Chapter 12: A Gun in My Hand
May 18, 2017
I wake up all groggy. It’s still dark outside. I lay under the covers with an indescribable emptiness. I don’t even want to go to school anymore. I just don’t.
I zone at the strange dresser in Sarah’s house. I am nothing but a weak, sensitive little half-goon. I can’t fight him. I would never win. And I know it.
Half asleep, I walk over to the desk and grab my heavy blue schoolbag. I carry it on my back, limping over to the black box I hid under the bed. I grab the box, put it inside my bag, and stuff it in with all of my books.
I just wish this could all go away. But inside, I know I can never escape Henry.
I can’t. I can’t escape him!
I limp downstairs, and I walk over to Sarah’s kitchen table, where I shove a bunch of cereal into my mouth. She isn’t awake yet and it’s still dark outside, and I can hear the rumbling of a nearby train. Steadily, the wails of the train’s churning wheels gets closer and closer, then they thunk away like demons that disappear off into the atmosphere somewhere.
I finish my cereal and pull the black box out of my bag. I open the box and hold a gun in my hand. Dominance, power, and victory rush through my veins. Carefully, I place it back in the box and into my book bag.
I jump into my jeep and back out of the driveway.
I smile at my reflection in the rearview mirror. I can just see the look on his face now when I put this gun up to his head and place my finger on the trigger. What’s he going to say to this? Huh? Aaaaaaahhhhhhhh. Sweet vengeance.
The sky is still dark. The stop sign at the bottom of the hill flashes on and off, and I brake and then roll down my window. I feel a sickness inside. It’s a very lost and dark sickness that I have never known. I take a deep breath of fresh air and then exhale. I can almost see the sickness flutter out from my lungs and fly away into the morning.
I still have about twenty minutes before we meet so I decide to drive past my yellow townhome.
I look over and see that old lady sitting on her porch even at this early hour. Only this time, she is waving at me with a weird smile on her face. Right before I drive past, she runs down the street and up to my jeep, hobbling, and flags me down like a security guard, waving her arms.
Irritated, I roll down the window, “Can I help you? I have got to get to school.”
“Are you Raines’ son? Leo?” she asks.
“Darling, your mom needs to talk to you when you get home from school about something. You had a visitor yesterday at your house. Also, she left this here by accident the other day. It clogged up my drain pipe. I somehow extracted this puppy out, and here it is,” she laughs.
She hands me my mother’s wedding ring. I recognize the color of the gold and the three diamonds on top. If I could spot anything of my mother’s, it would that ring. I have seen it on her hand for as long as I can remember.
“It must have fallen off her finger or maybe she took it off. But anyhow, darling, I thought I would give to you. Can you slip it in her jewelry box for her?” she asks.
I put the ring on the passenger seat and drive away. Whatever, this is the least of my concerns right now. I need to focus. I drive down the street smiling at the black box. I am about to win a battle!
I hit the usual stoplights. One by one, they whisper evil delightful words into my ears as I hit the gas and pass them.
The light turns green, and I drive down the street a little ways before approaching the last red light before the school. The sky starts to lighten. I look over at my bag. This dark place I have reached is new and unusual. But I like it. I stare at the red light flashing. I step on the gas and run the light. I don’t care anymore.
I drive through the big red brick entrance of the school, driving slowly past the principal’s office on the right. I smile a little bigger. She sits at her desk, next to the window, typing on her computer.
Students are walking in and out the front gate in their typical cliques of threes and fours.
I drive further down to the school, towards the parking lot, and I place my bag in my lap and coat my lips with red wild cherry Chapstick.
I see him. He is standing near my vacant parking spot—waiting . . . boiling…raging. I see him standing there in his blue untucked plaid shirt and long curly hair.
I clutch on to my book bag with wild fury as it emanates from my newfound dark world. I smash my foot on the brake. Screams are echoing from the darkness within. They are lost.
I know I will never forget this moment. Because I know that when I take my foot off this brake and drive into the parking lot, I will sell my soul to the devil. It’s ok. It’s ok. I tell myself over and over. The screams are getting louder.
But my dark moment halts for a second—Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring. What?! It’s my cell phone. I struggle for a second, snapping out of the depths of hell.
I look down at the screen of my phone. It’s my dad.
In my state of shock, I don’t even pick up the phone. Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring. Ring . . . I let it go to voicemail.
I clutch the phone to my chest. I blink my eyes a couple of times and sit in my jeep for a couple of minutes.
No. I can’t.
This isn’t right. I know what I must do. I force my foot down on the gas so hard, it scruffs the metal and my jeep screeches out the parking lot like a cop chasing a drug dealer. Speeding down the highway towards my old home, the dark screams inside gently disappear like a ghost.