Sitting in the passenger seat of Tina’s third-hand Civic, I went off on myself, thinking about what I should have done rather than running away. I should’ve busted it up, thrown down demands and maybe a leg or two from the gone-but-not-forgotten pig.
If I couldn’t do it for myself, I should have done it for Brat. I hadn’t even told him goodbye before I bailed. My stomach ached thinking about that kid. He was so damn innocent, so subject to whatever Nails and Rooster – and now, to some degree, Bill – wanted to put him through. After he was born, I would watch him on the changing table as Nails wrangled with his diaper. Something about his little naked legs in the air did something to me. He was helpless in the truest sense of the word, doomed to go along with whoever and whatever had brought him into this world.
I never wanted kids. Ever. I couldn’t stand the idea of fucking them up the way that Nails and Rooster had – that is, royally. I couldn’t take the thought that anyone would be dependent on me the way I was on them. I couldn’t imagine failing a trusting heart the way my parents had failed mine.
Or Brat’s. Don’t forget about your brother. The one you abandoned.
But what could I do?
What, indeed, could I ever do?
My mother caught me out before I left. Oh, she caught me, and caught me hard. She found me in the room that used to be mine and was now hers. Me, I alternated between sleeping in Brat’s room and on the floor in her supposed office. She never used it.
I was sitting on my former bed. It was a super old-fashioned canopy, the poles slightly bent and swaying with the slightest nearby motion, draped with a pastel cover that my mother hated and I loved. Well, fuck her. It wasn’t hers. At least, it wasn’t then.
It was now.
Loss takes so many forms. It can be as complete as your family or as half-assed as a simple bed. But does it really matter? Hell, a Google search can break your heart.