Double or Nothing

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4 - Rest Easy

I ran through the fog, chasing someone, or being chased by someone. I couldn’t remember. Everything was hazy inside my head. I couldn’t understand what was going on. The fog was too thick to see very far ahead, so I kept stumbling. How were they still so far ahead?

Chasing someone then. I ran quicker, running faster than I really should be able to. I kept putting on bursts of speed until, finally, I caught them. From the back, it appeared to be Leo. When I grabbed him, he turned around and I screamed.

His face was disfigured, his left eye had fallen a few inches, his mouth was twisted and his nose was broken. He had blood pouring down his face.

I sat, bolt upright, in the bed. I couldn’t breathe, there was a burning pain in my chest and I physically could not inhale. I gathered the strength to punch Caleb, who was still asleep.

He woke up with a start and looked at me. He realised, then, that I was unable to breathe and his eyes widened. He was panicking, which wasn’t going to help me. I hit him over the head and gestured toward my stomach. He seemed to understand what he was saying because he quickly jabbed my stomach, lightly enough not to cause any real damage but enough to make me inhale sharply.

‘Oh God you absolute oaf I thought I was gonna die!’ I yelled at him once I had my breath back.

‘I’m sorry, but I was a little shocked. You haven’t been that bad since you were living with your parents still. I wasn’t expecting it.’ He shook his head. ‘What happened? In the dream I mean.’

‘It was awful. I was running through fog, trying to catch someone, which turned out to be Leo, and when I finally caught him, his face was all disfigured and bloody and awful.’ I shook my head. ‘It was somewhere between disgusting and terrifying.’

‘Sounds it.’ Caleb sighed. ‘It’s been a week since they left, and you’re still dreaming about them.’ He put a hand on my shoulder. ‘Are you sure you’re okay?’ He asked.

‘No. I’m not. But I have to be. Don’t you understand? I have to learn to trust people. I can’t keep seeing the evil in the world and ignoring the good. I’m sick of not really trusting anyone. Yeah, I talk to Leo about my issues, but for some reason, in this head of mine, he’s not coming back, and he’s not gonna keep in touch, and I don’t know why.’ I shrugged. ‘I guess it’s just another one of my issues I have to work through.’ I moved and sat on the edge of the bed, getting ready to get up and dressed. ‘It’s just such a tiring process.’

‘That would be because you haven’t had a proper night’s sleep in a full week. You need to get some proper rest.’ Caleb told me. ‘I don’t know how, maybe some sleeping pills?’ He suggested.

‘No pills. God no. You know what I’m like. If I take sleeping pills they’ll probably send me into a coma.’ I shook my head. ‘I’ll be fine, it’ll stop happening eventually, and then we can go back to our normal lives.’ I sighed. ‘I know at the moment it seems unlikely, but eventually I will be fine.’ I promised.

‘Only if you’re sure.’ Caleb said, not sounding wholly convinced. Though I couldn’t blame him for being cautious. I wasn’t totally convinced either, but I wanted us both to believe that it would improve.

‘Anyway, we’re going out with Josh and Liam tonight, as well as those other people they invited, that should take my mind off it.’ I said, smiling.

‘Oh yeah, the triple date. I almost forgot about that.’ Caleb replied, sounding less than enthused about the idea.

‘Oh come on grumpy pants, it’ll be fun. We get along with Josh and Liam, and the friends they are bringing are a straight couple, so it’ll be even more diverse. We might even make friends with them. Unless of course you scare them off with that mega frown you have going on right there.’ I pointed toward just above his eyes. ‘Come on, relax a little. It’ll be fun, but only if you relax. If you expect to hate it, you probably will. If you go there with an open mind and want to get to know them and socialise, you’ll have a much better time.’

‘That’s social psychology.’ Caleb said, tutting. ‘Unfortunately, it’s also right, which means I’ve got to take your advice.’ He chuckled. ‘You’re too intelligent for me.’

‘Far from it. There aren’t that many people who would recognise what I was doing, and even fewer who would feel confident enough in their observation to call me out for it. You’re more intelligent than you give yourself credit for.’ I smiled at him before getting up and going to get dressed.

’Still, you’re way beyond me. I can know the different types of psychology but you can put them to use. You out-smart me on most subjects. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’m dumb, I know that I’m above average, but you are on a whole other level.

‘I know what you’re doing, and you can stop. Flattery is not gonna take away my issues.’ I smiled and stuck my tongue out at him. ‘I know you want to help, and I appreciate it, but honestly, I’m fine. You don’t need to try and put me in a good mood, because I’m already in one. Just relax, sort yourself out.’

‘Okay, but just, don’t let yourself drop, okay? I know what happens when you have issues but you’re in a good mood, it all comes back up at once, an I hate it when that happens because I see what it does to you. It’s not a good thing to observe. And we both know that, when that happens, there’s nothing even I can do about it.’ He shook his head.

‘That’s not true! Remember that time when I nearly committed suicide because of it and you brought me out of it.’ I told him, then I realised what I had said, as it hit him like a slap to the face. His entire expression hardened and his eyes grew steely. ‘Sorry, I didn’t mean to bring that up.’

‘You know how much I hate that memory. You nearly killed yourself. To this day the thought that you might do it again hurts like hell. Bringing it up like that doesn’t help.’ Caleb told me, through gritted teeth.

‘I won’t do it again. I’m not in the situation I was in before. I’m improving now, I’ve improved so much over the past few years.’ I approached him, slowly, as you might approach a hungry lion.

‘Yes, but we still have a long way to go, and the thought that you might get depressed again and do something stupid haunts me. I can’t stop worrying about you for a single second and it hurts like hell because I want to be able to know that you are fine, to not need to worry, but when you’ve been so close to death, and I was the only one standing in the way, it’s a lot of pressure.’ He shook his head. ‘Not that I’m suggesting for one minute that I wouldn’t be there if you did do it again, but I dream of the day that I won’t need to worry.’

‘You don’t need to worry now, you just do because it’s still relatively fresh. In a few years it’ll ease off.’ I told him. ‘It’s only been 2 years. We need to give it time. Painful memories dull over time, but a couple of years isn’t long enough for that to happen. You should know that.’

‘I do, but it doesn’t help me when I can’t stop thinking about what would happen if you did something and I wasn’t here to stop you, to talk you out of it, to make a big gesture in order for you to realise you are appreciated. And of course, the last time I talked you out of it, I did so by telling you I loved you. What am I supposed to do if it happens again? Propose? Am I supposed to ask you to marry me to stop you from killing yourself? And what if we do get married? What is left then? There’s no gesture I can make after that point. How am I supposed to deal with this?’ He asked me.

‘You’re not!’ I yelled at him, for the first time since we had gotten together. ‘You aren’t listening to me, Caleb, either that or you don’t believe me. I’m not going to attempt suicide again! I know now! I know that I have people who love me, I care about things, I have roots to my life that I didn’t have before, like you, like Max and Leo, like Josh and Liam. I didn’t have any of you back then, well I had you, but I was crushing on you quite badly, and I wasn’t even sure you’d noticed me at all.’ I laughed lightly. ‘My life is completely different to how it was back then. You have to understand that.’

’That… actually makes a lot of sense.’Caleb said, suddenly realising what I had been trying to tell him. ‘I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have gone on like that. Of course it’s different now.’ He shook his head. ‘I mean, I’ll still worry, but I think it’s safe to say I won’t be quite as worried as I have been.’ He looked at me with an apologetic expression. ‘I’m so sorry. I really should have listened to you.’

‘Don’t worry about it too much. I could understand your point of view, but you need to realise when I’m trying to tell you something. Considering we can normally communicate without speaking, you didn’t seem to pick up on that today.’ I sighed.

‘I know, I’m sorry, I’m not usually that oblivious.’ Caleb stood up and hugged me.

‘Stop apologising. You’re forgiven. Now let’s get some breakfast.’ I told him.

‘Okay, good. And sure, let’s go!’ He smiled and pulled me by the hand toward the kitchen.

We quickly ate breakfast and then decided to go for a walk. The air was getting colder now, as we were nearing the winter months, but it was a crisp morning, not too cold, but not exactly warm either. I was bundled up in one of my larger jackets, while Caleb opted for a leather jacket that had been in the wardrobe, unused, for months.

His blonde hair fell to just above his shoulders, and brushed the back of the jacket where it was covering the small boney lump at the bottom of his neck. I knew from my brief study of human biology that the particular bone was the last of the cervical vertebrae, which was a section of spine at the top between the bottom of the neck and the skull.

His blue-green eyes shone as he looked at me, and I smiled at him.

‘What are you looking at?’ He asked me.

‘I’m checking you out, obviously.’ I winked at him and he laughed. ‘You haven’t worn that jacket in a while.’ I commented and he nodded.

‘Yeah I know, but I like it, which is why I’m wearing it now. I want to get more use out of it. I don’t like that it’s just sitting there, unused.’ He shrugged. ‘It’s a nice jacket, and I really like it. It’s the only leather jacket I’ve ever had, and you bought me it, and it’s perfect.’ He smiled, reaching for my hand.

We walked like that, hand in hand down the street. We received a variety of looks, and were completely ignored by some people, but I hardly noticed. It was nice to just walk, completely at ease, with the man I loved. We had been together for 2 years that month, which wasn’t all that long, but I had loved him for longer than that. I didn’t realise he had felt the same until he had told me in a fit of panic when I was about to kill myself. I had told him that I was doing it because no one cared if I lived or died, that I wouldn’t be missed, and that I felt like it would be a service to the world, as I would no longer be a waste of space.

He, panicked, had then told me that someone did care about me, that it was him, that he had been in love with me for months and he thought I hadn’t noticed him at all, but now he needed to tell me, because if I died then, he would never recover.

At that point I’d never have anyone speak to me like that, no one had ever said they loved me, not even my parents, I had never thought about anyone else missing me, or wanting me around. I had thought that no one really noticed me. I was th kid who sat at the back and no one really paid attention too. I did well in school, but I was left alone by most people. I had friends, but because we moved around so much, my friendships were short lived. Not many of them stuck, and even when they did, we didn’t talk much, and I lived so far away that it was highly unlikely they’d ever see me. I didn’t think anyone would really notice if I wasn’t around anymore. I honestly believed that I’d just be overlooked.

That night Caleb and I had talked all the way into the morning, and then fell asleep together, wrapped up in each other’s arms. Caleb had made me stay with him at his parents house. They were out for the night and he had wanted to make sure I was safe and he didn’t trust my parents. He had confessed to me that he had wanted to ask me out for a long time, but never thought I’d say yes, and couldn’t get the courage to do so. I had told him that was stupid, because I’d fallen for him the moment we had met, nearly a year before hand.

After that there was no official asking, really, we just stuck together, eventually got a place together, did everything couple’s did. No one really asked anyone out, we just seemed to come to an unspoken agreement that we were a couple. Of course, it didn’t really matter. We had loved each other as long as we’d known each other, really, so it made sense. But I still couldn’t fully get past just how perfect for me Caleb was. He kept me calm, soothed me, especially when my issues took hold. He was kind and gentle, he cared about me more than anyone else ever had done, and he was all I really needed. I wondered, sometimes, how he coped with me, how he could get past all the issues I had, how he could deal with the fact that he had to calm me down at times, that he had to take care of me like I was a baby bird who couldn’t fend for itself. I wondered if that was why I was so appealing to him, or if it made me less appealing. I didn’t think I could ask him about that though, despite how much I wanted to, it seemed like an inappropriate thing to ask. Until I realised that I should ask. I should know what it’s like to have to deal with me. So I did.

‘How do you manage?’ I asked him.

‘What?’ He was obviously confused, we had been walking in silence for quite a while by this point.

‘With me. How do you deal with the fact that you have to look after me, calm me down, provide paper bags or comforting hugs?’ I explained.

‘It’s not like a chore, Ryan. It’s not something I hate doing. I’ll admit, it’d be easier if it wasn’t needed, it’s not like I actively want to do it, but I don’t feel put out because I have to help you. I like helping you, it makes me feel needed. That’s not to say if we ever get to the point where none of that is needed, I won’t be happy about it.’ He sighed. ‘I’m tying myself up in knots here.’ He stopped and looked straight at me. ‘What I’m trying to say is I manage easily because I love you, and I always will, whether or not you need my help. It’s not a problem, but it’s not a necessity.’

‘Oh…’ I was a little stunned at that, it wasn’t an answer I was expecting. It was the one answer that didn’t have a negative included in it, and I, despite my new outlook on life, was expecting at least a slight negative. I realised then that my new viewpoint was more like an attempt at seeing things differently, that wasn’t quite working. I was saying that I wanted to believe differently, but I wasn’t actually putting it into practice. Partly because it wasn’t that simple. I couldn’t just change my entire personality on a decision I had made.

‘You were expecting me to say something bad, weren’t you?’ Caleb asked me, pulling me out of my thoughts.

‘Aren’t I always?’ I asked, lowering my eyes so I was looking at the floor.

‘You always expect the worst, but that’s not always a bad thing.’ He told me. ‘It means you’re easy to please, it also means you’re always prepared for whatever happens.’ He smiled. ‘You’re always prepared for everything I’m not.’

‘That’s because I’m paranoid.’ I told him. ‘I think too much about these things. You’re relaxed about pretty much everything.’

‘Yeah, but if you weren’t prepared for everything, we’d be in pretty hot water by now. You’re excellent with finances, security, everything we need to be focused on that I just tend to overlook.’ He shook his head. ‘You really don’t see the good in yourself, and that’s why you need me, to remind you how amazing you truly are. I need you to keep me grounded, and you need me to lift you up.’

‘That’s actually a pretty great analogy.’ I smiled. ‘You’re not always that great with metaphors but that was pretty good, for you.’

He stuck his tongue out at me and I laughed, we started walking again but turned around, heading home. We needed to get some lunch and then start getting ready for that evening. We both needed to shower and get dressed so it was going to take some time.

‘So what’s happening at work then?’ Caleb asked me.

‘It’s pretty dull. There’s not much in terms of colleague relations going on, although apparently there’s one woman who’s working her way around the office, if you know what I mean, and she flirted with me the other day. I made it pretty clear I wasn’t interested, but I have a feeling she took it as some sort of challenge, because she keeps winking at me from across the room when I get in on a morning. I might end up filing a complaint.’ I sighed. ‘But other than that, completely dull.’

‘Oh, well yeah. If it’s making you uncomfortable, then definitely file a complaint. It’s harassment.’ Caleb told me.

‘Yeah I will. Anyway, what about you? How’s work going?’ I asked him.

‘Pretty similar really, without the flirtatious female. It’s pretty quiet. Not much to report. I mean, I deal with customers, and some of them have a chat and are pretty interesting, but generally speaking that’s the most interesting part of my day. There’s not much to really say about retail work.’

‘Yeah, I guess it would be pretty dull, wouldn’t it.’ I nodded. ‘Well at least we have that in common.’ I laughed a little.

We arrived back at the house and headed inside. I put the TV on while Caleb rifled through the cupboards for something to cook for lunch. I flicked through the channels and found something relatively interesting to watch while Caleb cooked. It didn’t take very long and he came in with 2 plates containing bacon sandwiches.

‘You’re gonna make me fat, if you keep doing things like this.’ I told him, he just smiled and handed me a plate as he sat down to watch the TV with me.

‘Well, I don’t care if you get fat, just means I’ve done a good job.’ He winked at me then shook his head. ‘Actually it would mean I haven’t done a very good job. I’m tying to keep you healthy.’

I laughed and turned my attention back to the TV while we ate. When we were finished I took the dishes into the kitchen and began to wash them while Caleb headed in the bathroom to have a shower and get ready for our evening out.

I finished washing the dishes before Caleb got out of the shower, so I went to the bedroom and picked out my clothes for the evening, laying them out on the bed so I could get dressed as soon as I was finished in the bathroom.

‘Okay, bathrooms free.’ Caleb told me as he headed into the bedroom to get dressed. I nodded at him and walked in to a room filled with steam.

‘You forgot to put the fan on again!’ I called to him, and heard a muffled apology coming from the bedroom. ‘So you should be!’ I called back, switching on the extractor fan to try and clear some of the steam from the room. I could hardly see because of it.

Once I had finished in the shower I turned the extractor fan off and headed back to the bedroom to get dressed. I wore a black shirt, my pair of black skinny jeans, my canvas shoes and I borrowed Caleb’s leather jacket to finish off the look I was going for. I checked myself in the mirror and I was relatively pleased, and so headed out into the living room.

Caleb let out a low whistled and smirked at me. ‘I’ve never seen you with that look, who are you trying to impress?’ He asked, winking at me.

‘I just thought I’d make an effort. I carefully selected these clothes because they both look good, and can blend into the background because I’m all in black.’ I told him, shrugging. ‘It’s a clever combination of standing out and blending in.’

‘That it is.’ He nodded, walking over to me. ‘Well you look great. I’m sure people will be thoroughly impressed with how you look. I actually feel slightly inadequate.’ He confessed, gesturing to his plain t-shirt and blue jeans.

‘You look fine.’ I told him. ‘You always look fine. You have the type of face whereby you could wear a bin bag and people would still find you attractive.’ I told him, shrugging. ‘You don’t need to worry about clothes.’

‘Yeah but you are completely outshining me right now and I’m not used to it. Usually you’re very reserved with how you dress. Not that I’m complaining, I’m quite happy to be with you like that, it just isn’t something I’m completely accustomed to.’ Caleb explained.

‘Well don’t worry. This is a one off experiment to see how people react. It’s not something you really need to get used to.’ I reassured him.

‘On the one hand, that’s a shame, because you look amazing, on the other hand it’s kinda good, as you’re very distracting, and I don’t want to get jealous if people are looking at you.’

I stuck my tongue out at him and as I did so I glanced at the clock on the wall. ‘Time is getting on. We’d better get ready to go.’ I told him.

‘Yeah, sure. Have you got your keys?’ He asked me.

‘Yep. Have you got your wallet?’ I asked him.

‘Yeah. We should be pretty sorted.’ Caleb nodded. ‘Anything else you need?’ He asked me.

‘Just need to get my phone. I left it in the bedroom.’ I told him, heading back toward the door.

Once I picked up my phone I noticed I had an email, and curious as I was, I opened it. It was from Leo, so I decided to read it straight away.

Hi Ryan,

Just wanted to send you a quick email, I know it’s been a little while and we didn’t get in touch, but we’ve had some issues over here. Max has had some issues as his step-dad has just arrived back on the scene so we’re having some issues. Sorry for not emailing you when we got back, but we were tired and then found this all out and it’s insane.

We’ll try and stay in touch, but please don’t hold this against us.

All the best,

Leo

I felt horrible. I had been slightly annoyed at Max and Leo for not getting in touch for the past week, and to find that out had me feeling like an awful person. I sat down on the bed and read the email over and over, realising that they weren’t completely ignoring Caleb and me, which was good, but that I was wrong, which made me feel bad. At least now, the nightmares might stop.

I headed back into the living room to find Caleb stood, tapping his foot. I told him about the email and he smiled at me.

‘See, I told you they would keep in touch. I mean, obviously what they’re going through is terrible so they might not be as quick at getting back to us as we might like, but they haven’t forgotten us, which is good, right?’

‘Yeah. I’ll reply to them tonight. Anyway, let’s get going.’ I walked toward the front door and headed outside, after Caleb came out after me I locked the door and we headed into town. We had decided to walk, instead of getting a taxi. It would take longer but it wasn’t overly cold and it was a cheaper option.

We didn’t really talk all that much on the way into town. We had always been happy to just be within each other’s company. We had never needed to fill every silence, so we were pretty happy just to walk together.

After a little while, we arrived at the restaurant that we were meant to be eating at with Josh, Liam and their other friends. We stood outside, waiting for the other to arrive, when we noticed a couple who came straight over to us.

‘Ryan and Caleb?’ They asked by way of greeting.

‘That’s us.’ I said, looking at the couple.

‘I’m Darren, and this is Gillian, we’re friends with Josh and Liam.’ The guy said, gesturing to his girlfriend as he did so, smiling at us.

‘Oh, you’re the other couple who they invited.’ I stated, smiling.

‘Yeah. Speaking of which, where are they? They should be here by now.’ Darren said, looking around.

As he did so, a car pulled up and Josh stepped out, tears in his eyes. He came straight to me and pulled me aside, without any explanation, leaving Caleb looking stunned, and Darren and Gillian very confused.

‘I don’t know what to do, what am I supposed to do? I’m so confused.’ Josh said, speaking more to himself than to me.

‘Josh, I can’t help you if you don’t explain. What’s wrong?’ I asked him.

‘Liam cheated on me.’ He finally said. ‘The suspicion, the anger, the outbursts. It explains it all. He was cheating on me the whole time. It’s been going on for months!’ The tears in his eyes spilled over.

‘Oh wow. That’s awful.’ I pulled him in for a hug. ‘I’m so sorry to hear that.’

He sniffed and clutched the back of my shirt. His tears were dripping onto my shoulder but I didn’t really care. Right now he needed me as a friend, it was something I wasn’t totally familiar with. People didn’t generally come to me for comfort, as I was a bigger wreck than most, but Josh seemed to think I could help, he had confided in me and I was touched. Of course, I was also appalled at the behaviour of Liam, and I wanted to both comfort Josh and kill Liam simultaneously.

‘I don’t know what went wrong. We got in an argument this morning and it lasted for so long and he eventually told me not long ago. He spat it at me like it was somehow my fault, he seemed to be almost proud of it.’ Josh explained.

I looked behind me at Caleb, who seemed to be about to make a move toward us. I held up a hand and he nodded, putting up his hand, telling me he would give us 5 minutes. He then turned and started talking to Darren and Gillian, distracting them from the distraught Josh.

‘I know it’s not the best time to say this, but you need to pull yourself together, okay? Don’t be sad, if anything be angry. You trusted him and he completely betrayed you. I get that you loved him, and it’s awful, but he’s a slimeball, and you need to have fun. You need to make him know that he’s not getting to you, so I propose we have dinner, we talk, have a laugh, and forget about him for tonight, and tomorrow, at work, we can talk about it more. I will be here, every step of the way, and you can get through this. I’ll help you.’ I told him.

‘You’re right.’ He sniffed once, wiped his eyes and stood up straight. ‘You’re absolutely right. I shouldn’t be upset. I should be furious.’ He shook his head. ‘But I can’t have dinner with you guys. Darren and Gillian are Liam’s friends, not mine, they won’t help the situation. Any chance me you and Caleb can go somewhere else and leave them behind?’ He asked.

‘Leave it with me.’ I said, and walked toward Caleb, where he was talking with Dan and Gillian.

‘We need to leave these two behind.’ I whispered in his ear, then spoke to them directly. ‘Sorry guys, but we have a bit of an issue. I know it’s not ideal, but can we leave you guys to enjoy your date? Liam and Josh are having some issues and won’t be joining you, I don’t think, but the reservation is paid for so someone should enjoy it, please don’t let it go to waste.’ I pulled Caleb away by his arm and left Gillian and Darren standing, dumbstruck, outside the restaurant. We got in Josh’s car and headed away from the restaurant. In the end, we headed back to mine and Caleb’s place, we headed in and we agreed that Josh could stay with us until he and Liam found separate places to live. We understood that they couldn’t live together now, not after everything that had happened.

We ended up ordering a takeaway and watching movies. Caleb and I sat either side of Josh on the sofa, and he seemed to calm down a little. He was obviously still very shaken by everything, but he felt better with us around.

After around an hour, there was a knock at the door, and I got up to answer it. I told Josh to stay in the living room, as I wasn’t sure who it could be, and if it were Liam I was going to convince him that Josh wasn’t here.

I walked to the door and opened it to find my dad standing on the threshold.

‘Ryan. Will you please just hear me out?’ He asked.

‘No.’ I said, shutting the door in his face.

I almost laughed at my reaction until he knocked on the door again. I walked back in the living room to the sound of him pounding on the door.

‘Your dad?’ Caleb asked, standing up.

‘Yep.’ I said, simply. I knew my dad didn’t like dealing with Caleb, as Caleb was bigger than him, and could have quite a menacing presence, even though he would never hit him unprovoked, my dad was still terrified of him.

Caleb headed to the door and opened it. ‘Mr Green, if you don’t leave our property now, I will have to call the police and, if necessary, have you forcibly removed. Now please leave.’ He said in a tone that was commanding and demanded respect. It was amazing, considering he was only 19, that he could do that.

‘I want to speak to my son!’ My dad yelled.

‘He does not want to speak with you. Now please leave.’ Caleb had strategically position himself so he filled the doorway, meaning my dad couldn’t get anywhere near inside.

‘Ryan! I know you’re in there! Come out and talk to me!’ My dad yelled past Caleb.

I sighed, pulled out my phone and dialled the number for the local police station. I explained to them that my dad was outside our door and refused to leave, that I didn’t want him there and he was causing a disturbance, which was backed up by his yelling in the background, and the person on the other end told me they would send someone out to deal with him, and to just close the door and ignore him until that time.

I told Caleb to close the door on him and we locked it, just in case. After a while we saw the flashing blue lights outside and realised that the yelling and knocking had stopped. We heard a commotion outside and looked through the window to find my dad being arrested by one officer, as the other picked himself up off the floor. Trust my dad to punch a police officer.

We sat for a while and I breathed slowly. I hated this. He kept turning up and causing problems and I was so sick of it. Why couldn’t he just leave me alone. I was beginning to think I should get a restraining order.

We heard a knock on the door, and I went to answer it, knowing that it would be a police officer. I opened the door to a rather young guy dressed in a police uniform who smiled at me as I opened the door.

‘Hi there. Just thought I’d let you know what was going on, it was you who called us yes?’ He asked.

‘Yeah, I’m Ryan.’

‘Hi Ryan, I’m PC Fry, and I just wanted to inform you that your father has been arrested for assaulting a police officer and disturbing the peace. He’ll spend the night in prison to sober up and if the officer he assaulted wants to press charges he may be trialled, however it seems that unless he’s still aggravated when he wakes up tomorrow, he should be let off.’ The officer explained.

‘Okay, thank you for letting me know. How would I go about getting a restraining order?’ I asked him, curious about the earlier thought.

‘Well, you can only really get a restraining order if there is a need for protection, for example if he had been violent toward you.’ He told me.

‘Trust me there is a history of violence here.’ I told him. ‘How would I go about taking one out?’ I asked.

‘Well generally they can only be suggested when a trial is made, so if you were pressing charges against your father for anything, you could ask your lawyer to suggest a restraining order, but some evidence would have to be supplied such as any previous convictions and so on.’ He explained.

‘Ah, so I would have to get him arrested for something first…’ I sighed. ‘So unless he does something illegal whereby I’m the victim, I can’t really do anything?’

‘Well, to be honest, if you were really wanting a restraining order, you could take him to court for trespassing today, as he wouldn’t leave your house, and disturbing the peace as he was causing a commotion, we could add the charge of assaulting a police officer as well. The evidence would surely stack against him if you wanted to press charges.’ He suggested.

‘Oh, then yes. We should do that.’ I nodded. ‘Can we get that to happen? I just… I can’t deal with him coming back all the time like this. I left home for a reason, and he’s bringing it all back up. I can’t deal with this all the time.’

‘Okay, leave it with us, an officer will be with you tomorrow to collect witness statements. After tonight though, he will be let out on bail until the court hearing, but when that happens, one of several things could happen. It is unlikely he’ll be sent to prison, however he could be put on house arrest, and he may or may not be given a restraining order, assuming your lawyer suggests it to the court.’

‘Okay, thank you.’ I told him.

‘Okay, try and have a good night. He won’t be bothering you again tonight.’ He said, turning away.

‘You too.’ I said simply, and closed the door as he walked away.

I walked back in the living room to see Caleb and Josh looking at me expectantly. ‘He’s being charged with trespassing, disturbing the peace and assaulting a police officer. There’ll be an officer here tomorrow to take statements, and there’ll be a court hearing at some point where I may be able to get a restraining order taken out, as long as adequate evidence is provided to say that I need one.’ I told them.

‘Well, let’s hope it all works out, because I’m getting so sick of finding him at our door.’ Caleb sighed.

‘It’ll be a lot better if we can get all of this sorted.’ I nodded. ‘He’s causing so many issues.’

‘I don’t know your problem with your dad, but he doesn’t seem like the type of guy who anyone would like, from what I’ve seen.’ Josh commented. ‘He’ll probably cause more issues for himself in court.’

‘Chances are he’ll turn up drunk, or not turn up at all.’ I told him, shrugging. ‘I’m sure that’ll go down well.’

‘I think we can be certain it’s not gonna go in his favour.’ Caleb nodded.

It wasn’t long after that when we went to bed. I called work the next morning and explained that Josh and I were waiting to give witness statements to a police officer and they agreed to give us the day off because of it, which was good of them. Caleb had to go to work, but we told him we would send the officer who came to the shop where he worked when they were finished here, so they could catch him that day, rather than having to wait until the weekend when he’d be at home.

At around 2pm, there was a knock at the door, and 2 police officers were stood outside when I answered. I let them in and one took me in the kitchen, while the other spoke to Josh in the living room. We both gave our statements and then they asked about Caleb. I told them he was at work, and where he worked, they thanked us, and headed out to go to his work and take his statement as well. Of course, they had asked me and Josh separately because they didn’t want us conferring, or correcting each other. Really they shouldn’t have waited until the morning.

We spent the rest of the day watching TV and relaxing. I needed to stay calm so I could adequately prepare. Once I received the court date, then I could find everything I could to get my point across, and keep him from finding me again.

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