I came into the room to see Cole Hunched over his eyes a glassy blur. I looked at him but he didn't return my gaze and as I climbed onto the bed next to him and sat there silently waiting for him to collect his thoughts. He finally faked a laugh and lifted up his head silent tears streaming down his face.
"Mom just said she missed me." He said softly and just shook his head and held out his phone for me to read. It said that, and a whole other line of utter mushy gushy bullshit. I knew Cole's mother hated him and his brother, she'd said it multiple times to their faces and in front of me.
"If she actually cared..." His voice trailed off ever so slightly, "She wouldn't have ever married Alex, and she wouldn't let him look at me like-" He stopped realizing he'd just said too much.
"Looks at you like what?" I asked quietly, "What do you mean?"
"Like I'm some kind of toy," He said his voice hoarse now, "Like he could do anything and get away with it." I looked puzzled and he softly shook his head again.
"Have you ever seen lust in a grown man's eyes Dakota?" He asked and his voice bounced off the walls, "It's like staring at someone who doesn't care what they take from you, just so long as they get what they desire." I sat in there, feeling like I'd been hit by a bus. Alex... was a predator? I knew he was a monster for beating Cole but...
"Cole... I..." I said but I just couldn't find the words to say, "I'm sorry..."
"For what Dakota?" He asked, now looking over at me a look of utter pain in his eyes "It's not your fault my mother married the fucking devil himself."
Now there were no words to describe the pain that floated around like dust in the air. Cole's admission of what would probably turn into sexual abuse was horrible. His admission of his worst nightmares coming true made my life a living hell. The pain I felt then, numbed anything cutting ever did, or any physical pain for that matter. That look of hopelessness... it crashed on my heart and my conscience like a tsunami.
"I've also been having nightmares," He whispered as he leaned his head back down, "About a man who looks like my father... screaming at me to run, then I start running but I get caught by Alex and then..." His voice cut off with a soft sob and he held his head in his hands and began to weep softly.
I put my hand on his arm and he continued crying until finally he turned and laid his head down on his pillow as his body began to shake softly. Finally he calmed down and got up and embraced me with a sharp hug.
"What are you..." I stopped as I realized what I needed to do. I wrapped my arms around him slightly and he rocked softly back and forth. I realized that he was a brother I never had, he was someone so close it hurt.
We finally stopped and turned the light out, deciding to let a good night's sleep calm us all down. I gave Cole the bed, he seemed more comfortable up there and I didn't want him anymore upset. As he fell asleep I reached into my bag for some paper towels.
Then I pulled out the razor blade and let all my regrets and pain bleed out in a slow drizzle.