“This is your fault!” Travis’ mother scolded and screeched at Travis when the police had left.
“How is it my fault!?” Travis yelled back, “I didn’t do this; Tony did!”
“You caused this; you encouraged him to do this!” His mom countered. She began to caress Alex’s wounds.
“He was being stupid! I had nothing to do with this,” Travis turned to his brother, “You don’t bad mouth kids twice your size, dope!”
“Back off! He has been through enough today,” his mom said. Travis became outraged.
“No, he hasn’t been through nearly enough. He should be punished for a pulling a stunt like that!”
“What stunt? Do you mean like revealing just what you are!? You’re a horrible influence and very cruel. I could stand you betting on the fights in school; I could even put up with your constant talking about them. But this…you getting your own brother involved!”
“That’s not what I did!!” Travis roared.
“Why did you do it? Was it so you could win a few more bets!? You know what fight I’d bet on right now? Let’s see how you would do against me with this bat.” His mom picked up the 40-ounce metal bat she used to beat Alex and Travis with when they were kids. Normally, Travis wouldn’t be frightened by even this, but the wild look in his mom’s eyes made him think twice. He chose to go outside and get some fresh air.
He went out the front door, walked down the street to the library, and sat down on the bench next to the entrance. He sighed and ran his hand through his hair. Frustrated, he got up again and began to pace the streets. First jaded, then frustrated, he soon became furious. It wasn’t his fault! He hadn’t done anything. He couldn’t understand why Alex had gotten into a fight- he was usually so passive. And why did he choose to fight someone practically twice his size? No, this wasn’t his fault. It couldn’t be his fault. Travis was always looking out for his little brother. On Alex’s first day in high school Travis let him sit with him and his friends at lunch, showed him around, and even introduced him to all of his teachers. He would never do anything to hurt him, and he refused to take any responsibility for this fight.
Travis headed downtown past the miniature mall, and the South Side shopping center. He walked into one of the small fast food restaurants and ordered a pulled pork sandwich with a side of coleslaw. He tried to let his mind wander in the commotion of downtown, but it kept coming back to his mom’s words. ‘This is your fault!’ he repeated to himself.
“Travis!” He turned around to see his friend, Athena- a blonde-haired, blue-eyed, olive-skinned sightly young girl- coming towards him. She sat down next to him and started a conversation with him. Travis promptly forgot his troubles.