Authors: Ella Col
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Genre Fiction, #Coming of Age, #Romance, #Contemporary, #New Adult & College
Copyright © 2013 Ella Col, Author
All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America.
No reproduction without the permission of the author. All characters and events are fictional.
Cover Art by Regina Wamba/Mae I Design and Photography
TABLE OF CONTENTS
To my readers…you have made a dream come true. Mine. Thank you for every review, kind word, and most of all your support.
To my friends, co-workers, previous co-workers, and acquaintances who have pimped me out…THANK YOU!
To my family…Thank you.
To Brandy…you have been one of my biggest supporters. Thank you, my friend.
To my Beta Readers, Christie Mitchum & Jenny Campbell…Thank you for taking the time to make my work better. Your encouragement and ideas are so valuable to me.
ERIC-Fourteen Years Old
I hear her scream. My feet hit the floor and I snatch my bat from under my bed. Running to their bedroom, I hear the firs
t crash. The sound is deafening. The second crash ignites the fight in me.
My body pummels through the door. My mom is screaming, trying to fight him off. I freeze for a second taking in the chaotic scene. I see him over her fighting to get between her legs. She tries to kick, punch, bite, and scream but her attempts are useless.
The sight of my mom being assaulted in such a vile way paralyzes me. I’ve seen him hurt my mom a million times. But, this image is more than a fourteen-year-old kid can handle.
The bat makes my palms sweat. It feels so damn heavy. She screams again, this time breaking through my paralysis. I use every horrific image I’ve seen day after day and turn it in to strength. I yank him back by the collar. Fuck, he is strong. Again, I keep the pictures of bruises, cuts, and sorrow on replay in my head. This time when I pull him he falls to ground. My mom jumps from the bed and scrambles for the phone on the night table.
The bat doesn’t feel as heavy anymore. I just want to swing. So, I do. As hard as I can, I
bring the bat down across his stomach in attempt to weaken him. It works. Just one stronger blow and he’ll be out. I lift the bat above my head and with all my might try to bring it down to the same spot I hit before.
The bat misses its target. The bastard grabs the bat and he is on his feet. I hear my mom in the background on the phone with the 911
-operator. It’s too late. The first swing hits my right arm. Fuck, that hurt. He swings again hitting the same spot. I hear a snap and immediately feel a sharp, searing pain.
rumble to the ground screaming while holding the injured arm. My eyes are blurry from water welling behind my eyes but I can see the bat heading for my good arm. I turn my shoulder to brace myself against the blow.
He delivers s
trike after strike, but I refuse to give in to the pain. Instead, I listen for the sirens. They are coming. Thank god, they are coming.
My eyes adjust to the morning light. At least I think it could be morning. Shit, it could be afternoon. Either way, I’m late. Fuck.
Someone stirs next to me. My anxiety peaks. I hate when they stay the night. Getting rid of them the next morning is a bitch.
The petite blonde flips her naked body towards mine. I cringe when her breasts makes contact with my chest. She nuzzles in to me trying to close the gap I desperately try to keep in place.
Her eyes shoot open and meet mine. She grins with satisfaction and leans in to kiss me. I turn my head to dodge her mouth but do a quick save by kissing her forehead. I feel her hands moving down my chest in search of my morning wood.
I feel a little sick to my stomach. I don’t know if it is from the alcohol I consumed the night before or if it is from the guilt from using the nameless blonde to get off.
I’m torn. Do I let her jerk me off and send her on her way? Or, do I push my asshole button and kick her out of my bed?
I try the truth instead. “Baby, I gotta go. I have plans today.” I move her hand away from my dick.
Nameless sulks, “Aww, I want to play. Change your plans for me. I will make it worth your while.”
Shit. Why can’t they just fuck me and go? It’s never enough. “Sorry. I can’t. There’s somewhere I need to get to. Get dressed. I will walk you out.” You’d think it be that simple.
Nameless sticks her bottom lip out and begins to pout. “Where could you possibly have to go on a Sunday, Eric? You have to be hung over after all of those shots we did. Just call whoever it is and tell them you can’t make it.” That damn hand is snaking its way down to my boxers again.
I need to think of something quick to get her out of here. She’s just about to make contact with my cock when I blurt it out. “I’m not feeling well. You were right. I’m hung over. I should reschedule my plans. I feel like I’m going to yack.”
Nameless is in shock. “Let me help you.”
“No,” I panic. Fuck. She’s never going to leave. “I don’t want you to see this. Please just go.”
I pretend to gag a little. I peak through my hands hoping she bought it. Hell, it was my best act so far. I almost really vomited that time.
The scowl on her face tells me I failed. Miserably. “Do you honestly believe I buy that? Every week, after every gig, you ask a girl back to your bedroom. Do you vomit every time to fuck someone?” Nameless jumps up and begins to gather her clothes.
She slips her jeans over her ass and fumbles around looking for her shirt. “Listen…” I try to recall her name but nothing is coming to me.
Nameless cuts me off in disbelief, “You don’t know my name do you?”
“Sure, I do.” I lie.
“Then, what is it?” she scoffs.
Fuck. I hate this game. I never win. I gamble and blurt out the only name that comes to mind. “Melanie?” It was more of a question than an answer. I don’t care what her name is because I don’t plan on seeing her ever again.
My wager was unsuccessful. If looks could kill, I’d be dead. “Wrong, dickhead. It’s Kim.”
Finally, the shirt appears. She huffs n
ot bothering to put the shirt on and storms out of my room. Goal accomplished. I hear the front door slam and a pair of feet scrambling down the hall.
Josh peeks his head behind my door. His smirk reveals that he is just as amused as I am. “Who is the half naked chick running out of the house?”
“Her name is Kim. Don’t you forget it,” I playfully scold him.
He laughs because he knows me better than anyone. “Why? Did you?”
“Maybe.” I start to get dressed. I look back at the door and Josh is still standing there. Since he is hanging around, I’m thinking he wants to talk. “What’s up?”
“I talked to Bree-“ Josh starts.
“Who’s Bree?” I cut him off just to fuck with him. Bree is the neighbor who Josh has been crushing for days now. She’s all he talks about.
Josh finds the closest object to him to chuck at me. Fortunately, it is just a pen. It doesn’t hurt. “You done bustin’ my ass?”
I bring my finger to my chin and tap it as if I’m thinking. “Eh…probably not. But, proceed.”
He huffs. I can tell this is important to him. Josh has never been in love before, but I have. I remember what it is like to obsess about ‘The One’. So, I cut him a break…for a second.
“She’s covering a few of our bands this week. I have something planned for her at the first show. Can you assist the photographer while I’m with Bree?” Josh asks.
“Assist? Sooo...professional. What you meant to say is that you want me to distract her friend so you can make a move on your girl.” I’m always Josh’s wingman. He knows that I will do it for him because he’s done so much for me.
Josh looks down and I can see his goofy ass smile. The dude knows he can’t hide shit from me. “Yeah, man. That’s what I meant. So, will you do it?”
I wait a few seconds to keep him guessing. “Yeah. I’ll do it. You owe me one.”
Josh heads out the door but stops at the frame of the door. “I owe you many, my friend.”
Josh always says that. I don’t get it. If it wasn’t for Josh, I wouldn’t have had a place to live after my dad went to jail for murdering my mom. I shouldn’t be giving him a hard time for any favor he asks of me.
The shelter is well hidden from the road. I walk up the path and press the buzzard.
“Stand in front of the
camera located on the left side of the door please.” A voice bellows through the intercom. I follow the directions and I hear a buzz and a click. “Good morning, Eric.”
The door automatically unlocks and I enter the building taking all of my items out of my pockets to place in a tray. The security guard slides the tray through a
scanning machine. I stand still allowing the guard to scan my body with the metal detecting wand. Once my items drift from the machine, I begin to put them back in my pockets. I ‘bro fist’ the security guard and make my way towards Vivienne’s office.
I tap on Vivienne’s door and she yells for me to come in. “Good morning, Eric. Please have a seat.” She motions for me to sit in the chair directly in front of her desk.
“Hey, Viv.” Vivienne is the director of the shelter for domestic violence victims. I volunteer a few times a week. I always begin my shift by meeting with Vivienne so she can give me the tasks that need to be done. Usually, I’m asked to plant flowers or do yard work to maintain a pleasant atmosphere for the shelter residents.
Vivienne is in her mid-forties. Life has been kind to her in the looks department. Viv’s light brown hair touches her shoulders in a blunt fashion. Her kind blue eyes only show a smidgeon of crinkles in the corners. Her appearance is always crisp.
As always Vivienne’s smile is warm and welcoming. I tap my fingers on the side of the chair. “How are you?” she asks.
It’s an open-ended question she asks every week. I never really know how to answer. I’m fine. I guess. I’m eating, sleeping, working, and fucking. The
y’re all the things I should be doing. I go through the motions of life as expected.
” I answer.
Vivienne smiles knowing I could give her more. But, I won’t. “Have you given any thought on visiting your father?”
I hate when she gets on this kick. Vivienne feels that if I face my father to share my anger with him for killing my mom, I will have closure. I have closure. I shut the door on that bastard’s face long ago.
Viv knows my answer. It doesn’t surprise
her when I blurt it out. “Fuck, no.”
She’s amused only because she expected it. “Okay. I respect your decision. Let’s move on to something else.”
Inside of my head, I’m laughing. I can hear the question before she even asks it. She wants to know if I have met anyone, specifically a girl.
“How is your love life, Eric?”
“How is your love life, Viv?” I give it right back to her.
Again, she is
entertained by my comments. “My love life is fine. Thank you for asking. Now, how about yours?”
“It’s the same
as I last saw you. I am dating, but no one serious,” I offer.
Her eyebrow arches in question.
No sense in denying it. Viv knows that I don’t date. I have sex with girls
. Never twice. “No. Not dating. Close encounters with women. Lots of them.”
remains calm. “I just want to know if you have met anyone that is worth spending time with other than in your bed.”
That’s a joke. There is only one woman for me and she’s de
ad. “Viv, Lindsay’s gone. I can’t replace her. I know that. The girls I mess around with are just for release.”
“Eric, sometimes when we feel cheated we tend to take on behaviors that
, in the end, are damaging. With you, I believe you are avoiding pain. Pain from losing Lindsay. Pain from losing your mom. Essentially, you were robbed. ” Viv begins her counseling lecture.
I help her clarify her statement. I know why I do the things I do. I don’t need her to tell my why. “
Here comes the deeper cut. I objectify women because I feel a hole in me and I want to fill that hole. When I feel like shit or I’m in a bad mood, I pick a girl to screw. Any random chick will do because emotionally I am disconnected from her. How did I do?”
Again, she’s regaled by my
declaration. “You did well. My last question for you is this…what’s next? Do you go on for the rest of your life using women, continually distancing yourself, so you don’t have to feel? Because, Eric, that is what you are doing. You are not allowing yourself to feel anything for any girl because of your past.”
I’m about to say something when the door is pushed open by one of the counselors. Yes! I’m about done with this conversation. I love Vivienne. But, the point of me being here at the shelter is to help out. Picking through my brain is not part of the deal.
“Sorry to interrupt. But, the placement and her family have arrived,” the counselor informs Vivienne.
Vivienne rises from her chair and puts her arms around me to embrace me. “We’ll talk next week.” I kiss her on the cheek and walk out with her to begin my tasks.
In front of me is a young mother wi
th her two children…a girl and a boy. The girl is about twelve years old and the boy is maybe around six. They all look frightened. The mother is clutching her children while taking in her surroundings. The girl has her tough face showing but I can see behind the mask she is scared.
Vivienne, the admitting counselor, and the child advocate surround the family. Vivienne speaks first. “Hello, welcome to
the shelter. This is Annette; she’s your admittance counselor. Jody is the child advocate. I’m Vivienne, I oversee the shelter,” Vivienne spouts out everyone’s role.
Her speech hasn’t changed much from the first time I met her. I was only ten years old when
we met. My mom and I fled my dad’s house in the middle of the night after he put another cigarette out on my chest. Shit, I can still feel the burn after all of these years. I can still feel all of the burns.
My mom and I entered the shelter in hopes of starting over. As soon as we walked in, Viv was there. She was kind
and her voice was nurturing. I instantly liked her. The admitting counselor whisked my mom away to complete the paperwork required to enter the shelter. I was left with Viv and the child advocate.
The first thing the child advocate did, was give me a toy.
Yeah, like that was going to erase the horrific images in my head. I took the toy not really knowing what to do with it. After she gave me the toy, she wanted to talk to me. After all of the shit I had been through that night, the last thing I wanted to do was to talk.
The advocate tried to hold my hand and take me away. I flipped the fuck out. I know I scared the advocate. Hell, I scared me. In my defense, I was
a human ashtray only hour before. Who could blame me for melting down?
right in and asked me if I liked to play video games. I did, of course. She led me to a back room of the shelter. Viv didn’t try to hold my hand or talk to me. I sat on an old couch while Viv hooked up the game console.