NOT ALL IS WHAT IT SEEMS
Punch after punch, I hit Thomas, letting out all the anger and frustration that had built up in me after all this time. I’d been waiting for the perfect moment to kill him for so many years.
Blood gushed out of his body as I stabbed him. His groans of pain rang like bells through my ears.
“Don’t you ever come near me again, you filthy bastard. I’m teaching you a lesson. Stay the fuck out of my way,” I said coldly. As I was about to kick his head again, I watched the colour drain away from his face and his eyes close. I stepped back, contemplating what I had done.
What had I done? I withdrew my hands from the body, only to find them covered in blood. My head spun and I put my hand to my forehead, and fell to the ground.
“Please stop!” I cried. “Please.” The pain was overwhelming. I could barely breathe.
He scoffed. “It’s nothing more than you deserve. You’re a dirty little bastard and your family will face the consequences of what you did. I’ll never forget how you betrayed me.”
There was a brief moment of regret on his face. He pierced the knife into my flesh, cutting deep inside me. I began to scream. It was then that the sirens started.
As I started losing consciousness I noticed a girl in the background, watching me. She had a look of pure horror on her face.
“You over there...”
“Please ... help me...” I tried to speak, but it just came out as a mumble. My eyes began to close, and blood was gushing out of my mouth. I never saw the girl again.
“Why did you do this?” a cop hovered over me. “Why did you attempt to kill this man?”
“It’s nothing more than he deserved. He’s a dirty little bastard and his family will face the consequences of what he did. I’ll never forget how he betrayed me.” I repeated the exact same words that Thomas had said to me when he attacked me all those years ago.
The cop stared at me, long and hard. He lifted me from the ground, took my hands behind my back and put them in handcuffs.
“You are under arrest for attempted murder,” he said.
“What the fuck?”
“You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say or do may be held against you in a court of law. You have the right to consult a lawyer...”
As the cop said these words, I felt the world stop rotating around me. I could feel my head spinning; I was in a state of shock. It took me a few minutes to realise that this wasn’t a bad dream, this wasn’t a fucking nightmare. I’d screwed up so badly. I was supposed to kill this motherfucker and my mind started playing tricks on me, reminding me of the past.
No weakness... that was my fucking motto. So why the fuck didn’t I just stab him and get out of there? Why did I have to remember every brutal moment of Thomas double-crossing me at the wrong time?
All my memories, everything I’d worked for. It was all gone. It was all worthless now, and it all meant nothing. I was going to jail. What the fuck had I done?
“If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be appointed for you before any questioning if you wish.”
As I spun back to reality, the cop read me the last of my rights. I didn’t know what to do. I was desperate. I couldn’t go to jail... I couldn’t. I wouldn’t be able to cope in there. It would fuck me up mentally... put me over breaking point.
“This is all a misunderstanding. I’ve never been to jail before. I can’t do this to my mum, she’ll be at home worried...”
The cop rolled his eyes at me, folding his arms.
“Save the sob story for when you’re behind bars,” he said angrily. “Come with me.”
He grabbed hold of me with force, throwing me into the backseat of the police car.
LATER THAT NIGHT
The policeman led my mum to the cell.
“Your son was found late at night attacking a teenager in the alleyways,” the cop explained. My mum stared at me, white in shock. “I’ll leave you two to speak, before I’m going to have to ask you to leave.” The cop walked away.
Mum was trembling, taking deep breaths in and out. I could see the hurt and betrayal in her eyes.
I’d failed her. I’d failed my own fucking mother. After how hard she tried to raise me up right, to make sure the hood didn’t get the better of me.
This is what I gave her in return.
“How could you do this, Louis?” Tears welled up in her eyes. “All my life, I’ve just been trying to provide for you, to give you a good future. And you turn out like this.” Her voice was bitter, and she broke down into fresh sobs.
“Mum, I’m sorry,” I said, hanging my head, knowing I was a goddamn disappointment. “He deserved it, he-”
“Shut up Louis! I’m sick of your excuses!” Mum shouted. “Nobody deserves to get killed. Nobody. This man is fighting for his life in hospital, and here you are, feeling proud about it like a little bastard. I’m so ashamed of you.”
“Mum, you wouldn’t understand! You don’t know what he did to me, he...”
“This is all my fault, for giving you too much freedom for your own good. Letting you roam around at 4 in the morning without asking where you were, letting you be friends with the bastard friends you have.”
“Don’t blame yourself Mum, I...”
I drew a deep breath. I could feel my heart shattering and tearing apart as the realisation hit me. My mum, who bore me in her womb for 9 months, watched me grow from a kid to an adult, raised me by herself when my dad wasn’t in the picture. I’d let her down. I let down the only woman who’s ever had my back in this cold world, in this world where your own friends wouldn’t think twice before stabbing you in the back. I let down the only woman who’s been there for me from the very beginning.
“I - I never meant to let you down, Mum.”
“But you did. You goddamn did.”
Mum turned away from me. She couldn’t even look me in the eye anymore.
“These past few years have been torture for me. When that man attacked you...”
I drew a deep breath, because I knew she was talking about Thomas.
“When that man tried to kill you...
“I really thought I’d lost you.
“I thought I’d lost my only son, my son who I’d do anything for. I thought you were gonna die.
“I spent weeks just lying down next to you in hospital, praying for you to recover. I was so relieved when the doctor told me you were going to survive. I swore to myself that I’d never let anything bad happen to you again, that I’d keep you close to me and make sure you never got into something like this again.
“I failed myself.”
“It’s not your fault, Mum,” I tried, but I knew it was no use.
Mum slapped me across the face. My hand sprung to my face. I was shocked, because she’d never laid hands on me before. I guess I deserved it. She gasped, not believing what she’d done.
“I don’t ever want to hear from you again,” she said quietly. “You deserve this time in prison.”
I felt a lump in my throat. I tried my best not to break down.
No Mum, you don’t mean that...” I tried putting my hand on her arm, and a tear rolled down my cheek. “I love you Mum, don’t do this to me...”
“The policeman is waiting outside the cell. I better not keep him waiting.”
Mum gave me a long and hard stare.
“I love you Mum,” I said, desperately trying to find some proper closure between us.
Mum shook her head, and turned on her heel, following the policeman out the cell. I was alone again.
I fell to the floor in anguish, screaming for my mum. I cried and cried out for her, but she didn’t come back. I was going to be spending five years of my life with nobody here to look out for me.