Tales from another broken home.

Chapter 22: The Boy with a Thousand Faces.

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I hurt myself today, to see if I still feel.
I focus on the pain, the only thing that’s real.
The needle tears a whole, the old familiar stain.
Try to kill it all away but I remember everything.

What have I become my sweetest friend?
Everyone I know goes away in the end.
And you could have it all.
My empire of dirt.
I will let you down.
I will make you hurt.

From "Hurt" By Johnny Cash (Originally Nine Inch Nails/Trent Reznor.)

I noticed Jake watching me as I brought groceries into the house with my Mam. Jake had started to scare me recently he said strange things and although he was acting cool about what had happened I had a sense he wasn't ok about it at all. Anyways I had other things to do then worry about Jake he could definitely take care of himself. I finished help my Mam and walked to Ryan’s.

When I knocked on Ryan's front door I heard him come flying down the stairs. Ryan opened the door and beamed at me.

"Come on Dude I need to show you something in my room" He winked.

We both ran up the stairs and into Ryan's room. Ryan pulled the blinds down and pulled his shirt over his head.

"Its healing up pretty well. But my Mam nearly saw it last night" Ryan frowned.

"I was cleaning it in the mirror and she just walked into my room without knocking. I had to grab a towel so she wouldn't see it and then we had like a huge argument about respecting my privacy, so I'm kinda grounded." Ryan sighed.

"So your not allowed out for how long?" I asked.

"A whole week man. She's such a bitch." Ryan whinged.

"Aww poor Ryan. Stuck in his room for a whole week." I soothed pulling him closer to me.

I ran my hands down his back carefully avoiding the tattoo and down under his waistband grabbing on to his tight ass. I pushed him into me our pelvises grinding against each other.

"You always know how to cheer me up" Ryan beamed his smile almost bursting out of his mouth.

We were about to take things further when Ryan's Mam arrived home.

"Ryan is there someone up there with you?" She called with a razor sharp tone.

"Em Riley just called over but he's leaving" Ryan said giving me a puppy dog look that told me he wished I could stay.

I headed home but decided to call in on Jake on the way. I knocked on his door a few times but there was no answer even though I had seen him in the house only an hour or so earlier. As I was walking off I could have sworn I heard a scream but after looking in the window the house looked empty so I left. I got home and gave Carrie a call.

Carrie called over and we spent the afternoon messing about. I told her about Ryan's tattoo and how weird Jake was getting.

"We should call over and check if he's doing ok." Carrie said with a concerned tone.

"Ok then lets head over now." I smiled and we headed for Jakes.

We were at Jakes in about a minute and after ringing his bell a few times it was clear he wasn't there.

"Oh well I guess we'll catch him later." Carrie smiled.

As we were walking off I heard another scream.

"Did you hear that?" I shouted.

"Em Yeah." Carrie replied.

"Em let's go get my Mam." I said quickly and we both ran back to my house.

When we got into the house Mike opened the door.

"Hey guys.........What’s wrong?" Mike asked.

"We heard screaming coming from Jake's and he's not opening the door." Carrie gasped.

"Ok lets all calm down" Mike soothed.

We all walked down to Jake's and Mike knocked on the door.

"Come on now we know there's someone in there." Mike shouted from the porch.

Just as Mike shouted there was a muffled scream.

"Jesus, Ok stand back." Mike shouted as he ran towards the door.

Mike rammed the door four or five times before the hinges came loose and he pushed it through. I followed him as he ran into the house. I couldn't keep up with him as he ran up the stairs. When I caught up I saw him staring at a man on the landing.

"What is the meaning of this? How dare you break into my property." The Man screamed.

"What the hell's going on here" Mike shouted back "I heard screams."

"You must be mistaken, there’s been no screaming going on here." The Man replied, calmer this time.

"Where's Jake?" I asked.

"I don't know he's probably out." The Man replied. "I don't know where my son is every minute and hour of everyday for god's sake."

"So your Jake's Dad." I asked.

"Yes, Jake's my son." The Man replied coldly. "Now leave before I call the police."

As we were walking down the stairs there was a dull thud. Mike turned around and pushed past the Man. Mike began to open and search every room. When he opened the second door Jake was on the floor knocked out and heavily bruised with blood dripping from his lip.

"You son of a bitch" Mike shouted as he landed a heavy punch into Jake's Dads face.

"Riley go home and call the cops." Mike shouted.

The next ten minutes are still a blur but I remember calling the police and making my way back to Jake's to see Mike carrying him out of the house. The police arrived minutes later and took both Jake and his Father. Jake regained consciousness as he was about to be driven away and we could all hear him screaming the same thing over and over again.

"I am the boy with a thousand faces."

Mike brought Carrie home and when he came back he lifted me up into a tight hug.

"Are you ok buddy?" He asked.

"Yeah I'm ok. Just a bit freaked out." I answered.

Mike held me for ages he was shaking slightly at first but that eased after a while.

"Listen we both have to go to the police station tomorrow morning and give statements ok?" Mike said calmly.

"Ok I think I can remember most of what happened." I said still shaken from seeing Jake in that state.

Mike made me a cup of tea saying it would help with the shock. I actually kinda liked it, it was warm and sweet and seemed to relax you. When my Mam arrived home Mike told her the whole story and she had a complete freak out. She held me and cried.

"I should have known. I should know what's going on with your friends." She wept.

"Mam you don't have to know anything about my friends." I comforted.

She grabbed me and hugged me tight. "That man could have hurt you." she broke down into tears as she uttered those last words.

I went to bed early that night mostly to get away from my Mam who would burst into tears every time she saw me. The next morning Mike drove me to the police station and we were both interviewed. The cop who interviewed me was old and had grey hair and a grey moustache.

"So kid how did you know Jake?" The cop quizzed.

"He was a friend from school." I answered.

"You hang round with him outside school?"

"Yeah he lived down the road."

"Right. So you heard the scream first?"

"Yeah I heard a scream and I went and got Mike."

"Wait a minute, Who's Mike?"

"My Mam's boyfriend."

"Right ok well we pretty much know the story but I've still got a few questions for you." The cop said with a sly smile.

"So did you know Jake was a well known drug dealer up until a few months ago?"

"No." I replied honestly.

"Really so you weren't part of this new gang that he was trying to form?"

"What! No I'm not in any gang."

"So you haven't been in contact with a Havier Rodriguez?"

"Yeah I have but only for a piercing." I replied getting nervous. How did this guy know about Havier?

"Right and that's not a gang initiation is it?" The cop laughed.

Just as he was about to ask another question the door swung open.

"That's enough officer. This minor doesn't have a guardian or legal representation present what are you doing questioning him?"

It was Ryan's Dad, Giani. He smiled at me as he guided the cop out of the room.

"Oh I'm very sorry Lieutenant." The Copy stuttered.

"I'm sorry about that Riley." Giani beamed showing that he had the same smile as Ryan.

"You and Ryan involved with this kid Riley? It's very important that you tell me if you've done something stupid." Giani said in a quiet voice.

"No we were just friends with the kid he never mentioned anything about drugs or gangs." I lied slightly.

"Ok well you can go now. Oh and Riley don't talk to anyone about this" Giani winked.

When I got back to the reception area Mike was shouting at the cop at the desk

"My lawyer will nail your balls to the..............Oh Riley there you are." Mike smiled.

"We're very sorry about the misunderstanding Mr.Hannigan. I hope you'll accept our most sincere apologies." Giani said warmly. "Your both free to leave"

"Your damn right we are." Mike said loudly and grabbed me before storming off.

"I've had enough of you fucking pigs."