Once upon a time, I murdered my dad. At least I thought I did. I remember everything so vividly. We were arguing about my school work again. The teacher hated me and would lose my work every other day. He was in my face yelling in his deep gravelly voice. I recall wiping his spit off my cheek, it reeked like the cheap beer he was drunk on. No matter how many times I tried to stay calm and explain to him what I did or didn’t do, that she would just outright lie about my work, he didn’t care. I had finally reached my breaking point. One moment I was standing there, taking the verbal abuse and the next, I was in the bathroom covered in blood. It wasn’t my blood, I checked. The house was dead quiet.
Not wanting to leave a blood trail from my bathroom, or get into trouble if this wasn’t dad’s blood, I took a shower. Wrapping myself in my bathrobe and slippers, I slowly make my way down the hall. The lights were off, only the light of the moon guiding me. I silently thanked the weird construction of the skylights in this rundown house. After reaching my room and not getting any switches to work, I grabbed my phone. It was almost dead, great. I pulled the old headlamp from my drawer, the batteries were old and not super bright, but it’ll work. With the beam on top of my head, I doubled back to the hall. Nowhere between my room and the hall was a single droplet of blood.
I’ve no clue how I got to the bathroom without at least one drop falling. There was seriously a lot of blood. I continued through the house, making my way to the stairs. Each step was calculated to avoid the noisy floorboards. The stairs were the worst, the only way to avoid them squeaking was to slowly slide down on my butt but only touching the last inch of the board. It took many whoopings before I was able to figure this route out, I disagreed with the bedroom curfew that was placed upon me. Climbing out the window was never an option, my dad purposely planted poison ivy in the stupid flower boxes attached to the windows.
Finally, I was on the ground floor. There were less squeaky sections here. I quickly checked each room, finding nothing amiss. No blood, no bodies, not even a random cup left anywhere. The no blood, ok, still weird since I was covered in it. No bodies, still ok, I’m still not sure where the blood came from. But the no cups? Even I knew there was no way in hell dad had come through and grabbed his cups from earlier.
Last stop was the kitchen, I almost wasn’t brave enough to look. Biting my lip, I braced myself for what I was sure to see and peeked around the doorway. There was… nothing. Absolutely nothing. No blood, no body, no dishes or trash or anything. It was like someone had professionally cleaned it. Even the spaghetti stains were gone from the wall. I sniffed a few times, there was no odor. Normally you can smell the remains of the beer in the bottom of all his cans. It was gone. There wasn’t even a chemical trace. The amount of scrubbing that had to have been done would have needed bleach or something. But it was just air, nothing noticeable about it.
I had no clue what to expect. Should I keep looking? The only places left to look for anything would be the places I avoided like the plague. The attic was full of crap from the previous owners and my dad never bothered to move. The basement, yeah that place, it was more than just the cold dark habitat for spiders. It was seriously creepy. I’ve taken so many beatings for not going down there. So many times he’s tried to send me down there to restart the heater or to flip a breaker. I’m not sure what it is but, I just can’t go beyond that door. Standing at the top of those stairs, seeing them disappear into the dark void and my body stiffens. My hands become vice grips on the door frame. There is no way I’m going down there to look for anything.
Which leaves one last place to maybe look, the garage. It’s detached, technically. But it’s so close to the house that you can barely push a bike through the space between the house and it. I’ve actually gotten in trouble for my handlebars leaving a black streak on the wall once. It wasn’t my fault the people who built this place couldn’t see straight. The garage was almost as bad as the basement. It was a lot like the attic, filled with random shit. I don’t even know how much of it is ours. Normally I’m not allowed to go in there. It’s his ‘shop’. It’s not like he’s actually handy or crafty. I don’t even know what he does in there. Beyond maybe holding stacks of that crappy beer he’s always drinking, it’s probably filled with empty beer can pyramids and buckets of piss.
Hoping, I had just blacked out and landed in something that resembled blood earlier, I was done looking. I still don’t feel safe though, things are too fucking weird. Instead of heading to my room, I go to the laundry room instead. I had done a load of laundry earlier, grabbing some clothes out of the dryer, I quickly get dressed. No fucking clue why I didn’t after my shower. I guess I just had to see if he was finally dead. One of my comforters was still folded on the dryer, making the next decision even easier. I made sure the laundry room door was barely shut like normal and pulled loose the wood paneling on the wall. I had found this hidden spot when we first moved here. Many nights I’ve hidden in here to avoid his drunken abuse. Shoving my blanket in first, I crawl in with my bathrobe under my arm. Only stopping long enough to pull the paneling back into place.
This hidey hole of mine wasn’t super huge, I’m not even sure why it even exists. But it has saved me from so many unearned beatings. The only downside is when the stupid rats decide to invade the house. The first place they seem to find is my hidden lair, destroying anything I have here. Many times I’ve had to sleep on the rubbish on the floor, not being able to grab a blanket or two in my haste to get in here before he found me. Tonight though, tonight I had the comforter to sleep on and my robe to cover me. It was much better than trying to get comfortable between the wall frames and pipes. I have no clue what happened earlier, but if he’s pissed about it, he’ll have a hell of a time finding me. All these years, he’s never found me in here.
Closing my eyes, I hope that the morning would bring answers to tonight’s weird shit. The slight ding of my phone reminded me that I needed to turn it off, to save what battery I had left. And that I needed to figure out how to run a charger into here. Ugh, I’m gonna have to clean my clothes too. Those were my favorite jeans, I wonder if I have enough peroxide to sizzle the blood out of them. I think I shoved them under the counter. Everything keeps seeming to spin out of focus. With thoughts of phone chargers and washing bloody clothes, I fall into the oblivion of sleep.