Frank has left home and finally escaped his sadistic father, but maybe he should have planned his next steps before walking out...
When nothing remains
How will you go on?
When nothing remains
Is there a way back?
I stood in front of the ATM machine with my eyes wide, unable to comprehend how the figures on the screen could be so small.
I’d opened this account with $5000, money which I’d been given after my great aunt died, which my Mom and Dad thought I was too young to spend at the time. I now had 672 dollars and 83 cents.
That wouldn’t be enough for a deposit, for food, clothes, anything! With that I could pick either shelter for about a month, if I could find a really rundown apartment that cheap, or food for a while. The shelters in New Jersey were always overfilled, judging by the amount of vagrants who littered the street on a daily basis.
I really should have thought about this before… Fuck. Fuck! What was I going to do?
I could always go back… If no one had got home yet they wouldn’t have seen the note, and I could just pretend that nothing had happened, and make sure I got out early enough in the morning to miss my Dad entirely.
I ejected my card from the machine, turned and ran back, my feet tracing the familiar route to my road without me even needing to will them to. I skidded to a halt in the driveway, already hearing voices from within.
“He’s a fucking liar!” I could hear my Dad yelling.
I walked closer to the window, hiding in the bushes which lined the front of our house, pressing my ear against the glass to hear properly.
“I’ve been pretending for too long. You’re a monster, and now my son is gone. GONE!” I could hear the tears in her voice. Her words were followed by a slapping noise, and I reeled away from the window a little. I couldn’t let her suffer because of me. I took my first step towards the front door to rush in and help when I heard the door open. I hid further into the thicket, not wanting to be caught by my Dad. The shrub was too thick to see through properly, but in the next few of minutes I could hear the repeated sounds of the car door, followed by footsteps back into the house, and back out again.
“I’m leaving. Don’t try to follow me.”
“You can’t leave me! You’ll be back, you always are.”
“Drop dead.” I gasped as what I now knew to be my Mom got into the car and began backing out of the driveway. The front door slammed shut and I jumped up, going to run towards the car, but getting my shirt caught in the brush.
“Shit.” I cursed, struggling to release myself. Finally I ran into the driveway as she began driving away down the road.
“WAIT!” I yelled, but she couldn’t see me, she couldn’t hear me. I collapsed onto my knees, my head in my hands. I was happy that she’d finally left, and she wouldn’t have to put up with his abuse for any longer, but she’d left me behind.
It was my fault she’d left. With my note she finally accepted what a monster he truly was, and got herself out. But with that note I had also ruined my final lifeline. I hadn’t known what I’d truly expected when I left. I’d seen her put up with the abuse for so long I had sort of assumed she would stay. Maybe I’d just hoped she would, just so I would have somewhere to go back to.
Dejectedly, I stood back up, collecting my things. There was no going back now. I had no idea where my Mom was going, and I knew I’d be dead if I went back into the house.
I started walking, not paying attention to where I was going. What was the use when I had no destination?
The way the clouds were scattered just about the horizon gave the appearance that the pinkish hue of the sky above wasn’t connected to orange glow of the setting sun. Ironic how the world looked so beautiful when my own world was crashing to the ground.
The entire scene was obscured slightly by the ever-rising skyline, the shadowed out buildings dotted with the artificial lights through the windows, where I suspected families were gathering for their evening meal. They would all be sitting in the warm comfort of their homes, blissfully unaware of the true horrors of the real world, the harsh reality where beatings are considered normal, and teenagers are strewn out onto the streets.
When the sun had fully set I stopped and looked at my surroundings, finding myself in the town centre. The shops were all closed, their graffittied shutters glaring back at me in the harsh light of the streetlamps. I yawned and looked around, knowing I’d have to try and sleep at some point. I could rent a motel, but I wanted to try and save the little money I had and get some more so I could try and rent a permanent place. I’d slept on the streets before, but those times were only because I was far too drunk to find my way home, and I barely remembered the night when I walked home in the morning.
I sighed and walked into a small alleyway, putting down my things and getting out a blanket I’d packed to wrap myself in as I tried to drift off into an uncomfortable sleep.