I slammed the door, leaning heavily against it. Helena emerged from the kitchen, a glass of juice in one hand and a dogeared book in the other. " Where've you been?" she said, levelling her gaze to mine. " I went for a walk. " I said, bluntly. I just wanted out, to my room. For peace and quiet. I pushed past her, to find Mother sat on the stairs, her eyes bleary and a shot glass in one hand. Empty, naturally. She began slurring my name at me. " Come on, Mum. Time for bed." I said, guiding her up the stairs and onto her bed. She obligingly curled up on her bed, knocking another shot glass off the bedside table, and fell asleep at once.
Kissing her forehead, I retreated to my room, and picked up my bow. I usually drowned my sorrows of life in my violin. Mother was dead to the world, and Helena liked the music. But even before I could begin playing, my mind was filled with Willow; her laugh, her fleeting smile. The way she looked at me, when she thought I wasn't looking. I sighed, and lowered my instrument.
Then, a crash made me yell in shock. My father was stood by my bed, a sneer lining his face, and a broken shot glass in his hand. " Where WERE you?" he said, his voice hard. " You're her son! You're supposed to be there to clean her up and sort out the house once she's stumbled round. I'm not her bloody housemaid! What right do you have to swanning off? " I knew it was too late to reason with him. I just had to hope this was the last of the thunder. " Well?" he hissed. Before I could blink, he'd thrown the shards of glass at my head. I ducked, but a large one hit my forehead. Deep scarlet blood trickled into my eyes, cluding my vision. He strode over and wrenched my arm behind my back. " You're pathetic. What boy can't stand up for himself?" he said icily. I shook my head, determined not to fuel his rage. " Well?!" he said, wrenching it higher. My arm burned, and I felt something snap. I wrestled my arm from his grip, which had loosened with his provoking me, and ran down the stairs and out the door.
Shadows be damned! I'm not going to wait around here for my father to kill me, or whatever he wants with me.