Dollhouse

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14. Headlights

Buildings seem to pass by quickly as I keep crutching on. My leg is crying out in pain, but so is my heart, and it wins over my leg.

Streetlights shine down as I go under them, people seem to be talking on their phones a lot, cars zoom by, needing to get somewhere. Six o’clock traffic. Isn’t it great? It drowns out the thoughts of everything and everyone everywhere and each little thing that needs to be fixed in my life, each little thing that needs to be erased from my memory.

People look at me strangely and a few ask if I need help, but I just shake my head and keep going forward, not knowing where it is I’m actually headed.

My phone rings constantly.

They’re trying to call me.

So they couldn’t follow me and stop me from heading out into the city, but they have the audacity and the energy to call me? They couldn’t get into their expensive little cars and come find me, but they could call me to ask me where I am? Are you serious?

Great parenting, mom and dad.

I sit down on a bench.

I’m exhausted.

“That’s my seat—hey, it’s you!”

The drunken slur startles me. I look up to see the low-life that stabbed my brother.

Rage takes over my bloodstream and I stand up, my leg screaming out. He looks worse than that night, but my brother can’t even see that now. It’s this man’s fault. It’s his fault I’m grieving, his fault my brother is dead. Gone.

I swing my fist around and connect it with the man’s nose.

“You killed my brother!”

A few people stop to watch and move on.

“I—”

“This is all your fault!” I push the alcohol-smelling man roughly and take a step back, breathing heavily. “You have no idea what you’ve done to my family—what you’ve done to me!”

“Don’t yell at me, kid!” The man slurs.

“I will yell at whoever I want to fricking yell at, and right now it’s you, because it is your fault!” The man tries to talk over me, but I don’t let him. “You chose to be drunk. You chose to prey on a minor. You chose to send that knife into my brother! Don’t tell me it’s not your fault!”

“Hey!” The man shouts as I keep on yelling. “Shut it. Shut it! The cops—the cops are right there.”

“Good! Let them hear! This man killed my brother!”

The man shoves me.

I stumble into the road.

Headlights.

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