After a few days of staying with Indra, I finally returned home -- regardless of his protests and attempts to get me to stay. Of course, by this time I had enough money to get out, but I originally intended to use it on something else.
I snuck up to my room and locked myself in. I sat curled up on my bed. I couldn't hear anyone else in the house. I texted Winn, told him I was here.
He only responded that I should've stayed where I was.
I shook my head a bit. What's going to happen to us?
I was scared, I had a bad feeling in my stomach.
Nevertheless, I carried on as if things were normal. I'd go to school, come home, hide in my room. Repeat.
One day Indra dragged me into the woods behind school. We got into a heavy conversation...
"Just because I'm not dealing with this the way you want me to-" I started.
"No, you're not dealing with this at all, Luc." Indra cut me off.
"Your father did something terrible to you. He deserves to be punished." Indra stated.
He tapped his foot anxiously.
"Can I ask you a direct question?" He asked.
"Of course." I responded.
"Is your father abusing you?"
I turned away from Indra quickly. I couldn't respond to him. What do I do?
"Luc, I saw your face; the day after you fell down the steps. I saw the bandages on your arm." Indra told me.
I rubbed my forearm, the are where I cut myself. I started shaking and pacing.
"You didn't see anything. You were hallucinating." I panted.
"Luc, I can help you." I heard him say.
"Nothing's wrong! I lied!" I shouted maniacally.
"It's too late for that." He muttered.
"I'll help you." He said.
Adding him in to the mix is too much.
"Stay out of it." I hissed.
"Can you calm down a little?" Indra asked calmly.
I realized I was moving around too much. I stood still.
"Inhale. Exhale." Indra guided.
I did what he said; inhale, exhale.
"I'm better now." I spoke.
Indra nodded his head.
When I came home that day, Izzy was cooking -- again-- and Monique was ironing clothes.
"I need you fifteen feet away from the stove at all times." I said upon entering the kitchen.
"Shut up! Dad was hungry!" She fussed.
I looked into the pan. What is that?
"Be careful." I mumbled.
I left the kitchen and went to Monique. Chet was in the living room sleeping.
"Hi." I greeted.
"Hi Luc, how was school?" Monique asked.
"Boring." I responded.
"Didn't you see Evie and Indra?" She asked.
I didn't really like talking about my day at school, I didn't find it important.
Monique picked up on my hesitance and left me alone. I went back into the kitchen and opened the pantry.
"Saltines it is." I muttered.
I sat at the table and started eating. I looked up when I heard a loud sizzle.
"Izzy!" I yelled. She was pouring alcohol into the pan.
I got up, "How many times do I have to tell you?!"
"Pouring alcohol in the pan doesn't make the food taste better!"
"Stop yelling and help me put the fire out!" Izzy yelled back.
I threw a rag on the fire, thinking it would help; that just made it worse. We're dead.
The smoke alarm was going off and making too much noise. Monique charged in. She snatched the pan off the stove and threw it in the sink and turned on the water.
Izzy and I sighed with relief.
"That's it." I held up my hands.
"I'm out." I said.
I went upstairs and stopped by Winn's room after hearing him cough. He's been doing that more often.
"What's going on?" I asked him. He sat up from his bed.
"Close the door." He ordered. I did what he said.
Winn looked a little dark.
I sat down beside him.
"You gonna tell me what's wrong with you?" I questioned.
"Lung cancer." Was all he said.
"Ahh..." I responded. How should I react? Should I care? Because everything's good with us now?
"I'm sorry." I just can't care.
I left him alone. I went back downstairs. I stopped on the steps when I noticed Chet missing. There was light talking in the kitchen. Something else was missing; the iron.
When I entered the kitchen, Chet was holding Izzy in one hand, and the iron in the other. Monique was behind the two trying to stop him. I saw the pan handle hanging out the sink.
"It's just in front of them. I can get him." I thought.
Monique's hand flew up when I stepped forward. I stopped.
"Chet just stop." She pleaded.
"It was an accident." She said.
"Shut up Monique." Chet slurred slightly. He never goes for Izzy.
I looked around. The knives are closer. I slowly moved over.
"Let's see of you'll burn my food again." Chet said sinisterly.
He slammed Izzy's hand on the counter and proceeded to press the iron onto the back of her hand. She started screaming. Monique started pulling at Izzy's hand, trying to free her.
"You son of a bitch!" I made a run for Chet.
I grabbed the pan and proceeded to swing. The iron was swinging my way as well.
I couldn't feel the right side of my face and I was lying on the floor.
"Luc." I heard Izzy sob.
"What did you do?" I heard Monique whimper.
It seemed like I couldn't see everything as a whole, as the same picture.
I rolled over, groaning in pain.
"I'm calling the police." Monique announced.
"You aren't calling anyone!" Chet yelled. I heard a blow land and Monique scream. Then there was a thud. He knocked her out.
Izzy grabbed onto me and tried to sit me up. "Luc, get up!" She cried.
"I can't." I replied. I couldn't will myself to get up.
"Winn!" Izzy called. Once again, Chet was on a rampage. I heard rapid footsteps and then Winn yell.
I sat up and pulled myself to my feet using the edge of the counter. I saw Winn and Chet fighting. I guess seeing Monique lying unconscious sent him over the edge.
Chet had Winn in his hands; he was choking him. I looked down to the floor. The pan. I picked it up and then looked at the two.
Please, hit Chet.
I threw the pan and it hit Chet in the shoulder with a satisfying 'thunk.' He turned and looked at me. I'm next. He threw Winn to the side and came in my direction. I picked up the iron.
I dropped it and covered my ears when there was a thunderous noise. I froze. Chet was on the floor bleeding. Winn stepped back towards me with a smoking gun in his hand.
"Oh my god." My voice shook. When did he get that?
Monique came to and stood up. She looked at all of us; the scene that played out.
"Winn, baby. Put the gun down." She spoke softly.
Winn put the gun on the counter. "I didn't think I'd ever have to..." Winn spoke.
Monique pulled me and Izzy into her. She then looked into my face. What is it? Is it bad?
What's going to happen to us now? Sirens.
Are we going to be arrested?
I was sitting against one of the police cars curled into a ball. Police were all over the place. Chet was still alive; they packed him into an ambulance. Monique and Winn were taken to the police station. I think Monique has a chance of getting arrested. I don't know. Izzy and I were waiting to be taken to the hospital. We refused to ride with Chet.
"At least you can finally get treatment for your injuries." Izzy said hopefully.
Yeah. But I won't see you guys after this.
I'm sure someone from the foster care is already on their way.
"Luc?" Izzy called.
I looked at her.
"I am so sorry." She cried. I looked away from her.
In a hospital room, I was talking with a doctor -- Dr. Minn. I had to tell him a lot.
"My dad raped me." I stated.
"And the ribs?" He asked.
"Him." I responded.
"You can rest easy Luc, he won't be coming anywhere near you. Ever again."
After he examined me, I laid in a hospital bed. I had been denying it, but when Chet hit me with the iron it burned my face and sealed my right eye shut. My face is permanently scarred, and my eye is permanently closed. I refused to look in a mirror. I didn't want to know how bad I looked.
Dr. Minn came in after a while and sat down.
"Luc, your injuries are not consistent with the one assault you told me about. So I have to ask you; did your father assault you repeatedly, or was it someone else?" Dr. Minn asked.
What do I say? That my siblings would take turns with me?! What'll happen to them? Winn especially, he's twenty-five. He'd be arrested! What do I do?
"It was him." I lied.
"And about your ribs; duct tape was a terrible idea. Your waist area is a little deformed." I tuned him out a little. Sure, they fixed me up, but there wasn't much they could do.
Dr. Minn stood up. "A 'Mrs. Carte' is here to see you." He informed me.
A few seconds after he left, Mrs. Carte came in. She had cut her chocolate-like hair since I last saw her. Still wearing a suit.
"Hi Luc." She said softly.
"Hi." I responded.
"You have to take me back. Don't you?" I asked her.
She nodded sadly, "Yes. This case will be going to family court once your adoptive father is back on his feet."
"Until that time, you'll be at the foster home." She said.
I nodded. There was a knock on the door.
It opened and Dr. Minn and two police officers entered.
I scooted away. "Don't worry. You aren't in any trouble." Dr. Minn assured me.
One of the officers backed up that statement.
"We're here to gather evidence. Your brother told us about the abuse. We need to take pictures." The other officer said.
I looked down. "It's okay Luc." Mrs. Carte said softly.
I undid my hospital gown and watched them all swallow throw up.
They took pictures of my scars; the words on my back, my torso, and my face.
"I did that to myself." I stated when asked about the bandage on my forearm. The cuts were healed (mostly), but they were ugly scars now, so I hid them from everyone.
I put my gown back on.
"Don't worry, Luc. This will put your adoptive father away for a long time." Everyone keeps saying that to me, "don't worry."
I want to get out of here.
I looked at Mrs. Carte, "Can we leave now?"
She looked at Dr. Minn.
"Yes. The pain medication should be in affect by now." He told us.
Everyone left for me to get dressed.
"Just grab what you want to carry and we'll get going." Mrs. Carte said after we pulled up to the house.
I was honestly scared to go back in. When I did, I rushed. I went to my closet and pulled out a big red box from the top shelf. It was something I always kept with me; from what I was told, it had my past in it. I don't know. I never looked inside. I then grabbed a picture of me, Evie, and Indra. I had my phone in my pocket.
I ran out of the house and got in the car with Mrs. Carte. "Ready?" I nodded.
Trees moved past us. Goodbye North Carolina. Goodbye Mallard Creek. Goodbye Evie. Goodbye Indra.