A bond of brothers, a broken vow, and a life that was never supposed to be. Mistakes define, yet hope defies.
The blow from my step dad had slammed me against the wall, making me feel like I had been hit by a freight train. He removed his fist from my stomach, and having no support to hold me up anymore, I slid onto the floor, a trace of crimson leaving my nose and plopping noiselessly onto the dull grey carpet, in the same spot I had been cleaning up blood from for years. Alex turned his attention to my brother, Devyn, whose face was a mix of pure horror and unadulterated fear.
"If either of you little bastards tell anyone anything about any of this..." His dark brown eyes spoke for him, he didn't even have to utter a word. We had heard this so many times that he only needed to glare to instill fear. “I'm going to go, and I want dinner done when I get back, got it?" We both stayed silent for a minute, then Devyn answered, voice trembling a little.
"Yes sir, we understand."
Alex gave us one last glare and walked out the door, his leather jacket nearly catching in the doorway as he scratched his semi balding scalp. I prayed that he would lose every last lock of that muddy brown hair, and he would lose what little appeal that semi muscular body gave to him. As soon as the door was closed, Devyn was by my side, looking over the wounds with stark uneasiness, he seemed slightly cold, but I knew that was his way of emotionally defending himself.
"He didn't break anything did he?" His voice full of lukewarm concern.
"No I don't think so." I replied my voice hoarse from the scream I had let out moments ago when fists were flying. Devyn offered his hand to help me get up and I took it almost falling a few times in the process. Devyn sighed as he looked over the damage done to my body from all the punches, shoves and kicks I'd received.
"I'll get dinner started before he comes back and tries to beat on one of us, you go lay down and I'll see if I can't help with the bloody nose and some of those scratches." He said it with a sigh, that some would take as his distaste for having to cook, but in all actuality it was merely his distaste for the situation.
"Thanks I appreciate it." I said, he gave a small nod and began searching for something to cook. I limped into my room, the air just now beginning to return to me. I fumbled for one of the plastic bottles of water I kept my my nightstand in there, and then my bottle of pain meds. I downed several with a single gulp of water. I returned the bottle to its spot and as I raised my head back up I caught my reflection in the mirror. Black, blue, indigo, those were the shades on my skin, not dots but massive welts. Blood had dried on the side of my face, having dripped down from my now semi crooked nose. Nothing unusual for me. I was used to this now. I moved a lock of caramel hued hair from my eyes, no, this was nothing new for me.
The door swung open and my eyes met Devyn’s as he walked in without a word. Instead choosing to sit on the bed and wait to inspect me. I sat next to him and he inspected the wounds with his hands, he had brought some bandaids and antibiotic cream for the few cuts I had. He applied it gingerly and then looked at me again with another sigh.
"I’m sorry I didn't do more.” He said, his usually calm voice had the slightest sense of a crackle in it. “I should try harder for you.”
"You and I both know you wouldn't have been able to stop him no matter how much you wanted to," I said, looking at the similar bruises that dotted his arms and legs. “You do the best you can Devyn, you know it's not your fault.”
He gave me a small smile and sighed, I heard my phone buzz, it was Dylan. Unfortunately though, my dearest of friends was going to have to wait, as the front door outside swung open and crashed back with a bang.
Devyn was on his feet and peering through the doorway in an instant, like a child checking to see if there was a monster in his closet. I held my breath for what seemed like an eternity until Devyn finally turned around and let a large breath of relief escape him.
"It's Mom, not Alex," He said, an almost half smile on his face, “She must have just gotten off of work. I'll go fix the plates, dinner should be ready shortly.”
Mother sat at the table with her brown hair flowing freely down her back, ending near her shoulders. Her face was marked with dark bags under her eyes, and slight wrinkles, she wasn't that old, in fact she could be considered rather beautiful. She was just so worn down, that beauty hardly ever revealed itself.
Dinner was ramen noodles, again. Even so, I immediately scarfed it down. Mother had unrolled one of her magazines and then set it on the table with a sharp sound. She peered at both of us as if we were strangers she believed were about to rob her of everything.
"Where's Alex at?" She asked, her voice scratchy and hoarse as it usually was from all the yelling she did, "He was supposed to be home."
"He said he was going out for a while." Devyn said, his voice dry and monotone. We both had a fairly good idea where Alex was, at a bar seeing how quickly he could drown his liquor with poison, or out with his friends doing God knows what kind of drugs.
Mom’s eyes flared up for a minute and her hand balled up into a fist. She exhaled angrily and shoved the fork into the noodles in front of her.
“He and I are going to have a talk when he gets back.” She didn't say anymore, but I could tell she was absolutely livid. I let out a semi surprised sound out of my mouth, not loud enough for her to hear. This was going to get messy when he got home.
I looked at my brother, and he shared the same expression. One of fear. I ate the rest of the food hurriedly and excused myself.
Hopefully it would be a while before Alex got home. I had witnessed enough violence to last me a while. I wasn't looking forward to seeing more.
Somehow though, I knew that violence would always haunt me. I turned my attention from my problems to Dylan, deciding to take this chance to see what he was texting me for. At least I had him, and Devyn.
That was about all I'd ever have, I figured.