everyone has a story

He taught me how to read people’s eyes.

When I was 8, Scotty took me to the bars with him. I watched him load up on booze and cigarettes. I watched him laugh and lean into all the women. Any of them. I watched him place his hand on their thighs. I watched him back away if they moved his hand. I watched him lean in more when they allowed his hand to remain. I watched him remembering I was sitting at one of the tables with a bag of chips and glass of Coke. I watched him throw his head back and toss the gold liquid from a small glass to the back of his throat before slamming the glass onto the table and standing up.

“Lessgo!” he’d bark.

Sometimes he’d slap the woman’s ass on our way out. Sometimes he’d tilt her head back and kiss her for a moment or two. Always he’d stumble out of the bar while I followed like an obedient little puppy.

We’d go back home where my mother would be passed out in her bedroom. Scotty would go in anyway. Always I’d hear the click of the door lock. Sometimes I’d hear a knocking sound. Sometimes I’d hear my mother yelling. Always he’d end up leaving at some point in the night, only to repeat the same game within a day or two.

He never really did much talking and he made even less eye contact. I don’t know what my mother saw in him. He was always drunk, always coming over at the oddest times.

When I was 12, Scotty showed up one night when my mother wasn’t home.

“Where the fuck is she?”

“I dunno.”

“Well what the fuck, man.”

“I dunno.”

He barged into the house anyway, headed straight for the fridge.

“Where the fuck is the beer!?”

When I didn’t answer right away, he came toward me like lightening. Before he knocked me unconscious, I realized his eyes were almost black and he was looking at me with such rage. Like I had taken all the beer and hidden it. Like I had told my mother to not be home at that time.

I’m not sure how he didn’t kill me that night.

***

Everyone has a story. Mine involves Scotty. Mine involves a shit of a woman I was lucky enough to have as my very own mother. Mine involves learning that people look at you, really look at you and study you. Mine involves learning how to attack without them even knowing I’m going to do so.

Why Scotty didn’t learn to attack like this, I don’t know. I don’t care. What I do know is that it’s so much more satisfying when they have no fucking idea what’s coming. And then bam!, completely blindside them with the unraveling of all your rage.

***

 

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15 thoughts on “everyone has a story

  1. Awesome, I hope he gets what’s coming to him 🙂 See what reaction you entice from your readers – I’m not even violent! Seriously though, I agree with Janna. The voice in this piece is great. I like how you hooked us in and made us care about her. Nicely done.

  2. Disquieting story but very well written! Your story touches so close to the reality of how people are influenced in their early life by those around them. A really very good write to ponder on.

  3. Interesting…. Is probably not the right word. Unsettleing will do. You have succesfuly moved me, made my brain conceive yet another weird, twisted family scenario. I guess that means you did your job well. Nice take on the prompt 🙂

  4. A dark time in someone’s life, so vividly portrayed. It’s no wonder the protagonist would learn this way of living. Scotty should have seen it coming, if he really was watching.

  5. The control the narrator takes at the end is menacing. So different from the puppyish descriptions in the beginning. You wrote about the narrator’s growth so well.

  6. Dark – very dark – and sobering, though well-written and gripping. I will be thinking about this one for awhile. I guess that means that your writing reached me. I am sad for those who actually have experienced this reality.

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