So you met my mom?
I woke up at four O'clock in the morning laying on top of my duvet, wearing yesterday's clothes and clutching my phone in my hand which still hadn't received a reply from Liam. My mind debated going over to his house and confronting him but I told him I wouldn't do that again. I could text him when I was outside though and maybe he would come out. I listened outside my parents door for a while until I was fully satisfied with the level of snoring radiating from there. When I knew I was good to go I tiptoed down the stairs and out of the back door.
I don't know what made me do it but I looked up at the treehouse and noticed the small light coming from inside. Liam. Climbing up the planks I thought about how to approach the matter but honestly my mind was coming up blank, I just hoped Liam was in a better mind frame than earlier. I peered my head inside and was greeted with Liams face which was illuminated by the screen of his phone. I climbed in and sat next him, without saying a word.
He opened out his sleeping bag and threw it over my knees, remaining equally as silent. But that small gesture spoke volumes.
"Have you been here all night?" I finally broke the silence.
"No." He said shutting me down with bluntness. He wasn't in the mood to talk.
"I'm sorry." I said sincerely but he didn't answer me.
"So you met my mom?" he finally broke the tension with his frail voice.
"You were never meant to meet my mom." he whispered really quietly, I don't think I was meant to hear that.
"She's - " I started, not really knowing where I was going with it.
"She sells her body for money to whoever will buy it. Yeah I know." he sounded bitter as anger fought to be at the forefront of his emotions.
"And Jax?" I asked, confused as to what role he plays.
"Jax pimps her out." he clenched his jaw hard enough to break his teeth and his breathing became more rapid, I started to wonder if he could handle this. He was full of resentment and rightly so.
"And your dad?" I couldn't stop myself pushing further.
"What dad? I've never had a dad. She doesn't even know who my dad is."
He didn't understand why I asked about his dad but I just wanted to know where he fit into all of this. Has his mum always been like this? Was he born into prostitution? I had lots of questions but there was nothing but intense anger rippling from Liam right now and I was scared that he was dangerously close to losing it. I placed my hand on his thigh and gave it a gentle squeeze.
He flinched, slightly which is an improvement but then he closed his eyes over and took a deep breath. I think our connection made a minuscule amount of hostility subside so I went a little further and placed my hand against his warm cheek. He didn't flinch at all, he just opened his eyes to look at me so I lent in, closing the gap and aiming for his lips. I planted two feather soft pillows on his lips and he reciprocated the kiss in a sweet but brief moment that had no trace of fury.
"If I tell you, you won't want anything to do with me anymore." he whispered, looking like a small, frightened, lost little boy. It pulled on my heart strings that he could even think that.
"Is that what you think?"
He didn't say anything but he nodded his head looking really upset.
"There's nothing that you could ever tell me that would make me leave you. I'm here, I've always been here and I always will be. No matter what." I looked him dead in the eye so he knew I was being truthful, so he could see there wasn't a single doubt in my mind. He just nodded in response.
The air in the treehouse felt thick and raw with so many emotions. We sat for awhile in silence as Liam built up the courage to reveal another part of his story to me. The hardest part of his story. But then he took a deep breath and parted his lips to speak.
"My mom doesn't know who my dad is, I guess he got more than he paid for that night he went with a prostitute. He's probably married with three kids in a penthouse somewhere not knowing I exist. See Liv, I was born into this life. My mom, me, Jax, the countless men she's had round ... it's all I've ever known."
I listened to his sour tone as he spoke about his past, saying nothing in reply but listening intensely as he relieved his story through his own words.
"Mom and Jax they were never an item ... he was never her boyfriend. It's probably why I'm so against relationships because I've never had a great role model for them. He just pimped her out to his drug dealer friends or other clients and then they would blow the money on heavy drugs and alcohol. The only way I survived my childhood is because I had my uses to them that helped bring in money."
Liams voice broke through the lump at the back of his throat. He wiped away a stray tear that fell down his cheeks and I could see that his body was physically shaking. He hesitated to continue while he regained himself and I sat patiently stroking his trembling hand with my thumb.
"Sometimes one of the creeps they brought home would pay extra for me, and my mom would willingly let him into my bedroom."
An involuntary gasp left my lips and Liam bowed his head with shame.
"Liam" I whispered, leaning in to comfort him.
"Liv, please don't touch me. Not right now. I can't."
I backed away giving him the space he needed to recover. He took another deep breath and continued.
"When I was about ten it stopped. I hid a lighter in my room under my blanket, when he approached I set fire to his pubes. Jax gave me one hell of a beating for that, I couldn't move for weeks but the man never asked for me again so it was worth it. I haven't seen him in seven years but I could still pick him out from a lineup."
I felt physically sick hearing all of the abuse Liam has lived through during his seventeen years on this planet. How I once thought he was damaged but he's the opposite, he's strong and brave. How he's been through so much yet he's such a great person inside and out, how his past hasn't affected his future. I felt this overwhelming feeling... this overwhelming feeling of love.
"I just thought to myself in a few months I'm eighteen, I've lived with this my entire life, I can handle a few more months. I've had the beatings, I've had the abuse, I've come home and found them strung out on whatever they've taken and I've had to throw my fingers down their throat to make them vomit it back up just so they didn't die. I thought I didn't need help but I was wrong. I didn't know I needed it until I got it. I blamed myself for years but then I realized it's not my fault. It's their fault. I struggled to control my anger and just pummeled anyone who got my way but then you came along and your presence just calms me. I haven't lost control of myself in a long time, thanks to you. For the first time in eighteen years I feel hopeful, because of you. And I'm really trying with the intimacy thing, but it's hard. I don't know if he messed me up or they messed me up or both but I think that might be the hardest thing that I'll ever have to conquer."
"But you will Liam, I promise you that you will. We'll conquer it together." I took hold of his hand now that he had moved past the really dark part off his story and that small connection between us is exactly what we both needed in that moment.
"Now you know almost everything about me." He said close to my ear, his warm breath bouncing off my skin.
"Almost?" I shrieked with horror.
His lips pulled into a smile "We'll save the rest for another day." and with his smile and a lighter tone I made the assumption that the last part of his story wasn't as dark as the other parts. Liam threw his arm over my shoulder and pulled me in closer to lean on him. He placed a gentle kiss on my forehead. "Thank you for not turning your back on me."
I snuggled into him more as we sat listening to the birds wake up.