John was somebody that I met in Kindergarten. We've been close ever since.
Our friendship started when I seen John getting pushed around and bullied at school by two other kids outside at recess.
I didn't know John all that well, but I didn't like seeing him getting pushed around like that. Even though I was thinking, I might get in trouble for doing this, I went over to where John was at, and grabbed one of the boys from behind and slung him down to the ground. The little boy looked at his scrapped up elbow and started crying. The other little boy ran off after seeing what I did to his friend. He didn't want to test the waters.
I wouldn't have did that for just anybody because of the fear of getting in trouble. John was somebody that I had an unknowingly inside connection with. Plus I seen him getting beat up before by those same two kids anyways.
I helped John up to his feet and asked him, "Why are they always picking on you?"
John replied, "I dont know. They just start hitting me one day. Now they do it all the time."
Shaking my head in shame towards him, I then offered John to get on the swings with me. He took the offer and we've been best friends ever since.
John wouldn't let anybody mess with me growing up and it was vice versa. We've been through alot with each other. We were almost like brothers.
When we reached the third grade, I was cool with mostly all of his family.
There was one family member in particular that stood out to me. John had an uncle named Stiff.
Stiff was the leader of a mafia type gang in Gold Coast that mostly everybody was scared of.
Stiff was a very bold and cold man. Had no feelings or understanding for anything. He's beaten and killed countless people, and half of them didn't even deserve it. The other half were beaten or shot because of money issues.
When I would be around John's uncle, knowing his reputation, I still would be myself. Not nervous and uptight like most of the people around him.
Being only nine years old, I didn't completely understand exactly what was the big deal for Stiff to be going around doing what he did to people, but I still remained myself around him.
Stiff would rough me and John up sometimes, just horse playing. He had a sense of humor and that was mostly around kids.
On a day in particular that stuck out to me about Stiff when I was at his house, I came with John and his mother. John's mother and Stiff are brother and sister.
I will never forget how brutally Stiff had beaten this one guy up that was suppose to be his friend.
It was a small argument at first which the guy was pretty much backing down from him. He didn't want things to go any further than they were already going.
These two have been friends since they were kids. They were very close, or so everybody thought they were.
Stiff took the argument to a whole nother level, and before you knew it, the guy was layed out on the floor, and Stiff was kicking him in his head.
John's mother was the only adult there at the time, and there was really nothing that she could do. Calling the police was out of the question, and me and John were too little to do anything.
We thought he was going to kill the guy because he wouldn't stop. He kept kicking and punching him and all John's mother could do was holler, "stop it, stop it! Your gonna kill him! Stop it! It's not that serious!"
After about three or four more minutes had went by, Stiff finally stopped.
There was blood all over the floor and a few of the guys teeth laying in the puddle of blood.
I stood there in shock not believing what I've just seen.
How could somebody that they call their friend just beat that person senseless like that?
The guy was still conscious but barely. I guess Stiff wanted to keep him conscious so he could feel every blow. Hes beaten plenty of people unconscious before and it didn't stop here.
Stiff just stood over the guy, breathing hard like he owned him now.
At that moment I then realized why his reputation was the way it was. Why the scared and weak people gave all their power away to him.
Stiff knew my nature. I was a very humble and caring child. I believe if I would've been a grown up at that time though, I would've been a victim to him. That's just truly how I felt about him.
I remember leaving there, walking home that day. That stayed on my mind heavily.
Going home to a mother that pretty much treats me the same way, I guess I shouldn't have been so shocked to see that.
I only lived about five or ten minutes away from John. It didn't really take long to get to my destination.
When I got home, my mom was sitting in the living room watching television, not even realizing that I had just walked inside. She was looking spaced out like she had a million things running through her head.
I came up to her. "Hi mom. How you doing?" So childlike and innocent with a smile on my face.
She looked at me with those bags up under her eyes, looking like she hadn't had a good nights sleep in months, and said, "Where have you been?"
"I was at John's house. We ended up going to his uncle Stiff's house." I told her.
"What were you doing at Stiff's house? Didn't I tell you I didn't want you around there anymore?" As she acted concerned, but I really didn't know if she really was.
She knew Stiff. Hes been the same way since they went to school together.
She got up from the couch and stroke me across my head.
"I'm tired of you lying to me, and I'm tired of repeating myself. I told you not to go over there anymore, and your still disobeying me. Do I have to start chaining you to your bed Benoit? You know I'll do it." She said to me like her mind wasn't all there.
"No mama. I'm sorry. I promise I won't ever go back over there." I told her as I was crying, looking up at her.
She sat back down and continued to watch tv.
I went to my room to cry some more.
After a couple of minutes, my sister Brighchell came into my room.
"What happened to you?" She asked.
I told her what mom did and why she did it.
"Why is she always slapping you around?" She said as she was strolling through her phone most likely texting one of her friends or a boy shes been talking to.
"She's just having a bad day." I told her.
"Everyday's a bad day for her." She replied back. "Your always defending her. We all know that she's fucked up for the shit that she does to us, and your the one whose always making excuses for her. I hate that bitch some days. Some days I just wish that she would just die."
"That's our mom. Don't talk about her like that." I said to Brighchell still defending her.
She shook her head. "You just don't get it do you, and I don't understand why you don't. She beats the shit out of you almost every chance she gets, and treats you like shit and you still love her. Where's the affection from her? There is none. She doesn't love you or anybody else. She could care less. From the looks of it she doesn't even care about herself."
I just stood there, looking at her with a straight face with my eyes still having tears in them.
She shook her head again saying, "your stupid as shit Benoit." As she walked out of my room.
Again, I didn't fully understand entirely what my mother was going through, but the famous saying of (love conquers all) was very true for me. Still having that hope that maybe one day that she'll get better. That she'll come around one day.
Brighchell was mainly the one that had no understanding for moms behavior towards any of us. She tolerated her, but if she had a choice she wouldn't deal with her at all.
My brother Addeet just kind of had a whatever attitude towards her. He was the youngest so he didn't really get that many beatings from her, but enough neglectance towards him for him to not really care too much for her.
When my dad would call and check up on us and speak to my mom first, she would put on the normal act and talk as if everything was being tooken care of. I knew it was hard for her though. I could hear it in her voice. It would make me cringe sometimes just listening, not knowing what to hope for. Whether he would hear a cry for help or figure that everything was ok.
When he would ask to speak to us and I would talk to him, he would ask if everything was ok. Since she threatened to kill us and I was too afraid to tell him what was really going on, I would just tell him, "yes, everything's ok dad," With my mother standing right there listening to every word, watching me.
As I said before, it wasn't that often that I got to talk to my father, and I would have soo much bottled up inside of me to tell him what was really going on.
As I gotten older I was finally starting to get some sense into my head and mainly just wanted my mother to get some help or something that could just make her feel better about herself. Mainly it just had to start with forgiveness. Forgiving herself.
With barely any food in the refrigerator and Brighchell having to steal money from my moms purse, there was no reason to rush home after school and to jump into the refrigerator.
My mother put food in the refrigerator only when she knew my dad was on his way back.
In other cases she would be soo out of it that she wouldn't even realize that Brighchell was taking money from out of her purse.
When Brighchell would get the money, she would split it with me and Addett. Of course she would keep most of it. Sometimes she wouldn't even say anything when she took moms money. She would keep it all to herself when she sees that nobody's looking. I would know because I've seen it with my own two eyes but never said anything about it to her.