So Avery dug deep.  She let go of her fear and dug deep into her soul.

Dad was drunk again.  "You're a fucking disgrace."

"Yes sir..."  Avery didn't know what else to say.  Dad got violent at everything but complete and total submission.

"I said,"  Dad leaned in until he was breathing Jack Daniels into Avery's face.  His eyes looked into Avery's soul.  His dead eyes.  "You fucking faggot.  Every day's a goddamn nightmare with you.  Y'know, I would've been fine with any normal boy.  Even a pansy.  But you?"  He spat into Avery's face.  "Fucking 'it.'  I'm glad your mom's dead.  She'da killed her damn self if she saw she was raising a faggot."

Avery wiped the spit away.  Crying just made Dad even more aggressive.  "I...  Dad, I'm not gay."


"The counselor told you.  Gender Identity Disorder, not homosexuality.  It's an actual condition, dad.  Do you think I would choose to be like this?  To have you do this to me every--"

"BULLSHIT."  Dad delivered a brutal slap that sent Avery crashing into the bookcase.  "Cancer ain't a choice.  What you 'feel' is plumb embarrassing."  He stretched his arms out in a gesture to his surroundings.  "You think I could ever be proud to call some pansy my son?"

Avery climbed back up the bookshelf, trembling, hand by hand.  "I..."  Avery tried to stop, but it was pouring out.  "I'm not some attention-whore.  I am trapped in the wrong fucking body and it's killing me!  Why can't you see that I just want you to love me and not act like--"

Dad descended on Avery, absolutely furious.  A few seconds later.  Avery got back up.  Blood.  Tears.  Broken glass.

Maybe my best chance at living isn't in this world after all.

"Maybe my best chance of living isn't in this world after all."  Avery pulled harder into Theresa's arm.  "Maybe..."  She moved her mouth, but no words came out.  All that rang out was the everpresent sound of sorrow, serving as the biggest judge of all.

The End

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