A funeral for a condom? Blaze was so strange, but I couldn’t help and smile thinking about solemn faces surrounding a tombstone in the school field, and Wild singing lewd songs about sex whilst fake crying.
“Hey Angel.” Evelyn said as I walked through the door.
She hugged me, and I became rigid at the contact. She sighed and kissed the side of my face, asking how my day was. I shrugged and mumbled something. She didn’t really care anyways.
“You’re getting so tall.” Evelyn remarked.
I nodded about to go up to my room to change when she gently grabbed my wrist. She always told me I was her favourite, Cerys said it was because I was the only boy, but I didn’t believe it. If I was her favourite, why didn’t she ever stop Ryan?
“Caylex, be careful today.” She said, casting an eye over the left side of my abdomen where Ryan had punched me last night.
Not that it mattered if I was well-behaved or not. Ryan, especially if he was drinking, could find any reason to be angry. Yesterday, he thought I had looked at him funny. I hadn’t even been home at the alleged time of disrespect. Luckily, he saw reason after the first couple of punches.
I wasn’t pathetic. Saying that made me sound pathetic, but I’m pretty sure I wasn’t. I could stand up for myself. I was nearly the same height as my father and probably a lot stronger, he was neither brains nor brawn, just a blob of trans fats.
But I never did. Maybe because he was still my father. Maybe it was because if I fought back, I was scared I would lose control. Maybe because deep down I still loved him. Maybe because I would rather he hurt me than any one of my sisters. Maybe that did make me a little pathetic.
“Hey, how was school kiddo?” Tori asked in Spanish as I fell backwards onto my bed, pulling my shirt off.
Tori my older sister was 25 and had come to stay for the weekend. She was my favourite sister, and by that, I meant she was the only sister who didn’t try and get me in trouble with Ryan.
“Since when did you start learning Spanish?” I asked.
“Chase, we are Spanish, I should technically already know, like you.”
Evelyn had taught me Spanish, the others never wanted to learn it. Ryan didn’t know it either so she said it was like our own secret code, back when she cared.
“School was alright.” I said changing my shirt quickly so she didn’t see the bruise on my stomach.
“Hold on, what happened here?” She asked pulling my shirt up.
“Blaze.” I lied.
Even though Blaze rarely punched me that hard, he preferred biting and scratching and faking his death.
“Aw, look at your six-pack and muscles.” She cooed.
“Weirdo.” I said moving away from her and her long painted nails.
Tori smiled and ruffled my hair. She was only 8 years older than me, but I suppose she was like a second mother to me. My first mother was Ryder’s mother who I had called ‘Mum’ more than once accidentally, not that she seemed to mind.
“So, you and Blaze are still fighting each other?” She said.
Tori sat on my bed turning away despite having seen me naked many times. She had probably given me more showers when I was younger than both my parents combined.
“You say it as if you’re surprised.”
“I just mean, that I thought it was a phase and that you two were, you know…”
No I didn’t know where she was going with this. Actually, I had an idea but it was so ridiculous I hoped my sister knew me a little better.
“That we were what?” I asked
“That you two would become friends.” She said sensing my defensiveness.
Imagine being actual friends with Blaze Nightshade. I don’t know how Wild did it, but when I thought about it, they seemed pretty close. And what was even stranger was the complete lack of sexual attraction.
Wild was probably the hottest girl in school, with her toffee brown skin, cascading waves of black hair, long eyelashes and hourglass figure. But they were totally platonic. Ryder on the other hand didn’t even know the meaning of platonic.
“Where are you going?” She asked.
“Oh come on, let’s spend some time together. Let’s go watch a movie, you’re nearly 17, so we can see anything you want.”
As long as we were home before 9, it was fine. But as 9pm neared I became increasingly anxious. Even when we were in the car driving back from the arcade that Tori had insisted we weren’t leaving until she won at the metal claw thing, I couldn’t help but feel nervous.
“Calm down, we’re 14 minutes past your curfew, and I was with you, Mum and Dad won’t care.” Tori said, kissing the top of my head.
Evelyn wouldn’t but Ryan would. However, even though Evelyn rarely commented when Ryan hurt me, Tori wouldn’t hesitate to call social services. So maybe Ryan wouldn’t do anything whilst she was here.
“Victoria! So good to see you.” Ryan said a little tipsy already as he hugged Tori.
“Hey Dad, I’m just here for the week, so don’t get too excited.” Tori smiled.
Ryan glanced at the clock and then at me, a frown spreading across his face.
“Evelyn we really should celebrate Tori being back. Do we have any more of that chocolate mousse?” Ryan asked.
“No Ryan, we ran out last week.” Evelyn said hiding the fear in her voice.
I prayed Tori wouldn’t say anything but she did.
“I could run out and get some Dad.” She said brightly.
But if she left, that meant…
“That would be splendid darling.” Ryan said kissing her as she grabbed her car keys and was just leaving.
Evelyn looked at me and then to Ryan, not saying a word.
“You were late Caylex.” Ryan said softly.
“Ryan he was with Tori.” Evelyn said gently.
“So is it her fault?” He asked looking at me, “Should I punish her? Should I tell her to get out of my house? Why don’t I call her right now…”
“Wait, don’t. It was my fault.” I said.
Ryan pulled his belt off and sighed as though he was forced to do this.
“You know the drill.”
I took my shirt off and stood with my back to the wall and arms above my head, I was seriously annoyed. I was sick of people thinking I kept falling into holly bushes or that there were a lot of crazy foxes where I lived.
“You know you’re supposed to be here by 9.” Ryan said, turning it to the metal side.
He whipped it across me and as I winced, blood dripped out and Evelyn came running down.
“Ryan! That’s enough.”
Ryan barely looked at his wife as he brought the knife out. He pressed it against my face and Evelyn just stood there, hands over her mouth as if she was shocked but I knew she was used to it like my sisters.
“If you didn’t have school tomorrow, I’d do it.” Ryan snarled, moving it away.
I could tell he’d been drinking. Earlier I had said I was a weird kid who liked school, let me rephrase that. School was a better alternative to being at home.
Ryan stormed upstairs cursing. Evelyn took a baby wipe and tried to wipe the blood from my body, I flinched away.
“I can do it by myself.” I snapped taking it from her.
Because that was how it was. I did everything by myself.