Part 16. Just coz Silvana asked for it =)
Amy’s POV- ‘She sits alone on her phone and she’s calling about her broken home’
I wake up in a strange bed, in a strange room. It takes a minute for it all to make sense to me again and when it does my motivation to crawl out of bed completely disappears.
“Amy?” There’s a knock on the door and then Frank appears carrying a tray laden with food. “Breakfast in bed.” He grins. I smile back to him and rub the sleep from my eyes.
“I’m not too hungry right now.” I begin in my best apologetic voice.
“Don’t be a complete b*tch Amy? I worked hard on this.” I do feel a bit guilty but I also know that I can’t eat right now. Not with what’s happened and what is still going on.
“Amy I’m not 100% stupid you know.”
“Then don’t act like it. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day missy.” He reminds me with a smile that I reluctantly return. “Just please eat some?”
I study the boiled egg and toast he’d made me and look back up at him with tears in my eyes. “I’m sorry Frank. I just can’t. You don’t understand.”
“Explain then.” He counters me but I just shake my head. How can I explain that the very sight of the food he’s made me makes me feel ill. That eating and weakness can sometimes mean the same thing to me. That no matter how much I want to do this for him the pain that my Dad has caused me outweighs that by a ton.
He stands up and leaves the egg on the bed, probably in the hope that I will eat it once he’s gone. Just as he’s about to leave he turns to face me. “Don’t think that I’m completely naïve. I know what it feels like to hate myself too.” He turns back around and puts his hand on the door handle.
“Frank?” He stops and looks around at me with a questioning expression. “It’s like cutting except you don’t have to worry about hiding the scars. It’s control over a small part of my life. It’s me proving to myself that I can still put my mind to something no matter how much he f*cks me over.”
He studies my face for a second before sitting back down on the bed. “If I give up three things for you would you give up one thing for me?” He asks and I hesitate. I know what he means and I don’t know if I can. Eventually I reply with a stiff nod of my head.
“If I stop drinking too much, quit the drugs and stop being such a man wh*re will you try and eat properly?” He asks me. He’s placed his hand over mine and I become hyper aware of the contact. I reply again with a small nod and he gives me a small smile in return. He squeezes my hand and leaves me with the boiled egg after promising that he isn’t expecting miracles and he won’t be offended if I leave it.
I brace myself and pick up one of the pieces of toast. No time like the present. I sigh and dip the toast into the perfectly cooked egg. It’s easier than I thought it would be. I still feel guilty at eating but it’s cancelled out by knowing how proud and happy Frank will be.
Eventually I get cleaned up and dressed into yesterdays clothes and join the boys downstairs.
“I think maybe we should call Mum now.” I say meekly as we sit around in the dining room.
“Me too.” Bob agrees and takes his phone from his pocket. He turns it onto speaker and dials Mum’s number. Frank starts to eave but I grab his hand and pull him down into the seat next to me. I give him a pleading look that he acknowledges with a nod and takes hold of my hand. I know he finds this caring, reassuring thing hard to do but him just being here for me and trying makes me feel so much better.
Mum answers on the 5th ring.
“Mum it’s Bob and Amy.”
“Oh hello. What’s wrong?”
“Why didn’t you come home?” I blurt out. Finally releasing the air I’d unknowingly kept pent up inside of me from the moment Bob pressed dial. Bob looks over me but I just stare at the phone imaging my Mum sitting around in someone else’s house as comfortable as ever.
“I was busy Amy. You’re old enough to know me and your Father aren’t always happy. I just didn’t want to see him for a few days.”
“You should have come home.” I insist. I’m dangerously close to tears but I can’t take my eyes off the phone.
“I can’t believe you’re taking his side Amy. I know full well you can’t stand him and I can assure you he feels the same way about you.” My chest tightens and I choke out my reply, “I know.”
“Then how can you try and tell me to go home to him?”
“Mum, when are you coming back?” Bob takes over as my gaze lowers into my lap and I battle with the tears now forming in my eyes rapidly.
“I’m not sure. I’m sure your Father can look after you for a few days though.”
“No he can’t!” I shout and I feel anger colour my cheeks. “And you know he can’t so stop pretending and come home so that we can go into our own house without fearing for our bloody lives!” I scream at the phone perched innocently on the table. My Mother’s voice that comes from it sounds hesitant if still indignant/
“Now I don’t know what you meant by that but I can assure you that we would never do anything to hurt you, me or your Dad.”
“Tell that to Bob.” I mumble, lowering my gaze again.
“What does she mean?”
“He hit me Mum, again, but worse. I think some of my ribs are busted and my knee’s gone weird where I fell. He was really drunk. He went after Amy. We’re at Frank’s now. I wouldn’t go back there alone let alone with Amy.” Bob says, his voice raising in anger at our Mother’s failure to rescue us.
“Really? He really did that?” She sounds broken all of a sudden and I wish she’d go back to pretending everything was alright and we were just lying. It’s as if she always knew this was how our conversation would end but she thought that if she pretended well enough she could stop the truth from shattering everything.
“Yeah. He did that.” Bob answers quietly but loud enough for her to hear.
“I’ll be home tomorrow. Ask Mrs Iero if you can stay another night. You do not go home under any circumstances until I get this cleared up, do you understand me?” I nod even though she couldn’t possibly see my reply, and my heart warms up a bit now that she is looking after us again.
“What do we tell Frank’s parents?” I ask. If they’d been suspicious last night they’d tried hard to hide it but I’m sure they’ll ask questions when we ask to stay for another night.
“Everything. Tell them the truth. He deserves it, plus I don’t want him turning up on the doorstep and persuading them to send you home to him. You can’t go home…”
“Ok Mum.” Bob agrees softly. We are all close to tears, even Frank who is squeezing my hand as hard as I’m gripping his.
“I love you both. I’ll be back tomorrow, I promise… and I’m… I’m really sorry Okay?”
“It’s Ok Mum. We love you too.” I reply. My voice breaks and I feel some tears finally escape my eyes and roll down my cheeks. Frank pulls me up onto my feet and into a hug and I cry silently into his shoulder. Bob says goodbye to our Mum and hang the phone up.
“I guess we should talk to your Mum and Dad then?” He says to Frank as a sort of question.
“Yeah. Maybe you should give Amy a minute to sort herself out first though.” I hear Bob agreeing and wish for a second that I was someone else, like Frank, with a normal family and parents who had both taken the day off just because they hadn’t spent a whole day together in ages.
I dry my eyes and give Frank a shaky smile before turning to Bob. “Come on let’s get this over with.”