The diner was my second home, and I worked there daily during the week. They gave me a free dinner every shift so that I wouldn’t go hungry. The weekends were the opposite. We had little money left after mother paid the bills, even with my salary, and food was often the last item of the list, and so we went without.
I don’t care how scrawny I am, I don’t care what others thought. I just wanted to be left alone. To get through school so I could get a better job to support her, and hopefully, get us out of this dreadful town.
I walked up the few steps to my front door but noticed it was cracked open. Stopping, I listened.
“Yo, Jason. Check this out!” A man called. I saw another man in his 30s entered the living room through the kitchen, long dirty blonde hair covered most of his face, but I could see the darkness of his eyes. I couldn’t hear my mother and wondered if she was passed out. I prayed she was.
“What, Jay?” The man named Jason rolled his eyes, setting his knife down as he left the kitchen. “I don’t care how you fuck her, man. Just do it so we can leave. That kid will be back any minute.”
Their voices muffled as I stepped away, knowing I had to hide before they came through the door. It sounded like it was only two of them, and I can’t fight worth shit.
I hopped over the railing that ran it’s way up to my front door and pushed into the bushes, wincing as a few thorns shoved themselves into my bare arms.
“Fuck!” I gasped, pulling my arm back to see a long cut down the outside of my left arm, bleeding onto the ground. Super...that’ll leave a scar.
A loud bang from inside the house grabbed my attention and I was grateful it was so dark outside. A gunshot?! Mom! I choked back a sob, knowing I had to be quiet or I’d be next. I knew how these things ended, I watched enough crime TV.
Then, as quickly as the shot had happened, the two men were busting ass out the front door.
“Fuck, Jay! You were supposed to have the damn silencer on! If Mack finds out, we’re screwed.” Jason came out first, the gun was in his hand, and he was quickly shoving it into his back pocket.
“How was I supposed to keep track of everything, Jason?” The man named Jay came out second, fixing the belt on his waist. He was taller than Jason, with the same messy blonde hair but buzzed. “I had to keep an eye out for the kid, I had to put on the silencer, I had to find us a getaway spot. Fuck, Jason. Don’t you ever do anything?”
Their voices faded as they swung themselves into a dark car and took off.
I was breathing heavily as a few minutes went by, but could hear police sirens in the distance. Of course, someone called the cops, I hissed to myself, dragging air into my lungs and crawling out of the bush, my arm no longer bleeding.
I walked slowly up my front steps, not sure what I wanted to see but knowing I had to look anyway. There hadn’t been any screams, no shouts. No sounds had come from my mother while the two men were inside our home.
The door had been left wide open, and I was able to get inside without touching it. My hands shook violently as I turned into the living room. Blood covered the walls behind the couch and onto the floor. My mother lay on the couch, a hole through her forehead. Her top was stretched out, sliding down the arm that was against the floor, while her skirt was up against her waist. No panties to be seen.
Tears filled my eyes and I fell to the floor, my face inches from the rug as I struggled to breathe.
“W-what am I going to do now?” I gasped finally, staring at the blood-stained spots on the floor. The sirens had gotten closer in the few minutes it took me to get inside and see her. “I-I gotta go.” I realized. I grasped her hand on the floor, tugging off the bracelet I had made her when I was young.
Standing, I stared at the bracelet. “I’ll find them, Mom. I’ll find Mack, Jay, and Jason.” I growled, clenching the bracelet in my fist. “I’ll make them all fucking pay.”
Turning back towards the front door, I shoved the bracelet in my jeans pocket and ran, my backpack thumping against my spine.
I made it a good three houses down before the police screeched to a stop in front of the apartment, and I stood to watch them get out of their cruisers warily, guns were drawn and spotlights flooding the street.
“I’ll find them. I’ll make them trust me, and then I’ll gut them while they scream.” I hissed under my breath, pulling my gaze from the apartment.
I swung around, facing away from the chaos, and walked away, my hands gripping the straps of my backpack.
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