Attention: This chapter picks up where the twins separated at their house from last chapter. Chapter 11 described what Gareth did after leaving, and this one describes what Gibson did after Gareth stormed out. Just wanted to clear that up as to not cause any potential confusion.
This chapter is also pretty long, so heads up. Enjoy <3
Gareth left about half an hour ago and I’ve been sulking on the couch within the living room since. I had never spoken so harshly to him before and I regretted everything I said, but there was no going back now.. I don’t know what came over me, I just couldn’t get over the fact that he’s betrayed me before when it’s come to a relationship of mine and Hannah means more to me already than my ex did throughout our whole dating period.. Maybe that’s why I blew up at him. But there’s still no excuse for the other things I said, about Mom and Bennu and all the girls he sleeps with.. It’s none of my business what he does between the sheets, like I would even want to know in the first place anyways, but I went overboard bringing up Mom. Why did that even come out?
I didn’t hate her as much as Gareth did, she wasn’t mean to me or do anything to me in order for me to feel any sort of resentment towards her, but I can feel a sense of resentment within me that is held in regards to Gareth.. He still never admitted to killing Mom, but he never denied it either, or even felt the slightest bit bad about it if it were just an accident. Knowing him now, growing up with him and seeing what he’s turned into, there’s no doubt in my mind that Gareth did it on purpose. I remembered that night to the T, how Gareth and Sherri were arguing and he was being rather cruel to her, but Mom stepped in and sent Gareth to our room without dinner and he was up there all night. That was the first time he had ever conspired against someone without me. Maybe he knew I wouldn’t approve, so he was forced to keep me out of it. Though, would I have wanted to if he had asked me..? Or was he protecting me by leaving me out of it? I remembered the detective that eventually caught Dad came over to ask him some questions.. If he had involved me with Mom’s murder, we’d both be asked questions and interrogated, and at my age back then, I didn’t know how to talk to the cops.. I probably would’ve given us up without realizing it had I killed her with him. He knew I was weak back then and he was the strong one, but I wondered when in our lives had our rolls been switched..?
For as cruel as Gareth can be, he doesn’t deserve the cruelty that I gave him. I lashed out because I’m insecure, I’m worried that I won’t be able to keep Hannah now that I have her, and I’m worried I’ll end up not being good enough. All of my rude words earlier to him were not a result of anything he said, but they were a result of my insecurities and lack of confidence in myself. I couldn’t just simply share with him little things that made me like Hannah so much, I didn’t have it in me to be forgiving and kind when I had these feelings of inhibition within me and the moment he asked about her, those doubts and diffident thoughts came rushing back and I felt as I was having an out of body experience.. I could hear what I was saying, I could feel the anger, yet I felt as if I wasn’t the one saying it.. I felt as if I was standing invisible within the living room, watching us fight and there was nothing I could say to stop it.. When I came back into my body, I realized what was just said and what I had said, and I tried to make it better by telling him about Hannah, but it was too late. I don’t think I’ve ever felt anything like that before.
I let out a heavy sigh, not wanting to sulk anymore, yet I couldn’t figure out a way I could help myself. I needed help from someone else, but without Gareth here and him being the one I needed help with, I contemplated what I should do. Should I go looking for him and make sure he understands how truly sorry I was, or do I sit here and wait for him to return? No, I couldn’t wait here, he left for a week when we were on good terms, how long would he be gone on bad ones? I felt even worse now knowing he got back today and we talked for less than fifteen minutes and already he was back out the door. I wondered where he had gone to, what he might do when I know sometimes his anger gets the best of him, but how would I be able to stop it now since I had no idea where to find him? After all that’s been said, I wasn’t sure if he was going to continue to try and keep our promise or if he might break it again..
I rose to my feet, unable to sit here any longer knowing he might do something irrational and I felt I might need help if I was going to find him. Normally I could do it myself, but when too frazzled like this, it was actually a little tiresome and difficult to think straight. I went upstairs and changed, then ran downstairs to check on Jess and she was sleeping on Gareth’s bed, still having food and water and I knew I could leave her alone for a little while. I locked up the house behind me and walked off the dock, in search for a cab and luckily one pulled around the corner after I had taken a short walk to it.
I told the cabby where I was headed and we arrived quicker than I imagined, I must’ve been too deep in thought to notice the drive. I decided to go to Bennu’s, wondering if I could maybe get her opinion on a few things.. I rang the doorbell and Bennu answered eventually, smiling warmly at the sight of me, “Gibson, vhat a good surprise this is, come in, come!” She said joyfully and I smiled and I came inside, shutting the door behind me and hugging her tightly.
“You changed your hair, it looks nice,” I noticed and she gave an appreciative smile. She looked a lot younger with this hairstyle, I even noticed she still wore the necklace I had given her on her birthday which proved to me she truly did like it.
“Thank you, Gibson,” she replied, bringing one of her hands up and taking some of the hair out of my eye and touching my face with a proud look in her eyes, “You boys get more handsome every time I zee you.. You both look so much like your father,” she continued and I smiled more, seeing her then look around me in question, “Speaking of, is Gareth not with you?” She asked as her hand draped down my chin still in an observing manner.
“No, he’s.. Out somewhere. I came by to see how you were, and to see if I could talk to you about something,” I replied and I watched her nod and her warming hand finally dropped.
“Oh, of course. Please, come to the kitchen, I’ll make us some tea,” she gestured and I nodded in acceptance, following her into the kitchen.
I sat at the small dining table between the kitchen and living room, waiting for her as she made us tea and sitting there in silence. I didn’t know where to begin, I thought maybe I could talk to Bahiti instead, but I felt Bennu might be a better person to talk to about this, seeing as she raised us with Dad and she sometimes knew how we worked. Mother’s intuition, I suppose. “So, tell me.. What brings you here? Vhat is troubling you?” She asked and I smirked softly at how her English was getting better, yet every now and then she still let her accent peak out in her words.
“Well, uhm.. Ahh man..” I said softly, still not knowing how to start and trying to watch my words as well so I didn’t give away too much of anything. “Gareth and I are.. Well-”
“Fighting?” She guessed and I sighed.
“Yeah, I guess.. To say the least.. How’d you know?” I wondered.
“You show up without him, the first sign,” she said with a soft chuckle and I smirked, yet it faded quickly, “And you do not come here without him unless there iz something you do not want him to hear, or maybe he’s not here because you do not know where he is, yes?” She suggested and I looked to her with a slight sense of amazement, seeing now that she did know us better than I thought.
Bennu brought over the tea and set the cups down, taking a seat at the table with me as I answered her, “..Yeah.. I don’t know where he is.. We fought over something that happened between us in the past and I said some things that hit him pretty hard. I want to find him so I can apologize and fix things,” I replied, watching her nod in understanding.
“Vhat did you fight about exactly?” She asked and it took me a moment to answer.. I didn’t want to rat on him, let alone coming to our Mom and it felt like taddling on him like we were children at this point. Bennu noticed my hesitation, “Gibson, I know that this is not your nature to go to others for help, you always seem to make the right choices and you are a strong man, but everyone needs help every once is a while, do not be ashamed that you are here to ask for it.. I am more than happy to help you two,” she continued and I was warmed by her sincerity.
“Well, it’s a very, very long story with a long history, but I guess I could tell you the recent things that have been building up,” I began and she nodded, giving me her full attention and I explained, delicately, about Gareth and my ex and my relationship now with Hannah and how I felt about everything. It felt good talking to someone about this rather than keeping it to myself or attempting to discuss it with Gareth.
“I always knew Gareth to be a little deviant at times, but he was still such a good boy. It surprises and troubles me to hear that he would do something like that to you. For being twins, you two are the most opposite ones I’ve come to know,” she replied with a gentle smile and I shrugged.
“I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing anymore,” I add and I hear her sigh softly.
“Have you ever considered that maybe he did it on purpose?” She suggested and my eyes widened a little.
“No, no I’ve never considered that..” I replied with a somewhat stern tone, “Why would you imply that?”
“Forgive me, maybe I am out of my bounds and I do not mean to make you upset or cause you to hold any more ill will towards Gareth.. But, knowing you two and how you’re always together, and you always have been, is it not something to consider because he is worried about losing you after 23 years?” She continued and my expression grew softer, somewhat understanding a little better now, though it still seemed hard to believe. Or at least, I didn’t want to believe it. “You two have a bond like I’ve never seen, you two are one and to him, losing you is like losing a half of himself,” she continued and the more she went on the more it started to make sense. “Maybe he did it so you’d break up with her and so that he could have you to himself again. Of course, I could be wrong, and I do not mean to sound like I do not love him, but he can be selfish at times. This may or may not be one of those occasions.”
“I’ve never thought about that before,” I admitted, lowering my head and thinking to myself a moment.
“I feel like that’s not your only reason in being here though, is there something else on your mind?” She asked and I looked back up to her, knowing she was right and she knew she was right, too. But, it was something I wasn’t going to even begin talking to her about. I couldn’t, and can’t.
“Yes, there is.. But, I don’t believe it’s something you can do anything about,” I replied with a defeated tone.
“Well, who could help you with it?” She asked and I shrugged.
“Maybe Gareth, if I could find him and if he actually talked to me without it resulting in a fight,” I add and she chuckles.
“I think I know what you might need. If it is about Gareth, you can’t talk to him about it. You’re right, he would get angry and your troubles would never end,” I looked to her with a raised brow, curious as to what she was thinking, “You should go and see your father,” she finished and my eyes widened a little.
“No, I couldn’t do that.. Not without Gareth. We’ve never went to see him without one another,” I contested and she smiled, chuckling slightly once more.
“Your father has a lot to say, believe it or not. You two together makes him feel like he can’t discover who you two have become as separate people. He wants to experience you both now that you are grown men, but he cannot do it properly if both of you are always together, feeding off one another,” she replied and I was shocked.
“Is that why he hasn’t said a word to us this whole time?” I asked.
“He has his reasons, you should go and talk to him.. Now is a good time since Gareth isn’t with you,” she gave another suggestion and my heart started beating faster. Seeing my father was like seeing someone that wasn’t there. Whenever Gareth and I went to see him, he never talked, let alone look at us together and I began to wonder if what Bennu said was true. She’s been the only one he’s spoken to this whole time, so it doesn’t seem too unbelievable that he would tell her something like that, but I wasn’t sure if I was ready to see him on my own.
“Will you come with me?” I asked, looking to her with worried eyes and she gave me a welcoming expression.
“I would love to go see your father with you,” she replied and I let out a relieved sigh, glad that I was going with at least one person instead of risking this on my own. I had to admit, I was a little worried and nervous to see my father, it had been seven months since Gareth and I saw him last, but this was the first time I was going to see him alone. I hope Bennu was right, I hoped that Dad would talk to me after all this time, but I still could never be too sure. I was nervous and a little hesitant still, but maybe talking to him would help me a little.
I stood up and Bennu joined me, uncertainty filling me as we walked out of the house and to Bennu’s car and she was still driving my Dad’s old black coupe, similar to Gareth and I’s car now yet ours was a dark red instead of black. The smell inside of it still reminded me of Dad, even though Bennu’s had it this whole time and he had even lent it to Lucy when she went to college.. It still smelled like him, even after all this time.. I didn’t know what to do as Bennu drove us to the hospital, trying to think of things to get my mind off worrying about seeing me father, “So, where’s Bahiti? Was she home? I forgot to ask,” I brought up.
“No, she’s out, I think at a movie with her friend and then grabbing dinner with her,” she replied pleasantly.
“Oh, do I know her?”
“No, she met her recently, and don’t worry, nothing that Gareth would be interested in,” she replied with a light laugh and I looked to her with concern.
“I.. I didn’t know you’d notice something like that.. I’m sorry for the way he acted on your birthday,” I replied.
“It doesn’t bother me, I know how he is.. Just the fact that you both showed up kept me very happy.. I know I am not your boys’ biological mother, and I do not mean to make me sound better than her in any vay, simply because she never was lucky to live long enough to see you two wonderful boys grown up, but you are my sons.. I know more about you two than you realize,” she replied with a smile and I smirked as well. I loved my mother, yet I had never felt a connection with her like I had with Bennu.. Maybe that was my fathers doing for driving her away to be with Bennu, but I didn’t blame him. Bennu was an amazing woman, and I had to acknowledge the fact that I did see her more as my mother than my own mom, even for the short time I had been raised by her. Bennu just seemed to care more.
We arrived at the mental hospital and my heart was pounding as we got out of the car and approached the doors, trying to keep my whits about me and trying to stay as calm and collected as I could. We went in and approached the front desk, the clerk seeing Bennu and smiling, “Here to see Mr. Dubois, ma’am?” She guessed correctly and Bennu nodded happily, “Please sign in like you usually do,” she requested and I saw her look to me, “It’s been a while, Mr. Dubois, your father will be pleased to see you, I’m sure,” she comforted and I didn’t know how to react, so I said nothing as I signed in as well after Bennu.
Bennu looked to me and smiled, “Don’t be nervous, he’s still the same man he was before all of this,” she comforted and I nodded softly.
“Okay, follow me please,” the woman behind the counter said, Bennu walking ahead of me and I reluctantly followed.
We walked up a flight of stairs and came through a door that we needed to be buzzed in first before we entered, just like I remembered, but it still felt different when I looked behind me and didn’t see Gareth following. Bennu stepped through another door and I slowly followed, coming into the open room where most of the patients spent their ‘fun time’, seeing a person playing chess and arguing with themselves, a woman painting in the corner and a few others that didn’t fit Dad’s description.
I stopped when Bennu did and she turned to me, “Wait here, sweetheart,” she cooed softly and I nodded, standing by the door as I watched Bennu with a keen eye. I knew these people were more unstable than my father, causing me to put my protective mannerism on and I watched Bennu closely while also watching the rest of the room and making sure no one approached her that I knew she didn’t know.
I watched her approach a man sitting in a chair watching television by himself in the corner of the room and she placed a hand on his shoulder, me taking a few steps closer towards her but when I saw the side of my fathers face when his head turned towards her, I let down my guard on her and I watched them casually instead. I watched him quickly get up and he pulled her as close as he could, hugging her tightly and I knew he was surprised and thrilled to see her, seeing as I brought her here with me unexpectedly. They pulled away from one another and they kissed passionately, though I didn’t look away as I watched their love. It never grew old to me, I loved seeing Bennu and my father together, I loved seeing him still so excited to see her, and I loved seeing their love fill the entire room with just a simple welcoming kiss. I was jealous of their love, I wondered if I could ever have the same thing as them with Hannah. They were my inspiration. I had never seen that kind of love involving my father and my mother, but it made me that more acknowledged to what love truly was, and I knew my father never loved my mother like he did Bennu. Maybe my Dad did make the right choice when choosing who he wanted to be with and who he wanted to help raise us. I smirked softly to myself when I even thought back on how we had found out he murdered two people, yet Bennu still stuck by his side.. But, so did Gareth and I.
When they had finally parted from their kiss, I saw her speaking to my father and the expressions he made were troubled, yet he didn’t react negatively. I saw him then look towards me when Bennu pointed me out and I thought my heart stopped when his eyes met mine. He didn’t talk to Gareth and I when we were together, and that also went with the fact than he never bothered to look us in the eye, either. Him looking at me now made me feel like I was eighteen again and I could see his disheveled, sapphire eyes from where I stood as if I had just been caught getting in trouble. I didn’t know what to do while he looked at me, so I did nothing but stand there, helpless in his presence as I had known I would be before I even got here.
His hair had grown out so much since I had last seen him, yet he still held the same clean but stubbly look to his facial hair. He looked to Bennu and I watched him smile, something I hadn’t seen in a long, long time and soon Bennu was walking towards me with a smile on her lips as well. I stood there still distraught and a little frozen, watching her approach me and she gave me a warm, welcoming grin, “Go to him, he’s waiting to talk to you. I’ll be over here if you need anything at all, sweetheart,” she said in a motherly tone, causing me to unconsciously smile towards her, but it disappeared a moment after.
“Are you sure he’s ready to talk to me?” I asked her before she left, looking to her with a nervous expression.
“Of course.. He’s been waiting to see you alone for a long time. Please believe me when I say that he can help you and your brother out more than you think. He knows you boys. You are his son, he will be able to help you through anything,” she continued, placing her hand on my bicep momentarily in a comforting manner and she walked off to sit in a chair, away from my father so him and I could talk. I watched as she sat in a single chair, occupying herself and I looked back to my father, sitting and facing the television in front of him and my stomach was turning into small knots. I was nervous to approach him, but I heard Bennu clear her throat obviously and she egged me on, motioning with her eyes for me to go to him and I finally did.
I walked slowly away from Bennu and towards my father, each step feeling like I was in slow motion, but I arrived at a chair that faced him sooner than I thought, taking a deep breath and sitting down so I could finally face him. I kept my eyes down, still unable to look at him as I could see from my peripherals that he was still watching whatever was on the television instead of me. This made me feel a little more uncomfortable.. Here I had taken the time to come here alone and all he could do was still pay attention to only Bennu and the TV instead of me, just as if Gareth was here. At this point now, I didn’t feel comfortable saying anything, wondering whether he’d hear it or not like the last times I’ve seen him, and I also didn’t know what to say anyways..
I was beginning to get frustrated now, realizing this was a big waste of time the longer we sat here in silence and I stood back up so I could leave, “Sit down,” my father said and I looked to him in somewhat shock. Hearing his voice after five years of nothing felt as if I was hearing it for the first time again and I was both surprised and nervous.
“Yes, sir,” I replied and cleared my throat, sitting back down in his now heavy presence and I hated that my voice broke when I said two simple words.
“Where’s your brother?” He asked in his deep tone and I was still too much in awe to even respond. He was the one that Bennu thought I could talk to about my troubles even if she had no idea what I was dealing with, but now that I was face to face with him, I admit I was at a complete loss for words. It was so foreign to me hearing his voice here in Lucky Palms since we all transferred with him, but at the same time it made me immensely happy to the point I almost wanted to cry. Bennu was right, he wouldn’t talk to us unless we were alone.. He was actually talking to me. “Well, are you going to tell me where Gareth is or are you just going to sit there?” He continued and his eyes finally met mine.
There it was, that look in his eyes that I remembered before he had been taken in, the stern, yet concerned and caring father I knew him to be. I couldn’t describe what I felt, though I knew that it was hard to talk as he continued to look at me. “Gibson?” He questioned and I broke from his gaze, gathering myself and realizing how good it felt to hear him say my name again.
“Sorry, uhm.. Wha’d you ask?” I questioned and looked back to him, seeing him smirk and hearing him chuckle softly.
“Where – is – Gareth?” He spoke slowly as if mocking me, but more laughing with me than at me.
“I, uh.. I don’t know.. But, how have you been?” I asked and I watched him shrug.
He looked around the room, “As good as anyone can be when in a shit heap like this place,” he replied with a soft smirk and looked back to me. I loved hearing his voice again, he spoke a little like Gareth, yet a lot less vulgar, keeping his formality to a minimum yet it was still there.. A little bit of both of us.. “I’m okay, Gibson. Heavily medicated during the nights, but I’m easing off of those as I continue to have less nightmares. I’ve been known to sleep walk sometimes, but I haven’t done that in about a year, so no more restraints,” he added, chuckling at his own expense. “Other than that, there’s progress, but still not enough to get outta here,” he finished, looking away from me and back to the television, his expression trying to hide his disappointment. I was happy there was progress, but I was saddened as well when I knew he hated it here and he’d probably do anything to get out, but we all knew his healing would take time.
“Does.. Do you, uhm.. Are you still.. Seeing things?” I asked, seeing him look back over to me and I know he knew who I was referring to.
“Stop worrying about me. How are you, son?” He asked in return and I sighed, seeing that that was one thing he didn’t want to talk about. “Do you still have that job at the bookstore?”
I was surprised he remembered from the last time I visited with Gareth, it was both of us talking to him without a single one word reply, but then again, what else did he have to think of while locked up here? “Yes, I still work there..”
“Do you still enjoy it?”
I shook my head and averted my eyes elsewhere, “No, not really.. I could use a change,” I replied.
“I do pay attention whenever you two visit.. I saw on the news a little while ago that someone from there committed suicide, you wouldn’t happen to know anything about that, would you?” He wondered and I looked back up to his eyes, hesitating longer than I should, but I could already see in his eyes that if I denied it, he wouldn’t believe me. I swallowed hard and when I opened my mouth slowly to answer him, I watched him blink slowly and turn his attention away from me, disappointment written all over his face. The look in his eyes shook me more than I could handle and I hated myself for a moment, “What about the girl they found on the shore?” He questioned next and looked back to me, “Gareth?” He continued and I hung my head, nodding softly and hearing him sigh heavily.
“How did you know?” I asked quietly, looking back up to him and he gave me a stern expression as if it was a stupid question.
“I’ve known ever since you two were ten,” he replied and my eyes widened, “You think I don’t know you two? Don’t be so naive. You’re the brains and he’s the brawn, right? The perfect team,” he continued and I momentarily grew angry at how stupid I’ve been. He was right, I was naive, and foolish, why did I think that he would have no idea when we come from the same blood? Like his father before him that I’ve read about, he was a danger to not only himself, but to others as well, and Gareth and I were no different. But this couldn’t be who I become, I wouldn’t let it, and I wouldn’t let Gareth either.
“Dad.. We made a pact to not hurt anyone else when we arrived here, we wanted a new life and we were set on not ending up like y-” I stopped, catching myself before continuing but I heard him chuckle.
“Like me?” He finished my sentence and I looked away from him, “Don’t be ashamed, I don’t want you to be like me, either..” He added and I looked back to him, “Listen, I’ve noticed. It’s not like I’m completely secluded from the world, there’s only a few channels here but the news is one of them,” he gave me a stern expression, “I know you haven’t done anything since you’ve been here except for that little slip up with your coworker, I just wish I could say the same for Gareth.. There needs to be a way that you can get him to stop before he does anything else. The last place I want to see you two is on the news, in jail, or in here with me. You’re not going to let that happen though, right?” He pushed, his expression growing more intimidating and I nodded quickly.
“Yeah, right..” I agreed.
“Do you know.. About Mom?” I asked and I watched him nod.
“She’s one that Gareth could’ve left alone, but he was just a child, an angry brat who wasn’t getting his way I presume.. Right?” He asked in return and I nod back as well, “That’s why you need to be the one to look out for him, I gave him that responsibility, but he’s proved that he can’t uphold to it any longer.. Looks like you’re the bigger brother now.”
“I have been this whole time already, even when we lived back in Bridgeport. But, I can’t do it anymore. I can’t let myself be dragged down with him and I have more important things to worry about now,” I replied.
“Better things than looking out for your family?” He asked and I sighed.
“I want to start my own, I don’t want him to come along for the ride and be a grown child I need to take care of.”
“You know he’s not the type to do the same as you, that thought will never cross his mind. Since I’m unable to be his father figure from in here, it’s only appropriate that you take over until I get out, you’re the only one who can,” he replied and I grew a little angry.
“What if you don’t get out, what then? Why do I have to take up your responsibilities?!” I asked somewhat harshly.
I watched him turn towards me quickly and my anger instantly turned into fear, “You don’t get to talk to me like that,” he threatened and I looked away from his eyes. “Stop being so goddamn selfish and do what you have to to keep him out of trouble, do you understand me?” He questioned sternly and I nodded in agreement, “Your his brother, you’ve always been there for him and him for you. Just do me this one favor and watch out for him, will you?”
“I will.. I promise,” I reply and I look up to him, watching his expression grow less angered and he seemed calmer now. I was never scared of him in the way most people would be if they didn’t know him like I did, I was just intimidated because he was still my father, and I still wanted to make him proud after all of this time failing.
“You don’t do this shit anymore, either, understand? I don’t care what you feel or what you want to do, whenever you’re put into another situation like that, be strong. Don’t give in, got it?” He continued.
“Yes, sir,” I agreed.
“So you don’t know where he is, huh?” He brought up again from earlier and I shook my head ‘no’. I watched as he brought his fingers to his face as he thought to himself. It seemed as if he knew more than I did, yet I couldn’t see how it was possible, knowing that he didn’t know how Gareth had been acting ever since we had gotten to Lucky Palms.. Gareth was good at putting on fronts, but now, I felt as if he still couldn’t fool our father as I watched the determination of his face. “Does he have a girlfriend? Anything?” He asked and I nodded, but then made a weary expression.
“Yes, but.. I guess it’s more safe to say that everyone else thinks they’re together and Gareth is the only one who doesn’t believe that.. He’s rather.. Promiscuous,” I replied and I heard him chuckle.
“You don’t have to tell me that.. I was like him at your guys’ age, but there’s still a difference in the outcomes. I found someone to love, whereas I doubt he’ll ever feel that way towards anyone..” He retorted and I couldn’t help but agree, nodding towards him. “Either way, this is the first place I’d look.. That, or the bars,” he added and although I should be surprised by how he knew that since it was more than logical when talking about Gareth, it still surprised me that even with being locked away in here and barely ever seeing us, he really did know us well. “Go to her place,” he instructed, coming to a conclusion and I nodded again.
“I will. Thank you, Dad.. He just.. He throws me off sometimes and I can’t think straight, I was-”
“Go there.. Now.” He somewhat demanded, cutting me off and I reacted slower than he would’ve wanted, “Now, Gibson, before anything happens,” he stressed and I looked away from him briefly while nodding. What was he getting at? Did he know something I didn’t? Intuition, maybe? I felt slightly stupid for coming here now, why didn’t I go to Nina’s in the first place? I didn’t know where she lived, but I knew the general area, I was bound to see our car in one of the driveways, but I didn’t realize how easy it was to find him earlier when I was frazzled and my mind was scattered.
My father rose to his feet and so did I without question, looking to him with a concerned expression but it went slightly shocked when he came towards me and pulled me into his arms. What normally would take me a few moments to realize I was being hugged by Gareth, Dad was so much different.. The moment he threw his arms around me, I did the same without a second thought, hugging him tightly and I had missed this so much.. My eyes shut in both pain and anxiousness to the feel of him and it was different than when he used to hug me when I was younger.. He’s never hugged me like this, I felt pathetic when I felt my eyes watering underneath my eyelids, but I shut my eyes tighter to keep the drops from falling down my cheeks and he released me, putting his hands to my shoulders and I looked to him, my eyes and mind searching for guidance from him even though I already knew where to go. “Be strong for him, don’t let him fall to a darker side like I did,” he preached and I averted my eyes, unable to look at him anymore, yet nodding at his request. “I love you boys.. Make me proud,” he continued and I couldn’t hold back anymore, breaking away from him before he could witness me being weak when I needed to be strong for Gareth.
“I will,” I said softly as I walked away.
I went towards Bennu and she looked up at me with a smile, yet when she saw me wipe away a single tear that I had let fall, her expression changed instantly, “Gibson, are you alright?” She asked, standing and walking towards me with worry but I walked passed her.
“I’m going to take a cab home.. Thanks for everything, Bennu,” I replied, leaving the room and going outside to hail a taxi.
I stood outside on the sidewalk, waiting for a cab to pass by as the sun had swept over the sky while I had been inside talking with my father and it would be dark very soon. I started to wonder if I was too late, I started to worry that maybe he had already done something foolish, and I started to fear that I was going to walk in on a bloodbath. Poor little Nina never stood a chance against him, even if she tried.. I just hoped he hadn’t done anything to her or anyone else since he’s left the house. I was finally able to calm down a little from seeing my father, though my nerves were still shot now that I was thinking of Gareth and I grew impatient as I still waited for a taxi to pass. I noticed the moon peaking out behind the mountains and I tapped my foot in frustration, taking a strong look at my surroundings and I realized I was only a few blocks away from Nina’s neighborhood, deciding to walk towards the general area that I knew she lived and hoping I’d come across a cab on my way there.
As I walked towards Nina’s neighborhood, I tried to think of what I would say to Gareth when I would see him.. Of course I was going to apologize once more, but who knew if he’d forgive me so soon. I tried to keep my father’s words in my head, repeating ‘make me proud’ over and over and I nodded subconsciously to myself as I continued walking. I needed to try and get through to Gareth on the first try and I needed to remember to keep calm and not antagonize him to the point where we’d just end up fighting again.. I convinced myself to not tell him that I had seen Dad without him, knowing that that would probably only piss him off more, but I would tell him eventually when the time was right.. I’d tell him, too, that if he goes without me, Dad will talk to him like he talked to me, but I was worried for what Dad might say to him and if Gareth would be able to handle it without overreacting. I let out a sigh, realizing how much I had on my plate to deal with and I wasn’t looking forward to any of it, but I needed to start somewhere, and making up with Gareth seemed like the first thing I needed to do.
I hadn’t even been bothering to watch out for a taxi as I walked for a while, but I saw a house in the distance with the porch lights on at the corner of the street, recognizing our car in the driveway and another which I assumed was Nina’s. I grew tense once more, my pace growing slower as I approached the driveway and I kept my eyes to the lit windows in the front of the house that I had guessed was the living room. When I approached the car, I stopped and I could see Gareth through the windows, staring out a different window that faced the other side of the house and I watched him with patience. I saw him look over his shoulder and I assumed he was talking to Nina, but I noticed the look in his expression from where I stood and I grew worried, but I continued watching before I did anything..
I then heard him start yelling and I watched him flip over a coffee table as he yelled, though I couldn’t make out his words. He was dramatic, his arms being thrown around as he yelled and I grew worried for Nina, though I still didn’t act on anything until I knew she was in trouble. I knew it didn’t take much for him to get angry, but there was usually a build up to any violent action he’d make and I knew I had time before he acted on anything he might have planned for her in any violent manner.. I heard more heated yelling coming from the house and I looked to the front door, seeing it being opened by Gareth and I didn’t hide behind the car, but more so kept my presence unknown as I watched without giving any clue that I was there. Nina followed behind him and I listened to their heated conversation as I seemed to remain unknown to them.. “Fuck you, Nina! I don’t want this! I don’t want anything to do with this and don’t fucking follow me!” Gareth voiced as I watched him leave her home, but Nina followed him relentlessly.
“Gareth, please..! Don’t go.. We need to talk about this, please!” She pleaded with all her strength, following him out of her house and down her deck stairs to her front lawn.
I watched as Nina grabbed his bicep to stop Gareth, but he flung his arm and hand back so hard and so suddenly that his hand had connected with her face, causing her to fall down onto her sandy sidewalk and she let out a harsh cry when he did so. “Back the fuck off, Nina! I told you I want nothing to fucking do with this! Either get the fuck rid of it or I’ll take care of it myself,” he replied in hostile anger and I was enraged when I saw him hit her and the wording he used bothered me as well.. I figured now would be the best time to jump in before anything else happened.
“Gareth!” I voiced angrily and I noticed him look towards me in shock. “What the hell is wrong with you?!” I yelled, walking passed our car and going to Nina to help her up, “Are you okay?” I asked, seeing her crying though she nodded ‘yes’ to my question when I knew it was a lie.
“Gibson.. I.. What are you doing here..?” Gareth began but I ignored him, helping Nina to her feet from the sand and I held her close to me, looking to Gareth then.
“What the fuck is your problem!? You don’t ever hit a woman, especially on the front lawn, you moron!” I said quietly in a harsh manner as I held Nina and I could tell by his expression that he was jealous by how I was tending to her. I knew it would make him angry, seeing as how any girl in Nina’s situation he treated like his own property, but I didn’t do it with the intention of making him mad.
“Don’t fucking touch her,” he warned, approaching us slowly and I pushed Nina behind me, her following my guidance in obvious fright and I stood in front of her like a strong wall, blocking her from Gareth.
“Go inside, Nina,” I said softly, gently pushing her towards the house and she quickly turned around and went inside, knowing that I could handle this better than she could.
“I should never hit a woman, huh? That’s rich coming from you, killer,” he replied with a grin and I furrowed my brow.
“Don’t call me that,” I warned, watching him step up closer as he still held his grin.
“So, now your a super hero for damsel’s in distress? How unorthodox,” he continued to tease and I ignored his petty jabs at trying to make me angry.
“What was that all about?” I asked, watching him shrug as if he had no clue and ignoring my question.
“Why are you here?” He asked, his expression finally growing softer and I could tell he was beginning to calm down from the argument he was having with Nina. Good, it’s better that I had his full attention now instead of her.
I let out a sigh, walking passed him and away from the house, leaning against the car and putting my hands into my pockets, “I came to apologize, alright? I know that some of the things I said were wrong and I didn’t mean them, so I’m sorry..” I replied and looked up to him, watching as he avoided looking at me, “Come on.. What were you two fighting about? What did you mean when you said you’d take care of it if she didn’t?” I asked.
“What, just because you apologized means that you have a right to know my business again?” He asked sarcastically and I sighed.
“I just want to see if there’s anything I can do to help, that’s all.. And knowing you, hearing you say ‘i’ll take care of it’ can mean so much more than any normal person would think.. What did you mean by that, anyways?” I questioned again, watching him turn around and take a few steps away from me.
“Whatever.. If you wanna know so fuckin’ bad, then fine.. Nina’s pregnant,” he finally confessed and my eyes widened in shock, “She says she wants to keep it, but I don’t fuckin’ want it.. Why would I? I never wanted kids, I can’t fuckin’ stand ’em, and I don’t want her to have it,” he continued, hearing him sigh heavily and look up towards the sky.
“Wow.. I, uh.. Wasn’t expecting that..” I replied with a somewhat saddened tone and he chuckled. I admit, that news hit me a little harder than I would’ve liked, I was jealous.. He doesn’t want kids, hates them, yet his girlfriend is pregnant and I stand here wishing I had such news to boast about..
“I thought the same thing when she told me.. I don’t know what the fuck to do, man.. It’s not like I can ask what you would do in my situation, cause you want this kinda thing..” He paused for a moment and I watched him, standing in a pool of his own confusion and uncertainty, “To be honest, I got pretty pissed when I was inside.. I wrecked her living room a little, I even contemplated going to the kitchen and grabbing a steak knife.. Why not kill two birds with one stone, right?” He asked rhetorically, turning around and looking to me and I didn’t like the look in his eyes. It made me a little queezy to hear him say such a thing, how open and totally okay he was with killing his child and Nina, despising him a little for it.. “But, I decided to leave instead. I didn’t want to give you any more reason to hate me, and I don’t think I’d be able to get away with it this time, either,” he replied, looking away from me.
“I’m glad you didn’t do anything extreme, that’s kind of why I came looking for you, too, not only to apologize, but just to make sure that I’d be there to stop anything irrational you might do. I don’t want you to end up in prison or in the electric chair or even with Dad, I’ll help you through anything to make sure you stay far away from those places,” I reply and he looked back to me, “If she’s not willing to get rid of it, then I’ll help you with that, too.. Just promise me that you won’t treat her like that again,” I requested and I heard him sigh, “Gareth, she’s carrying a baby, your baby, if she’s not going to get rid of it then at least don’t let her get hurt to the point where something happens before it’s born,” I finish and he chuckles.
“Meaning what, you think I’m going to be tripping her on purpose or something?” He asked humorously and I gave him a stern expression.
“That’s exactly what I think,” I replied and I watched him lose his cocky smirk, “You’re just.. You’re selfish and irresponsible, and in my opinion you don’t deserve for something like this to happen to you, meaning both you don’t need this kind of thing in your life, and also that you don’t deserve to raise a child when you don’t even want it,” I continue and he scoffs.
“Tsk.. What’re you, jealous?” He asked with a cocky tone and I look down to the sand, “Jesus.. You are jealous, aren’t you?”
“Just drop it.. My point is.. I know you don’t want this, but Nina obviously does. It’s not like the kid’s going to be in your care one hundred percent of the time, you should just be happy that you’re bringing life into this world, it should be an amazing feeling, not a bad one. Just be open minded to it. I told you I’d help, I’d be more than happy to.. Wouldn’t mind being an Uncle anyways,” I said with a smirk and looked back up to him.
“Oh no, don’t get all fuckin’ sappy with me and this bullshit, I’m not in the mood to be happy about any of this shit right now,” he threatened and I chuckled when I saw him smirk after his words.
“What are you going to do now?” I asked, watching him shrug.
“I can’t talk to her again, not tonight.. Do you wanna go home? Help me sort some of this shit out, grab some food?” He asked and I nodded.
“Yeah, of course.. I’ll drive,” I reply and he nods, removing the keys from his pocket and tossing them to me, catching them and we both got into the car, pulling out of Nina’s driveway and making our way back home.