Inside the Darkness
Because it was always this hard. It was always going to be just like this. There was no way around it. In fact, there was nothing that anyone could do. I mean, it's not like I can choose my life. My parents and family, I'm stuck with what's given to me. And it was always this hard to hear the yelling and screaming. Would they ever stop arguing?
It seems like this has how it's always been. I remember a happier time, I really do. But I was so young then, and so naïve. The yelling keeps coming. I here it as it echoes through the whole house. Another slit, this time on my right leg. I watch the blood drip onto the hard wood floor beneath me. I would have to clean that up later, too.
A knock at my bedroom door wakes me from my trance. The yelling hasn't stopped yet, though. I slowly get up and place the knife in my dresser drawer. I proceed to take a tissue and wipe the blood off my leg and the floor. As I walk to the door I toss the tissue into the trash can. When I open the door my little brother is staring at me with his big eyes. Behind him are the twins, holding onto each others hands tightly.
I smile, letting them know it's all okay, and let them come into my room. It's hard to be the oldest. Now I know how my older brother felt before he took off for college. The twins jumped up onto my bed and proceeded to lie down, closing their sweet little eyes. It was ten o'clock at night, and the twins were only five. As for my younger brother, he was eight. He sat down in my desk chair and looked at me, apparently waiting for the opportune moment to question.
"Nii-san?" his bright blue eyes began to water ever so slightly, "Why do mommy and daddy fight like this?"
He was so innocent; I didn't know what to say. He was growing ever smarter, not really a shock since we were all in advanced classes. However, he was only eight, and while he understands many things, this was different. He was still just a kid. He didn't need this, any of it. None of them did. A sighed as he kept staring at me, those big eyes boring into my heart and soul.
"Mon frère," I shook my head calmly, "This may not be easy for you to hear right now, at such a young age."
"I don't care," he insisted, so I decided to go ahead and tell him. The twins were fast asleep and no one could hear.
"Look, mommy and daddy just might get a divorce," I said simply, coming beside my brother and placing a hand on his shoulder, "They cannot live together anymore. Their love is gone."
"Their love?" He asked, tears brimming in his eyes, "It just left? Is their someone else in the equation?"
I nodded and he began to sob silently. The yelling just continued, the only sounds to be heard: their voices. I picked up my brother and put his on the bed next to Jasmine. I took the blanket and tucked all of them in. My stubborn brother, however, had his eyes wide open, staring at me.
"Go to bed Joey, just like Jasmine and Jacqueline," I commanded, pointing at our sisters. Thankfully he listened and shut his eyes.
I went back to my spot on the floor. I silently took the knife out, they were all asleep now. For every swear that came out of their mouths, one slit. For every time I heard the name of that woman, one slit. For every sound of physical contact, one slit. It continued in this pattern for a while. By the time they had stopped yelling it was one o'clock in the morning. I slipped away the knife and went over to the small couch in the corner of my room. That was where I would sleep.
I lie down on the couch and get settled in. My eyes closed instinctively, awaiting sleep to take over. My eyes popped open again at the slam of the door. Then there was another slam. Two? I got up and quietly entered the hallway. The house was suddenly very quiet. I crept to the living room, the scene of battle. No one was there. I went down the stairs to the front door and pulled it open. Both cars were gone. How could they just leave us here?
I went back into the living room and pulled the phone off of the receiver. I dialed the only number I knew would help me out. I pressed the phone to my ear and waited. One ring. Two rings. Three rings. Pick up.
"Hello?" a man answered, music blaring in the background.
"John, it's James, can you come here?" I asked, quiet enough not to wake my siblings.
"Sure, little bro," he sounded confused, "What happened?"
"Mom and dad skipped out after a huge fight," I stated bluntly.
"Both just up and left?" my brother asked, astonished.
I nodded and somehow we had a telepathic connection because he responded, "Alright, how about I come by tomorrow after school?" he asked.
"Thanks," I sighed and he hung up the phone.
I gently placed the phone back on the receiver. I would have to call sometime tomorrow. Our lawyer would have to hear about this. I just hoped it wouldn't separate me from my siblings, I loved them so. I snuck back down the hall and into my room. All three angels were still asleep. I smiled for the second time that night and set my alarm. What a day it would be I thought as I plopped back down on the couch and fell asleep.
My alarm rang early, as in four in the morning. I was not used to taking the kids to school, but there were no buses in our town. Apparently, buses were a 'waste of educational finances.' So in short, my mom normally takes the kids. I tap each one on the head and go into the kitchen. I got out three bowls and five cereals, placing each on the counter. I turned around and saw Jacqueline stroll in with her teddy bear.
"Eat up," I greeted her, gesturing towards the cereal.
"Where's mommy?" Joey yawned, coming into the kitchen.
Jasmine followed, looking at me for the answer "Nii-san?"
"I don't know," I said seriously and every face turned to look at me. They all understood.
"How will we get to school?" Jasmine asked, avoiding the elephant in the room.
"I will take you," I responded, "Can you walk home?"
Joey nodded, "I have before. I can watch them."
"Good," I said, "Johnathan is coming here after his classes."
"Will Nii-san call the attorney man?" Jacqueline asked as she ate her cereal.
"Most likely," I responded, desperate to get off the subject, "I'm going to get dressed. You guys finish your cereal and do the same. When you're ready just go to the family room and I'll meet you there." They all nodded and I left the kitchen.
I shut the door to my room and walked over to my closet. I slipped on a pair of black skinny jeans and a white My Chemical Romance t-shirt. I grabbed my white and black studded belt off my couch and slipped it on on my way to the bathroom. I brushed my teeth, brushed my black hair into place, and inserted a black gauge into my ear.
I stepped back into my room; 4:30, way too early. I searched around in my dresser for my striped socks. Once I found them they were put onto my feet quickly. I grabbed by bag, guitar necklace, and two rubber bands. I was out in the hall, heading towards the kitchen, when I heard the twins talking. At least I knew they were doing what they were supposed to. I entered the kitchen and dropped my bag on the floor. I cleaned up the mess from the kids and stuck the dishes in the sink, another thing I would have to clean up.
I ran down the stairs, grabbing my bag on the way and sat down. I waited around five minutes before Joey came down the stairs in his green t-shirt and jean shorts. He placed his blue backpack next to my black messenger bag and jumped onto the couch next to me. He watched me as I clipped my necklace on and slipped on the rubber bands.
"What are those for?" his innocent voice matched the eyes that stared up at me.
"Nothing," I said sternly and he knew to end the subject.
As he nodded the twins skipped down the stairs. Their matching skirts swished and swayed with their movement. Joey and I stood up together and we all went to the garage. This was going to be a long day for sure. After locking the door, I started up my car and tore out of the driveway. Joey, sitting next to me, turned on the radio. Surprisingly, the drive to the school was peaceful, with nothing but the radio making noise. I guess the kids were a little shaken by everything going on. I pulled into the front of the school and came to a halt behind some idiot in an SUV. If you can't drive you should be on the road.
"Bye munchkins," I smiled. They all smiled back and waved as I drove off. Now was the time for coffee.
When I got to a red light I used the opportunity to dial Chris. I picked up the Bluetooth and put it in my ear. That idiot in the SUV was still in front of me. Who is this guy, anyway? The phone started to ring and I whispered "Pick up." Just as the light turned green he answered.
"It is 5 o'clock in the morning," he said slowly, pronouncing every syllable just so.
"Sorry, I had to take the kids to school," I explained, "The old man and lady ditched last night and went separate ways."
"Another fight?" he asked, less agitated and more concerned.
"Yeah," I stated, "Hey, you want Starbucks?"
"Come pick me up?"
"Sure," I laughed, "Be there in ten."
"Cool," he said. We both hung up and I turned back on the radio. Anything to drown out the quiet of my car.