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Written by Maddy A. and edited my the lovely Nicole. This story is copyrighted and all codes available upon request.
CHAPTER THIRTEEN: CAUSALTIES OF US
Jackson wanted to hurt something, himself or anyone who came near him. He never knew he could feel so much rage bubbling over inside of him threatening to spill over in ravages of hate. His skin was turning a dangerous shade of red and it wasn't from the cold winter weather air that chilled his skin as he walked towards his house. The sky was a deep rich pink hinting at the early night fall. Cars wiped past him on icy roads as he kept his gaze steely towards the streets ahead. The random noises of the hood could be heard, but he was oblivious to anything except his pain. Casually he wiped away wetness on his face with the sleeve of his baggy coat that he wouldn't admit were tears. Have you ever felt so out of control that it almost scared you? Well, that's how Jacky was feeling. He wanted to make something hurt like he was hurting. How could Brian be with Anthony...Anthony! Of all the things in the world, how the hell did that happen? For all Jacky knew, Anthony hated Brian...unless that had all been an act. Could the two of them had been pretending to hate each other when the whole time they were together...fucking each other while Jackson ran around with his dick in-between his legs oblivious to the whole thing? Yeah, that was it, everything had been one fucking act. While Jackson was busy making a fool of himself, the whole time Anthony and Brian were probably laughing at him behind his back. He kept his gaze down to the ground trying to think of ways to make the pain hurt when he heard someone calling out his name. Annoyed, he was ready to ignore the voice when he felt someone push him against his shoulder. Already pissed off he couldn't control his fist as it swung coming into contact with a cold cheek.
"FUCK!! YO NIGGA WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT FOR?" Carlos yelled as he grabbed his face. Jackson felt bad for all about three seconds until the thought that Carlos probably knew about Brian and Anthony. Hell, Carlos was Anthony's right hand man in everything, how could he not know?
"WHAT THE FUCK NIGGA! DON'T STEP TO ME LIKE THAT!" He yelled in reply and Carlos stared at him wide eyed and shocked. All he wanted to do was ask Jackson if there was going to be basketball practice the next day. But, his question would have to be left unanswered because the code of the hood stated that punks didn't survive and Carlos was a survivor.
"YO NIGGA! YOU BETTER CALM YOURSELF DOWN OR I'M GONNA HAVE TO--"
"--TO WHAT NIGGA! NOTHING, THAT'S WHAT AND IF YOU DON'T GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY FACE --" Jackson started to say, but was cut off when Carlos took one step closer to him making the puffy black cotton of their down coats touch. Jackson easily had about three or four inches of height on Carlos, but he knew from the basketball court that Carlos was quick. Macho ego's in the way, Jackson knew there was no turning back, either hit first or last and he would do both. His right fisted closed and swung out trying to hit Carlos, but as expected Carlos ducked and came back with his own left hook clipping Jackson in the jaw. Jacky relished in the burning sensation on his chin only intensified and contrasted by the bitter winter chill. He stepped back and paced himself as Carlos prepared his own fighters stance. Jackson lunged forward and grabbed Carlos in a headlock. His fist repeatedly collided with Carlo's mid-section, but little damage was done because of the protective layers of his coat. Carlos kicked his left leg inside of Jackson's right, causing both young men to trip and fall down to the cold snow blanketed ground. They rolled around throwing and missing cheap shots. One landed on Jackson's mouth and when he tasted blood, he lost it. He stood up and began to kick Carlos in the stomach roughly for God knows how long. To Jackson he wasn't kicking Carlos, he was kicking at his hurt, trying to kill it away. It was a sharp wheeze and broken plea of `stop' that snapped Jackson out of his haze of hatred. He looked down as Carlos continued to cough up filmy white masses of phlegm and the sight sickened Jackson to the point where if he didn't run away from the scene, he would have thrown up. Disgusted by himself and by the pain he was feeling, he ran. He slipped on a patch of ice and almost fell and somewhere he could hear the alcoholic laugh of a bum, but he ran past them. He just kept running, but he couldn't chase away the hurt.
"You dumb mother fucker! What the hell are you doing!" Riley's father asked him as he stood in the doorway to his room. Riley tried to ignore him as he applied the gel to his hair. He had a date with Tracy later and he wanted to look nice. His father walked in the room and pushed Riley so his stomach hit the dresser.
"OW! I'm going to dinner dad." Riley replied and his father laughed a harsh drunken chuckle in his face that was out of spite.
"Your fat ass don't need to be eating nothing boy! Did you clean up your fucking dishes?" His father continued to yell. Riley nodded his head yes and prayed that his father would leave. The bruises from the last beating had barely faded and he wasn't sure if he could handle new one's so soon.
"Who're you going out with?"
"Just a friend..." Riley spoke softly too afraid to look at his father's face. Like his son, George Luke was a tall and wide bodied man. At one time he had been attractive and played sports in high school, but the years of living hard had taken its toll and now his once averagely attractive face was now covered in pot holes and scared from too many bar fights. His dirty blue sweatshirt was stained with beer, food and sweat and Riley hated the stench of Budweiser on his father's breath.
"God damn it boy, don't you fucking talk back! Who the hell is your friend?" His father demanded more than asked and Riley knew he would just save himself some time if he just told him.
"Tracy and Regina." He lied. Regina wasn't going to be there, but he knew if his father knew he was getting ready for a date he would do something to mess the night up for him.
"What did I tell you about hanging around all those niggers?" His father asked and Riley suppressed his urge to flinch. It wasn't that his father was a racist, but he just loved to say things to his son that would affect him. George was a harsh man. Riley glanced at his father through the mirror and knew that he'd better respond or else. He shrugged his shoulder as if tell his father he didn't know. His father just laughed and took a sip from his little can of cheap comfort and walked out of the room. When Riley heard the slam of his door being shut his took a deep sigh of relief as he placed his hands on the top of his dresser. He closed his eyes and seconds later the door to his room was thrown open and his father was standing there with eyes squinting with nothing, but hatred for his youngest son.
"God damn it Riley! I told your fucking ass to do those dishes..." His father screamed, but Rye was too busy trying to protect his face from getting beaten in to try and hear the rest. His last thoughts before he could feel his father's fist crash down on his back as he curled into a fetal position on the dry cracked wood of his bedroom floor was that he had to get out of his house and soon...or else his father would wind up killing him.
"Do you think he's gonna tell?" Anthony asked Brian as he got dressed.
"No...that's not what I'm worried about." Brian replied as he bounced his little green tennis ball around in his hands. When he was younger his mother taught him that if you're upset about something, the best way to calm yourself down is to clear your head and bounce around a ball. It sounds silly, but it actually works.
"Really? Then what's the problem?" He asked him curiously. Anthony was so sure that he was going to have to go to Jackson's and "scare" him to keep quiet.
"Okay...before...you know...we got together, Jackson and I--" Brian started to say, but Anthony walked over to him and glared.
"Ay yo wait a mutha fucking minute! What da fuck did you do with Jacky!!?" Anthony yelled and Brian rolled his eyes in annoyance. At first Anthony's little possessiveness over him was sweet, almost endearing, but the charm of it all was quickly fading.
"God, shut the hell up and listen. No, you were my first stupid, I told you that, but Jackson...he's confused about some shit in his life and...he kissed me a while back, but we left it at that." Anthony took a deep breath to calm himself down. He remembered thinking that he had seen Brian and Jackson kissing in Jacky's bedroom a few weeks earlier, but he had told himself that he was mistaken. He let himself forgot that fact because he had been so caught up with the newness of being with Brian. Anthony knew he shouldn't feel so jealous, but call him selfish because he wanted to keep Brian all to himself. He was Latino, it was in his blood to be possessive, but he knew Brian didn't like how controlling he could be sometimes.
"...sorry...but, do you think he might like you?" Anthony mumbled as he squinted his eyes with a clarity. When Brian nodded his head he knew things were more complicated than they realized.
"I can't be sure how he feels, but sometimes I catch him looking at me and I get this vibe that tells me that he might."
"Damn...Jacky... gay? He has a girlfriend though." Anthony mused as he put his arm around Brian. A thought hit Brian and he shrugged Anthony's arm off of him and stood up.
"And so do you! I don't mean to stress things, but you still haven't broken up with Lucia." Anthony's stomach started to twist and burn in knots. Something inside of him told him that things couldn't just go smoothly. No, there were ALWAYS complications.
"I know...but it's not that easy..." Anthony tried to reason, but Brian leaned down and kissed him. It was soft at first, but Anthony being the eager lover that he was grabbed Brian by the neck and held him there as he tried to deepen the kiss. Brian pulled away and walked across the room to get his cordless phone. He handed it to Anthony with an exasperated look.
"Look, I don't want to come out...I don't want you to fucking kill yourself, just don't string this poor girl along. It is simple...call."
"From your house...?" Anthony asked and Brian sighed as he told him to just block his number. Anthony took a deep breath and took the phone.
Men were so stupid, she should just become a lesbian she thought to herself as she reapplied her lip gloss. God, Carlos was messy she laughed to herself. She didn't really get any information out of him, but she did manage to plant little seed of doubt inside of his head. She was so close, yet so far. She sprayed on her rose scented perfume and rolled her black fish net stockings up her legs seductively. Her dress was short...too short for someone barely seventeen, but what she was about to do it was easier to look older. The cops didn't hassle her as much. She did her business in New York just to make sure she wouldn't run into anyone she knew. She had a high price and usually only had 3 or 4 regular guys a week that kept her in designer jeans and expensive jewelry. That was all good, but she didn't want to be fucking for the rest of her life. No, her plan was to trap a good man. A good man named Anthony and the best way to trap a man is with a kid. She hated kids, she couldn't stand the little fuckers, but Anthony was going to be going places and if she had to get fat for a few months to make sure she would have some sense of security, then fuck, she was going to do it. Besides, she knew a few men who would be willing to pay a little extra for a pregnant chick.
"What happened to your eye?" Tracy asked him as she got up out of the booth to examine Riley.
"Don't worry about it...I fell." He lied and he hated doing that. He really liked her, no forget that, he loved Tracy and lying to her was something that he didn't want to do, but he had to. It was his way of protecting himself.
" I know your father did that..."She whispered and Riley could feel his chest tighten up as he was about to protest. But, one look inside of Tracy's big dark brown almost black eyes was enough for his heart to open up.
"Fuck, I gotta get out of my house man...I can't take this shit anymore." He sighed as he sat down in the red plastic booth at the chicken joint they were at. It was practically empty with the exception of the three Indian men working behind the counter eyeing them curiously as if they were about to steal something. There was nothing in there was wasn't nailed down so even if they wanted to, stealing was not an option.
"How long has this been going on?"
"Fuck...always I guess, but it got really bad after my mom got killed and my brothers left." He sighed. He was willing himself to be a man and not cry, but it was hard not to. The thoughts of the hell his life was, were enough to make anyone want to cry. But, he was supposed to be a man, supposed to be the strong one, but it was just so hard sometimes.
"Do you still talk to your brothers?" Tracy asked as she reached one slender brown hand and enclosed it around one of Riley's fuller hands. He laughed bitterly.
"No! Those ass-holes are like my father...only they can't hurt me anymore."
"You don't have anyone you can stay with?"
"No, my grandmother lives all the way in Florida and she's like almost eighty. I can't live with her..."
"...you can't stay with your father...look at your face..." She whispered as she studied the purplish bruise that was the perfect size of a large fist. Riley's lip was cut too, if only a tender tear, but to Tracy it was massive. Rye was the sweetest guy she knew and didn't deserve all of the crap his father was doing to him. She wanted to help him...she needed to help Rye because she was falling for him hard and wouldn't stand back and watch the person she was falling in love with get hurt.
" I know...I'm gonna leave." He told her as his green eyes met her shocked ones.
"I thought you said that you didn't have any where you could go?"
" I don't, I'm just gonna go and find somewhere to go..." Rye replied and Tracy could see the loss and despair
in his eyes.
"You can't just leave! That doesn't make any sense." She argued as she told herself not to get angry.
"Look, you see my face! He's done a lot worse than this and if I stay with him one more night then he's gonna wind up doing something bad...real bad. I had a dream he killed me..." He whispered and Regina closed her eyes as she absorbed his pain.
"I have some money if you need it..."
"I don't I have some cash from when my mom got killed. I can only take out half now though..." He stated sadly as he held Tracy's hand and staring at her face for what he felt was the last time.
"What about us...I mean, we just got together!" Tracy exclaimed as she held his hand tighter in hers squeezing his fingers hoping that it would make him stay. Rye wanted to ask her to leave with him, but he knew he could never ask her to give up her life for him. That would be selfish and the one thing Riley wasn't was selfish.
"We'll see each other again..."
"...What if we don't Rye...what if we don't." Tracy stated sadly as she closed her eyes and pushed down that thick salty taste in her throat that was telling her she was about to cry. She got up and ran into the bathroom before Riley could see her. She stared at her face, all wet and unattractive as snot hung from her nose and she laughed because she knew Riley would think she was beautiful. Her too thin body and short black hair she wished was longer and fuller would be beautiful to him. Even the little red pimple on her chin would have been beautiful to Riley because to him all of her imperfections were perfect. She walked out of the bathroom smiling. She saw Riley sitting there sadly and she scooted next to him and kissed him softly on the mouth before stating that she was going to be leaving with him. He opened his mouth to argue, but it was of no use, Tracy had made up her mind and it wasn`t changing. Riley was her future, at sixteen she knew this. She was young and in love and in the end that was all that really mattered, consequences could be dealt with later...
To Be Continued....
Madison Aysha Dante (c) 2005