Derek took a deep breath as he walked up to the front door. He knocked and wondered if that was a good idea. It was almost four in the morning. But when the front door opened was when he began to worry the most. “Derek? What are you doing here?”
“I need help with something,” Derek couldn’t look the man in the eye, “I think I’m in love, and I don’t know what to do. Everyone I had to turn to has let me down. Can you please hear me out, Dad?” That’s right, he just said ‘Dad.’ Derek felt as if he had no one to turn to. He figured his father wouldn’t be able to hurt him any more because he was a lot stronger then he was between the ages of six and thirteen. Though he dreads even looking at his father, he thought it would be better to live with his father for two years and stay in Nashville then move to Minnesota and leave Angie behind.
“Come on in, Derek.”
“I kind of ‘ran away.’”
“I wondered why Kate hasn’t called me yet. She’s probably worried about you and doesn’t want me to know you left.”
“Wait, why would she call you anyway?”
“I called asking for you a while back, but she wouldn’t let me talk to you. Ever since she’s called me around three in the morning every morning so that you don’t know we talk but she can still update me on how you’ve been.”
“So she’s told you that Darcy was working at my school, and I started talking to her, and now she thinks she needs to take custody of me away from Aunt Kate and Uncle Henry?”
“Well, no, she hadn’t mentioned that.”
“Oh, well, that’s what’s going on in my life right now. Darcy wants me to move to Minnesota with her and her husband! I can’t leave though; I want to stay here with Angie, my girlfriend.”
“Okay, what am I supposed to do about all this?”
“I want to move back in. I want to stay in Tennessee! It will only be two years, and then I will move out into an apartment or something. Please, Dad, it’s the only way me and Angie can stay together.”
“Derek, I’m not supposed to talk to you on the phone let alone have you over at my house. I could get in a lot of trouble just because you are here.”
“Why do you think I came so late? Well, either way, I can’t move to Minnesota, Dad. You have to tell Aunt Kate that it’s not a good idea.” The phone rang, Derek and his father both just kinda stared at it for a second, and then Derek looked at the caller ID, “It’s Aunt Kate. Tell her it’s a bad idea, I’m begging you.”
Derek handed the phone to his father, “Hello?” he said.
“Look, Derek ran away! I can’t find him anywhere!” Kate confessed.
“I know, Kate, he’s here, with me.”
“He’s with you? Don’t let anyone see him; you know you could get in trouble for this!”
“I know, Kate, it’s going to be fine. He just came here to talk to me, that’s all.”
“It better all be fine. Darcy can’t loose custody, Kirk!”
“Why is Darcy getting custody anyway? He’s my son, not hers!”
“You are an unfit parent. You can’t raise him!”
Derek’s father hung up the phone and through it against the wall. The back fell off, and the battery came out. “If my coming here has caused problems, then I’ll just leave. I don’t want to start any drama, Dad,” Derek said.
“You aren’t causing problems, Derek. You obviously had a purpose for coming, why don’t you sit and I will get us some hot chocolate.” Kirk walked into the kitchen. Derek took a look around his old house. He walked over to the stairs, but the only thing he could remember about them was getting kicked down them. He went upstairs and into his old bedroom. He looked around, and noticed that everything was the exact same way it was when he left three years ago. “I couldn’t take your stuff out of here. I’ve tried so many times, but it didn’t feel right, so I just left it all.”
Derek turned around and looked at his father, “Walking around this house brings back so many memories that I’ve tried to forget the past three years. Every night I dream about it, hell I’m afraid to close my eyes because every time I do, I see you standing there with a gun in your hand.”
“I never meant to hurt you, Derek.”
“But you did. You made me afraid of everything! Afraid of my own shadow! I can’t sleep because all I see is the images of me; a poor, defenseless little boy getting kicked down a flight of stairs, getting vases thrown at my head, being thrown onto glass tables and having a gun put right up to my head, by my own father! It’s horrible what you did to me, and I came here with one simple question; why?”
“I was angry!”
“With me? I was six years old, what did I do to make you beat me day in and day out! I lived like that for seven years. Seven years of abuse, seven years of thinking my father hated me.”
“I love you more than anything else in the world, Derek!”
“Then why did you hurt me?”
“I was angry, scared, confused and ticked off that my wife died. You don’t know how it is to loose someone that close to you!”
“She was my mother. You think that didn’t hurt like hell? It did, but getting abused by my father hurt even worse. My mom dies, and the next day my father comes along completely drunk, and starts yelling at me saying I killed her. You made me believe that it was my fault that she died. You made me believe that I deserved getting beat everyday because I killed my mother!”
“I did no such thing.”
“Yes, yes you did! I remember it like it was yesterday. I remember everything you ever said to me when you were drunk because those are the things that I hear in my head over and over and over every single day. They never go away.”
Kirk looked at Derek. He looked him right in the eye. Derek knew that look; he’d seen it many times before. His father was pissed! “You did kill your mother. She was sick, but the whole world had to revolve around her precious son. She was too weak to take care of you, but you made her.”
“I was six! I was dependent on an adult and you were never around! Your job was more important than me and my mom.”
“Take that back!”
“I can’t take back the truth, Dad. You know that’s the truth!”
Kirk got really close to Derek, “No it’s not. You and your mother meant everything to me. I worked my ass off to keep a roof over your heads, food in the refrigerator and clothes on your back. If it wasn’t for me, your mother would have died a lot sooner, but if it wasn’t for you she might still be alive today.”
“It was a big mistake coming here,” Derek walked to the door of the room they were in, “have fun rotting in hell.”
As Derek went to the stair case, Kirk went up behind him, “You better get an attitude check, boy. I am your father and you have no right to talk to me like that.”
Derek turned around and looked back at Kirk, “You are no father,” Derek said.
Kirk was furious after Derek had said that. He raised Derek, he most definitely was Derek’s father, “You can’t talk to me that way!” Kirk yelled. He raised his hand and hit Derek right in the eye. The force was so strong that Derek flew backwards and fell the rest of the way down the stairs. Kirk just stood at the top of the stairs; looking down at his son. Derek didn’t move a muscle. He just laid there on the floor completely lifeless.