There wasn’t a thing left for me in this house. All I could feel was drastic shifting underneath me. This weight that was planted on my shoulders, as I carried my way through life. I threw myself into work, because that is all I could do. Bussing tables after all was all I would ever be good for. There were still those that threw jabs at me. And told me I was disgusting for what I had done in my past, but if only they knew what I had done in my present. Perhaps they would be just as disgusted, maybe even more so. Could I fix what ailed my little sister? I doubted it.
I had caused her deep despair, and because of it, I had sent her into a downward spiral. Just like when Cooper died she didn’t leave her bedroom—she shut everyone out—especially me. Our children wanted their mother, but she would only see them before bed, when she could tuck them in.
She was wasting away right before my very eyes, and there was nothing that I could do to prevent it. She was going to die from a broken heart—a heart that I broke, and had no idea how to fix. Anna hadn’t returned since the day she shouted out her proclamation to the whole house. Our children couldn’t understand why Belle was so upset, and all I could manage to explain to them was that I had done a bad thing. That it was my fault, not Belle’s.
I had conquered my inane fear of the basement, where my old bedroom had been set up, in order to dig through some old boxes, and find Bob. My old, worn stuffed cow from my childhood days—the only form of comfort I could currently rely upon. I had taken to sleeping on the couch at night, lulled by the sounds of the house, and I barely knew what to do anymore. Was I supposed to try to reconcile with her when she no longer loved me? How did I even go about doing that? I could only take her at her word that any love she had for me was gone.
One damned thing I couldn’t make myself stop thinking about was my sex drive. It was at a maximum level of need, due in part to all of the stress that was incurred in the house. I had no outlet for my frustrations, and knowing that made me so sick. So very, very sick.
Belle had grown angry at me because I had these needs, and I couldn’t help them, but I also felt that I needed to suffer—I deserved to for what I had done. And I managed to take my frustrations generally out on the tables at work. Scrubbing them harder than I needed to, brushing off my coworkers that asked me how my sister is doing, and whether she would ever return to work. The truth was that I didn’t know the answer to such a question.
Would my sister return to work? I didn’t think she would. Not when I couldn’t pull her out of this, or convince her that what had occurred was not how she imagined it. What I had done with Anna had been the worst mistake of my life, and I wasn’t able to fix it. My shattered memories were still not pieced together properly, even though I had some from before the asylum they were scattered, and not all of them fit properly together. They were like a mosaic, that was now broken, and unclear as to what it had originally been. I had been convinced that the memories were wrong for me to hang on to, and that I needed to let them go.
In reality my brain was probably fried from years of torture on a daily basis, and I knew that. But as I came home from work tonight I knew that there was nothing I could do to fix what I had lost. Which only further cemented my fate of sheer unabated loneliness. Climbing the stairs two at a time I barely greeted Isaiah on his way out before I made it to the shower. I scrubbed my skin until it was raw, wanting to erase any traces of that greasy restaurant.
A customer had thrown their pop in my face, sprinkling me with the sticky liquid in their hatred for who I was. This is what I had been reduced to, and I couldn’t say for even a moment that I didn’t deserve what happened to me.
Hateful tears welled in my eyes as I scrubbed, and scrubbed. And before I knew it I was crying, but it wasn’t because of what had happened at work, but because of what Belle had said to me nearly two weeks ago. ’I have no love left to give you.’
It made me sadder than she could possibly know, to come to realize that I would never know her love again, that encompassing warmth that would brighten my day. So many times I had thought back on her words, and they broke me every single time, without fail.
Soon I was sobbing in the shower without any ability to prevent myself, and I clenched my hand into a fist as I bit into the skin, wanting to feel nothing at all, but as usual I felt the stinging of my own teeth as they bit into the flesh, proving that despite the agony she induced within me—I was still human after all.
The decorations for Christmas had all been hung throughout our house, thanks to me. However, those decorations were not to benefit anyone in this house aside from the children. There would be no holiday spirit when it came to Belle, and I. This was everyone’s first Christmas without Cooper, and I didn’t know how the children especially would cope with that. But there was also an absence that only seemed to worsen in Belle.
But there had been one other unsuspecting visitor on our doorstep. Anna. She had returned to apologize to me. But I wasn’t the one that needed to be apologized to ( not especially ) and I found myself standing in front of her awkwardly in the chilly December wind with my hands in my coat pockets.
“I am sorry, for how I handled things…you have every right to be upset with me, but please—don’t take it out on your baby.” She had her hand resting on her stomach, not even a bump was showing yet, but it surely would be soon.
“If you think I could abandon an innocent child then you don’t know me very well at all.” I spoke with a deadened tone, a puzzled expression on my face. “But you ruined every good thing that I ever had with Belle.”
“I know, and Eli…you have to know that I didn’t expect you to be anything more to me than you were before we slept together…” She spoke as though it were obvious, and it made my stomach clench in spite for the girl standing in front of me. Only a few weeks ago she had insisted that she wanted to do away with the pregnancy, but now seemed more eager than ever to go back on that notion.
Perhaps not, but you just had to destroy my life in the process, didn’t you?” I let the words come naturally, not holding back what I wanted to say, no matter how atrocious they may seem. I had no reason to play nice, without Belle, what did I have? Memories of a place I would rather forget.
“What we did—was not wrong, Eli. In the moment it was what we both needed, you need things, Eli—things that you didn’t need before—“ She ignored my spiteful words, instead digging into me right where I was weak. The memories of her drunken slurs refused to leave my memory bank. That night when she had whispered about how I needed touch—How I desperately needed to have sex.
“No, Anna. It was wrong. There was nothing right about what we did—“
“But it felt right—“
“Please—Don’t. It didn’t—It doesn’t.” I couldn’t feel my face, the icy cold was biting into my flesh, reminding me of how badly I simply wanted to be numb. To not have to feel what as being said to me, nor have an emotional connection to my sister’s once best friend.
She reached for me, connection with my cheek, and chills rushed up my spine, as I lifted my ungloved hand to wrap around her wrist, yanking her touch down from where she was brushing.
“I mean it—I can never do that with you again!” I was harsher this time, less without a filter.
“Once I thought we might be friends, Eli…it was one night—between friends.”
Shuddering I released my tight grip on her wrist, taking a single step back from her, desperately feeling that itch inside of my own skin that made me want to abandon it. To leave my whole body behind in lieu of staying inside of this ray of discomfort at all times.
“Do you not see what that one night has done to me, Anna? Do you not care that it has destroyed your best friend? My sister?! She won’t even talk to me! She hates me!” I had longing so desperately in my bones for the girl that I love that it was painful to be in the vicinity of her. Knowing that what we had wasn’t normal to begin with, but was now completely gone—I couldn’t explain how awful that felt.
I was trying to hold myself together, so that I might show some strength, in front of Anna, but it was becoming increasingly difficult when she used such low blows against me every chance she gets. Striking my weaknesses, just because she could.
“I do know—I do, but Eli, she will get over what happened. Just don’t give up on her. She never gave up on you.” She made no attempt to further comfort me with physical affections, but she did use her words to draw across meanings.
“No, she didn’t, but I didn’t offer her that same support, Cooper is dead, and all I could think about was how much my cock ached to be inside of her. So I used you, when I couldn’t have her.” I let the words fall out, making no conscious decision to prevent them, whilst caring not at all, about how much they might sting her as they came out.
“I didn’t come here to fight….” Was her only response, but I could see the tears glinting in her eyes—for once the chatty brunette could find no rebuke. Nothing that she could use to defend what we had done any further.
Rubbing my eyes with my fingers I made a low grunt in my throat, before forcing the blue-orbs back open. “You shouldn’t have come at all.” I finally squared my shoulders, before elaborating further, “If Belle sees you here, god only knows what she will think. I will help with the child, but that is all—I don’t want anything but a cordial relationship with you.”
Tears were still burning her eyes, and even through the icy wind I could see that she was biting them back, only offering a nod as she chewed on her lower lip she turned away from me, before heading down the steps, back towards her hot-pink car.
I didn’t want to be a dick to her, but I was steadily declining, mentally. I no longer held any desire for life, the only thing that kept me going were the children that I had helped father. Little Anya was the brightest light of them all even through all of the turmoil that plagued my thoughts. I felt as though I was drifting in an endless ocean, but I couldn’t even remotely surface without her arms to pull me towards it.
It was because she was the spitting image of Belle when she was a little girl, with her flowing blond locks, and undeniably inquisitive green eyes I thought of her as someone I could connect with. Even if she was only three—she knew more than she let on. Tonight as I settled about the chores, cleaning like Belle used to, cooking a frozen pizza from the freezer I forced myself to play games with the children, to read them a bedtime story that was filled with the Christmas spirit even though I had none, and when I settled alone on my spot on the couch I heard the sound of pattering footfalls.
I was gripping onto Bob the cow, an arm draped around the plush toy, while tears wet either of my cheeks. It was pure dismay that clouded over me. When she approached me I desperately tried to erase the traces of my tears but she could most likely see the puffy redness of my eyes as she stood at eye level with me, gripping her favorite blanket.
“Daddy…why are you, and mommy sad?” Climbing onto the couch she nuzzled close to me, until I could smell the honey-sweet soap I had bathed her in earlier in the day.
“We are just having a rough time right now, sweetheart, nothing you need to worry about.” Brushing my fingers through her strands of hair, I kissed her forehead with feeling. Clenching my jaw as I drew her in closer. It took everything not to break out in tears again, from the reminder of how Belle used to come to me in the same exact way. With her rounded eyes staring at me when we were little until I would wrap my arms around her, therein promising all of the bad dreams would fade away in time.
But she wasn’t the one having bad dreams—like Anya was too much like her mother before time ruined who she was. A kind, beautiful soul that only wanted to bring light, and joy to those around her.
Even though our children were created by sins, they still held the purest of hearts, even Gabriel whom was not only my namesake, but appeared to look just like me, protected his younger siblings just in the same way I had protected Belle.
I wish she could see that these children that remained to us, needed her just as much as I did, and that even though we had lost two—we still have three healthy, and very much alive ones that miss their mother. Even little Hope didn’t understand why she couldn’t hug ‘mama’ without her barely reacting, or caring like she had weeks ago.
“Maybe you can ask Santa for help…” She quipped, offering me a sheepish smile.
I shook my head, “Oh, sweetheart—Santa can’t bring something to fix this problem, it’s in our hearts you see.” I explained softly.
“Oh.” She made a slight face as she thought for a moment, before beaming again, “Well I will be here, Daddy. I will make it all better.” She cooed out the words in her most girlish tone, before smiling at me.
It was just like that, that the loneliness ebbed away, at least for a little while as I plunged into sleep, preparing to tackle the next day head on.
“Settle down, Gabriel—“ I was harsh with him, but the morning breakfast would quickly become a disaster if he started flinging food at Anya.
She was giggling shyly up at me, as Taylor moved to lift her putting him on his knee.
“I can handle breakfast if you need me to.” Taylor spoke up, because I was already running late for work, but also nearing my breaking point. All of the kids were hyper this morning, including Hope whom was fidgeting, and crying out for her ‘mama’ every few moments.
“Fine, take over, will you?” I needed to go speak to Belle—or try to—before I headed out for the day to take yet another shift at the diner.
“Daddy!!!!” Whined Anya, as I gave her a soft kiss on the forehead.
“I will play with you later, I have to get going, Anya.”
She pouted, but finally settled on Taylor’s lap, before I headed up the stairs two at a time. I still needed to get dressed, and some of my clothes were still in Belle’s room.
Walking in without knocking I halted to a stop as I saw that she was standing in front of her vanity, her bodice on full display, as she looked in the newly replaced mirror that mother had bought for her ( as though her smashing the last one had never happened in the first place ) and I was at an instantaneous loss for words.
“What—What are you doing?” I managed to stammer out, closing the door behind myself.
She didn’t turn at the sound of my voice, just traced her fingers down her breast, cupping the mound, before drawing patterns over her stomach with soundless ease. Dark rings were prominent right underneath either eye, whilst I tried so damned hard not to gawk, but just the alluring sight of her creamy skin was enough to draw the most obvious reaction out of me. My length was swelling, stiffening under the fabric of my boxers, with only a white shirt on my top I could hardly pull it down to hide the tent forming.
“Look at all these imperfections…” Her voice was distant, barely sounding like her own.
Currently she was tracing the scar from her C-section, and next she traced a light scar along her side, from a childhood injury long healed, but never fully faded.
“All I see is the same, beautiful girl I have always seen when I look at you. My Belle.
She flinched at my words, finally drawn from her trance-like state her piercing green eyes set on me. I forced my own to focus on hers, rather than the bareness of her form that I so desperately wanted to touch.
“I’m not yours.” She reminded me, “Not anymore.”
And she wasn’t. Even though my heart thought differently. My brain knew she wasn’t.
“But you are a mother. With three children that love you, and need you.” She dismissed that notion, turning back to continue gawking at her reflection in the mirror, and I drew in closer. The scent of her washed frame was prominent in the air. Her rose-bud soap permeating the general surrounding area, and her blond curls were still slightly damp. I wanted to touch her—I ached to touch her, but I knew she would fill with untimely rage if I attempted to.
“Am I still? A mother? If all my children insist on leaving me—leaving this world for the beyond? How much longer, Gabriel? How much longer until they all go up to join Cooper? And our miscarried one?” I flinched at the usage of my first name, still so foreign falling from her tongue as her hand traced my cheek, then down my shirt front straight to my the hem of my boxers where she could noticeably tell I was well into arousal.
“Of course you are—“ I broke off as she gripped my manhood, through the fabric, and I uncontrollably whimpered. It felt so good after so many weeks without her touch.
“Your cock put those children inside of me. And your treacherous lips whispered lies about how you would stay with me, with them. Then you went and left me all alone, and told me to ‘find another’ as if it were so easy—“
“Belle Please—“ I felt her squeezing my manhood exceptionally tight, and I turned my face from hers.
“I had no choice, Belle—I wanted to stay true to my word—you know I did—“
“But then you returned—so broken, and fucked up—so I took pity on you—and all you wanted was to fuck me. Even after we lost our son—Even now when I tell you I’m not yours you sneak in here to watch me naked, you get hard—“
I was biting back tears, trembling in front of her.
“Cheat on me with my best friend, and put another child inside of her, as if you haven’t created enough with me—“ She was stroking me now, and I was letting out wisps of breath, gasping, whimpering. My body needed this, despite all of the cruel words she spat, the vile things she was thinking as she gave me what she knew I couldn’t help craving.
“I only needed my clothes—“ But she was no longer listening.
“So take the last bit of me, big brother. You want me to service you? Fine—but I don’t belong to you.”
Before I could protest she was on her knees, taking the length of me into her mouth, and I could feel the contrast of the hot cavern, to my cold prick, and I shuddered, as my eyes clenched shut. Taking in the burning sensations I grunted, spasms bustling through every vein in my body, but ultimately it was pure shame that I felt when I came undone inside of her mouth. She made me feel even sicker than I already did. There was no redemption for what she had turned me into, nor would I recover from my time in the asylum now. Not without her loving hand to guide me there, but this was not love. It was revenge. In every sense of the word.
Finished getting me off she wiped her lips, standing to her feet, as I collapsed to my knees. Scrambling for the nearest corner I felt everything inside of me finally break. I could hear my blood pounding, feel my skin pulsing, but I merely wanted to die. I didn’t want to feel anything, but I ultimately didn’t want to do this anymore. I wanted to be better, someone that she could love, but somewhere along the way I lost myself—I lost her. She couldn’t love me, and I couldn’t love myself. There was no talking about how much this hurt.
How I was sobbing in the corner, thoughts of work forgotten, as I regressed, right back to when my cock was grabbed without my consent, to when I was raped, brutalized, scolded for the love I had for the only person that mattered to me. Belle. How now even that love had been tainted from her own lips, and nothing I could say, or do would change it. I sobbed for the boy I was when I was taken to that dreadful place, and the broken creature I had become now that I was freed from that prison.
“I’m not a man—not a man…” it was all I could say, “ Not a brother—not even a good father…Belle, you’ll never know the shame I feel from all I have done.
And she wouldn’t no one could. And the broken mess that was me, couldn’t move—I couldn’t deal with this emotional distress instead I broken down. I felt the world spinning around me, I let the ceilings of my psyche cave in, and let the rest consume me whole. I thought I might be able to patch things up. I might be a better father if I gave all of myself to the children, but I had even failed to do that properly. I was in totality—a failure.
Painful lunges of air scraped into my lungs as I began to panic, clawing at the wall until my nails were broken, bleeding, whilst chewing my lips until the skin broke through. This was what it felt like to die inside—I didn’t remember what it felt like that first time because of the electric jolts flooding through my body, but this time—I knew I would never forget.
This time, it was the love of my life that brought the breakage about.