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.
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.
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.
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..
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.”
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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..
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.
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..
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
“Daaaaaaaad.. Come on, we just wanna go to the movies or something.”
“Or something..?” I questioned a little more sternly.
“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.
“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.
“Midnight.” My final offer.
“Okay, midnight.” Lucy confirmed and I leaned in to peck her forehead.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.