Chapter 14 Good
As soon as my mom was out of the room, I couldn’t contain myself anymore.
“Is it your goal in life to make me unhappy?! Why can’t you just fucking leave me alone?!” I yelled, and in a moment of rage, I gathered as much saliva in my mouth as I could in that irrational, red-hot second, and spat in Jason’s direction. It happened to hit him right in the face.
I was expecting maybe another flat hand when Jason raised his hand to slap me, but instead a hard fist hit me against the jaw with a harshness that could have broken my nose if he had aimed at it. The shock and force of it made me tumble off the chair I had been put on, and I fell on the floor. I managed to catch myself on my hands and knees.
“Is it your goal in life to make your mother unhappy, you filthy little cocksucker?!” Jason hissed back. “What did she ever do to you that made her deserve this, hm?”
“If you weren’t so busy trying to get in her pants you might-“ I started, but before I could finish my comment, Jason’s shoe hit me in the stomach.
Shocked, I gasped for air as my arms gave up on me and I instinctively turned into a little ball out of pain. I had not expected Jason to go that far as to kick me in the stomach like that. I was feeling nauseas and out of breath as I tried to get up. I couldn’t even think of another insult to throw his way, although I was aching to say something hurtful to him.
“You’re pathetic”, Jason spewed as he watched how I struggled to get up because my legs were shaking, and although I hated to admit it: I was scared of him at that moment. I was afraid of how far he would go, and I was thinking to myself if it were better to run away at that moment.
But my stupid, stubborn mind didn’t allow me to flee like a scared little girl. No, I wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction of knowing that he had overpowered me.
“Beating up little boys now, hm? How does it feel to have sunken so low? Are you hitting me because you have some sort of fetish for that? Do you like it when I moan in pain?”
At that moment, it had felt clever of me to provoke him like that. Surely he wouldn’t want the idea of him getting off of this to even be considered a possibility, so maybe it would disgust him so much that he would just stop and leave me alone. I hadn’t thought of how a statement like that would only cause him to get even angrier and therefore want to hurt me even more.
Because as soon as I had said it, and finally got back on my feet again, I could barely blink before Jason’s big hands were on my shoulders, pushing me back hard and angrily so I fell back on the ground, but not before I hit the corner of the coffee table with a pained groan. It hit my back just in the wrong way, and suddenly all the air was knocked from my lungs.
Panic and fear crept up on me and in a matter of seconds, they had taken over when I realized that I couldn’t get my breath back. I tried, but it was like I had forgotten how to breathe.
“I… can’t… breathe…” I said weakly with my hand clutched around my throat.
And out of nowhere, worry took over Jason’s anger, and the next second he was next to me with his hand on my shoulder asking me with an urgent voice if I could hear him.
I nodded, but still hadn’t managed to find how to breathe again. It was so freighting and confusing, like my lungs had stopped working.
“Cough, Lars, cough!” Jason urged me on, my panic rubbing off on him. He hit my back, not in a violent way, but in a way you’d help someone who was choking on a piece of food. “Trust me, it’ll help! Try coughing!”
I tried, but it was weird and difficult to cough when there was no air in your lungs to cough with. However, after a few attempts, it worked and the amazing cool air filled my lungs back up again. Only then I noticed not only how much I was shaking, but how Jason was shaking too. He had removed his hand from my shoulder, but was still crouched on the living room floor next to me.
“Never scare me like that again”, Jason panted.
I opened my mouth to yell back how it was his fault, but he raised his hand as a way to silence me, and got up. I didn’t know why I obeyed and closed my mouth. “Dinner’s in the fridge. Help yourself.” And like that, I didn’t hear from him nor from mom until the next morning.
“Mom!” I was so embarrassingly happy that morning to see my mom again, I could practically jump into her arms if it wasn’t for the fact that I still wasn’t so sure about how she actually thought of me now that she knew that I was gay. Had I actually hurt and disappointed her as much as Jason claimed I had, or was that just something Jason liked to project onto her? However, I didn’t care if she hated me now or not, I needed to tell her of how Jason had gone too far that previous evening.
“Mom, after you left the room yesterday, Jason really-“
“Hush, Lars,” mom sighed tiredly, “Jason already told me everything. I don’t need to hear it a second time.”
“But mom, I really doubt that Jason told the whole story-“
“He already told me of the accident that happened. I hope you’re okay now.”
I was about to lift up my shirt to show her the nasty bruise on my back and tell her how actually I wasn’t okay at all, but apparently mom could see the explosiveness coming, and she gave me a very strict look.
“I said I don’t want to hear it,” she said loudly and clearly, “I know that no matter what actually happened, I’ll hear two very different stories anyways when I ask the two of you.”
“So you’ll just pick his side and only listen to what Jason tells you?!” I fumed in disbelief.
“I’m not listening to either of your childish fighting.”
I groaned and turned away. “Fine, I’ll just go and be a trouble to my friends then.”
Suddenly, my mom got very pale, almost like she was unwell, and grabbed my wrist in an unhinged and panicked way. “Please Lars, I beg you, don’t go drinking.”
I tried freeing myself from her grip, but it was unusually tight. “Let go of me, you wretched woman!” I spewed, an unknown anger and hatred rising to the surface, “you know, you’re even worse than Jason! You only interfere with my life when it suits you, you hypocritical bitch! You only pretend to care about me when it benefits you!”
My mom’s grip on me turned from keeping me hostage to clinging onto me like a lifebuoy when I said those words. It broke her down to the point where despite my anger, my heart ached with sorry when I looked at her.
“Please sit down for a second”, she whispered teary-eyed, pointing at the same kitchen chair Jason had pushed me down on the day before.
I had no choice but to listen and do it.
“Did I ever tell you the real reason why your father died?”
No, after every emotion I had already felt for the past 24 hours, I didn’t need doubt about my father’s death too. No no no, why would she bring this up now? What on earth had she hidden from me regarding my dad?
“Yes, he died in a car accident when I was three years old. Isn’t that what happened?”
“It is,” my mother confirmed, giving me an ounce of relief, “but it’s not the whole story. Listen Lars, I loved your father deeply. He was a good and kind and charming man. But… he was also an alcoholic. The night of the car crash wasn’t foggy or rainy like I told you. The real reason why the crash happened was because he was drunk-driving. Lars, I don’t want you to end up the same way as he did.”
There was a long, painful silence, before I got up with a loud scraping of my chair over the kitchen floor, accompanied by the loud banging of my hands slamming on the table.
“I hate you!” I shouted at the top of my lungs. “Why on earth would you fucking tell me that?!” I tried to swallow back some tears, but I couldn’t, so I just yelled through them: “You try to take everything away from me, and now you’ve ruined dad for me too! The only one who I thought wasn’t messed up in this godforsaken family...!”
No matter how silly or childish it sounded, I had often imagined my dad looking down at me from the afterlife whenever I was in need of moral support or a safe haven, and imagined what he would tell me. Whenever I did something good, I wondered if he would have been proud of me. I knew that it was silly and that I barely even knew him, but the things I did know of him, that cool and smiley man with the kind eyes in the picture books, were good things. I thought good of him because all I had ever been told of him had been good. My dad had been my hope for good within myself, proof that there were normal and good things within this family. I loved my mother, but I had never strived to be like her. She was a lovely and usually kind woman who I loved like an old friend, but she was also someone who had fallen into a deep depression after my father’s passing away, making it so just as often I had taken care of her in my childhood as she had taken care of me. She was someone who had sometimes gone out for multiple nights in a row, probably sleeping with random men, as little ten year old me was left alone to order pizza. She was a woman who despite being warm and beautiful, based her self-worth of what other men thought of her. She needed male validation and co-dependency to be an individual. I had always recognized these faults within her, and although they hadn’t made me love her less, I knew that my mother wasn’t a role-model for me.
Now it turned out my dad was just as fucked up as I feared I myself had become.
“You’re old enough to know the truth. Wouldn’t you have gotten even more mad at me if you found out when you were an old man that I had been keeping this from you?”
“What would it have mattered anyways? I… I know that he’s already dead, but now you’ve truly killed him.”
And with that I grabbed a plate from the kitchen counter, smashed it on the ground as hard as I could, and stormed out of the kitchen door.
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