Generation 2, Chapter 20, Finale Pt 1 of 2

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I always told myself I hated coming here, to the one spot where I knew there was nothing I could do to change anything, but I still kept coming back. No matter how much I starred at my mother’s grave, I knew I’d never see her again. Yet, when I looked at my father’s headstone, why was he the only one that chose to show themselves? Why not my mother? Out of all the advice I could ever think of asking for, she was the one I wanted solace from, the only one who could calm me back down to a more rational state. Out of all the people in my life, my mother was the only one who’s opinion mattered to me. Even my own wife couldn’t do my mind justice and so far, it seemed a little weird to me that even she couldn’t since I’ve been with her for more years than I ever even knew my mother. But, like the old saying goes, mother knows best, I don’t plan on disappointing her anymore. I admit that looking back on all of it now, if I had never lost my parents, my life would more than likely be completely different and probably going up a more genuine and fulfilling path with less chaos and torment, but there was no way to change any of that now. I am where I am, but that’s what scares me so much, too.

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The annoying rain didn’t help my already agitated mood. I should be happy, my father hasn’t showed his soul-quivering face around me since the night that Lucy had gotten home from college, which was roughly a week ago and she’s back there now to take her finals. But what bothered me more was why he suddenly just stopped. He goes as far as to come back from the dead and toy with me from beyond the grave after all the pain he’s already caused me and my sisters. And now, he’s nowhere to be found. What the hell is he trying to prove to me? Why does he try so hard to go out of his way to treat me like this? 

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I came here to talk to my mother, to let go of some stress and to maybe feel like I have nothing to worry about when seeing Mrs. Hughes after all of these years. I took Lucy’s advice and knew something wasn’t right, but I haven’t told anyone that I’m trying to seek help again like when I was little. I wanted to come here and tell my mother my plan to get better, how I won’t let anyone else but me control my life, but I can’t focus. Every glance that I try not to do towards my father’s grave only makes me think about him more and wonder why, out of the passed 4 years of constant torment, was he not here now? I don’t know how long I was standing there, feeling my expressions turn from one emotion to the next as I try to contemplate if I’m doing the right thing. When my father was around, he tried to convince me to do the most unthinkable things and it helped me say no to not only him, but to myself as well. But now, without him here, telling me either to go to Mrs. Hughes or don’t, I don’t know if what I’m about to do is going to be what he wanted or not.

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The longer I stood there, the more I realized that nothing was going to become of itself unless I act. As I looked down to my parent’s graves, the ground below me getting softer and I had sunken in a little to the soil soaked by rain, I decided that it was finally time to leave and try to figure out if going to Mrs. Hughes was the best thing for me. Maybe if I went there just once and see how it went, things might get better, or things might get worse. If they get worse or if I don’t feel some kind of change, I just won’t go there again. If things go well, then maybe there still is a chance for me to let all of this go and just live out a normal life with my family.

I left their graves and went back to my car, turning it on and letting the inside warm up a little before making the fifteen minute drive into the city to see Mrs. Hughes. Even as my fingers grew warm and the heat had brought me back to a comfortable temperature, my hands shook the slightest bit and I rubbed my hands together roughly to get it to stop, or at least to keep me from seeing it.

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I got to Mrs. Hughes’ office and walked in, shutting the door behind me as to not let in anymore of the chilly winds from outside. A grimace took over my face when I looked around and up towards the second floor where I knew she was. I looked back briefly towards the front door and did just as I did when I was here as a child, I looked back at it and contemplated bolting out and not giving this a chance at all. But, the moment I did, I could hear the secretary calling out my name to say Mrs. Hughes was ready for our appointment. My mother was the majority of the reason why I came here in the first place. She’d want me to go. I guess I have my mother’s intuition when it comes to knowing something isn’t quite right with me.

The secretary wasn’t here today. It being a Saturday, this might be her day off, so was Mrs. Hughes here all on her own? The door was open, but maybe they just forgot to lock it? 

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I finally made my hesitant ascent up the stairs and could almost hear my mothers footsteps going up the steps before me, waiting for her to reach back and tousle my hair as to calm me down, knowing I didn’t want to do this. But, I felt nothing. I stepped down the hallway and stopped at Mrs. Hughes’ door, but before going in, I looked over towards the couch by the window and could picture my mother sitting there just as she had done before. I had asked her why she wasn’t coming with me, but she told me I needed privacy. I could hear the next thing she said to me back then over and over in my head now, “Go on, it’ll be fine. I’ll be right out here if you need anything at all..”

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Her words were like a symphony now instead of how it sounded like just a sweet lullaby back then. I could picture her encouraging smile, hear the hum of her soft nature as she gestures me to go forward. At first I was nervous, ashamed a little, even terrified that whatever I said wouldn’t stay behind this closed door and somehow my father would know and only resent me more. My mother’s words repeated again and I took a deep breath, feeling the nerves within me calming again and I was ready to step through the door of the office and try to get help for myself.

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I opened the door slowly and quietly, seeing that the light in her office was on and I knew she was there. I opened it more and the door didn’t so much as creek in the slightest, keeping my presence unknown for the time being. I saw Mrs. Hughes sitting on her sofa, the one I had sat on so long ago and old memories filled my mind as I looked around the room. The room still smelled of old lady perfume that seemed to have gotten more potent and aged over the years, just as Mrs. Hughes had. The last time I had seen her it was at Lana’s funeral and we only had a few-minute chat and then I left. 

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I shut the door behind me quietly and Mrs. Hughes still seemed to not notice me, continuing to stick her nose in the book she was reading and I stepped more into the room. I cleared my throat louder than needed and she looked up, closing her book and adjusting her glasses to try better at making out who I was. “Yes? Can I help you?” She asked and it took me a moment to speak up.

“Mrs. Hughes, it’s Jason.. Dubois?” I eventually replied. 

She squinted her eyes a little to help focus better and soon a smile spread across her lips, “Jason! It’s wonderful to see you!” She said happily, catching me off guard a little, but I soon smirked in return as to not be impolite.

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Mrs. Hughes made her way over to me, holding out her arms and requesting a hug as she continued talking, “My goodness, it’s been years since I’ve seen you. How have you been?” She asks as I hug her in return warmly.

“I’ve been all right.. Lucy is taking her finals now in college.. So are the twins and my youngest daughter in high school.. I couldn’t be more proud, I know they’ll all do wonderful,” I replied with a confident grin.

“My gosh, are they all to that point already? It must be driving you mad with all those young adults running around the house,” she said with a gentle cackle.

“Oh, it’s not so bad.. I love having them around, even if Bennu and I want to rip our hair out sometimes,” I replied with a chuckle, “Enough about me, how about yourself?” I wondered back.

“Good.. Very good, don’t worry about an old woman like me when you already have enough on your shoulders.. You seem well, though, you get more and more handsome every time I see you,” she compliments and I let out a soft chuckle.

“Not as beautiful as you with each passing day,” I replied.

“Oh, come now..” She contested with rosy cheeks, “Well, don’t let my blabbering keep you from making yourself at home. Please, sit, dear,” she offers and I nod in acceptance.

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I took a seat where she was upon the sofa and she took the single chair to my left, the one she always sat in during any of her sessions. “So what brings you back here at this time? Usually I don’t make appointments on Saturdays and just look over my patient files. Or, like you’ve caught me, catching up on a relaxing read,” she chuckled gently.

“Oh, well I apologize for intruding. I was just hoping to catch you and maybe ask for a little help. Like old times,” I answered and her wide smile faded just slightly.

“Like old old times?” She questioned and I nodded. “Well then, please.. Continue. What’s on your mind? The last thing was discussed was you talking about your father, we even tried the hypnosis, didn’t we?”

“Yeah, I don’t remember what happened though. You’ll have to remind me,” I replied and she nodded slowly, her eyes wandering around the room as she tried to remember.

“Well.. While in hypnosis, you were in your bedroom and there was a baby boy crying. You couldn’t open the door to leave, you heard your father talking to someone, a dog barking. Your father came in to calm the baby and to get him to go back to sleep. You got a little rattled, hearing your father coming back up the stairs after leaving the room and you hid in a corner. You said the dog sounded scared. That’s when you started not to respond calmly anymore and I was forced to wake you up.” She replied and I was impressed by how much she remembered of the situation for it being almost 35 years ago.

“I had been seeing the dog before my mother brought me here, that’s the biggest reason why we came..” I honestly answered, “I still saw him after I left here and he helped my sisters and I escape my house before, from what I’ve come to believe, my father was able to blow it up. I still don’t know if my sisters were telling the truth, that they really did see the dog like I did, or if they were only humoring me.. But, either way, we got out.”

Mrs. Hughes seemed bothered by the news, but she didn’t act on whatever she was honestly thinking, “So, are you seeing the dog again? Is he what brought you here for more help?” She asked and I withdrew from her a little, looking down to my lap and eventually shaking my head ‘no’.

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“Then, what is it, Jason?” She continued.

It took me a moment to reply, she would only think I was crazy, but then again, I came here to get help and withholding anything now would render this visit pointless. “I’ve been, um.. Seeing my father, instead..”

“I see. What does he say to you? How often does he just show up?” She wondered, seemingly not wavered by my words, so I continued with less hesitation.

“He’s.. He’s been telling me to do things that I just can’t do. But it’s driving me up a wall because no matter how many times I say no, he continues to persist as if I’ve never told him no in the first place. It’s an ongoing loop that just never seems to stop.. He used to show up only every now and then, but the more years pass, the more I see him, and I’ve been seeing him for a while every day up until about a week ago.”

“Well, if he’s gone now, then why have you come? Do you think he’ll come back at some point, maybe you won’t have control?” She wondered and I thought for a moment before finally nodding.

“Yeah, I just.. I don’t know what’ll happen the next time I see him, or if I’ll be able to stop whatever he tells me to do,” I replied.

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“Well, how do you usually feel when your father comes? Are you sad or angry? Lonely?” She asks and I think for a moment.

“I’m never lonely or really that sad. I suppose it’s when I’m stressed or mad,” I reply.

“So you’re already angry when he shows up and he only increases your anger then, would you say that’s correct?”

“Yeah.” I replied quickly, seeing that maybe we were getting somewhere.

“It seems to me that you still hold on to your father more than you may think. As much as you might resent him, hasn’t he been someone that you’ve maybe strived for approval from?” She suggested and I grew a little angered. “I know you may be a little reluctant to believe this, but maybe you wanting to make your father proud is passed the time you’re able to, so you go to him now for approval since you didn’t get to when you were a child. All you did was stay away from one another, but didn’t you always, somewhere deep down, want to find a happy medium with him?” She continued. As much as I hated to think about it, the last time I saw my father was when he and my mother were telling my sisters and I goodnight before he carried out his gruesome plan. I had asked them for a puppy, something to distract me from seeing Archor and my parents had agreed, my father was first to say yes. He compromised for me, agreed to give me something that would make me happy and maybe even like him more, but at the same time, I feel like he was only doing that to give us something happy to think about when we went to bed before he murdered us all. Mrs. Hughes’ voice snapped me out of my thoughts, “Jason, would you want to try hypnosis once again? We seemed to get pretty far when you were a child, maybe we could surface some more things now that you’ve matured?” She offered and I nodded, agreeing to her logic and we went through the routine there was to put me under.

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“Jason..? Can you hear me?”

“Yes.”

“Where are you? What do you see?”

“I’m in the backyard. My mother is scattering hay for her horse. She takes a break and looks over to me. Her smile is as bright as the sun.”

“How old are you?

“I.. I think I’m 5.”

“Good.. What else do you see?”

“My mother comes over to me and throws me around. I’m laughing.. She takes me inside and puts me on the couch to watch TV. My father is in the kitchen and she goes to him, but they.. They start fighting.”

“Why? What are they talking about?”

“I can’t hear them. My father’s voice is so low, my mother only speaks a loud whisper so I don’t hear.”

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“What’s happening now?”

“I get off the couch. I’m mad. Madder than I’ve ever been.”

“What do you do? Why are you mad?”

“I go towards the kitchen. I want to stop their fighting. I want my father away from her.”

“Jason, it’s all right.. Calm down,” Mrs. Hughes says as I can feel myself squirm in discomfort.

“It’s my first time standing up to him. I want him to stop, but he grabs her arm. I’m scared.”

“Scared? Scared of your father? Scared for your mother? Yourself?”

“I.. I just want him to stop.. Stop it! STOP!”

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My eyelids flew open and the whole room had changed. I felt.. So different. My entire body was hot with rage. I could remember Mrs. Hughes and I talking, I was calm.. Yet out of nowhere there was this anger inside of me that I couldn’t extinguish. I was out of my realm of comfort. I had felt this before.. But where? When? ..Why?

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“Do you feel it?” I heard Mrs. Hughes voice, yet it felt as if my ears had been plugged and her words were muffled.  I could make out what she was saying, but barely.

“Feel.. What?”  I asked, blinking harshly a few times as I looked to her and I sat up slowly. I looked around the room, noticing that the whole room had grown heavy and it seemed as if gravity had increased tenfold. It was hard to move, like how you feel in a dream, like when you want to do something so bad but your blows are lessened greatly and it feels as if you’re causing no change at all.

“The anger.. That hate.. You feel that, don’t you?” She asked, yet her voice grew deeper and more menacing. 

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I looked back to where Mrs.Hughes was sitting and my eyes widened in shock when I saw my father, “How do you feel, son?” He asked, his voice getting less muffled and easier to hear as he continued his words, “Do you feel at ease where you are?”

“No.. Of course not. I feel terrible,” I replied angrily, “Why the hell are you here!? Now out of all times to show up!” I yelled.

“Calm down, Jason.. You’re only acting on what you’ve been feeling from day one. Hatred.”

“Shut up! Why are you here? Where is Mrs. Hughes!?” I demanded to know.

“She’s here. But she can’t help you anymore. Only I can. Weren’t you worried that you’d never see me again?”

“Pah! Don’t put yourself so high on a pedestal, you piece of garbage,” I replied angrily.

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“Come now, Jason.. I can’t be all that bad. You once wanted to accept me just as much as you wanted acceptance from me, is that not true?” I held my tongue, not wanting to give him the satisfaction he much desired. “See? Even now you dare not talk back to me when you were so willingly able to when you were younger. You just wanted attention, didn’t you? ..Well, now you have it.” He continued.

I didn’t know what to say really. That could’ve been the right answer, then again I was never sure of what I wanted.. I was too young to realize, but now at a grown age, not knowing anything that may have been, I had no idea what I wanted from him anymore. “Why are you here? What the hell do you want..?” I asked in a defeated tone, my comprehension of things seemingly at a loss.

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“You know damn well what I want!” He raised his voice, stirring me a little and I hate to admit that I flinched in fright towards him, “You know what you must do yet you refuse to admit it!”

“I will not kill my children!” I yelled back, recalling what he has always told me now, “I’m not you! I can’t act on something when I don’t believe it! I’m not crazy, and neither are my boys. Just leave them out of it. Leave them out of it all!”

“Like I have a choice! If it were up to me, I’d let them live. But they are an abomination. So are you, and so am I! Stop denying it and see it for what everything really is, dammit! Stop being so stupid and get rid of the things that are only going to cause more pain like everyone else in this family before you has done!” He called back, refusing to back down from what he’s been telling me for the passed 4 years of first seeing him.

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“No..” I tried to reply calmly, “Nothing you can say will make me change my mind about my sons or my own life,” I replied, seeing him get more angered and he stood to his feet. Adrenaline forced itself throughout my body and I wanted to stand as intimidatingly as he had, yet for some reason I couldn’t move my legs. 

“How dare you talk to me like I am a stranger passing you by on the sidewalk! I am your father and you will do as I say! Whether you choose to believe it or not, this is the truth and it is what needs to be done, Jason! The sooner you realize that, the better!” He yelled back, his booming voice no different and still completely terrifying just as it was when I was a child. But, I wasn’t a child anymore, I had my own family to protect and he hasn’t been a part of it ever since he died when I was still but a few years younger than being a teen. I’ve told him no before, I can do it again.

“Everything is my choice now, my decision! Not yours! These are not your children to just do as you wish with them and cast them out like a common piece of trash!” I retaliated.

“Don’t worry Jason, since you’re not man enough to do it, I’ll just have to do everything myself!” He threatened, catching my full attention. I knew he wasn’t real, I knew he wasn’t there, but his words were something I couldn’t escape and just what he’s been able to do to me proved that maybe he could do worse to my children. I grew.. So angry.. So, so enraged.

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“You.. Will not, touch them!” I yelled with a voice I was unfamiliar with myself, even though it came from me. I jumped up from my seat upon the sofa and lunged at him, quicker than he could react and before he could stop me, my right hand was tightly clenching his throat and I refused to let go. His hand clawed at my wrist, but it held tight even under his immense pressure in trying for it to stop and I could feel my grip only tightening around the strained tendons in his neck. I never wanted him to get away, not this time, not again. He can’t leave me now and I finally have him where I want him. He’s at my every whim, he’s at my mercy where there is absolutely none and I hope he soon realizes that there is no hope for him anymore. There is no getting out of this. What happens, happens, and what happens is final. I won’t let him control me anymore.

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I managed to keep my grip on his throat but the more he pulled back, the more I lost my balance and I tumbled slightly over the fabric covered table that doubled as a coffee stand, falling over him but making complete sure that my hand never let up upon his throat. I fell over the coffee table and on top of him, straddling him and my left hand was then brought to his throat without a second thought. I clenched as hard as I could, hearing his throat gurgle and beg for air, but the more air he let escape from his lungs, the tighter my grip became and it was impossible for him to breathe. He reached out, flailing his arms and squirming his legs as if to try to get free, but the struggle he put up for air was more than the struggle to get free, causing him to ultimately give in to me and cease fighting.

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It took longer than I’d like to admit to make sure my father was dead for the second time, and for good. The moment I felt his last dying breath, I felt calm, almost euphoric in a way and I couldn’t describe how happy I was. I was nostalgic. I couldn’t feel his strong struggling heartbeat under my fingertips anymore but I continued my wrath, making sure there was no return after he had fallen unconscious. For the first time in my life, I was proud of myself. I even maybe thought that my father himself would be proud of me for overcoming such a terrible, gut-wrenching obstacle. Is it all over? Am I.. Can I go on with my life? Can I live without you on my shoulder every day now? Please, let it be true.. I shut my eyes for a long moment, trying to gather myself as I still knelt over my once again dead father, trying to breathe, trying to make sense of everything. But, I opened my eyes and the last thing I had ever wanted lying before me upon the hard, thin carpeted ground.

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“M-M.. M-Mrs.. Mrs. Hughes..?” My throat caught multiple times, speaking in a struggled whisper as a gasp then engulfed my lungs.

         She was dead..

I had killed her..

         I..

But.. No! She was.. My father was.. He was there! He was.. He was the one I was strangling the life out of.. He was the one that drove me to this.. He..

       He won..

He had finally won..

                He showed me who I was..

He proved to me that I’m no better than him, I’m no better than my murderous sons..

               He.. 

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“O-Oh, God.. What.. What have I done!?” I called out, scooting as fast as I could away from Mrs. Hughes’ limp body until my back reached the softened coffee table. This.. This is what my father wanted, he wanted to show me what I was capable of when everything was out of my own control. This.. This needs to stop! How do I stop it? “Oh, God..”

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I couldn’t fully grasp what I was looking at. I had killed Lana, and now I’ve killed her mother, the woman that introduced me to her daughter and I thought I had fallen in love with. It was a false love, but what else do you feel when you’re so close to someone and find out they’re pregnant with your child, even to find out later in life that it’s not yours? I was thinking of everything.. Why did Lana trick me? Why did I act like I never knew Lucy wasn’t mine when I knew she wasn’t from the very beginning? Why did I continue to nurture them both when neither of them technically were my responsibility? Why did I murder Lana? Why is Lucy still here? Why does she love me after what I’ve done to her and hers? “What do I d-do now?” I continued to quiver and contemplate what I should do. There was nothing else I could do. She was dead, I made sure of that thanks to my father. There was no bringing her back and I didn’t know what to do.. What do I do!?

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I.. I panicked. I’m a coward, over emotional.. I can’t handle this.. I just can’t! I stood quickly from the floor, jumping over Mrs. Hughes’ still limp body and I rushed out of the door. Tears still falling down my face, I didn’t know what to think or how to grasp myself back on solid land when everything felt so thick and made of mold. Each step that I took running away from her felt as if I was running through sand. That hard, forced, muscular pace I needed to keep up weighed down on my thighs and it was hard.. So, so hard to get away from it.

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Running down the stairs felt like running down a rocky waters edge leading down to a deep pool in which you’ll never get out of. My feet kept slipping and I couldn’t seem to get a good grip anywhere.. On the way down the stairs, I contemplated stopping, calling the police, telling them I found her this way, but I couldn’t.. I just couldn’t.. I couldn’t look at her lifeless body again and I couldn’t talk to anyone about what I had seen. I couldn’t lie. I was too fucked up now to even try to be good at it. I’d fail. I’d be the laughing stock. The moment I reached the bottom of the stairs, I knew there was no going back. The moment my feet hit the carpet, I dashed through the small lobby and rushed out the door, running to my car and pulling out my keys from my pocket, yet stumbling to stop my fast pace when they fell to the grass from losing my shaky-handed grip on them. I knelt down quickly and gripped my keys along with a handful of grass and dirt, continuing to race to my car then and I pressed the unlock button as hard as I could multiple times. I got into the car and slammed the door shut, my quickened breathes making my chest work harder than normal and I felt as if I could vomit at any moment.

I’m panicking.. Slow down.. Calm down.. You didn’t..

“You didn’t mean to kill her.. It.. It was an accident..” I said out loud quietly to myself, hoping it would calm me, but it only did a little and not nearly as much as I needed it to. I started the car and backed out as calmly as I could, only to almost back into oncoming traffic that I either failed to acknowledge or even care was there. I had no idea what state I was in. I was bothered beyond belief, I could barely drive, and I had just killed someone.. 

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The only place that I saw fit to hide my dismay was my own home.. By this time, the twins were either sleeping or still out doing whatever they do.. Bahiti was for sure asleep, and Bennu was either asleep on the big couch in the living room from watching a movie, or she was asleep in our bedroom.. Knowing my family, I knew the boys weren’t home, I knew Bahiti was asleep, and for how long I’ve been gone, Bennu was asleep on the cough in the living room. I could go upstairs without a fuss and I could hopefully gather my thoughts and try to think of what to do with all that has happened. I pulled into the driveway, waiting for the stupid gate that opens for what it seems three inches a minute and I finally pulled in after my car could fit through the very small opening that I couldn’t wait to get any wider. 

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I came in through the front door silently and I heard nothing throughout the house, causing me to lessen my panic only slightly and I rushed upstairs with light feet, barely causing a sound on the steps I touched. I finally reached my room, running in and closing the door quickly yet quietly and I noticed that I was right, Bennu was probably asleep downstairs on the couch and I could let loose. My eyes never stopped watering, yet once I realized I was alone, my tears fell harder than ever and I couldn’t stop them.. I was horrified by what I had let happen, but more so on what I had done to my daughter.. My little Princess Lucy.. I had killed her mother.. And now, I’ve killed her only other relative that was close to her.. What kind of person am I? …Is this what I was always meant to do? Is this what my father has wanted me to be..? Nothing more than a plain old insane killer?

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I could barely breathe, I could barely contain myself. My knees buckled and I couldn’t support my own weight anymore. I had.. I had just killed someone.. I had just killed someone. My father warned me of with so many times before.. “Just off yourself! Everything will be fine if you’re gone!” Maybe he was right..? Maybe I should’ve just taken my own life. Maybe I could’ve stopped it all together. My sons, they’re.. They’re killers.. I’m a killer.. I’m the one everyone should be afraid of, not my father that no one else can see but myself.. I’m trying to protect my family, trying to protect all that I have left, yet I just killed someone wrongfully for what my father put into my head.. What the hell am I? What the fuck am I supposed to do with this kind of stress!? This kind of torment? This kind of absolute nothing that I’ve been dealing with all of my life? How am I supposed to stop anything bad from happening to my boys? To my wife? To my entire family!?

What the fuck do I do!?” I yelled at myself, wanting to vomit and having this constant gagging feeling in my throat, yet nothing would come out. Nothing would give me relief. Nothing would give me solace in the horrific situation of which my father has put me into.. This horrific situation I have willingly put myself into.

Generation 2, Chapter 19

Lucy’s POV

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The alarm within my dorm room went off and it was almost 6:00am, stirring me awake and I nudged my boyfriend, Lewis, in bed with me, “Time for practice, babe..” I said softly with a still tired tone. It’s my senior year of college and I’ve been working hard to get my Science and Medicine Degree for the past four years. I only have a few weeks left until graduation, but I’m not staying until the year runs out, I’m headed home today to see my family for the weekend, then coming back for all of my finals. 

Lewis and I met our Freshman year and have been inseparable since, we’re the most well known couple in the entire campus with me being popular and him the star quarterback on the college football team. Lewis is my first serious relationship and for how well things have been going, there’s no doubt in my mind that I want to marry him. But, he’s never met any of my family, and I’m not sure I want him to.

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I got out from under the covers after him and sat up, needing to get ready for my last class in an hour before I head home later. Things have been severely rocky at home and I don’t particularly like going there too much anymore, but I have to. The twins are always getting in trouble with being Seniors in High School now and acting like they’re the top dogs, I always tell them to put their rulers away and start acting like young men, but it’s hard to get through to them with their huge egos. Bahiti is as sweet and gentle as ever, still a beautifully shy girl and a Senior like the twins, yet she’s grown a little more reserved and wants to be alone most of the time. Bennu has been nothing less than a strong mother to care for all of us since Faline has passed and she’s been working extra hard on trying to keep the boys in line. Even though they never really did listen to Faline, they listen to Bennu more and you can tell that even she struggles sometimes. I look up to Bennu, she’s never once given me a reason to believe that she wouldn’t try her absolute hardest to make this family stay together, but sometimes there’s things that even the kind-hearted and strong-willed can’t handle.

Dad.. He’s.. Different. He started acting weird after I had been accepted into the college that he went to, and I knew a little why now. Freshman year when I first started was a little hard, a lot of the same teachers that taught my Dad were still here and they had nothing but bad things to say about him, though not to my face. I heard everything little by little through the grapevine and it seems that my Dad was, for lack of a better word, a slut around campus. He hardly ever did his school work either, most of the professors here were astonished when they found out he was graduating; finding out he had a daughter now, too, convinced them that I was going to be no different, but over the years I’ve managed to prove to them that I’m really nothing like my Dad, so things have gotten way better for me here. At first, I thought my acceptance into here and knowing I would hear rumors about him scared him and he didn’t want me to go here for college, but still even after I showed him how well I was doing and lying to him about not hearing anything regarding him, he’ still not the same and has been getting worse.

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“Come here,” Lewis said softly; I’m sure he could tell I was bothered by how long I was sitting on the bed doing nothing. I stood from the bed and went over to him and he pulled me into a tight, warm hug, “It’ll be okay today. Just try not to think about it so much and it’ll go a lot easier..” He tried to comfort, but him saying that only made me think about it more. I’ve told him a little bit about my family, he knows more about my siblings and Bennu than he does about my Dad, and my Dad is the one who Lewis knows makes the trip more difficult for me, even if he has no idea why. 

“I know.. It’s just hard to go back there all the time, it’s like I’m entering a completely different world and I can’t do anything to make it better,” I replied.

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“Whenever you want me to finally come with you, I’d be more than happy to. You know I still want to meet everyone, I’d especially love to meet your Dad and tell him what a perfect and beautiful daughter he’s raised,” Lewis answered and I couldn’t hold back a smile.

“I know.. Just.. Not yet,” I replied, seeing Lewis nod in understanding and he pulled me into a long kiss. 

“Are we still meeting up later before you leave?” He wondered and I nodded.

“Yeah, have fun at practice. I’ll see you later,” I answered with another smile and he smirked, kissing my lips once more and gathering his belongings to go to football practice.

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I walked into my bathroom after Lewis had gone and shut the door behind me, going straight to the tub and turning the water on so I could bathe before class. As the tub filled with hot water that soon caused my mirrors to steam over, I got out of my nightgown and tied my hair up, turning the water off as the tub grew full and I stepped in with anticipation. Baths were one of my favorite things in the world, they helped me relax when nothing else could and the warmth that surrounded me always calmed my scattered and troubled mind. There was always something for me to think about, whether it was Lewis, my grades, my friends, my siblings or my Dad, a bath usually was able to help me let it all go, at least for the duration I would be able to relax in it; the moment the plug was pulled from the drain, it all would come rushing back.

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Dad let me borrow his car while I’m here because he is convinced that keeping mine at the house would keep it in good shape for whenever I wouldn’t be at college anymore, though I think the real reason he gave his car to me was so that I had a reason to come home. I wish he hadn’t, this car is what I take so many times in one day and it smells like him; even if I needed to go somewhere to get away from it all, he’d still always be implanted in my mind wherever I went. 

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I always excelled in my classes and I always passed them with flying colors. When I’m in class, it’s the only real time I feel like I can get peace because my mind is focused on learning and challenging myself. Yet, of course, my luck runs out in the last class I have before I go home; the teacher is Mr. Dill, a friend of my dad’s from his old college days and now all I can think about is Dad again. His first name is Auturo I think, he’s talked to me before about my Dad and he was surprised just like everyone else to know that the notorious Jason Dubois had a daughter. But, he was a nice man, strict, but nice, and sometimes he favored me over everyone else.

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My eyebrows began to furrow and my bottom lip tried to quiver as the threat of tears formed in my eyes, but I shut my eyelids quickly to keep them in and took a deep breath. “Lucille, still with me?” Mr. Dill asked of me and I slowly opened my eyes, looking to him and nodding gently in response and he then continued his teachings. I took a few more deep breathes, trying to ignore everything but what was being taught so I could make it through this class without needing to be excused.

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After my class, I went to the nearest cafe and ordered something sweet for my late breakfast. Key Lime pie helped calm me a little from all of my nerves today, it reminded me of Bennu since her Key Lime pies were amazing and her cooking had now became one of my favorites next to Dad’s cooking, but he doesn’t do that too much anymore; he doesn’t like to be anywhere near the stove now-a-days, I don’t know why.. 

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After my slice of a brief heaven and before I got the chance to leave the cafe, my cell phone went off and Bennu was calling me. I smirked softly and answered, “Hey, how’s it going?”

Good, good.. How are your classes?” She wondered.

“Going well, just got out of my last class and I’m about to head back to my dorm to get ready and come visit.”

Vonderful! I can’t wait to see you, Lucy, your father is very excited as well,” she said happily and I kinda needed that, it made me feel a little better about going there.

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“How is Dad? Is he doing any better?” I asked, hearing a silence over the phone.

He.. He’s okay. He’s in our room right now resting.. Don’t worry about him, though, you just enjoy your last few hours at college and we’ll see you around 9:00pm. You’re still coming around that time, yes?” She answered.

“Yeah, I’ll leave around 6:00 so I can get home around that time.” I replied, then hearing commotion in the background and it was the boys by Bennu, both of them wanting the phone from her so they could talk to me. I let out a sigh at how childish they were despite how they constantly acted like suave little assholes. One of the boys had gotten the phone from Bennu and I listened to see who it was.

Lucy, bring Cara home with you,” Gareth demanded and I then heard Gibson in the background, “Bring her home for me, not Gareth!” “Shut up, I called dibs on her first!”

“You guys are idiots..” I began, “What makes you think Cara wants either of you?” I asked.

Please, Luce? Just put in a good word for me then,” Gareth tried to compromise and I rolled my eyes.

“Goodbye guys, see you later!” I added, pulling the phone away from my ear though I could hear them both trying to stop me from hanging up, but I hung up on them anyways. “Morons..” I said with a smirk, sighing softly as I left the cafe to go back to my dorm.

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When I had gotten back and walked through the door, I looked upstairs where I noticed one of my roommates, Paris, walking around and I called up to her, “Paris, what are you up to?” I asked, seeing her stop and smile at me as I made my way up the stairs to her.

“Not much, honey, I was just about to get ready for Darrell to take me out. You and that fine man of yours should come on with, it’ll be a double date or somethin’,” she suggested, but I sighed softly, needing to turn the offer down.

“No, I can’t, sorry.. Lewis is at practice for a few more hours still and I need to get ready to go home for the weekend to see my family,” I replied and she nodded in understanding.

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“Well, all right.. How’s your dad doin’?” She asked next.

“He’s doing good..  I’m excited to see him,” I replied, though some of that sentence was a bit exaggerated. 

“You sure? Last time you got back from visiting them you didn’t talk to any of us for a few days.”

I looked to the ground briefly, looking back up to her and keeping a small smile, “Every family has their issues, I just try not to bring those problems back with me to school,” I answered.

“I hear ya.. Well, have fun at your folk’s, I’ll see you when you get back before finals,” Paris said with a smile.

“Thanks.. See ya,” I replied, watching her turn to go back into her room and I turn around as well to head into mine.

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After about a two hour nap, I was up and ready at around 4:00 to meet up with Lewis before I went home. I stood in front of my body mirror, making any other minor adjustments to my outfit, hair or makeup that I needed to before I left. I liked to wear more conservative and professional clothing around my family, especially my Dad. I didn’t want to be anything like my Mom. I didn’t want to act like her, look and dress like her, and I especially didn’t want to do anything she ever did when she was alive and my age out of spite. I loved my Mom, but she wasn’t a very nice person, nor did she ever even really want me around, especially when she had friends over. I remember when I was super young and the only time she would somewhat show a little love towards me was in front of my Dad.. I figured out a while ago why.

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I looked at the family portrait of a few years ago when we had all gone to the Summer Festival together, I knew back then as well that Jason wasn’t my real father. About once every year to two years, my Mom’s old friend Matt would come over to Dad’s place when Faline and him were still together and Matt would spend a little time with me and leave for a long time. The older I got, the more my eyes opened and I started realizing things about him and I that seemed just too similar to ignore. When I had reached my teen years, I started to question things more and ponder what was going on; I knew Matt liked me whenever he would stop by my moms place when I was little, but every time he visited me after Mom died and I was living with Jason, Matt seemed to come by less and less as the years passed and he began acting more and more like it was a chore to come and visit me. The day that I turned 18, Matt didn’t come over anymore at all. I’m not stupid or oblivious, I put two and two together and figured it all out myself. From what I knew of my Mom, she was an evil person, and now knowing that Jason isn’t my real father, I’ve always known Jason to have a lot of money and I knew my Mom took advantage of him every chance she could get.. Always buying new things for me, the condo, and especially herself; all that money was from Jason, too. I figured she lied to him, told him I was his daughter, and did it all just to get his money. I knew Matt was my real father, but Jason is the only man in my eyes that has treated me like the Princess he always calls me. I’ll never not be proud of my Dad for taking charge and taking care of what’s his, even if it was all a lie. I smiled at the photo, then turned around to leave my room and go meet up with Lewis.

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I came out of my room and noticed Cara, my other roommate and best friend since I was in grade school, had just came out of her room as well, wearing a dress she had borrowed from me a while ago I still never seemed to get back. “Damn, you look hot.. Where you headed?” I asked, walking over towards her with a smile on my face still. 

She let out a happy chuckle, “Thanks! Paris asked if I wanted to go out with her and Darrell so I’m meeting them at the bowling alley for drinks in a little bit. I know, I know, she left like, an hour or two ago, but I like to make a fashionably late entrance,” Cara replied and I laughed as she flipped her hair over her shoulder jokingly.

“That you do.. Going with anyone else? You seem a little too dolled up to just be the third wheel for bowling,” I hinted.

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“Just going like this to maybe catch a few glancing eyes, no harm in trying to meet someone while I’m there,” she replied with a wink. “Speaking of, how are those cute little brothers of yours?”

“Ugh, swooning over you like always.. They wanted you to come with me back home for whatever reason. Well, I know the reason, but uhh, gross..”

“Mm.. A little twin Dubois action? I’m all for it,” she answered with a laugh and my expression grew a little weary.

“Again.. Gross, Cara.. They’re my brothers, and you’re not coming with me,” I stated.

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“Aww, but they’re so cuuuttee! I wanna make a Dubois sandwich with those two,” She whined, but I rolled my eyes, showing her how annoyed I was.

“Wow.. Even more gross, Cara..”

Okay, okay, I’ll  stop..” She replied, then taking a moment to look at my outfit, “Where are you headed to wearing that?”

“Going out with Lewis for a little bit and then back to my house in Bridgeport to see everyone for the weekend. Try to have fun without me while I’m gone,” I teased her and she giggled.

“Don’t worry, I’m always the one that finds the fun for us when we go out anyways,” she teased back and I chuckled, watching her walk to the bathroom and I heard the front door opening downstairs, going to see who it was.

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I looked down the stairs to see Lewis, looking up at me with his charming smile and I walked downstairs to greet him, “Wow, babe.. You look very pretty,” he said with a smile and I blushed a little as I continued to walk down the stairs, throwing my arms around him in a hug and he pulled me down the few steps I had left to help me join him.

“Thanks.. How was practice?” I wondered, pecking his lips lightly and letting him go from the hug.

“Fine.. Boring, repetitive. Glad to be outta there and with you now,” he replied and I hummed a soft giggle. “Ready for some grub before your long drive?”

“Of course,” I answered, watching as he opened the front door for me and I exited before him to go to my car.

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Lewis and I got dinner together at the campus diner, staying there until it grew dark outside and it was passed 6:00. I was late to leaving, but Lewis and I were enjoying ourselves and I wasn’t ready to go home yet. He took hold of my hands and intertwined our fingers, pulling me closer to him, “You should get going, don’t you think? You don’t want to get there too late at night,” he suggested and I let out a soft sigh.

“You’re right.. Even though my Dad would stay up waiting for me until who knows what time,” I said with a light chuckle.

“Still, you shouldn’t make him wait. He’s going to think less of me and think I’m the one who made you late. I don’t want a bad impression with the guy when I haven’t even met him yet,” Lewis added with a smile and I sighed; he was thinking into it too much, my Dad doesn’t like anyone I date regardless.. Lewis moved in closer and kissed me for a few long seconds and I knew it was the kiss goodbye that I was trying to avoid. “I love you, Lucille.. Call me tomorrow or something, let me know how you’re doing,” Lewis continued and I smiled, nodding in agreement to his request and he kissed me one last time before I went back to my car.

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After grabbing a few things from my place before leaving, I was on the road and headed back home. I drove passed the campus one last time before pulling off, knowing that I’ll be back soon, but just wanting to get one more last look. The drive was nice and a little relaxing despite my Dad’s car smell all around me, continuously thinking about him every now and then whenever my mind got off track and unfocused. I wondered how things have changed back at home, or if they even have. Dad’s been mostly staying within the confines of his room, only coming out every so often to either go to work for a few hours only or to get something to eat. He’s never really been like this and as much as I hate to wonder, I can’t help but feel like this strange nature took hold of him after I left for college. The weird things he’s been doing and the way he’s been acting makes me wonder, too, if this has been going on for a while before that, none of us happened to notice it though. I admit I probably could’ve been a little oblivious to it, Dad and I were always close, but once I got into high school, I tended to drift more towards my friends than spending time with him; maybe that’s why I never noticed until the passed few years..

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Music helped drown out my thoughts as I drove, yet it was still hard to focus on anything but the family as I got closer and closer. There were so many stars out by the college, the air was crisp and I left my windows open to enjoy the breeze as I drove away from it, but the closer I got to the city, the worse it got. The atmosphere was thick and toxic, the familiar smell of public transportation and pollution from a cluttered city leaked into the car. The stars began to get harder and harder to see, and soon when I couldn’t see any, I knew I was close. The sky was lit but not by the sun; the city lights polluted the air and it still felt like it was around 6:00 instead of the car clock telling me a quarter to 10:00. As I drove down the bridge, I was only a minute or two away from getting home. I didn’t want to be there yet, I wanted to go back and see Lewis, finish my classes, graduate without anything negative on my mind, but, my family wanted to see me; what’s more important than family, anyways?

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When I got home, the first to greet me was Bahiti. She had grown into such a beautiful young woman and I can see so much of both Jason and Bennu in her. I envied her in a way, I envied that she was the actual daughter of him and I wasn’t; but, I never showed it or ever made her feel uncomfortable about it, I don’t think anyone really has a clue that I know I’m not Jason’s. “Hey! How have you been?” She greeted excitedly to me and I went straight to her for a hug.

“I’ve been good, and you?” I asked in return.

“Pretty good, I guess. The guys are driving me crazy like always,” she replied with a giggle and I gave one back with a sarcastic eye roll.

“Of course they are.. Where are those two anyway?”

“In the living room playing a game, which is surprising considering all they ever do is go out and drink.. It still boggles my mind on how they get it,” she replied and I let out an aggravated sigh.

“Those little..” I began, but stopped myself, “Whatever.. I’ll talk to them about that later..”

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“How’s your Mom?” I asked, giving a warm smile and wanting to get details before I saw my Dad.

Bahiti shrugged and sighed, though keeping a light smile, “She’s okay. She’s been with Dad all day, he didn’t go to work today. He hasn’t gone in a while, actually. I overheard them talking and I think Dad’s going to sell the bar,” she replied and my brows raised in curiosity. 

“Really..? Well, that’s good, right? That’s a good amount of money that’ll probably go towards your guys’ college educations. It’ll give him more time to be home, too.”

“Well, yeah.. But what’s the point of him being home if he’s just locked away in his room all day?” Bahiti asked in return and I suppose she had a point. But, despite him being home more and confining himself, they could all easily go to college anywhere they wanted, and I knew that’s what they all needed.

“Maybe he needs more time at home, maybe then he’ll come out of his room more often. Maybe he just wants to be home.. You’ll love college, too, I know you’ll do well,” I replied and she smiled, soon nodding in agreement.

“Which reminds me, I still have homework to do. Welcome home, Luce,” she said joyfully, smiling wide and I nodded in thanks as she ran up the stairs to her bedroom.

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Without me even needing to go to the living room to see the boys, they walked out from it and Gareth waved to me as Gibson followed him, “Hey, Lucy!” Gareth said happily and I smiled.

“Hey guys, how’s school going?”

“Good, though I noticed you forgot to bring someone with you,” Gareth replied, referring to Cara from our phone conversation earlier.

“Yeah, what’s wrong with you, Luce?” Gibson added and I scoffed.

“You two are so pathetic. Whatever happened to you guys going out and just having fun rather than just looking for tail?” I asked in a teasing tone.

“Searching for tail is fun, Luce. Sorry we’re not in serious relationships like you and Lewis,” Gareth rebutted and I didn’t want to argue with the subject anymore. As much as they were responsible young men sometimes, the childish nature always came back every now and then and they were horny little teenagers all over again with a one track mind.

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“Anywayyssss..” I stressed, “How’s Dad?” I asked, already getting one opinion, yet wanting everyone’s.

“Who knows..” Gibson replied softly.

“Exactly.. Who the fuck knows,” Gareth added, “He talks to everyone but us, really.. I feel like he’s been avoiding us for a long time. I don’t know what’s up his ass.. I seriously think I heard him talking to himself again a few days ago, too. What the hell’s going on with him?” He asked.

“I.. I don’t know.. I’m sure he’s not avoiding you guys. He probably is just realizing that we’re all growing up now and we’ll be leaving soon. He might just not want to face it.”

“And that makes him feel the need to talk to himself instead of us?” Gibson asked, unconvinced by my reasoning and I sighed softly.

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“Listen.. Dad’s had a hard life, okay? He had me when he was your guys’ age. He was going to college and supporting my mom with me and then you two came while he was still in college. My mom died, your guy’s mom died.. Those are two people he’s been close with and had children with. Then Bahiti came along with Bennu.. He’s had a lot going on his in life ever since he was little, too.. Now he has that bar to stress over and all of his kids are almost to the age where they’re going to be leaving and moving out. He’s probably worried, too, that he’s never going to see any of us again for whatever reason. That would make anyone act a little weird.. Don’t you think?” I replied and neither of the boys said anything then. “He’s not ignoring anyone.. He’s probably just trying to cope with everything now so it all doesn’t happen out of nowhere all at once. I plan on moving out after I graduate. You guys and Bahiti are all the same age pretty much and you all are probably going to move out around the same time, too.. It’s a family of 6 being cut down to 2 just like that. Just give Dad some space, whatever he needs. He’ll come around, I’m sure,” I finished and Gibson nodded in understanding as Gareth looked to him and shrugged.

“Whatever you say, Luce,” Gareth replied.

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“Well, it’s good to have you home, Lucy.. Maybe you can get through to him since we can’t,” Gibson added with a brief smirk, turning around then and going back to the living room and Gareth followed behind him. 

“What the hell is going on with you, Dad..?” I asked myself quietly aloud, watching the boys leave the foyer. I looked up to Dad’s bedroom door upstairs from where I was and grew a little nervous again, trying to find things to say to him and ask him but in ways that I won’t make him upset. I didn’t acknowledge the boys when they mentioned hearing Dad talking to himself in his room because I had heard it too before, but I never wanted to admit it to myself. It’s one thing to talk to yourself when doing a task or trying to figure where you left your keys, but it’s another thing to get angry. I came home early one time to surprise them but only Dad was home and I know I heard him arguing with someone, yet when I walked into his room, he was alone and his phone wasn’t even on him. I’ve been wanting to figure out for a while now who’s he been talking to and I haven’t told anyone else, but I think everyone might feel the same way and aren’t saying anything just like I’m not.

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Before I reached his bedroom door, I could hear Bennu talking to my Dad inside of their room, but before I could make out anything they were discussing, the door opened and Bennu walked out. I smiled when I saw her and she smiled warmly in return, walking towards one another and we hugged briefly, “It’s good to see you, Lucy, how has school been?” Bennu wondered as she let me go.

“It’s going really well, actually. I’m excited to be graduating soon,” I replied and she nodded.

“How’s Lewis? You two are still together, yes?” She asked next and I could feel my cheeks getting a little flushed.

“Yeah, we’re doing good, too..” I replied with a smile, “How are you and Dad?” I asked and I noticed the excitement in her eyes begin to lessen.

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“We’re.. Okay. It’s hard to get him out of the house or even spend a little time with him outside of the bedroom, he’s not telling me something and it’s beginning to worry me,” she answered.

“Bennu, I’m sure he’s okay.. I feel like he might be acting like this because almost all of us are grown up and ready to move out and do things for ourselves. I told the boys the same thing. Dad just doesn’t want to face the facts. He’s going to miss us a lot, but he’ll still always have you by his side, so know that I’m sure whatever he’s trying to deal with, it has nothing to do with you,” I tried to comfort her but she kept her worried expression.

“I just.. Don’t really know what to do anymore, Lucy.. He’s gotten more secretive and quiet around us, around me, too. He hasn’t been going to work at all really, I’m scared to ask him about it,” she continued.

“Scared? Why..?”

She held her tongue for a moment, trying to find the words, “I haven’t had a decent, normal conversation with your father in a while. I don’t know what’s going on with him anymore, and when I ask, he gets angry.. I find him getting harder and harder to deal with.”

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“Bennu.. Has he ever, umm.. Hurt you?” I asked, seeing her eyes widen a little.

“Oh, no, no.. He’s not violent now. I guess I’m more so worried if he will become that way if this keeps up,” she replied and I was a little shocked. “Sometimes his anger can get the best of him.. That’s usually when I give up and give him space. I hate fighting with him,” she continued.

“Yeah.. He can be a little overwhelming when he’s angry.. But, what do you think he’s angry about?” I asked, seeing her think for a moment and she soon shook her head.

“Honestly, I don’t know.”

“Have you ever heard him, um.. Talk to himself?” I wondered.

“A few times, yes. But I just assumed he was thinking out loud. Go see him, Lucy.. Maybe you can get him out of this weird funk he’s been in for a while,” Bennu suggested and I nodded in agreement. “I’ll be right downstairs if you need anything.. Welcome home, dear,” she continued and I smirked, nodding in thanks and she walked passed me and downstairs.

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I walked towards their bedroom door and already I could hear my Dad talking to himself which only worried me more. He seemed to only do it when he was alone and I noticed he tries to hide it from all of us, but I wanted to know why. I put my ear closer to the door and his voice was muffled, I couldn’t make out the words he was saying, but it sounded like he was arguing with someone.. Was he on the phone? I was a little nervous to knock or even see him at all because of the things that everyone’s been saying, but at the same time, him seeing me might make things better.. At least I hope it will.

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Jason’s POV

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Lucy’s coming home today from college to spend the weekend with us and then going straight back to take her finals before she graduates. I couldn’t be more proud of her. Although I hated her going to the same school I went to, she has been doing very well and I’m glad that I didn’t take her out of there and make her go to a different school. I’ve been having a hard time ever since Lucy went to college, the boys and Bahiti have barely been home as well since they like to go out a lot by themselves or with friends. I’m beginning to worry a little because Lucy was supposed to be here an hour ago and she usually isn’t late, but I don’t want to call her and be a bother. But, it’s not like I can even focus clearly about that anyways with my father always glaring at me. I can feel his eyes on the back of my head and it’s becoming a problem that I’ve been trying to keep under control for a few years now. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t see or hear from him at least once.

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“I don’t know what the hell you’re trying to accomplish by telling me stuff like this.. Why can’t you just leave? Never come back? I thought I was done with you the day you blew up the house. I was ready for you to be gone, yet here you are, continuing to make my life miserable..” I was so sick of my father constantly being with me, it was driving me nuts. 

“I can feel your frustration..”

“Wow, you think? I’m laying it on pretty fuckin’ thick here,” I rebutted.

“If you would just do as I ask, like a good son, then you wouldn’t have to worry about anything anymore,” he replied and I turned around to face him.

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“You’ve got to be joking, right? You’re one sick, twisted person, you know that? I don’t even know why I fucking talk to you.”

“That’s really what you believe? That I’m the twisted one? How many times do I have to repeat myself, Jason, before you finally figure it out..?”

“What the hell are you talking about? All that you’ve been doing is telling me to leave my family, or worse, off them like you did Mom! Why the hell would I do that? Why did you do it!?” I had to have asked that question a million times now to him, yet he still never gives me a straight answer, he always dances around the truth just to piss me off.

“You’ve read the newspapers.. You’ve watched the news channels. Bodies keep piling up higher and higher and you’re too ignorant to realize who’s doing it.”

“I..” I stopped, taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly, “The boys aren’t responsible for all of them. I’ve been keeping track, reading and watching the news, you’re right.. But, not every missing person or body found is them, I know it.”

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“So, instead of stopping them like you should, you’re ignoring it. Even though all of them may not be a kill under the boys’ belts, that doesn’t disregard the fact that they already have killed. It doesn’t matter if they’re done, or have stopped, what matters is that they’ve already done it. Get rid of them, Jason. You know it’s for everyone’s benefit,” my Dad replied and I let out a scoff.

“I’m not doing a damn thing to them.” I stated strongly.

“You’re still no better than they are. You have a kill under your belt, as well.. Or have you forgotten about Lana?” The moment he mentioned her name, my chest felt as if it was caving in and it was a little hard to breath. “How about you just get rid of the threats? Gareth and Gibson need to realize that the things they’ve done is unacceptable, and so do you. Kill them before they have any time to reproduce, then off yourself. Do the whole world a favor and get rid of this family name once and for all!” His voice raised a little and my blood was beginning to boil with rage, yet a knock at the door made my nerves outweigh the anger.

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I looked towards the door and watched it open slowly, seeing Lucy walk in and shut the door behind her. I felt as if I had been saved from the conversation with my father and I was grateful that she came when she did. “Lucy..” I said softly, my lips beginning to smile and she seemed happy to see me, though I could tell there was something bothering her.

“Hi, Dad.” She replied, both of us walking towards one another and I hugged her tightly, holding her for a few long seconds. I was overjoyed to see her, she was the only person that could change my mood entirely and help me think clearly. Perfect timing, too. “Where you on the phone with someone a minute ago?” She asked and I froze a little, releasing her from the hug and eventually nodding.

“Uh.. Yeah, I was talking to a buyer.. I’m thinking about selling the bar,” I replied. I lied to her about who I was talking to, but I wasn’t lying about selling the bar.

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“Oh, well that’s exciting, right? Are you glad to be selling it so you’ll be home more?” She asked and I nodded again.

“Yeah, it definitely is. I’ll be home more and have more money to give you all whatever you need. But, we can talk about that later.. How’s school going? How’s that boyfriend of yours..?” I asked.

“You know his name, Dad.. It’s Lewis, and yeah, we’re doing pretty good. School is fine, too. I can’t wait to be done with it.” She replied and I smiled while nodding, but my smile faded as I continued to observe her face. There was something bothering her and I wanted to know what it was.

“Are you sure you’re doing okay? You look.. Bothered by something,” I asked, concerned that she was holding something back from me.

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Lucy grew quiet and she hesitated, but she was a very opinionated young woman and I knew that she would say whatever she needed to when she was ready. I waited for a few long seconds and Lucy finally decided to speak up. “Dad.. I don’t know what’s been going on with you, but whatever it is needs to stop. Gareth and Gibson, Bahiti, Bennu, we’re all worried about you. Why have you been locking yourself away in here? Why are you suddenly ignoring your own family? ..Why do you talk to yourself?” She finally asked and her last question is the only one I really paid attention to. 

“W-What? Where are you getting these ideas?” I asked, getting a little irritated already by this conversation that I most definitely didn’t want to have.

“Dad, don’t play dumb. Everyone on at least one occasion has heard you and we know you’re not on the phone.. Who are you talking to? Why?”

“That’s enough, Lucille. I’m not crazy. I don’t talk to myself.” I stated harshly.

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“Then what the hell is your problem?!” She raised her voice.

“You watch your mouth, Luce,” I warned, yet she continued.

“No, no more of this! What is wrong with you? You can’t just hide up here and hope we won’t figure anything out! The boys think you’re ignoring them! Same with Bahiti! Even Bennu thinks you need help! Just do us all a favor and talk to us more.. We’re worried, that’s all.. If you need someone to talk to, there’s all of us, not just yourself. Whatever’s the cause of this, you don’t need to be dealing with it by yourself..” She argued in return and I heard my father chuckle.

“She has a point. Though I don’t think it’s wise to tell her your plan,” he added and I looked towards him for a brief second.

“I don’t have a plan!” I replied to him, though I didn’t mean to.

“What? What does that mean?” Lucy asked and I sighed heavily, looking over to my father once more for a split second, “Who the hell are you looking at?”

“Nothing, no one! I just.. I don’t have a plan for anything that’s going on. There is no motive, I’m not ignoring anyone! Now drop it, Lucy.” I warned once more, though I knew Lana’s stubbornness ran through her veins and she wasn’t done yet.

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“I want you to get help, Dad! I want you to go see Grandma again. You saw her when you were a kid, right? You got help before,” Lucy pressed and my eyes widened in slight shock.

“Things like that are supposed to be confidential,” I replied, but Lucy continued.

“I asked Grandma how you and Mom met, how she knew who you were.. She didn’t tell me about any of your sessions with her, just that you had seen her before and you and Mom became close after you started seeing Grandma.. Can I ask why you went there for help in the first place? Please?” She tried to pry, but I was in no mood to tell her why I went to a psychiatrist.. I haven’t talked to Lana’s mother in ages, I didn’t even know she was still alive.

“No, you can’t ask that. My mother made me go, and I went to make her happy. That’s it.”

“Dad, that’s not it..” Lucy continued.

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“Man, she can read you pretty damn well without even being blood,” my father butted in with a slightly impressed tone and I turned away from the both of them, not wanting to have any part of this conversation anymore.

“This discussion is over. Go to bed, Lucy, get some rest,” I suggested strongly, unable to look at her still, knowing that her expression would bother me.

“But, Dad, plea-”

“Lucille..” I said her name sternly, stopping her from continuing more and I heard her let out a sigh of defeat.

“Goodnight..” She said just above a whisper, but I didn’t reply as I listened to her leave my room.

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“Well.. That was entertaining,” my father continued.

“Shut up.” I hissed, though I knew he wouldn’t listen.

“Maybe you should go back to the psychiatrist. Maybe she’ll be able to knock some sense into you and get you to do what’s right.”

“Do you even listen to yourself?” I asked, “These are your grandchildren.. My children. I’m not going to make the same choices you did. I’m a better father than you ever were and I don’t plan to let that change,” I concluded, hearing him let out a chuckle to my words. “Is there something you find funny?” I asked with frustration.

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“Well, yes. Look at you. You’re a mess. You don’t even realize that the path you’re already going down isn’t going to be an easy one. You’re deteriorating. Losing it. You’re trying so hard to ignore what you are that now everything you don’t want to happen is going to. If you ask me, that is pretty amusing,” he replied. What does he know? Nothing is going to go wrong, I’m not going to harm my boys let alone anyone else in the family. As much as I hated to admit it, Mrs.Hughes did help me a little when I was younger, but I stopped going to her after I met her daughter, Lana, which was then the new person that listened to my troubles and worries. I stopped seeing Mrs.Hughes and as the years went by, things did end up getting worse and worse; now things are worse than ever. My mind is telling me to do unimaginable things.. When I look at the boys when they’re swimming in our pool, I have the urge to hold their heads under water. Thoughts of cutting their throats while making dinner in the kitchen is the reason why I stopped going in there. What’s strange is that I don’t have these thoughts for Bennu or my girls, just the twins. Lucy was right, I have been avoiding the boys, but avoiding them is the best thing I can do right now as I fight the strange, horrific urges I have when I see them doing anything. I hate that I can’t look at them without wanting to dig my thumbs into their eyes, and the thing that kills me the most is why in the hell do I have these thoughts and urges. Maybe my father is right about one thing, maybe I should just off myself, that way I won’t have to worry about acting on my ideas and I can finally be rid of the torment he causes. Maybe I should just give up?