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.
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.
“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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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..
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.
“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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
“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.
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.
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.
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..
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?
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..”
“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.
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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
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.
“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.
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.”
“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.
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.
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.
“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.
“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.”
“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.
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.
“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.
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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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?