper with him,” I tried to reason and calm her, but she refused; she was furious with me and it was written all over her face.

“What did he even say for you to do something like that? Faline loved that man and you got into a fight with him at her funeral for Christ sakes!” She spat back.

“Luce.. It’s a long story, I’ll explain to you later,” I replied, giving a glance back at the twins, trying to let her know I didn’t want to discuss it in front of them and Lucy let out an aggravated sigh, though catching my drift.

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“Are you coming home for dinner?” I asked next, seeing her expression still holding a grudge against me and it made me regret everything that had happened with Faline’s husband.

Lucy shook her head, “I already talked to Aunt Hitomi and she said I could sleep over. Helena’s going to stay home with me tomorrow, I don’t want to go back to school yet..” She made fact without even asking me, but I decided not to contest it.

“Oh.. Yeah, I guess that’s okay.. Are you headed over there now?”

“Helena and I are going to go and hangout somewhere, then go back to Aunt Hitomi’s.”

“All right.. Will you call me tomorrow? Let me know how you’re doing?” I requested, Lucy pausing a moment before answering.

“Yeah, whatever, Dad..” She replied, not convincing me at all and she looked towards the twins, “Bye, guys..” She said softly, turning around then and leaving the cemetery.

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The boys said bye to Lucy and I looked to them after she was out of our sights, “I bet Bennu is making dinner, are you two ready to head back now?” I wondered.

“Yeah, I’m hungry,” Gareth replied, yet Gibson didn’t say anything.

“Hey, why don’t you go wait in the car, bud? We’ll be right there,” I said to Gareth and he nodded, handing him the keys to my car and he left Gibson and I alone.

I looked to Gibson who’s expression was sad and unsure, furrowing my brows in worry and I knelt down in front of him, “Hey.. What is it?” I asked, seeing Gibson look to the grass before he looked back up to me.

“I just..” He stopped, looking to the ground again, “I miss Mom.. I just never thought anything like this would happen, or could happen.. Why does she have to be gone?” He asked, the moon showing a small glint in his eyes as they began to tear up a little.

“Hey, hey.. It’s okay. Accidents happen like this all the time. Why it had to happen to your Mother, I don’t know.. But, just remember that she’s in a better place now,” I replied.

“A better place than with us?” He questioned after, sighing under my breath and realizing that that might’ve not have been the best thing to say, but I didn’t know what else to tell him.

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“Listen Gibs.. No place is better for her than to be with you guys, but she can’t now. The next best thing is in heaven, right?” I asked.

“What if I don’t believe in that kind of thing?”

“Well.. Even if you don’t believe it, that’s where she is. She misses you guys just as much, but she’s happy still, I’m sure of it.. Your grief will pass, but she’ll always be with you,” I replied, still trying to cheer him up, and for how bad I thought I was doing, he seemed to become more understanding.

“Are Grandma and Grandpa with you?” He asked, looking to me with curiosity and I let out another sigh.

“Yup, they sure are..” I replied, seeing him smirk softly and I bent down after standing, hugging Gibson and he returned it, “Believe me when I say things will get better, okay buddy?” I continued.

“Okay,” he replied, releasing me from the hug and I tousled his blonde hair, putting my hand to his shoulder then and leading him out of the cemetery to head home.

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The car ride home was quiet.. Gareth played a game on his phone, laying in the back seat while Gibson rest his head against his window next to me in the passenger seat, staring blankly out it as we drove through the city to get home. I glanced in his direction a few times while driving, seeing his expression the same almost the entire time. I pulled out my phone, tapping his leg with it and he looked to me as if confused at first, taking the phone and looking to me questionably, “Text Bennu and tell her we’re on our way home, okay?” I asked and he nodded, doing as I had asked.

“She already sent you something, want me to read it?” He wondered and I nodded, waiting as he read the message, “Uh oh.. She wants to know why you got into a fight,” he said quietly and I let out an irritated sigh.

“Dammit, Lucy..” I said under my breath, knowing already that she had told Bennu, “Just ignore it, I’ll talk to her when we get home.. Tell her we’re almost there,” I replied and he nodded. Great, now I have to explain to her what had happened and I was in no mood to explain anything, I just wanted to go home, eat dinner and sleep after this long day.

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The boys hopped out of the car before me and I followed, “Go straight upstairs and wash up for dinner.. You can change out of those clothes, too, if you want,” I told them after they walked into the house.

“Thank Godddd,” Gareth wined, glad that he could get out of the proper and formal attire he wasn’t used to nor very fond of in the first place. The boys went up to their room and I took in a huge whiff through my nose, smelling Bennu’s cooking coming from the kitchen that now filled the entire house. It smelled of her famous Egyptian Shawarma dish and I could also smell a pumpkin pie that had been made, the smells getting stronger as I made my way towards the kitchen and saw Bennu by the sink. 

I let out a soft sigh, preparing for whatever she was going to say, “We’re home,” I spoke softly, seeing her dry off her hands then and turn to look at me.

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Bennu stepped up closer, “How are the boy’s doing? And Lucy?” She wondered, surprising me a little on how she didn’t mention the fight yet.

“They seem to be doing pretty okay.. How are you and Bahiti?” I wondered.

“We’re fine..” She paused, her eyes looking down to my tie briefly and letting out a sigh, “Why did you hit that man?” She finally asked, “Lucy called to tell me she wasn’t going to be home for dinner and she was already crying though that didn’t surprise me, but she was more than upset about the funeral.. She was upset about you.. So, why?” She continued, making eye contact with me again and worry was written on her face.

“The guy just wasn’t hittin’ the right buttons, he didn’t know when to shut his mouth, so I did it for him,” I replied.

“Jazon.. You are a grown man, what are you trying to teach the boy’s by acting like that?”

“Bennu, you should’ve heard the things he was saying to me, I couldn’t take it anymore.. I’m sorry I let it get out of hand, but I wasn’t going to just let him get away with what he was saying,” I answered, letting out a heavy sigh and I watched as her gaze fell to the floor. “What’s wrong?” I asked.

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“You don’t.. You didn’t still have feelings for her, did you? Were you jealous of that man?” She asked, my jaw dropping a little in surprise and I wasn’t expecting that question.

“Bennu, no.. Of course not. Is that why you’re so upset about this?” I asked and she paused a moment, then nodding as she looked up to me. I was warmed by the thought of her being jealous, I had always liked when women would get jealous of others that were involved with me, but Bennu never has anything worry about. I stepped up closer to her and cupped her cheek within my palm, caressing her face with my thumb, “He was talking about Gareth.. He insulted him and me right to my face and I wasn’t going to stand for it, so I hit him.. Not because of Faline or because I was jealous of him,” I explained, “He should be more than jealous of me instead,” I cooed quietly with a flirtatious tone, seeing the tiniest smirk form on her lips.

“What did he say about Gareth?” She wondered, but I didn’t want to explain it all right now.

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“I’ll tell you later,” I assured her, continuing to caress her cheek with my thumb. Even through the homey and strong smells of freshly made food within the kitchen, her scent still managed to overpower it all and it made me fall hard for her each and every time. “Do you love me?” I asked, seeing her then smile and nod.

“Of course I do,” she replied and I smile in return.

“And I love you.. Don’t you ever forget that, got me?” I joked softly and she chuckled, pulling me into a long kiss that I more than welcomed and I wrapped my arms around her.

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Gareth, Gibson and Bahiti came downstairs from their rooms and we all sat for dinner, though it felt a little empty without Lucy there as I looked to the empty seat next to me where she usually sat; I imagined she was still out with Helena, probably eating at a diner somewhere that the two loved to do so much. Seeing how upset she was earlier made me want to go back and change the outcome of what had happened with Faline’s husband and I, but at the same time, I was proud of myself for sticking up for my boys; I wasn’t about to let him get away with the things he said just because his grief drove him to crazy assumptions. I felt he needed to blame her death on someone, and Gareth was it. I didn’t talk much through dinner and neither did Gibson, I mostly listened to everyone else’s conversations.. I wasn’t feeling very social right now for whatever reason.

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After dinner, the kids all went into the living room to play a video game together while Bennu cleaned up and I stayed with her for company. “So, vhat did that man say about Garth? Now knowing why you hit him, I probably would’ve hit him as well,” Bennu said as she washed the dishes.

“He, umm..” I began, checking over my shoulder and still seeing the kids in the living room, looking to Bennu again, “He actually called him the Devil.. He’s blaming him for her death,” I said with a chuckle following it, anger building up again a little, but I managed to stay calm. However, Bennu didn’t.

“Uck! The nerve of that man! Calling a sweet little boy such cruel things.. You should’ve gave him a new face,” she hissed and I chuckled again.

“Yeah, well.. I would’ve but my sisters pulled me off of him before I could,” I replied, hearing her ‘hmph’ under her breath.

“Is he all right? Did he hear anything he said to you?” She asked, looking to me after the dishes were done and I shrugged.

“I don’t think so.. He didn’t act like he did, nor did Gibson..”

“Well, that’s good at least.. I couldn’t imagine how he would feel if he had,” she replied, letting out a soft sigh.

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“Don’t let it bother you.. Come here,” I requested, seeing her smile and walk up to me. I turned her around and let my hands run up and down her torso slowly, feeling her lean back against me and shut her eyes in a relaxed manner.

“Mmm.. Let’s just go upstairs to the bedroom and not come out for days,” she said quietly, her tone filled with ecstasy as my hands rubbed softly just under her chest.

“Sounds like a plan to me,” I replied, chuckling as I leaned down and kissed her neck. She continued to let out soft moans in pleasure, my hands then continuing upward and they ran up to her breasts, though before I would indulge on her body and make her ache for me, a noise rang in our ears and it was the sound of the front gate being buzzed. “Fuckin’ figures..” I said with a groan following it and Bennu joins me in letting out a displeased moan.

“Make them go away,” she said with a wanting tone, giggling after and I smirked, kissing her neck again.

“I’ll be back in no time,” I replied, feeling her leave my grip and I hopped off the counter, heading towards the door and already hating whoever was there for cock blocking me from my own wife.

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I got to the front door and pressed the button to talk, “Yeah?” I asked, wanting to make this quick so Bennu and I could retreat upstairs for some much needed time alone.

“Hello, Mr. Duboys.. This is Detective Grander from the Bridgeport Police Department, you may remember me from some years ago?” A man replied and I tried to think back.. Oh.. Shit. It was the detective that came by after Lana had died.. Or rather, been killed by me. I paused a moment, then held my finger on the talk button.

“Um.. Can I help you with something?”

“Well, if you wouldn’t mind letting me in, that would be great.. It’s getting rather cold out at nights now,” he replied with a chuckle. I hesitated once again, but soon pressed the button to unlock the gate and let him in; what could this be about..?

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I grew a little nervous, wanting to know what the detective could be doing here at this time of night and for what reason. I opened the door for him and he came in, shivering a little, “Man.. You can sure tell winter’s coming,” he joked and I smirked, though I lost it just as fast as it had been formed.

“So, what brings you over on such a night?” I wondered, looking to him curiously.

“Straight to the point then, huh? All right.. Well, to be honest, I’m investigating the cause of death for Faline Hubbard, married now with the name Faline Ruttin.. I assume you know her, seeing as she was the mother of your twin boys, am I right?” He replied and I furrowed my brow in confusion.

“Yeah.. Knew her.. I still don’t understand why you’re here in my house, though,” I answered, seeing his face turn a little more serious now.

“Well, as you know, the autopsy shows that she broke her neck when she fell, which is what killed her.. But I’m just trying to put the pieces together on why she fell.. That’s all.. If it’s not too much to ask, I’d like to ask your son a couple of routine questions..?” He wondered, my expression then turning a little sour.

“Who?”

“Gareth. I’ve already recieved a statement from Faline’s husband and their daughter, Sherri.. I understand though that Sherri and Gibson were in bed sleeping when it all happened, so I would just like to ask Gareth if he happened to’ve seen what happened. Just a few minor questions, Jason, and I’m out of your hair,” he encouraged. I didn’t like where this was going, I could tell that he was lying to me, but I couldn’t figure out what was a lie and what was truth. I thought for a moment, then looked to the detective and nodded.

“Okay.. He’s in the living room,” I agreed, telling myself there was nothing to worry about, but I couldn’t help in feeling a little nervous about all of this.

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I escorted Detective Grander towards the living room, walking in through the open doorway and the loud game along with their laughter and harmless bickering filled our ears. I stopped by the doorway and the detective stopped behind me, “Gareth, come here a moment, will you?” I asked, seeing him ignore me for a few brief seconds and I asked once more, “Gareth.. Come over here,” I repeated.

“Dad, I’m winning! I’m right in the middle of th-”

Gareth.. Now,” I asserted more and I heard him let out an aggravated groan, putting his controller down and walking over to us.

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“Gareth, this is Detective Reed Grander, he just wants to ask you a few questions,” I introduced them and Gareth seemed to freeze a little after I had introduced them.

“Hey there, Gareth.. I just wanna get some information from you, that’s all.. I’m very sorry for your loss, you must be a little overwhelmed by today a little.. I understand it was your mother’s funeral..” The detective began, his tone filled with remorse.

“Uh.. Yeah.. It was a little hard,” Gareth replied, looking down to the floor briefly before looking back up to the detective.

“I can imagine you miss her a lot, huh?” He continued.

“Um, yeah.. I do,” Gareth answered, looking to me as if asking for help but I gave him a comforting expression back, letting him know it was okay and Grander continued.

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I understand you were awake when your mother, um.. Fell.. Am I correct?” He asked and I looked to him, wondering if this was the best time to be talking about this, but Gareth seemed to reply without it letting it overwhelm him.

“Yeah, I was.. I was using the bathroom,” he replied.

“The upstairs one, or the one downstairs?”

“Upstairs.. There was a door to it in the hallway and through Mom’s room, but none of us are allowed in there,” Gareth answered. 

“Did you ever hear your mother conversing with anyone? Did you talk to her at all when you went to or came out of the bathroom?”

“No.. I was in the bathroom and I heard her scream, so I came out and saw her at the bottom of the stairs.”

“Oh…” Grander answered with an unconvinced tone, causing me to grow a little more nervous, but he continued anyways.

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Sherri claims that you were at the top of the stairs when she came out of her room.”

“Yeah, I kinda just said that.” Gareth replied instantly; I couldn’t tell if he was telling the truth or just an amazing liar.

“I guess what I mean is, when she came out, she saw you and she remembers you saying the words ‘I didn’t mean to’, do you remember this?”

“I didn’t say anything like that.. I said ‘I don’t know what happened’.. She just probably got confused.”

“Ah.. I see.. Well, I suppose that’s all I need.. Thank you for your time, Gareth.. And again, I’m sorry for your loss,” Detective Grander replied and Gareth nodded, looking to me then.

“You can go now,” I confirmed his nonverbal question and he walked back over to the couches with his brother and sister.

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Is something the matter?” The detective wondered as I stared at my children.

“No.. It just.. Brings back bad memories of you being here the last time.”

“Well, my apologies then. I’m sure after this visit, you won’t see me for a while, of course unless you give me a reason to come back,” he joked, seeing him smile out of the corner of my eye and hearing him chuckle lightly. I joined him in the chuckle, but only to humor him.

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Bennu then joined us and cleared her throat, catching both of our attention and I smiled towards her, hearing a quiet whistle coming from Detective Grander’s lips that peeved me a little, but I was glad that his attention wasn’t on my boy anymore. “Sorry, this is my wife, Bennu.. Bennu, this is Detective Reed Grander from the Bridgeport Police Department,” I introduced them.

“Hi, it’s nice to meet you,” Bennu said with a smile.

“Pleasure is mine, I’m sure,” the detective answered with a smile, “Interesting accent, where are you from?”

“I moved here from Egypt a little under 15 years ago,” Bennu answered proudly, “Please, can I offer you anything? Perhaps a cup of coffee?” She asked and he nodded.

“That would be wonderful, thank you, Mrs. Dubois,” he replied, finally getting my last name right for once..

“Would you like some, baby?” She asked and I nodded.

“Yeah, thanks,” I replied, watching as she then smiled towards me and walked to the kitchen, the detective accompanying her as I hung back a moment.

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I hung back and stood near the doorway like I had been, looking over to the couches where my children were and my eyes went fixed on Gareth. I didn’t know what to think anymore.. Accidents happen like this all the time, but for some reason this whole situation just wasn’t sitting right. What am I doing? I couldn’t tell if I believed my son or believed what the voice in my gut was telling me.. Was I in complete denial of what my son was capable of doing? He was so young, too young to be doing things like this to other people, whether he cared for them or not. 

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I joined Bennu and the detective in the kitchen who were already enjoying the coffee that was made, seeing my cup in a spot next to Bennu and I joined them, trying to shake off everything I was just thinking and composing myself. 

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So, what brings you to our home tonight, Detective?” Bennu wondered, taking a sip of her coffee.

“Oh, I just needed to ask Gareth a few questions.. Just tying up a few loose ends, that’s all..” He replied and I took a nervous sip of my coffee.

“Well, have they been tied up?” She asked.

“Not yet,” he replied, giving a quick glance over at Bennu that I assumed he thought I wouldn’t notice, continuing then, “But, it’ll he ruled an accident when I leave here.”

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Just curious..” I decided to add something in, “What would compel someone to think a child would be capable of doing something like this, let alone to his own mother?” I wondered.

“Well, you’d be surprised to know that kids are just as capable of killing as much as adults are, but.. Given the grief he seems to show, even despite him playing his video games happily.. Mentioning his mother seemed to make him get very reserved and a little hurt by what we were discussing, as it should’ve.. If he was involved in any way, he would’ve most likely acted different. Playing video games is a good way to ignore, or even cope with loss, too.”

“And if he had showed any other signs than that?” I asked.

“Let’s just be glad we don’t need to be discussing that matter right now,” he replied, giving me a slightly comforting smirk and I nodded.

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After finishing his cup of coffee with us and staying a little bit longer than he had intended, he stood from his chair and smiled, “Well, thank you for the coffee, I should be getting home now, though”

“Yeah, thanks for coming by..” I replied.

“Sure, just doing my job,” he added, looking to Bennu then and keeping his smile, “It was lovely meeting you.”

“Likewise,” she replied. I stood up to walk him out, but he put his hands up, gesturing for me not to bother.

“Don’t worry, I can see myself out.. Good seeing you again, Jason.. Despite the circumstances,” he said with a genuine tone, yet he was slightly apologetic with it as well and we watched him leave.

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Bennu went upstairs to get ready for bed and I went to the living room to round up the kids and send them to bed as well, seeing them still playing the same racing game for the passed hour now. “Alright, time for bed, come on..” I announced, hearing them all groan and I let out a chuckle, “Come onnnn, turn it off.. It’ll be there when you get back from school tomorrow,” I encouraged, seeing them all then reluctantly get up and shut everything down. I followed them going to the stairs and watched as they all ascended up them, “Brush your teeth, change your clothes and all that.. Goodnight,” I added, watching the boys go to their room and Bahiti to hers. 

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I got to my room and noticed a single light on in the corner, then over to the bed where I saw Bennu lying down with her leg propped up. “You still awake?” I wondered, shutting the bedroom door behind me and I pulled off my suit jacket to toss it over the chair near me.

I heard Bennu let out a relaxed sigh, “Yes,” she answered softly, “Are you coming to bed now?” She wondered.

“Yeah, I’ll be there in a sec, I’m gunna shower really quick,” I replied, going to the bathroom as I removed my tie and began undoing my shirt.

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I took about a ten minute shower, though I spent even more time at the sink starring at myself. My father’s words were all that I could think about at the moment;

     “Is this catastrophic enough for you?”

          “That’s two on their list now..”

I hated how I was starting to think he was right, but even if he was, there was no way I could stop them the way he wants me to. I refused to stood down to his level and off my own children like he attempted. My children are my life, and my boys were not monsters; they’re the ones that will keep our legacy going, and I was going to change our name so our pasts would not be only know for bloodshed anymore. I convinced myself I’d be the beginning to a new, better, less violent generation of the Dubois name.. I hope I could pull it off.

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When I finally got out of the bathroom, I walked to the bed and crawled in, noticing Bennu had fallen asleep waiting for me. I propped myself up with one hand as the other found its way to the side of her face, running my fingertips down her cheek. I couldn’t imagine what was going through my fathers mind that one fateful night that compelled him to take such actions; from how I saw things, he was extremely controlling over us and my mother, yet I had never caught on once that he would one day be labeled a murder. As monotone, boring and strict as he was, he had always seemed to be in love with her.. I couldn’t imagine doing anything harmful to my wife as he had done to his.. Who would ever want to hurt the one they loved most in the world?

Generation 2, Chapter 17

POV: Third Person

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“What do you want to do today? I say we get out and fuck someone up.. Let’s find someone who’s pissed us off before,” Gareth tried to convince Gibson.

“You should calm down on how you talk, if Dad or Bennu caught you talking like that, you’d be in serious trouble,” Gibson rebutted.

“Shut up, four eyes.. They’ll never know as long as you don’t blab. Let’s find that Ryan kid.. He made fun of Bennu once, didn’t he?”

“Well.. Yeah, he did.. But that was like, 3 months ago and we haven’t seen him outside of school yet.. We gotta find someone who will make fun of us now.” Gibson compromised.

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“Well, like who? No one really makes fun of me.. We need to use you for bait,” Gareth added.

“How about we go to the empty park on the edge of town? Marty Singer walks passed there on his way from home from school. He sucks. He’s called Lucy a slut before, I heard him.”

Gareth’s grin grew wider, “Well.. Then that’s where we’ll go today. If he walks passed there, he must live near there..”

“He likes Bahiti, though.. I mean, he doesn’t like us, therefore he makes fun of everything we do, but Bahiti is someone he really likes.” Gibson added and Gareth nodded then.

“Do you think Bahiti would ever come with us? It’d be awesome if she made fun of him since he likes her, I bet she could even make him cry!”

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Gibson shook his head ‘no’, “No way she would do that.. She’s way too nice, and besides, she’s too shy to talk to anyone but her close friends or family.”

“Well, then we’ll just lie and make stuff up. Like.. Bahiti hates him or something, that’ll get him so pissed!” Gareth added with a smile.

Gibson smirked a little, “Yeah, that was totally peeve him.. Are we going to bring anything this time? Another bat, or a sock so we can fill it with rocks or something?”

“Nah, we’re bigger than him, we can take him without bringing anything,” Gareth confirmed and Gibson nodded in agreement.

“Cool.. Let’s see if we can get a ride there, it’s far from here,” Gibson replied, the two then walking out of their room and going downstairs.

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POV: Jason

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I was in the middle of making breakfast when I heard two pairs of footsteps entering the kitchen, looking over to the doorway briefly and smirking when I saw the twins, “Hey boys.”

“Hey Dad.. Can we get a ride to the park?” Gareth wondered.

“I’m making some breakfast right now, how about you two eat first and then I’ll take you?” I suggested and Gareth sighed.

“I’m not hungry,” he replied.

“I am,” Gibson added after Gareth and Gareth looked over his shoulder at him, giving a slight grimace, “What? I wanna eat before we go..”

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“Well, it’ll be ready in a minute or two.. What’s at the park? Wouldn’t you rather go downtown or something?” I wondered.

“No, we just wanna go to the park..” Gareth replied, not wanting to go into too much detail for me and I chuckled lightly.

“There going to be any girls there?” I wondered, looking over to the boys and Gibson blushed softly as Gareth scoffed.

“No, Dad.. We’re not going there for any girls,” Gareth replied.

I chuckled again, “I first started chasing girls around when I was about your guys’ age. Anyone peak your interest yet?”

“Is the food almost ready so we can go?” Gareth wondered, ignoring my question.

“Yeah, yeah.. It’s ready,” I replied, giving up on trying to get a little more information out of them.

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They sat at the table with me and I served them both French Toast and joined them to eat. “You don’t need to work today?” Gibson wondered and I shook my head.

“Nah, it’s Sunday.. You know I like to be home for the weekends, otherwise I’d never see you guys,” I replied. They seemed a little different this morning, withdrawn and secretive.

“Can we stay this week? I don’t wanna go back to Mom’s place, Sherri is so annoying.. I can’t stand her,” Gareth wondered, describing their sister that Faline had had with her husband a few years after we separated.

“Well, you have to ask her, not me.. If I said yes and she says no and you guys stay, she’ll get pretty mad,” I attempted to reason, though I liked them wanting to stay here instead of being with Faline.

“She’s not that bad.. She just likes to follow us around, that’s all,” Gibson added and Gareth sighed.

“Still, she’s super annoying and I hate her voice.. I’ll text Mom when you’re driving us to the park, Dad. Hopefully she says yes,” Gareth replied, a slight whine as an undertone.

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“So, how’s school going?” I asked, eating more of the french toast as I looked to both boys.

“Good,” they both answered simultaneously and I chuckled.

“Don’t you both have a test on Tuesday?” I asked.

Gibson took another mouthful of the meal and nodded, “Yeah, but it’ll be easy.”

“Yeah, for you maybe..” Gareth added.

“Maybe you should stay home and study more if you don’t think you’ll pass it,” I suggested but Gareth disagreed.

“Well, I’ll probably pass it, Gibson is just going to do better on it than me.. I have tomorrow to study, too, Dad,” Gareth rebutted.

“So you’re all studied up then, huh?” I questioned Gibson and he nodded.

“Yeah, I’ll ace it. You will too, Gareth. I’ll help you tomorrow in class,” Gibson reassured his brother and I smiled, liking whenever they did anything together and I knew Gibson’s heart was in the right place; Gareth, however, I was a little worried for. “Where’s everyone else?” Gibson added.

“Lucy’s still sleeping I believe.. Bennu and Bahiti are out grocery shopping,” I replied, seeing the boys then finishing up their meals, “Ready to go then?” I asked and they both nodded, standing to my feet and taking our plates to the sink to wash before driving them to the park.

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I drove the boy’s to the park, looking in my rear view mirror and seeing Gareth texting Faline on his phone to see if they could stay this week and Gibson looked out the window, watching the city pass him by. “You sure you don’t wanna walk around the city a little, Gibs?” I questioned, keeping my eyes on the road but glancing back and forth between it and the rear view mirror. 

Gibson looked to the mirror and smirked, “No, it’s okay. Maybe we could walk around here this weekend? Or later this week if Mom says yes to letting us stay at the house?” He replied and I nodded.

“Yeah, sure bud,” I confirmed, looking to Gareth then when he suddenly let out a large aggravated sigh and rolled his eyes. “She said no?” I guessed.

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“Of course she did..” He replied angrily, “She never let’s us stay.. Why?”

“Well, maybe it’s because she wants you to spend more time with your sister,” I replied, shrugging and giving him a remorseful look into the mirror, knowing Faline’s reasoning probably had something to do with me.

Gareth sighed and shoved his phone back into his pocket, “Whatever.. She can’t make us be friends. I never wanna be friends with her.. Are we almost there yet?” He asked with an impatient tone.

“Yeah, it’s just around the corner,” I answered, sighing softly to myself and feeling sorry for the boys, knowing they didn’t want to go to Faline’s.

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We got to the park and the boys got out, hearing the car doors shut and I rolled down my window to get their attention, “Hey, boys,” I announced, seeing the both of them face me and I looked them in the eye. 

“Yeah, Dad?” Gibson wondered. Remembering my father’s words at the festival earlier in the summer made me weary to leave them on their own; what if he was telling the truth? What is they did kill that boy? I didn’t want to lose my trust in them, nor did I want to label them as monsters, but seeing as how me, my father and every Dubois man before him has been known to hurt people, I suppose it was something that was going to happen whether I’d want to believe it or not.

“Stay out of trouble.. Alright?” I added, seeing them both nod in understanding and I let out a soft, worried sigh. I smirked slightly, but it was wiped from my lips instantly as I rolled the window back up and drove down the street, leaving the boys to whatever kind of things they may consider ‘fun’.

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POV: Gareth

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After Dad drove off, I looked to Gibson and smiled, “Let’s go to the lookout and wait for the fucker to come to the park,” I suggested, watching him nod and we ran into the park towards the playground. I don’t know what’s up Dad’s ass lately, he seems to look at Gibs and I differently ever since we went to the festival before fall started and the new school year began. He wanted to hang around us more out of nowhere whenever we wanted to go out or go somewhere after school, claiming he just wanted to spend more time with us, but it’s more than just that. 

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Gibs and I climbed to the top of the playground to look and see if we could spot where Marty Singer lived, but neither of us were sure. “So, which way do you think he’ll be coming from?” Gibs asked and I looked around more.

“I don’t know.. I think the bus that drops him off goes right, down that street, after passing the park,” I replied, “He must live west then, because there’s no houses down the east way.”

“Yeah, I think you’re right.. So, if he comes to the park, what do you wanna do to him?” Gibs asked with a hint of excitement, smirking to myself.

“Whatever he can take,” I replied with a smile, looking at him and Gibs grew the same smile as me.

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We kept our eyes to the road for about half an hour, but soon our waiting had prevailed when I spotted Marty not to far away making his way towards the park, “Hey! I see him. Let’s go,” I said eagerly, hearing Gibson chuckle.

“This is going to be fun,” he added, watching me slide down the pole to get to the ground and I laughed.

“Fuck yeah it will be,” I replied in agreement, reaching the ground and Gibson slid down the pole after me.

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We walked away from the playground a little and stopped, seeing Marty notice us and I could tell from far away that he was already nervous about us being there, his voice said it all. “W-what are you guys doing on this side of town? Don’t you live up in the douche-rich-people hills?” He insulted, trying to play off that he wasn’t scared of us.

“You’re jealousy of our fortune is a little hilarious,” Gibson said in a pitying manner and I chuckled, seeing Marty’s face then begin to show a little anger; Gibs always knew what to say back to any insult, conflict, anything really.. He was clever like that.

“Yeah, why don’t you shut your fuckin’ mouth before I do it for you,” I warned, “That is, unless you don’t want to. Feel free to keep making fun of us when there’s only one of you,” I threatened.

“I’m not jealous,” he replied, trying to defend against the envy written all over his face.

“I find that hard to believe, coming from someone who’s shit poor,” I replied and he got even angrier, something I was striving for from the beginning.

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“What the hell is your guys’ problem?! Why can’t you just leave me alone?” Marty asked.

“You came into the park barking harsh words before us, stupid.. Did you leave your intelligence at home before you left to come here?” Gibson asked and I chuckled, grinning menacingly towards Marty.

“You know what, Gibson? You talk all high and mighty when you really just belong in the Special Needs classes..” Marty rebutted and Gibson laughed.

“I think you’re mistaking your classes for my Advanced Placement ones..” Gibson added and I laughed again.

“You guys are such assholes!” Marty added.

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“One more insult and I say we let him have it, how about you?” Gibson suggested and I looked towards him over my shoulder, thinking a moment.

“Yeah.. That or we just beat the shit out of him anyway before he can say anything else,” I replied and I hear Gibson chuckle behind me. I was fed up with this kid, Gibson and I always had verbal fights with him in school, going back and forth making fun of each other, but that all stopped today; we finally caught him outside of school and I was ready to beat his face in. I loved putting people in their place, especially the ones who think they’re better than us. Gibson and I are an unstoppable pair that people may mess with from time to time, but we always get our revenge no matter what; it’s getting harder and harder the older we get to find people that make fun of us so we can teach them a lesson, everyone’s beginning to get the point on how we don’t let anyone get away with what they may say about us.

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“Just leave me alone, alright? I just wanna leave, okay?” Marty attempted to flee but I wasn’t having it.

“You’re not getting off that easy, fucker! For too long we’ve gone without teaching you a fucking lesson, and lucky for you, today’s your day,” I said with anger, yet a wide grin soon spread across my lips in the anticipation of connecting my fist just under Marty’s cheekbone. 

Marty grew nervous and finally was showing some sense of fear, “No, just leave me alone! I won’t make fun of you guys ever again, I swear!” He pleaded.

“We can never be too sure if you’re telling the truth or not, Marty.. We need to make sure you’re done for good and there’s only one way to do that,” Gibson replied to him and I laughed.

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The sky grew a little darker from the clouds shielding the sun, rain beginning to fall and soon the sky then formed tiny pearl-sized hail in the now 45 degree weather. I circled around Marty, my eyes running down and back up his now shivering frame, keeping my grin as he shook in what I believed to be fear rather than the sudden shift to a brisk noon. “Gettin’ cold or somethin’, Marty?” I taunted, stopping when his back was towards me and I looked to Gibson just passed Marty, seeing his face serious and he was just as ready as I was. 

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“Come on, Marty.. Are you even going to have the dignity to fight back?” Gibson asked, shoving Marty hard and he flew back and into my chest and I caught his arms with my hands, locking him in place.

“Oh, well.. Guess you kinda can’t now, huh, fuck face?” I taunted more, Gibson then taking the first swing and his fist connected against the side of his face, turning Marty’s head with force and the back of his skull tapped against my chest. I laughed as Marty tried to tell us to stop, but I shoved him down to the ground with exertion and he landed face down from being unable to catch himself in time to lesson the contact. He cowered then and put his hands to the back of his head to protect it, but we were already threw with the shoulders and up, Gibson and I then kicking at Marty’s torso and legs as he tried to go into fetal position to protect himself.

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After a good 20 minutes of kicking, taunting and tormenting, Gibson and I finally decided to call it quits when we were sure his face was filled with more tears than raindrops. “Come on, I’m bored.. Let’s get outta here and go to the coffee shop down the street,” I suggested and Gibson looked to me.

“Yeah, you can only do so much before it just starts to get pathetic,” Gibson replied and I chuckled, looking down at Marty as he cried to himself.

“I hope you learned your lesson, shithead. But, I’m begging you to give me a reason to brake some bones next time,” I threatened, motioning with my head to Gibson to ‘come on’ and he nodded, both of us then running off to get to the coffee shop.

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Gibson and I got to the coffee shop as the hail stopped, yet the rain still continued and I enjoyed the sound of the rain smacking down onto the roof above me when I stepped up the stairs to the deck. Gibson and I sat at the coffee shop for hours, discussing our actions from earlier and trying to figure out new ways of improving so no one could touch us, not even the Seniors when we enter high school next year. We got a few different things to eat but stopped a couple hours before Mom would pick us up so she wouldn’t get mad if we didn’t have an appetite, though I had a little more than Gibson since I wasn’t as much of a fan of Mom’s cooking; it was Dad’s meals that I really liked.

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The sun was going down and it was almost 7:00 at night, Gibs and I somehow ending up on the subject of Dad and Mom. “So you really think Bennu was the reason why they split up? How do you figure?” I questioned Gibson.

“Well, think about it.. Don’t you remember Mom and Dad fighting a lot when we were younger? Things just didn’t work out. I mean, granted I have no idea how long they might’ve been seeing each other, but right after Mom moved out, Bennu seemed to just ease right in. I feel like Dad just didn’t want Mom and as much as it sucks to say, we were probably never supposed to happen. Mom and Dad never were married and still had no desire to get married,” he replied and I nodded, seeing his point a little more, “Plus, whenever we ask her about it, she changes the subject or gets angry.”

“Yeah, maybe.. But, still, Bennu seemed to try a little harder than Mom did, it’s as if she doesn’t know what to do and just tries to avoid everything so she doesn’t have to deal with it. It pisses me off.. I’ve lost count on how many times she’s defended Sherri and the times she’s been on our side I can count using one damn hand,” I replied with a hint of anger.

“Can’t argue with you there..” He agreed with a sour tone.

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“I kinda hate her sometimes..” I added after a few moments of silence. Gibson didn’t respond, looking at me with a serious expression, “What?” I asked.

“Nothing..” He replied, looking around the coffee shop then and I raised a brow.

“What? You can’t say that you don’t hate her, too.. She walks around like she has such a great life but whenever we’re there, she always seems on edge, like she can’t be herself around us.”

“Well, maybe she does it because of Dad? She doesn’t only get angry whenever we bring him up, she gets nervous, like she’s scared. She probably just doesn’t want to do anything or say anything to avoid us telling Dad anything that will make him mad..” Gibson added.

“Maybe.. But.. I don’t know.. That’s between her and Dad, she doesn’t have to take it out on us, you know? She acts like we’re spies in her house whenever we’re there and tip toes around things. Benny doesn’t like us at all, either,” I replied, Gibson then sarcastically chuckling.

“Well of course, you make fun of Sherri constantly and that’s his daughter, we’re not his sons.. Of course he hates us,” he added, rolling his eyes and looking out the window to my right.

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POV: Gibson

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As questionable as Mom’s actions are, I wasn’t going to dissatisfy Gareth in making him feel uncomfortable and letting him know that I feel like Mom likes me more. She may not like when I laugh at the jokes he tells, but at least I’m not the one telling them. My pocket began to buzz and I pulled out my phone, seeing that Mom was calling me and Gareth grew curious, “It is her?” He wondered.

“Yeah.”

“Ask her again if we can stay at Dad’s,” he added but I shook my head, “Come on! I don’t wanna go,” he pried a little.

“Whatever,” I replied, standing and walking away from the table as I answered the phone, “Hello?”

Hey, you guys ready to come over? Are you getting dropped off or am I picking you up?” Mom asked.

“Well, Gareth wanted me to ask again if we can stay at Dad’s..?” I asked.

“No, why? Do you both want to stay?”

“I don’t care, really..”

Then no.. Where are you?” She asked and I sighed, looking over my shoulder to Gareth and shaking my head ‘no’, his expression then growing angered and he got up and came over to me.

“Lemme talk to her,” he demanded.

“Shut up,” I replied.

Gibson, where are you guys? I’m coming to get you now.”

“We’re at the coffee shop down on Maple Drive,” I replied and I saw Gareth then let out an irritated sigh, rolling his eyes in addition.

I’ll be there soon,” she replied and we said our goodbye’s.

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“Why can’t you ever just let me talk to her?” Gareth wondered.

“If you want to talk to her then you call her,” I rebutted and he sighed again.

“How long until she’s here?” He asked.

“She’s coming now, so we have about fifteen minutes..”

“Fine, let’s go outside or something..” He suggested and I agreed, following him out of the coffee shop and waiting at the curb for Mom.

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When Mom arrived, Gareth let out an aggravated sigh when he noticed Sherri had come along with Mom for the ride. I went around to the front so he had to sit next to her; although I didn’t like doing the teasing, I enjoyed putting Gareth in uncomfortable positions so I could entice some bickering. It was fun to watch sometimes..

“So, how was your guys’ day? Wha’d you do?” Mom asked, Gareth keeping his mouth shut, so I answered for us.

“It was fun, we went to the park and hung out, then it started to rain so we went to the coffee shop,” I replied, trying to make the awkward silence less awkward.

“I hope you didn’t indulge too much and still have room for dinner,” she replied with a somewhat stern tone and I turned my attention away and out the window.

“We didn’t..” Gareth replied with a short tone and I sighed, already knowing he wasn’t going to make tonight easy for anyone.

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We got to Mom and Benny’s place and Mom began dinner as I tried to watch television over the sound of Gareth and Sherri already beginning to argue.

“Why the hell do you always wanna do what we’re doing? You’re like a callus that we can’t cut off!” Gareth said agrily.

“Gareth, knock it off..” Mom tried to stop them, but it was no use.

“Shut up! Why can’t you just let me play with you guys!? It’s not fair!” Sherri yelled back.

“It’s because no one likes you! I don’t even know anyone who can stand looking at you!”

“You’re such a jerk!”

I tried to step in, trying to calm down Gareth so Mom wouldn’t go nuts, “Gareth, A Thousand Ways to Die is on right now, let’s watch it,” I suggested, but he ignored me.

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“Just look at you! You look like Santa Clause.. All your missing is the big bushy beard! But oh, don’t worry.. It’ll start growing in sooner than you think!”

“I’m not a boy, Gareth! And I’m not Santa, either! Ugh!” Sherri’s voice began to grow and Mom spoke up one more time.

“Gareth, if you don’t stop, you’re going to be in big trouble..” She warned and I grew nervous for him, but I knew that Mom didn’t scare Gareth at all, either..

“Fatty, fatty, two by four, can’t fit through the kitchen door!” Gareth teased and I couldn’t help but laugh, though the moment I did I saw Mom look up from whatever she was making for dinner with a horrified expression and I stopped laughing instantly.

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“Gareth Ian Dubois!” Mom raised her voice and I grew more nervous for Gareth, watching as she walked out of the kitchen and over to Gareth, “I told you two times now to knock it off and you didn’t, now go upstairs to your room!”

“What, to that room that’s five times smaller than the one at Dad’s? The one I have to share with that thing over there? I don’t want to,” Gareth replied and I watched their argument from the sofa, waiting to see how this was going to go.

“I don’t care how small it is, go to it now and stay there until I tell you to come out!” Mom answered.

“Whatever happened to three strikes and you’re out?” He questioned.

“That disgusting little nursery rhyme of yours was the third strike, now go! I’m not going to repeat myself again!” She demanded.

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Gareth still held his ground, looking up at Mom and I could see a slight grin forming on his lips; he had something cooking in his mind that I knew was going to destroy Mom, I always knew the look..

“Have you ever thought about how Bahiti is only a few months younger than us?” Gareth questioned and my jaw dropped a little, looking to Mom then and seeing her entire body stiffen as he brought Dad into the equation to get under her skin. Gareth always brought up Dad in front of Mom whenever he grew too angry to the point where he just wanted to watch her suffer slowly under the weight of her own grievances, even if in all reality, he had no idea what they had been through together. But, he didn’t care, he never did, he strives on seeing others unhappy when he feels wronged by them and it was impossible to avoid. 

“You watch your mouth when you’re speaking to me.. Now, go upstairs.. No dinner, no nothing. I don’t want to see you until morning for school,” Mom replied with a quivering tone and I noticed her eyes begin to water.

“You should’ve just let us stay home,” Gareth replied and turned around, looking to me and smirking with an accomplished expression as he made his way upstairs to our room.

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After Gareth had gone upstairs, Mom went into the kitchen and continued making dinner, seeing her wipe under her eyes before any tears could fall, but I already knew she upset and trying not to cry. Sherri joined her in the kitchen to help and I went upstairs to talk to Gareth, entering our shared room and seeing him sitting on his bed. “What was all that about?” I asked.

“What? She was pissing me off, what other way is there to get her to cave without bringing Dad up?” He wondered in return.

“Well, yeah.. But she’s crying now.”

“Good.”

I stood there for a moment, seeing him still calm and content about everything that had just happened, “Are you going to be okay without dinner? I can try and bring you something from the fridge before I go to bed?” I wondered.

“I’ll be fine.. I ate more than you at the coffee shop for a reason..” He replied with a chuckle and I smirked.

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“So, what are you going to do all night?” I asked.

“Who knows, who cares.. Mom obviously doesn’t. Just go eat dinner, I’m gunna nap or something..” He replied and laid down, shutting his eyes and I sighed softly. As much as I wanted to believe that Gareth had his limits, I wondered what it would take to push him a little too far. I knew he would never hurt me, but if I ever got on his bad side, I wondered how far he would go to get back at me. I often didn’t question him, I understood him more than anyone, even Dad, but I was curious to know if he would ever treat me in such ways that he treats everyone else.

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Dinner was… Quiet. Mom and Sherri talked a little and I talked a little, too, but for the most part, it was quiet. Benny was working late like he usually did and there wasn’t really all that much to talk about anyways, I knew Mom didn’t want to talk much since she was still probably feeling terrible about what Gareth had said to her. As we grew older, we understood their situation more and more even despite them never wanting to discuss it with us, but I never really understood why they didn’t want to. From what we’ve put together, Mom and Dad met in college, maybe they dated maybe they didn’t.. They had us and stayed together, but eventually it began to get to be too much because maybe they were never meant to truly be together. One thing I can’t figure out though, is if Dad was dating Bennu at the same time as Mom, seeing as how us and Bahiti are so close in age, or did Dad not know about Bahiti until later? Is that what caused all the fighting to start, or was it going bad before he even knew about her? The more we tried to figure it out, the less they would want anything to do with the conversation. How badly did it really end?

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After dinner, Benny got home from work and talked with Mom in the kitchen about Gareth while Sherri and I watched television. Benny wasn’t happy at all about hearing what had happened between Gareth and Sherri, overhearing some of their discussion in the kitchen, but Mom left me out of it so Benny wouldn’t blame me as well; Gareth and I were known to come hand in hand with everything, but I stayed clear of making fun of Sherri. I didn’t mind her as much as Gareth did, though I still have to agree she was rather annoying to be around, I just never really get cruel about it like Gareth does.

Sherri went to bed earlier than me and I stayed up with Mom and Benny a little longer before she told me to go to bed around 10:00. I came to our room upstairs and Sherri was already sleeping, then I looked up towards Gareth’s bunk and whispered, “Gareth, are you still awake?” I listened for a moment and he moved a little in his bed, but didn’t reply. Knowing he was asleep, I got changed out of my clothes and into something to wear to sleep in, crawling into the bottom bunk and pulling the covers over my shoulders, shutting my eyes and slowly falling asleep.

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A rustling noise above me stirred my slumber and I was half awake, yet kept my eyes shut as I drifted back off to sleep.

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The muffled sound of voices coming from the other side of the door caused my eyes to open slowly and it took me a moment to wake up. I saw the bottom of Gareth’s bunk above me and it wasn’t caved in as if he was in it, “Gareth..?” I whispered, but I heard nothing. Suddenly, a muffled yet loud scream ran into my ears and I popped up from my bed instantly, seeing Sherri wake up and she ran to the door before I could. I hopped out of bed and looked up to Gareth’s, not seeing him in it and I ran after Sherri to see what was going on.

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Sherri ran out and I followed, seeing Gareth at the top of the stairs with a panicking expression, “I-I didn’t mean to! I didn’t!” Gareth hurried to say when I looked to him, then looking down the stairs as to what he was referring to. My eyes widened in horror as I looked downstairs to Mom lying on the ground and Benny was already down the stairs, sitting on the ground next to her and in a panic as well.

“Faline! Oh, God.. Faline!” Benny called out and my eyes teared up, already knowing she wasn’t okay.

Sherri then started to cry, “Mommy!” She called out.

I looked to Gareth who was at a loss for words, “What.. What happened?” I asked, looking back down the stairs and back to Gareth again.

“I.. I didn’t mean to,” he replied again.

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This didn’t make any sense.. I just saw her and she was fine, I wasn’t sure how to react to losing my mother in a matter of hours. What scared me more was that I wasn’t sure whether to believe Gareth or not from the lack of tears in his eyes. Benny was sobbing at the bottom of the stairs and Sherri was crying behind me, my eyes were filling with tears and I felt one fall down my cheek, but Gareth’s eyes didn’t show a single drop of sympathy. Maybe he dealt with loss in a different way, maybe I was over thinking it, or maybe there was something he was holding back. Either way, I’d find out eventually.. Now, I simply took the time to mourn my mother. Benny had gotten his cell phone and called 911, explaining how he needed an ambulance as I only cried more, knowing it was already too late.

Generation 2, Chapter 16

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I can’t believe how fast time flies.. Eight years ago when Faline moved out was when my life finally started to get better and things didn’t seem so difficult anymore. The day she left, I couldn’t wait to get her out the door. We had been getting more on each others nerves and less involved with one another’s needs, but she didn’t have what I wanted. Ever since I met Bennu, I knew I wanted to be with her, I wanted to try, yet she did nothing but deny me because of her career, or job, whatever stripping can be labeled. But, then something amazing happened and she came to my office as jaw-dropping as ever and then the fourth best thing happened in my life; our daughter, Bahiti. Everything changed then, this was the sign I was waiting for from Bennu and to be honest, the moment she stepped through my office doors was when I knew deep down is that that would be what led to the demise of Faline and I. Bennu never asked me to leave Faline, nor did she give me any ultimatum, but she couldn’t be with me knowing I was with Faline and I felt as if I’d never be happy unless I was with Bennu; so, Faline was out of the picture, just like that.

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Faline and I talked less and less, but that’s a given; she hates me more than anything, but I could care less. She married someone a few years back and they had a kid together; I only know because Gareth won’t stop complaining about it. Gareth doesn’t like her husband, who’s name always escapes me, nor the idea of not getting much attention from her anymore, but it’s understandable at that age. No one wants to be forgotten about. He’s grow away from Faline, too, ever since we split up; he enjoys being around Gibson, Lucy and I more so than Faline, but, I’m not complaining. I love spending time with my children. Gibson has grown into a pretty happy kid, nothing really bothers him and he doesn’t let a lot get him down, or at least he doesn’t let it show. His vision has gotten a little worse and I had to get him glasses not too long ago; he takes after Faline way more than me, he does have her eyes, after all.

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Gareth, Gibson and Bahiti are all 12 now and Lucy just turned 16. Lucy’s grown into a beautiful young woman and it bothers me whenever I see boys her age googly-eyed over her, but I try my hardest not to get involved. She’s a strong, capable, determined girl, and I trust her judgment; she hardly gets into trouble, either.. Well, at least she’s never gotten caught doing anything bad that I had to hear about.. She’s growing up to be a lot like Lana as far as not taking shit from anyone, yet she’s nothing like her at the same time. It’s hard to describe, but either way, I’m proud of how she turned out despite everything she’s been through her whole life. We’re still as close as ever and we got through all of the bullshit together; she’s helped me get passed things more than she knows.

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The summer festival was in town and we all came together to have fun and let go a little. Things at the bar were going well; I got rid of my secretary, Miss Chu, a little after Faline and I had split up and hired an older woman in her 40’s who knew how to do the job better. I hired a manager for the bar so I could have more time at home with my family, someone who could watch it without me needing to be there the whole time and they could even help me with my work in the office should I ever need them to. All of the kids have been doing so well in school, working hard to keep their grades up and I decided they all deserved a treat and I’m letting them do whatever they want today. Gareth, Gibson and Bahiti wanted to come to the festival, Lucy wanted to stay home or even go out with her friends, but since three of the four wanted to do the same thing, I made it into a family day and made her come with us all. But, Lucy doesn’t seem to mind now since she ran into some of her friends at the festival and I let her go off to hang out with them; just so long as she stays at the festival..

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I heard quick footsteps approaching me and I looked to the source, seeing my pretty little Bahiti running towards me and I smiled. 

Daddy, look! I’ve won so many tickets!” She called out joyfully and I chuckled, checking out how much she had earned and I’d guess she was holding about 35 tickets.

“Wow, that’s great, baby. Where’s your mom at?” I wondered and she looked around.

“Hmm.. Last time I saw her she was skating, do you want me to find her?” She questioned, looking back to me with a warm smile.

“No, that’s alright.. I’ll find her eventually.”

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“Can I get a snow cone?” She questioned next excitedly and I smiled more.

You can’t buy one with your tickets?” I joked and Bahiti laughed.

No, Dad! I need monneeyyy,” she pleaded sweetly and I chuckled, shifting where I sat and I pulled out my wallet, handing her a twenty dollar bill and putting my wallet back into my back shorts pocket, “Awesome, thank you!” She added as she turned on her heel and ran off and I watched her, letting out a soft sigh.

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“She’s grown into quite the young lady, huh?” Asked a deeper, more intimidating voice than my own; my body quivering a little in discomfort. I didn’t respond, leaning forward angrily and trying to ignore the voice of my father. “She looks a lot like both you and Bennu.. Who do you think she’ll resemble more when she gets older?” He wondered, trying to make idle conversation and as much as it seemed genuine, his words always started out that way, yet he always eventually turned into the asshole I knew.

“Why the fuck are you wearing a suit? It’s 85 degrees outside,” I spat back, hating that he was still haunting me ever since I visited the cemetery 8 years ago. I saw my father from time to time throughout the years, but he had been coming back around more often now and I found it hard sometimes to get rid of him.

“Well, that’s a funny question,” he replied.

“Why,” I asked bluntly.

“Gareth seems happy, Gibson seems like a good boy,” he ignored my question.

“Don’t even taint them by looking at them,” I answered.

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“What are you going to do when Bahiti gets to be Lucy’s age?” He questioned curiously.

“What does that mean..”

“Well, Lucy obviously has filled out. She’s a beautiful young woman just waiting to be tainted by boys like you when you were that age.”

“Shut the fuck up,” I demanded. I refused to listen to his words and refused to think of my Lucy being described in such ways.

“What? She’s not yours, don’t get so worked up.” He replied. There it was, the negative thoughts and everything that I hated thinking about, all popping into my head now that my father had showed up. My body shook with anger, yet I shut my eyes and repeated to myself in my head that he wasn’t really there, but no matter how many times I thought it, I could still see him sitting next to me out of the corner of my eye.

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“You know..” He continued, making my skin crawl with rage even more, “Gareth is going to be quite the little handful, not like he isn’t already, but he’ll be.. Different. He’ll be like the both of us in no time.. Worse, maybe,” he continued, my vision going to Gareth as he had a water balloon fight with Gibson. I saw him smiling, laughing, enjoying the company of his brother playing with him and I in the background watching, yet, I noticed my father was right; I could see pain behind his eyes no matter what expression Gareth took and I wondered what my father knew about him that I didn’t.

“Don’t talk about him like you know him.. He’ll be fine. There’s nothing wrong with me and there won’t be anything wrong with him. You, on the other hand, I can’t vouch for,” I replied and I heard him chuckle lightly in amusement. 

“I’m not asking you to, I’m only telling you the truth. I’ve been telling you the same thing over and over again for the passed 8 years and you still refuse to believe it,” he replied, “Even the boys themselves have given you clues that something’s not right with them, why do you withdraw yourself whenever these signs are apparent?” He wondered.

My anger lessened as my curiosity grew, turning my attention towards my father slowly and as much as I hated looking at any part of him, we finally connected eyes and I watched him smirk, “It’s been a while since you’ve had enough balls to look at me,” he said softly in his deep tone and I sighed heavily. I was worried for Gareth and Gibson despite how much I tried to hide it. “Look, I’m the only one you know who understands this best, there’s no point in lying to yourself and telling yourself that your children aren’t weird in the head. They may not show it fully now, but whenever that time comes, it’ll be something catastrophic. What’s worse here is that they seem to feed off one another, a good and an evil duo, yet both of them have the same twitch in their brain that makes them want to do bad things,” he continued and I turned my attention back to the boys.

“Is there a point to what you’re saying?”

“What I’m saying, Jason, is that it’s already started. Two is worse than one, especially if the two work together,” he continued and I looked back over to him, raising a brow.

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“What are you talking about? They haven’t done anything ‘catastrophic’ yet and they won’t,” I added, getting angry again by his words.

“Do you recall about two winters ago when Bahiti had come home crying, her nose bleeding, her face pale, her body shaking from being white-washed in the snow and tormented by a boy after school? He had called her names, very terrible names, and he even said terrible things about you and Bennu, probably thanks to his gossiping parents,” my fists balled in anger, remembering how scared and helpless she felt when she had gotten home. I could care less what the parents from the school said about us, all I cared about was that my youngest was getting bullied and no one seemed to be doing anything about it. Bahiti didn’t want to go back to school for a whole week, she refused, and I stayed home with her a few of the days that Bennu couldn’t, watching movies together and I held her as she sobbed on and off from what she had been put through. 

“Yeah.. I remember.”

“So, then you remember the boy being in the paper about two weeks after what happened to Bahiti?” He continued and I shook my head ‘no’, “Oh, you must’ve skipped over that section somehow.. He went missing, his parents thought he was kidnapped. But, they found his body when the snow melted in spring, he was bludgeoned to death with a bat and he had been buried under the snow the whole time,” he added and I looked to him with a somewhat worried expression.

“What does this have to do with anything?” I asked, trying to see his point.

“He was a big kid.. No one found out who did it, yet by the trajectory in which the bat had hit his skull, they said that someone his size or even smaller did it. Another child,” he continued.

“So? What, are you implying that one of the boys did it?”

“No, I’m implying that both worked together in order to get the job done in defending their sister since one of them alone probably would’ve ended up the same way Bahiti did. It only makes sense to have a partner in crime when you can’t get it done by yourself.”

“Are you seriously trying to convince me that Gareth and Gibson killed that little boy when they were only 10?” I asked, my expression growing worried, yet I tried to keep my cool as to not cause a scene; it would only look like I’m arguing with myself, anyhow..

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I watched as my father looked to the boys, “I’m not trying anything, I can sense that you don’t not believe it.. I’m telling you that it’s already begun and there’s no stopping it now.. Well, unless you do something like I attempted, but I failed, and so might you,” he added and I caught him smiling towards Gareth.

“No, I would never do anything to hurt my family.. I don’t understand.. If all of that is true, how were they able to do it? How do they hide it?”

“Maybe they don’t know they did it. Maybe they do know but have a fine understanding of it to know it’s wrong, but they don’t care. Maybe they enjoyed it, maybe they didn’t feel like it was wrong because it felt right,” he continued.

“What felt right..? Defending their sister, or just killing him in general?” I questioned, joining my father in looking at the two boys.

“Only they know, ask them if you’d like.. See if they grow scared of you in thinking they’ll be punished, or see if they’re excited about it.”

“No, I can’t do that.. I can’t lump them into the same category as murderers.”

“Why? You’re one,” he threw back. Over the years that have passed, bits and pieces of the night that Lana died came back into my mind and I realized only about a year or two ago that I was the one that pushed her over the edge. I went through a little rough patch in my life when I had finally realized it, but I was able to get passed it quicker that I had imagined I would.

“And so are you,” I replied.

“Then who’s to rule out that they aren’t?”

“Just stop, Dad.. Please.. Just let me enjoy this day with my family. I’m getting tired of talking to you,” I requested, unable to handle the conversation anymore and he didn’t say anything for a few long seconds.

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I leaned forward again and took a moment to breathe, calming my mind and continuing to watch the boys. I didn’t know what to say.. When I looked at them, all’s I saw was two happy kids who have had a life with its up’s and down’s, but now that my father had opened my eyes a little more, I wasn’t sure what to think now when I looked at them. They looked so innocent. Gibson looked up to Gareth and Gareth has always looked out for his siblings, but it was still hard for me to believe that they could’ve done something so cruel already at such a young age.. Killing someone.. Gareth liked to pull his pranks and taunt his siblings, he was the one I had to punish the most out of all my children, but he’s never been that evil. Well, to my knowledge, at least..

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I stood from the bench, still watching the boys as I heard my father behind me, “Off to be with the family now?” He wondered.

“Yeah.. I’ve spent enough time just sitting here doing nothing,” I replied.

“You haven’t been doing nothing, you’ve been realizing and coming to terms with what happens to boys that are born in this family. It’s quite alright, you’ll come to understand it better soon.”

“I understand it just fine.. We’re crazy, we try to do things that we think is helping our loved ones, we try our hardest to make sure everything is the way it should be. But, what’s happened to everyone? What happens to the ones that try?” I wondered.

“What do you mean?” He asked.

“What happened to your Dad? What happened to your grandfather? Great grandfather? ..Is there no one left to these families besides the ones that are here with me now?”

“My father killed my sisters and my mother, my grandfather killed himself, and my great grandfather experimented on his wife which eventually killed her. Happy now?”

“Not even close..” I replied, sighing heavily to myself.

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“So.. You tried to stop it all by getting rid of the only known Dubois’ to be alive, which I’ll remind you again that it was your own children and your wife, just to stop anything else bad from happening?”

“More or less, yes.”

“Well, like you’ve said a million times already, you failed. I’m here, my son’s and daughter’s are here, my sisters are here and their husbands, their children.. Looks like it’s never going to stop because I sure as hell am never going to be the one to lay a single violent finger on my family. So, with that being said, I’d appreciate it if you never showed up like this again. I’ve had hope that one day it would be mom instead of you, but it’s always you, wearing the same goddamn thing, saying the same stupid shit over and over. If you want us to live, if you’re worried that I might fall off the handle and do something to them, then leave me alone. You’re the only thing that shows me how right you are about us, that I’m nuts because you’re obviously dead, yet here you are.. Feeding me all of this information as if you want me to do something about it and I won’t. I’ll never stoop down to your level, I’ll never hurt anyone again.. Just leave me and what’s mine alone.”

“I’m sorry, Jason, our minds just don’t work that way. You’re the one that wants advice, guidance, some kind of understanding, so here I am. We’ll see each other again, I’m sure of it..” He replied.

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I shut my eyes and took a deep breath in, letting it out slowly and I checked out of the corner of my eye to see if my father was still sitting on the bench, but he was gone.. Good. I didn’t really have any plans on what I would do about my father, I wasn’t sure how much more I could take, listening to him repeat himself over and over about how he had failed at killing all of us the night that he tried. I could tell he had regret, but it wasn’t for trying to kill his family, it was failing at doing so. To think that if he had succeeded, it made me sick to think about how none of my children would be here, Lana would still be alive, Faline would’ve never met me and we never would have had that one night at college and I wouldn’t have my twins, I wouldn’t have Bahiti, Hitomi would’ve never married John and had Helena, Anya would’ve never met her husband.. So many lives other than our own would be so different had my father succeeded; whether they’re better or worse, with or without us, I’ll never know. 

“Be good, boys,” I said sternly as I walked passed Gareth and Gibson to go inside and search for everyone else.

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I walked into the complex and I loved that we had the place to ourselves mostly. Bahiti stood by the edge of the skating rink, watching Bennu skate by herself and I joined her by the edge, watching her skate as well. After Faline and I had split up and she moved out, it didn’t take me long to get back in touch with Bennu and catch her up on everything that’s been happening. I told her about Faline and how she wasn’t involved in my life anymore and I told her about how I gained custody of Lucy and everything involving Faline and the boys. We started dating then and eventually I introduced Bennu and Bahiti to Lucy, Gareth and Gibson. Bennu and Lucy became friends quickly and Lucy absolutely loved the idea of a little sister more than her little troublesome brothers, Lucy and Bahiti liked to spend time with one another and play together. The boys loved to have someone younger than them around to tease and torment, but at the same time they loved playing with Bahiti and showing her new things; they’ve almost become more protective over Bahiti than I already was. The twins took a few years to accept Bennu being around more, but they seem to like her just fine now.

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Bennu and I got married around 5 years ago and were even thinking about having another baby together, but it just never really happened; my life was hectic enough as it was, and although I would’ve been ecstatic if she were to get pregnant again, I knew I’d have to sacrifice a lot more than I already was to deal with the baby; not to mention a mountain of more stress and responsibility that I wasn’t stable enough for. I smirked softly as I watched Bennu struggle to keep her balance as she strolled around in skates for the first time in her life, admiring how well she was doing. I looked to the opposite side of the rink and noticed Lucy by herself now and I guessed that her friends had left, watching Bennu like I was and she gave Bennu encouraging words to keep her going without falling.

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“I hope she doesn’t fall,” Bahiti said softly and I looked over towards her with a smile.

“She won’t, look at her.. She’s a natural,” I replied and I looked to Bennu who was already smiling at me  before she passed us in the rink. “Why aren’t you out there with her?” I wondered.

“I don’t know.. It looks hard, and I don’t wanna fall.. I know I’m going to,” she replied with a sigh.

“No you wouldn’t, you’re strong and confident just like your mother. Look at how well she’s doing and it’s her first time. You know how to ride a bike, don’t you?”

“Yeah.. You taught me how,” she confirmed.

“Well, then of course you can skate. It’s a little harder than a bike, but not impossible. You can do it, baby,” I replied with a warm smile.

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Bennu came out from the rink and I watched her as she removed her skates, admiring her slender legs and she looked up to me and smiled as she put on her sandals. Every chance I could get, I’d check her out and lust after her, I couldn’t help it. I’m proud of myself for being faithful to Bennu, even despite than many tempting opportunities that still come my way, but I have no reason to stray any further; Bennu is what I’ve always wanted, all I’ve ever wanted since the day I met her. I looked to Bahiti for a moment, “Why don’t you go over to Lucy and see if she’ll skate with you?” I suggested, looking back over to Bennu and noticing an inviting smile on her lips.

“Okay,” she agreed, running off then to go to Lucy as I made my way over to Bennu.

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I walked up to her slyly, “And where do you think you’re going, huh?” I teased, putting my hands around her waist and pulling her against me as she let out a gentle giggle.

“Looking for my handsome husband,” she replied with a gentle bite of her bottom lip.

“Well, we haven’t spent time together yet here at the fest, how about you meet me in that photo booth behind you and we can take some dirty pictures,” I suggested, hearing her let out another gentle giggle as I leaned in and pecked her lips softly, “Come, on.”

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I looked around to see what Lucy and Bahiti were doing, but they weren’t looking towards us and I motioned with my head for Bennu to follow me. I walked towards the photo booth and stepped in and she joined me in the booth with no time to spare. I watched as she entered the money needed to get the picture taking started and I sat on the bench, running my hands up and down her legs as she faced the screen. She faced me quickly when she was done and pressed her lips to mine harshly, deepening the kiss instantly and she disconnected after the first flash as her lips were like a waterfall down my chin, neck, over my clavicle, pulling my shirt up to kiss my chest and her lips soon danced just above the rim of my shorts. Another camera flash and she undid my pants, looking down at her as she looked up to me, my lips parted and panting softly with anticipation. No matter where we were, Bennu and I constantly kept things entertaining and new, whether our moods were good or bad, it always ended in a loving or rough way that involved little to no clothing. We talked about things, we understood one another, we kept each other in line and we still haven’t had any type of discrepancy that would threaten what we had or make either of us think of leaving the other. It just.. Worked. 

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After a joyous, spent-too-long-in-the-photo-booth time, I buckled my pants and she laughed excitedly, my eyes wandering up and down her as she walked out wiping her thumb over her bottom lip. I gathered myself quickly and followed her out of the booth, seeing her eyeing the pictures that were taken and she giggled. Bennu looked to me with a seductive grin and handed off the photos to me, “You should get rid of that before one of the kids see.” I smirked flirtatiously and watched her begin to walk away from me and I looked at the photos, seeing most of them were of me making pleasure-filled smiles and the back of Bennu’s head at the bottom. I felt my face grow warm and I folded the pictures, tearing it up then and shoving the pieces into my pocket.

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I watched Lucy skate with Bahiti for a little while, seeing her teaching Bahiti how to keep her balance and how to stop. Lucy soon left Bahiti in the rink and came out, undoing her skates and putting her normal shoes on and she walked over to me. “Dad, can I go out with my friends now? I’ve been here for like a million hours already.”

“Oh, come on.. Is it that bad to spend time with your siblings?” I asked.

“Well.. No, that’s not what I mean.. I just, wanna go out.. You know.. Without my little siblings?” She added and I chuckled.

“Where are you going and who with?”

“Dad, it’s always with Cara. You know that, she’s my best friend.”

“Any guys?”

“Daaaaaaaad.. Come on, we just wanna go to the movies or something.”

“Or something..?” I questioned a little more sternly.

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“Dad, it’s Cara.. She’s as prude as they come. No guys, just a movie. Okay?” She asked sweetly, though it was still hard for me to say yes right away.

“Well, true.. But there’s guys at the movies, so who are you meeting there?”

“Oh my god.. Dad.. Plleeaasseee? Please stop being so protective and let me go! It’s just a movie, Cara’s Mom is going to pick us up, its fineeee,” she continued to stress with a smile.

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“So.. If I call Cara’s Mom, she’ll know you two are at the movies together not meeting anyone else?” I questioned sternly still.

Lucy put on a huge smile and batted her long, beautiful eyelashes, “Please, Dad? Cara needs to get out more and I’m fun, I’m her best friend and I wanna take her out and be there for her. Pleeeeeaaase?”

“Only if you start dolling yourself down. You’re too pretty, Princess. I’m not worried about you, I’m just worried about everyone else,” I say with a smirk and she only smiles more.

“I’ll be fine, Dad, you know me. I even still have that knife you gave me in my purse and I have pepper spray on my key ring. I’ll be fine,” she stressed more and I sighed, soon nodding.

“Alright, but be home before 11:00.”

“12:00.” She compromised.

“11:00.”

“1:00.”

“11:30.”

“1:00.”

“Midnight.” My final offer.

“Okay, midnight.” Lucy confirmed and I leaned in to peck her forehead.

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Lucy took home Gareth before she went out with Cara and was driving in front of me as I drove Bahiti, Bennu and Gibson home. “Did you guys have fun?” I asked.

“Yeah! It was so fun,” Bahiti replied.

“Yeah, Gareth and I had a waterballoon fight, it was awesome!” Gibson added.

“Who won?” I asked.

“Gareth… But I got him a lot, too!”

“I bet you did, he’s hard to beat though. You’ll get him next time, Gibs,” I added and I heard him chuckle.

“Damn right I will!”

Language, Gibson..” Bennu warned him and I saw in my rear view mirror him make an embarrassed expression and he smiled towards her.

“Sorry..” He apologized and I smirked, seeing Lucy pull into our driveway then and I pulled in after her.

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“Alright, time for bed, everyone,” Bennu announced once we all got inside.

“Whyyyyyyyy, I’m not tired!” Gareth contested as he walked the slowest up the stairs to his room.

Now, young man,” Bennu added sternly and I looked to her briefly with lust as she always took such good control over them all. Despite Bennu not being Gareth and Gibson’s mother, they listened to her as if she were Faline and I was grateful that they were so compliant to her words just as they were to mine. ” Goodnight,” she added and the three of them replied just the same.

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I looked back over to Bennu when I heard the boys and Bahiti’s bedroom doors close, seeing her still smiling from whatever was on her mind and I tightened my grip around her waist a little more. “Did you enjoy yourself today?” I wondered.

“Yes, very much. I never thought I’d ever roller skate before, it was quite the experience,” she replied with a light chuckle.

“You didn’t even fall once, either. You’re a natural,” I complimented and she looked up to me with a soft smirk. 

“Were you all right today? You sat on the bench outside watching the boys for quite some time. You seemed like you were thinking very hard,” she asked and I lost some of the happiness to my smile.

“Yeah.. I’m fine. I was just.. Thinking about work,” I replied, lying.

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Bennu turned towards me and frowned softly, “Today was a relaxing day, you shouldn’t have worried about work at all,” she replied with a quieter tone and I could tell she felt sorry for me.

“I know, I’m sorry..  There was just a lot on my mind today that I couldn’t seem to shake,” I answered.

“Well, let me help you forget it even more,” she suggested, pushing herself up taller and pressing her lips to mine softly, bringing my hands up to the sides of her neck and returning the kiss without contest.

After a few long passionate seconds, I disconnected our lips and hoisted her into my arms effortlessly and she let out a giddy laugh, “You’re comin’ upstairs with me now, my gorgeous wife,” I added, Bennu holding on as her fingers played with the hair on the back of my head and I brought her quickly up the stairs and into our room.

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It never ceases to amaze me on how I got so lucky. Despite my life seeming like a terrible roller caster ride with more downs than ups and loopholes even I myself have a hard time getting passed, things have smoothed out and I feel as if I’ve finally got my life in control. My children are amazing and I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome to the mistakes I’ve made. Lucy, Gareth, Gibson, Bahiti; they’re all what keeps me sane in this fucked up life of mine and now I have Bennu to thank for making me into the decent man I am today. She keeps me level, honest, and out of trouble; I don’t know what I would do without her.