W.A.R. Part Three - The Broken Boy

(2nd edition)

Chapter Nine - Going Down Swinging

by Jeff Wilson

I stayed in my room for the rest of the evening. I felt really stupid acting like such a child, but it was all my mother's fault. Why did she have to be such a bitch? She didn't even let me explain my side of the story. She didn't even care! All she cared about was about her reputation. She didn't want to have to deal with Mrs. McKenzie. They were in women's civic group together, and I know that was a big part of why mom was so pissed off. I really wanted some ice for my foot. It really hurt from kicking the door. I wondered if I'd broken my toe. But I knew I couldn't tell mom that my foot hurt. She'd just explain to me that if I hadn't lost my temper I wouldn't have hurt myself. Well maybe I didn't care.

Maybe I wanted to hurt myself.

I put that thought out of my head. I was being stupid. Obviously I didn't want to hurt myself. I just had to learn not to hit or kick things when I got mad. I especially had to learn to control my mouth. I had to learn self-control. I had to quit acting like a stupid little jerk when I got mad, I knew that. If I'd kept my temper under control, I wouldn't have gotten myself into the whole mess in the first place.

I heard the sound of dad's truck pulling into the driveway. I wasn't quite sure how to feel. I knew he wasn't going to be happy about the fight. But maybe he could calm mom down. Maybe he'd let me tell my side of the story instead of just yelling at me like mom had done. Maybe since we'd had some time to calm down we could be rational. I heard the front door open, and I strained to hear my parents' conversation. But I had no luck. They must have gone to their room, away from my listening ears. After about twenty minutes, there was a knock on my door. I figured I'd better open it this time. I found my mom waiting on the other side.

"Come to the dining room and eat your supper," she said.

I followed her to the dining room table. Dad was already seated. I joined them and for a while, we ate quietly. Each minute of silence seemed longer than the last. If I was going to get yelled at, I wanted to get it over with. Dad just sat there silently, eating his dinner and reading the paper.

I finished eating quickly but I didn't leave. I knew dad would want to talk to me about what happened. I hoped that he would be more understanding than mom had been. We'd had some good times lately working together. I felt like I could actually talk with him instead of him lecturing me.

I looked across the table at mom. She was looking back at me. I could just see the disappointment on her face. I could almost hear her thinking `where did we go wrong?' I looked beyond her to the kitchen. Our refrigerator had always been the place where anything good I did in school ended up being posted. When I was a kid, it had been filled with pictures I'd drawn. As I got older, I stopped drawing. The fridge started to be covered with A+ test papers and perfect report cards. I'd never gotten less than an A in any class. School work was easy. It was the social aspect of school that was hard. I wondered if I should put the write-up for my first suspension on the fridge.

After he finished eating, dad finally spoke.

"Sounds like you had quite a day today," he said.

"Yeah," I said. "Jerry Freemont had a seizure in class today."

"I think there was something else, wasn't there?" dad asked.

"I guess," I replied. Now that it had come time to explain myself I wasn't feeling very talkative.

"I'm listening," dad replied.

"Okay, so Joey put this stupid picture in my math book..."

"What kind of picture?" dad asked.

"A dirty picture," I replied.

"Okay, so instead of talking to him you decided to go attack him?" dad asked.

"Not exactly."

"So what happened then?"

"Well it was Sarah Taylor who put him up to it. She kept provoking me, telling me to shut up all day, calling me names, trying to get me all riled up. Then she told the teacher about the picture and I snapped."

"And what were you going to do?"

"I don't know! I wasn't thinking..."

"That's obvious," dad said shortly.

I grimaced. "Well, it doesn't matter because Joey tackled me anyway."

"So you were going to beat up a girl, is that the general gist of your story?"

"No, you're not listening to me! I... I mean... She was the one who..."

Dad put his hand up to stop me from my stuttering explanation.

"Billy, just stop. I don't care what she did. I'm not her father, I'm yours. And all I've heard from you is excuses."

"I'm not making excuses! I'm trying to explain what happened!"

"Don't get short with me, boy. You're in enough trouble as it is."

This wasn't going well at all! "I'm not... This is so... Please just listen to me for a minute! I'm sorry I lost my temper, but this has been going on all year long! They've been jerks to me since school started! Why do you think I hate going to school now?"

Dad exhaled sharply through his nose. "I don't need to hear more excuses from you, boy. Just tell me what the hell you were thinking when you decided to fight a girl."

"But I didn't fight a girl, I fought Joey!" I protested. It was like he hadn't heard a word I'd said.

"You just don't get it, do you?" dad sighed.

"I get it! You're mad at me for something I didn't even do!"

"Only because Joey stopped you. I don't know what you're mad at him for. It sounds like he's the hero here."

"Fuck Joey!" I snapped. "He called me a faggot!"

"Billy! Language!" mom exclaimed.

"He did!" I explained.

"I don't care what he called you," dad shouted. "The fact is you were going to fight a girl. Joey stopped you so you fought him. I don't give a damn what they did to provoke you. That fact that you were going to hit a girl makes me sick. I don't care what she did. I don't care if she put a stupid picture in your book. I don't care if she called you names. You were going to hit a girl, and that's just something you never do. You crossed the line, boy. How could a kid who's supposed to be so smart do something that dumb? I've never been ashamed to call you my son before. But I am right now."

My eyes started to burn and everything got blurry. What he said hurt me worse than anything that had ever happened to me before. "I'm sorry," was all I could manage to squeak out as the tears stung my eyes.

"Quit your bawling. You're fifteen years old, it's time for you to start acting like it. Just go to your room and stay there. Your mother grounded you for a week. I'm grounding you for an extra week, for getting into the fight and for being a disgrace to yourself and to your family. Now get! I don't want to see you even peek out that door the rest of the night."

I got up and walked toward my room, totally defeated. It was totally silent in the house. I closed my door quietly, sat on my bed and just laid for a while until I fell asleep. I'd never felt so worthless and hurt. I just wanted to crawl in a hole and be forgotten about. I woke up the next morning still wearing the same clothes I'd fallen asleep in. It was very early, the sun hadn't even come up yet. I wasn't sure if I was allowed out of my room yet, but I had to go to the bathroom. I opened the door and peeked around. The house was dark. I slipped across the hall and did my business. Then I took a shower. The water felt nice, but I still felt terrible.

Since it was Saturday, dad made me go with him to work on a project. It was boring and we didn't talk at all. Dad was still really mad at me. The hard part was the silence. It made everything really boring. On Sunday, mom made me go to church with her. We were Methodists for the week. We were two of about fifteen people there. Apparently the big fancy church where Joey's family went was draining all the members from the other churches around town. While we were at church, dad took everything fun out of my room. He took the television and the computer. He even took a deck of cards. I was a little upset that he'd gone into my room like that, but there was nothing I could do about it.

On Monday, I dressed for the day, even though I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do that day. I'd never missed school except when I was sick or had a doctor's appointment. It felt strange to not be getting ready to go wait for the bus. Eventually, mom knocked on my door and told me to get ready to leave. I had to spend the day with her at the hospital. She had a ten-hour shift, and she made me sit in an empty office by myself with nothing to do for the whole day. It was ten of the most boring hours of my life. I ran my tongue over my braces so much that by the end of the day my tongue was sore.

The next day, I had to go with dad. He left early in the morning. Unlike the other times I'd gone on a job with him, there was no helping him this time. Dustin had brought my school books home for me, and dad made me sit and do school work all day. All day! No breaks. From about seven in the morning until five o'clock that evening, I did nothing but math problems and answer essay questions. I even had to work while I ate.

I foolishly asked if I could call Brett when we got home. I got yelled at for that.

So the third day of my suspension from school went very much like the last. I had to go with dad to work all day again. When dad caught me daydreaming he made me answer every question in my science book. I wasn't sure how I was supposed to be learning respect for women that way. I don't think my parents actually knew how to punish me because for most of my life they'd never had to. I was always one of the good kids, so when I acted bad for once in my life they didn't know how to handle it. Of course, I didn't quite know how to express my anger without reverting to a five-year-old, so I guess we were even. I was actually looking forward to going back to school after five days of torture. And there were still nine days of being grounded to go!

I was so happy to be able to see my friends and classmates again. I wanted to kiss Brett when he got on the bus. I hadn't seen or talked to him in five excruciating days and I'd missed him every second. But of course, we couldn't. But he did sit as close to me as possible.

"I missed you, dude!" I said happily.

"I missed you too," Brett replied. "It's been interesting at school. I guess I was pretty close to joining you after all."

"Why?" I asked.

"I don't know. I've just been bored I guess," he replied. "People piss me off."

Emily Barnhart sat behind us as usual. She told me that she missed me at school and that her pool would be opening that evening. She wanted to have me and Brett over to swim, but I had to tell her that I was still grounded for another week. That didn't stop Brett from agreeing to go. She told us that she was having a big party the following Saturday. Since my punishment would end the day before that, I felt very happy about accepting her invitation. It would be a bit of a celebration of regaining my freedom and of the approaching end of the school year.

Homeroom was the first time I had to see Joey and Sarah again. They were too busy fawning over each other after having been separated for three days to worry about me. It looked to me like Joey was bound to get what he wanted out of that bible group. Sarah was practically fucking him right there in the classroom. She was all over him.

"So, did I miss anything?" I asked Dustin. It seemed that Joey had abandoned him for Sarah.

"Mike got some great new games in. I've been hanging there a lot," Dustin said.

"I see," I replied.

"The new Elder Scrolls game is so sweet," he gushed. "Mike promised me he'd get me a computer if I worked enough for him."

"I thought he didn't have that game," I said.

"Mike has all the new games, dude," Dustin replied. "He's awesome."

"You told me he wouldn't have it," I insisted.

"Oh yeah..." Dustin said. "I guess I did. Oh well. Guess I lied."

"What is with you and Brett?" I asked. "Why are you such a jerk to him?"

"Duh, he punched me in the face, and you too in case you've forgotten. He's a jerk. And he's been a real pain this week. He's been to the principal's office every day this week. He must miss you blowing him every day after school," Dustin said.

"Fuck off," I replied. If only Dustin knew how true his insult actually was.

"Amanda came home too," Dustin said. "Since Max is in jail she's been all mopey and sad, but not nearly as big of a witch as she was. It's actually been pretty quiet at home, when I'm there that is. It's nice to be able to go to the park at night without having to worry about Max being there selling drugs."

The rest of the school day went okay. I guess people decided to lay off me since I'd been a tough guy and got into a fight. Or maybe they had just moved on to the next thing. Jerry Freemont's seat remained empty. I heard that he was out of the hospital, and not dead like Dustin had said. I wondered if we'd ever see him again. I also learned through the grapevine that Brett had flipped out in class on a teacher and had been sent to the office for the fourth straight day. I wondered if Dustin was right and he really did need a blowjob. Too bad he'd have to wait another week for me to not be grounded. I wondered if we could sneak off to the bathroom together some time, but that was way too risky.

The second week of my punishment went very much like the first. I could only see Brett on the bus and occasionally in the hallways. He seemed to be taking our being separated pretty hard. He was a mess. I heard that he was barely eating anything and that he was very irritable and cranky. Worse than all that, it was like his ADHD kicked into high gear and he was spending more time with the principal than in class. He couldn't sit still, not even on the bus. He was constantly fidgeting and sweaty and couldn't stay quiet. I hoped that once my punishment was over that I could spend some quiet time with him and help get him straightened out again.

Life at home was even worse than before. If I could have just stayed in my room by myself I might have been okay. But mom and dad had me constantly doing stuff around the house. When I ran out of homework, mom even printed out bible worksheets she expected me to complete. She was constantly telling me how I needed to work on my faith and how to fix up my life with God. She'd become convinced I'd gone astray, and that's why I was acting the way I was. Dad was even worse. He'd barely said two words to me since the night he'd called me an idiot and an embarrassment. Those words still stung, and it hurt even more because now he wasn't talking to me at all. I was feeling so terrible and unwanted. The week couldn't end fast enough!

On Friday, there was finally a light at the end of the tunnel. It was the last day of May and the last day of my punishment, and I was excited to see the end of my torment so close at hand. There was a baseball game at Palmer Park that afternoon, so I got to spend some time away from chores and mindless schoolwork. I enjoyed talking to Dustin during the game.

"So, I guess ol' Joey finally got what he wanted," he confided to me during the ninth inning. "He told me Sarah let him do her a few nights ago."

"Oh?" I said. "Good for him, I guess."

"Yeah..." Dustin sighed. "I figured Joey would get laid before too long. Dude's been so horned up all year. I still remember the night we all went bowling for your birthday. Everything's kind of fallen apart for the four of us since then. Reilly and me had our fight, you and Joey had your fight. All over stupid crap."

"Yeah," I replied. "At least I'm almost through being grounded. Maybe I'll come by Mike's place with you and see what all of the fuss is about."

"If you want," Dustin said. "Just don't bring him with you."

"Dustin, seriously, what is with you and Brett?"

"I just don't like the little bastard," Dustin replied crossly.

"Hey, you know not to call him that," I scolded. "I thought you didn't swear."

"I don't care. Bastard isn't a swear word. I'm describing his actions, not his parentage."

"Don't turn into a jerk like Joey, Dustin," I said.

"I'm not!" Dustin insisted. He looked past the outfield toward the area where Max had once set up shop in the park. "I guess the more some things change the more they stay the same."

I squinted where Dustin was looking. Apparently, someone had taken over Max's `spot' and was picking up the slack in the drug dealing department.

"Wow, broad daylight, too," Dustin said. "Max usually only worked nights around here. Oh well. That'll make things easier. Now that he can get high again maybe Reilly won't be such a jerk anymore."

I dropped my pencil and looked at him. "What's that supposed to mean?"

"Oh come on, Billy. It's pretty obvious."

"What's obvious?"

"You really don't know Reilly's a stoner?"

"The hell he is!" I raised my voice. "You take that back!" People started looking at us.

"It's true! Why would I lie about that?"

"Because you hate Brett! You've always hated him!" All of our teammates and even some of the crowd began noticing us.

"Of course I hate him, but I wouldn't make up something like that. Why do you think he's been so calm all year? Why do you think he's been so crazy the last week? He's having withdrawal because hasn't had his weed."

"Shut up! You're lying!" I shouted.

"Ask anybody!" Dustin replied. "It's not even that big of a secret. He's not exactly hiding it or anything." He turned to the team, "is there anyone here who didn't know Reilly's a stoner?" The teammates shook their heads and agreed with Dustin.

"You're just trying to destroy his reputation with lies! You're jealous of him!"

"No I'm not!" Dustin shouted. "The guy's a jerk. It's not like that little queer's reputation was worth destroying anyway. If you're not careful his reputation is going to rub off on you."

"What's that supposed to mean?" I asked.

"You know what it means," said Dustin.

"You prick!" I snapped. "You pick on someone smaller than you and tell lies about him. You're the tallest one in your family, but inside, you're just a scared little crybaby who's afraid of his whole stupid family! Then when things don't go your way you just go cry like a little bitch in the woods about how your parents smack you around. `Boo hoo hoo! My parents are gonna break up!' `Wah wah wah! My sister beats me up and my dad pushed me down the stairs!' And you let them because you're such a little bitch! You're a fucking loser, Dustin!"

Dustin just stared at me, his mouth slightly open. The wounded look he gave me said more than any words could have said. I'd been so mad that it took me a second to realize just how badly I'd betrayed him. I'd sworn never to tell anyone about what happened up in the woods. Instead, because of my temper I had just told the whole team and a bunch of on-lookers in the stands.

"Smith, you're up," The coach said.

Dustin stood up and pulled on his batting helmet. He wiped his eyes with the back of his hand as he walked toward me. He looked as crushed as I'd ever seen him.

"Dustin, I'm..." I started to apologize but Dustin cut me off.

"You're a real asshole, Billy," he said, his voice cracking. I was shocked. It was the first time I'd ever heard him swear.

Dustin stood in at the plate and took three of the wildest and most terrible swings he'd ever taken at a pitch. He struck out and the ballgame was over. Everyone on the team stared angrily at me. Well, except for Dustin. He had dropped the bat and already run halfway to the woods between his house and the field.

I heard quite a few insults from the team as I packed up my stuff. I had to ride home with the coach, who let me know that if I was going to treat one of his best players like that, then he didn't need me even if I was the best scorekeeper he'd ever had. I apologized, and I really felt terrible about what I'd done.

At dinner that night, I was still feeling terrible about what I'd done. I wanted to see Dustin and apologize to him. I was worried that I'd ruined our friendship permanently. But even so, he had no right to make up lies about Brett like that! Brett was not a stoner! He couldn't be. I would be able to tell. I would know. Wouldn't I?

I sat down to eat, and this dinner was just as quiet as the ones before it. Mom made small talk. Dad read his paper. I tried to be polite and nod at the right moments and stay out of the way.

"Ol' Donnie's not going to be able to work with me tomorrow since they're having that big pool party," dad said.

"Yeah, I can't wait," I said. "It's going to be awesome."

Dad looked at me crossly. "Who said anything about you going?"

"Well this is my last day to be grounded," I replied. "Em invited me last week. I think I might need some new swim trunks, mom. Mine are getting a little tight."

"What are you talking about? You're not going anywhere. You're still grounded until Sunday," dad said.

"What?!" I exclaimed. "No! Why? What did I do?!?"

"Didn't your mother ground you for two more days when you told her off?" dad asked.

"But... No... Then you made it two weeks!" I protested.

"I never said anything about taking away those two days." dad said. "Your mother grounded you for a week. I grounded you for a week. And she grounded you for two additional days. You're still grounded until Sunday."

"But... No! That's not fair!" I protested. "You said two weeks!"

"Do you want to make it longer?" dad warned.

"No! I just don't want to be lied to!"

"Who lied to you? You're the stupid dumbass who can't add."

"George, stop!" mom exclaimed. "Billy it's okay..."

"This is so retarded!" I snapped, full of righteous indignation. "You could have told me I was grounded until Sunday before I told Emily and Brett I'd be there. Now I look like a moron! I can't even call and tell them I won't be there because you guys won't even let me use the phone!"

"Settle down, boy! You can go swimming some other time. It's not a big deal," dad said.

"Yes it is!" I yelled. "You guys are so unfair! You told me two weeks! I've been your stupid slave for two weeks! I did everything you asked me to do! Now you want to punish me even more on a technicality! That's bullshit!"

"What did you say?" dad asked furiously.

"I said that it's bullshit, and it is! You know it is! I'm so tired of your goddamn bullshit! All I've had to look forward to all week was that stupid party. You guys have treated me like I don't even exist. I haven't seen Brett at all and he needs me! Dustin thinks I'm a jerk! Everybody hates me! It's all because of you! You're ruining my life!"

"I think that's enough, boy!" dad yelled.

"No it's not enough! And stop calling me `boy!' I'm fifteen years old! I'm not a boy! Stop treating me like a child! I'm not a child!"

"Well you're acting pretty childish, boy."

"I can't even talk to you. You're so retarded. I can't wait to get out of this stupid house and away from you people. I hate this stupid place," I said.

"You better calm your ass down or you're going to regret it."

"What are you going to do? Ground me even more?"

"You're going to get more than grounded if you keep it up, boy!"

"Go ahead! See if I care, asshole!"

Oh shit! I couldn't believe what I'd just done! I knew I'd just stepped in it big time. As soon as that word left my mouth I wanted it back. There was a silence that seemed to magnify the word I had just called my father. It was as if we had all been stunned into silence by my outburst.

"What did you call me?" dad asked, as if in slow motion.

I didn't reply. We all knew what I'd said. I didn't want to say it again. Dad stood up from the table. He grabbed me by the front of my shirt with both hands and yanked me violently out of my chair, which tumbled to the floor with a loud crash. I stood face to face with him. Even though I was a few inches taller than him, I was too scared to move.

"What the fuck did you just call me?" he shouted. He shook me violently.

"I didn't mean-"

Before I could even finish my sentence dad slapped me in the right in the face. I was stunned. I couldn't believe it! My dad just hit me!

"Answer me, goddammit!" he yelled and then he slapped my cheek as hard as he could again. The sound echoed through the dining room.

"Stop it George!" mom exclaimed. "You're hurting him!"

"Stay out of this, Paula!" dad growled.

Tears filled my eyes. I held my hand up to my stinging cheek. I couldn't believe he'd just hit me! My parents had never hit me before in my whole life.

"Quit your fucking bawling! I've had enough of your fucking mouth and your fucking attitude! I'll tell you what, big man, if you want out of here so bad, then get the fuck out!" dad said. He pushed me away from him. "Go on. Get the fuck out! Take your fucking shit and get the fuck out of my house! If you're so fucking smart, if you're a big fucking man now, go live on your own and see what it's like! Maybe then you'll learn some goddamn respect!" I looked at mom and didn't move. I was too scared. "No? I didn't think so. You run your fucking mouth like you're a big man. You think you're a fucking man because you're fifteen and you're taller than me. But you're not a man. You're just a fucking disrespectful, smart-assed, whiny, arrogant little jerk! I've had enough of your shit! You better just get the fuck out of my sight before I really get mad. If you don't want to leave, then go to your room and I don't want to see your face again until you learn some goddamn respect!"

I was still stunned by what he had done and I didn't move. I looked at mom again.

"I SAID GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY SIGHT YOU STUPID LITTLE JERK!" dad roared. He raised the back of his hand to me as if he was going to hit me again and I flinched.

I scampered off as quickly as I could down the hall to my room and shut the door. There was no stopping the tears. They had begun to flow before I even made it to the hallway. I'd never been so humiliated. I was in shock, really. I couldn't believe my dad had actually hit me, but what hurt me most of all was the things he said. I sat on my bed still holding my hand up to my left cheek. Even though the pain was already gone, I still held my hand there.

Through the closed door I could hear their argument. It may have been the worst one yet.

"What were you thinking, George!"

"You heard what he called me!"

"He's just a boy! You had no right to hit him! He's your son!"

"He's no son of mine if he's going to call me an asshole, Paula!"

"That doesn't give you the right to beat him! I can't believe what you just did! You should be ashamed of yourself!"

"There you go again! I didn't beat the stupid little shithead, I barely touched him! He's been acting like a fucking little dickhead for far too long! I've had enough of him running his fucking little mouth, making his smart-assed little comments all the time! Calling everybody a retard! I've had enough of his shit! That damn boy is never going to learn if you keep babying him! He's needed his fucking ass beat for far too long!"

I couldn't listen to them fighting anymore. I lay down on my bed and pulled my pillow over my head so that their words became just a muted noise.

I felt so ashamed. I'd never been hit by my parents before. Brett punched me in the mouth on my birthday once, but my parents had never, ever hit me. I'd never even been spanked. I didn't know how to handle it. My emotions were spinning like an out of control washing machine. I was sad and I wanted to be comforted and held. But I was also angry and my pride had been stung. I wanted to hurt somebody like I'd been hurt. My teenage mind spun a hundred scenarios of vengeance and blood. But then I'd be sad and hurt again. I tried to figure out just where it had all gone so horribly wrong. Why had I said such an awful thing to my dad? Why did he have to go and hit me? Why did he have to say all those hurtful things to me? He didn't have to hurt me like he did. More tears replaced the ones I'd brushed away.

I heard the sound of dad's truck starting and violently roaring out of the driveway. He'd left and I was glad. I hoped he never came back. I wished for something bad to happen to him. That would show him! I hoped he wrecked his truck and died. I wanted him to hurt even worse than he'd hurt me!

There was a soft knock on my door.

"Billy, are you okay?" mom asked.

"No! Leave me alone!" I sobbed.

Mom opened the door and stepped quietly into my room. Shit, I have to start locking that stupid thing. "He's sorry Billy," she soothed. "He didn't mean it."

"Yes he did!" I protested bitterly. "I can't believe you're defending what he did!"

"I'm not defending him!" mom replied.

"Yes you are! You always take his side!"

"Billy I know you're angry, but..."

"You're damn right I'm angry! He just hit me, mom! He slapped me in the face! Maybe you didn't notice? I didn't deserve to get hit! Parents aren't supposed to slap their kids around!"

I turned away from her. She sat beside me on the bed and gently rubbed my arm. "I'm so sorry," she soothed. "I know how upset you must be feeling. I'm angry too. He had no right to hit you." I wanted to yell at her. I wanted to tell her to leave me alone. But a bigger part of me wanted her to hug me and tell me that everything was going to be okay. I wanted her to make me feel better. But then I pulled my arm away from her touch. The thought of her touching me disgusted me.

"Don't fuckin' touch me," I said angrily. "Just leave me alone."

"Billy, I know you're angry but..."

"Mom, please leave me alone," I asked.

"I just want you to understand..."

"I UNDERSTAND!!!" I snapped. "I understand just fine, mother! Dad just fucking beat me and you didn't do a damn thing to stop him! You just stood there and let him slap me around! So you feel bad and now you want me to understand! Well I'm through understanding! I don't care anymore! I hate it here! I hate him! I hope he fucking wrecks out there! I hope he DIES! I don't care!"

"William Aaron!"

"Get out of my room and leave me the hell alone!!!" I warned.

"You need to calm yourself..."

"I SAID GET THE FUCK OUT!!!!!!" I screamed. I stood defiantly by my bed and scowled viciously at her. I just wanted her to go away. I just wanted to be alone. I wasn't going to be able to hold it together for much longer.

Mom walked to the door and turned around. I couldn't last much longer, but I wasn't going to cry. Not in front of her.

"I forgive you, Billy. I just hope you can forgive yourself."

My lip began to quiver and the room was becoming blurry. "Please leave me alone," I begged, my voice breaking.

"I'll be here when you're ready to talk," she said. Then she closed the door.

I dropped down onto my bed and just lay there. My eyes burned, but I refused to bawl like a little baby. I refused to waste any more tears on that man. A few weeks ago I'd sat on that bed and bawled and put on a big show because I wanted to make my mom feel like shit for yelling at me. But now I really was hurt, and I didn't want her to see or hear me cry. I was more humiliated than hurt. I just lay there looking at the ceiling and thinking for a really long time. I never felt so alone, and I had no one to blame but myself.

Well well well! Things certainly got heated. Billy's gone too far this time. So did he get what he deserved or was his father out of line? I'll let you decide that. We know Billy's opinion on it.

I'd love to know what you thought of this chapter. Only three more to go in The Broken Boy. What are your thoughts? You can reach me at: jkwsquirrel@yahoo.com

Next time: Parole Violation