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Could Use Someone to tell me if this is something I should post. Just random whimsical thing I wrote while half asleep.
Somewhere, somehow things always change. The fabric of life and the weaving of destiny, a beautiful tapestry.
Avery was walking beside me. It was the beginning of spring. The smell of cut grass and sun warmed pavement.
This time of year always stirred a cacophony of emotions in me. I listened to the cars pass us from the sidewalk, having halted my stride. Avery was several paces ahead of me before he noticed I had stopped walking.
I was lost in thought… maybe trying to recapture feelings of my childhood.
I turned sixteen last month. I opted to not have any large celebration to mark the passing of the years. I seldom if ever did.
I felt a hand on my shoulder. “Ash” he said.
I turned. He was at least a full head taller than me and almost a half year older. His skin was tanned and arms had admirable musculature visible.
“Just lost in my thoughts” I said, continuing our walk.
On the weekends I always took long walks, and usually stopped by Avery’s house to ask his company. He joined me more times than not.
We were headed to the park next to the school. Thompson Graves High School. Ironic that it was located across from a cemetery.
“You study for the test yet?” he asked.
He was talking about the big test in biology
“-ultiple choice....-atleast….-study guide is so outdates..-“ he rambled on, but I felt myself unable to concentrate the conversation.
I nodded my head whenever he paused. I was looking down at my feet in my new sandals, I had really tiny cute feet. I size six in men’s siz--- *Whoomp* I accidently buried my face in Avery’s muscular back, god he smelled good. Apparently he had decided to stop.
“Are you paying attention?” he asked, waving his hand in front of me, I followed it with my eyes from side to side. He rolled his eyes. “Really?” he asked.
“Sorry” I said, feeling my cheeks flush a little. Probably not noticeable.
“What is up with you lately?” he asked. “You never pay attention, you just nod and get that weird little smile…”
I nodded my head and smiled.
“There it is!” he looked a little frustrated with me.
“I think it’s the new meds” I lied. I had changed my anti-anxiety meds about a week ago and it was a good excuse.
We started walking again.
“Is everything okay?” he asked concerned. I had been having panic attacks fairly regularly at school this past year.
“Do you ever feel like something is missing? Like a part of yourself? It feels like---“ I made grabbing motions with my hands while looking off into the distance. “It’s just out of my reach you know?”
“Is this your way of coming out of the closet?” he asked.
Lately I had been taking better care of myself, my friends called me a metrosexual, most everyone else called me gay. I just didn’t feel good about myself with unruly eyebrows or neglected fingernails, or icky hair. The amount of product I had in the bathroom more than tripled, taking up a good portion of the shelving.
I paused my stride, looking contemplative “I don’t think so…” I said. I shrugged my shoulders. We were almost at the park now. I could see ice cream guy on one of those bike refrigerator things, selling cones to kids.
I patted down the pockets of my baggy shorts, nothing… I didn’t bring my wallet.
“Pwweeeaassee” I asked looking up at Avery.
“No…” he said, ruffling my hair with his hand.
“Pretty Pwweeeeaaaseee” I tugged at his shirt.
“I said no brat…”
“I want I want I want I want I want I want” I started hopping up and down throwing a fake… mostly fake tantrum.
“Fine! Jesus… You’re such a child.”
By the time we got to the ice cream peddler we were the next in line.
“Chocolate” Avery said, I was trying to look past him at the selection, holding onto his arm for balance. ‘Yes! Strawberry’ I thought.
“And your girlfriend?” he asked.
I felt myself blush and freeze up.
“She’ll have if memory serves strawberry sherbet” he said sounding amused.
He handed me a cone while Avery paid.
“Have fun kids, but not too much fun” the ice cream man joked.
We walked over and sat by the stream under the shade of an old willow tree.
“So it finally happened” Avery said.
“What happened?” I asked between licking my ice cream.
“You finally turned into a girl” he said giving me an appraising look and shaking his head from side to side.
I leaned into his arm, looking out over the water. “Hey, I thought you liked girls.”
He snorted trying to repress a laugh.
I said by to Avery in front of the house. “Remember, test tomorrow” he said.
Biology was one of my better subjects so I wasn’t overly concerned.
I waited till he was well down the road before I opened the door to the house.
I always dreaded coming home.
“And jusss where tha hell do you think you’f been?” my father demanded, beer bottle in one hand, smoke in the other.
“Out” I said, trying to push past him.
He stuck his hand out to stop me. “Don’t give me that attitude” he said slowly, menacingly.
I ducked under his arm and hurried down the hall and up the stairs to my bedroom, where I had a decent lock on the door.
“Asshole” I heard him call after me.
In the safety of my room I locked the two drop bolts on the door behind me and hopped onto my bed.
If you haven’t guessed my father is an alcoholic, and a bastard. I know some people say it’s a disease and it’s not his fault, all I know is that I no longer have a home, not in the real sense, and I don’t think I ever really did.
I am guessing from how he is targeting me, mom went out to escape him. Same old story really.
I picked up my biology text book, flipping to the pages on cells. All the colorful pictures of the cells and organelles–There was the rattle of someone turning the door handle. *Bang! Bang!* a fist against the wooden door rang out through my room.
“You and yer FUCKING locks!” daddy dearest yelled.
“Where thha FUCK is your mother, she fucking ‘round on me ‘gain with some guy isn’t she?!”
“Leave! I am too busy for your shit old man!” I yelled.
The door knob rattled again.
“Asshole!” he yelled, and I heard him stomping on the stairs.
I opened up my book, ignoring the sound of glass shattering. The title on the head of the page read mitosis. I studied the diagrams of cell division, and the excerpt underneath it. I probably read it five times over, my hands shaking. Adrenaline wreaking havoc on my body and mind.
I put the book away looking through my backpack for the anti-anxiety meds. Ciprelax it said on the bottle. 10mg daily in the morning. My name Ash Dobson printed in capital letters. I wonder if taking five or ten pills might get me high. Probably not, probably a sucky drug to abuse… maybe. I accidently dropped the bottle, my hands still a bit shaky, a bit numb feeling. It rolled across the floor.
I heard footsteps on the stairs again.
I put the bottle in my pocket, sat at the computer. Started playing some Static X, the song dirt house. The lyrics filled the room, I turned up the base.
Watch it happen from the box
Dirty dirty word
This wasn’t my usual music, but I found it just suited my world right now.
Plus I could barely hear the old man yelling at me. It could almost drown out his voice.
‘This is where it all comes down
Look into my eye
You feel my skin, its dir---‘
*Wham! Crack!* I heard the sound of wood splintering.
I watched the head of a hammer punch through the door. “Well this is just shit” I said. I looked at the window considering the three story fall onto the backyard cement patio.
‘Go, go , go
Pick up the pieces
I wanna call this my home
Go, go, go
Pick up the pieces
I've got some pain of my own
Open the box
See whats inside
You make the call
Sick of it all again’
There was a final *crack!* as he finished the job booting the door in, one of the drop bolts fell to the floor.
He grabbed me by the arm and pulled me into the hallway.
“You’ jus’ like ‘er, a fuck’n whhore. Don’ you fuck’n ‘nore me!” He dropped the hammer on the floor, a triumphant sneer on his face.
I could barely understand what he said.
I spat in his face.
‘Tear me down
Pushing on my every nerve
I hope i don't get burnt’
I dodged the clumsy swing he took at my face.
“You fucking drunk!” I yelled. “You paranoid fucking stupid ass, seriously…” I stepped back to avoid another swing, he followed his fist falling to his knees.
He grabbed my leg, and pulled, throwing me of balance. I stumbled backwards, but I gave a kick that caught him in the side of the head.
Then he was on his feet and his fist caught me in the stomach. I buckled over backwards and he was on top of me.
I took a blow to the face and the world blacked out for a second, I came too and I was falling to the floor. Something hit me in the ribs hard, probably his work boot.
Look into my dirty mind
Feeling sick inside
My blood has turned to fucking dirt’
“See what ‘appen when you fuck with me” he said, spitting at me than turning and leaving the room.
I listened to his foot steps clunk down the stairs, hear sound of a can of beer opened. Heard the back door open and slam shut.
I coughed, blood splattering on the floor. I could feel it dripping down my chin, it tickled… I laughed and the movement hurt like being stabbed, but I couldn’t stop. I always had a wiring issue where intense pain made me laugh.
I grabbed the hammer that was still on the floor, walked through the shattered and broken door. Down the stairs. My footsteps seemed so oddly loud. I was cradling my ribs. Reality seemed so far away, like I was watching life happen on a television screen.
I had been hit before, but nothing like that. That was just fucked.
I tightened my grip on the hammer; it gave me a sense of courage. Part of me hoped I would run into the bastard as I left… part of me was still scared shitless… mostly I felt nothing at all.
I could feel my heart beat pounding in my ears. With trembling hands I opened the front door, and gently closed it.
I put my hand to my mouth covering my fingers with blood. He must have hit me after a few times while I was blacked out, my nose was broken, I had a cut above my eyes, and my mouth was all cut up. With blood soaked fingers I wrote ‘abandon all hope, ye who enter’, a warning for mom out of whatever sense of loyalty I had left for her.
I started laughing again, I couldn’t breathe beyond the pain of broken ribs. I went for a walk, hammer in one hand, cradling my ribs with the other.
I had no idea where I was going. Every few minutes I had to wipe the blood out of my right eyes, finally I gave up and just kept it shut. I couldn’t go to Avery’s house ‘cause this was just too fucked up… I couldn’t deal with his reaction.
I felt relief wash over me. I had a reason to never go back home. This was an out.
The pain was starting to register… I know I was hurt, but the adrenaline and endorphins was fading fast.
My whole body started to shake. A car pulled up beside me, I looked over an old man stepped out of the car.
“Oh my god… are you alright?” He rushed over to me.
The hammer fell from my hand, I turned to look at him. “’m fine” I said. He motioned me to sit in the driver seat of the car. “Sit… it’s okay, just sit down… you’re alright now.”
“HELP!” He called. “I need help over here!”
A few people way up the road heard him and came running over.
He was wiping the blood off my face with a cloth.
“I called an ambulance” a young woman said, from behind the old man. He had a very kind face. I felt bad when I threw up on his shoes.
I started to relax into the seat… they gave me some space, the old man was talking on the woman’s phone to the 911 dispatcher.
‘Lacerations face--- teen girl---“
“Ash!” an all too familiar drunken voice shouted. “Get yer ass back ‘ere.” My adrenaline instantly shot back up, I would have slammed the door shut if the old man wasn’t standing in the way. I scrambled over the gear shift into the passenger’s seat. I tried the handle but it was looked, I was fumbling for the lock when I heard the old man shout “Don’t you touch her… don’t you fucking touch her!”
I saw them grapple than my father went down hard, I couldn’t really see…
“Stay down!” the old man shouted.
I could hear sirens. I looked out the window and saw and ambulance, than a cop car passed it from behind lights flashing.
I just wanted to curl up and be away from everything… why wouldn’t it stop…at first I thought I was laughing again. I wasn’t. I couldn’t remember the last time I hysterically bawled my eyes out.
“How many stitches?” I asked.
The doctor was examining my face. “Twelve” he said.
“Ribs” I asked.
I was lying in one of the hospital beds. “You likely have a concussion so we’ll keep you over night.”
He reapplied a dressing to the cut over my eyes.
“Has my mom come yet?” I asked.
He shook his head “not yet.”
I felt a sad smile. “It’s been six hours so I’m guessing she won’t. She takes off sometimes. Doesn’t come back for weeks. Probably why he...” I pointed at my face.
“That’s no excuse” he said. “You’re a very brave young lady--- man.”
I had corrected them to my physical sex. “It doesn’t bother me… I mean calling me a girl. I think people worry too much.”
“What would you rather?” he asked.
“That’s a loaded question… ” I said smiling. “Whatever comes easiest to you. I really don’t know myself what I prefer” I blushed slightly at this.
A nurse came up beside the doctor. “Doctor Simpson, social services would like to see the patient” she smiled at me and I gave her a small finger wave.
“I’ll see you later… young lady” the doctor said giving me a wink as he left.
The meeting with social services went by quickly enough. I answered questions and talked. Mostly just talked.
They had contacted my mother. Apparently she had taken off again. When she got the call she was already out of the state.
They said she was turning around and would be at the hospital for visiting hours tomorrow.
Social services said I didn’t have to see her if I didn’t want to. Also that she would likely be charged with neglect or some such.
My father was thankfully in custody. Small miracles right?
After it was all done I asked for a phone.
I dialed Avery’s number.
“Hello?” Avery’s mom asked.
“Can I speak to Avery please?”
“Oh Ash, sure one second” in the background I could hear her call for Avery to pick up his phone cause Ash called.
The phone clicked as he picked.
“Hello?” he asked.
“Hey. How are you?” I asked.
“Fine… studying. What’s up?”
“A lot… it’s been an adventure“ I said. I felt happier talking to my best friend.
“Not studying I’m guessing” he said with a snort.
“Yep you caught me.”
“I’ll quiz you tomorrow morning okay?” he said. That had been our ritual. He’d help me study last minute before tests, and I usually passed because of it.
“Thanks, but I won’t be in tomorrow. There’s a lot going on.”
I heard some movement, the sound of a book closing.
“Where are you calling from?” He asked. “I don’t recognize the number.”
“Caller ID?” I asked.
“Yup… what’s going on? Where are you?”
I sighed. “Hospital. But I’m okay… okay?”
“Ash…” he said in his serious voice. “Tell…me… what’s… going… on?”
I knew not to fuck around with him when he got like this. All serious and super concerned. I could hear the intensity in his voice.
“My bastard father---“
“I’ll be right there” he said.
“Wait! Look visiting hours are over today anyway. Study, get another A on your test than come see me if I’m still here tomorrow night okay?”
“So are you okay?” Avery asked, and I knew he’d be here bright and early tomorrow morning. Avery didn’t believe in arguing when he had already made a firm decision… He just did.
“I look a mess” I giggled a little. “But they gave me these pain killer…and all the doctors are super nice” I smiled.
“Whatever you say chemical Barbie.”
“Do I look like a girl?” I asked.
“Yes. You knew this though right?”
“Yeah. I mean I wanted to feel good about myself and how I look. I guess I do, but I do look like a girl. And I keep thinking is that what I want? I mean I think I do. Should I?”
There was a pause on the line.
“Ash, you should totally be a girl.”
“Hey… you’re just saying that ‘cause it’s what I wanna hear…” I said trying to sound cross.
I could hear Avery’s mother in the background.
“I have to go” he said. “Call me later if you need to talk. “
“Bye bye, love you.”
“Ya love you too… get some sleep and don’t take too many pain killers.”
I hung up the phone.
Spirits lifted by the phone call I closed my eyes and fell asleep.
During the night they started waking me a lot. Asking all kinds of silly questions.
When they left I closed my eyes and finally started to drift off again.
“Wake up Ash?”
“Wha… What do you want?” I asked, feeling tired and grumpy.
“Do you know where you are?” the nurse asked. I looked around.
“And how old are you?” I blanked. I looked at my fingers as if they might have the answer. I started counting fingers. I had nothing.
She wrote something on her clip board.
“When is your birthday?”
I had a headache and rubbed my temples. This was a bit frustrating. I felt a dizzy.
“Are you going to be sick?” she asked holding a crescent shaped pan.
“No” I said.
Then I threw up all over myself.
“I’ll be right back” she said.
I watched her leave and come back with a doctor I didn’t recognize.
“Do you know who I am?” he asked.
He shone a bright light into my eyes. Then he said they were going to take me for an MRI.
The machine was loud and a little bit scary, and I had to hold really still.
After that they said they had to take me into surgery, I guess I kind of freaked out. They said that everything was fine. It seemed a bit contradictory.
They wheeled me into a bright room and the sides of the bed were folded down and I was lifted and moved onto another surface.
Everyone was wearing papers masks over their mouths. Someone was looking down at me wearing a blue cap and with big square glasses over his eyes. He smiled at me and suddenly everything felt fuzzy and dreamlike. I floated up from my body and was staring down at the doctors as they worked.
I woke up in the hospital room. There was an IV in my wrist, and something clamped to my finger that I didn’t remember.
A nurse came into the room a while later.
“Oh you’re awake.”
“Whhaaa…?” I managed to get out.
She checked a few things, tubes leaving and entering my body mostly.
“How do you feel?” she asked, sitting in a chair beside my bed.
“Okay I think” I said.
“Good” I have some questions for you.
“Do you know where you are?”
“Ash Dylan Dobson” I said, my throat a bit dry.
“How old are you?”
“And your birthday?”
“August ninth, 1998” I answered.
We talked a little more. I had the strange feeling I had forgotten something… something maybe.
“Uhm, did something happen last night?” I asked.
“You had a bleed in your brain… we had to take you into surgery. You’re all better now though.”
“Oh good” I said fairly monotone.
“Are you up for visitors?” she asked.
“Sure, why not.. uh could I get water?” I asked.
The nurse came back a moment later with a plastic cup and straw. Behind her was Mom.
She came into the room, eyes wide and wet looking. “I’m sorry” she said. “I didn’t think… I shouldn’t have… I… I don’t know what to say…” Tears were running down her face.
“I’m okay… I think…” I said. She put her hand on mine.
“I am done though… no more. I’m done with all of it.”
“Me too” she said.
She told me how she wasn’t thinking when she left, and how she would never do it again. She said she would find a new home for us. Mostly she said how sorry she was.
I told her there were a lot of things I needed to forgive her for and it would take time. Also that I was willing to try.
That was about when Avery came in. He seemed rather speechless.
“So how bad does it look?” I asked.
“Not gonna lie… pretty bad.”
Mom moved out of the way so Avery could sit beside me.
I felt my face, the right size was pretty swollen and sore. I still couldn’t see out of my right eye.
Mom started crying again, and I cringed. It was making my headache a hundred times worse, and making me feel bad.
I motioned with my eyes and tried to give Avery the message ‘get her out’ telepathically.
“You’re always beautiful to me” he said, running a hand through my hair. Than leaned down to kiss me.
Mission accomplished, Mom got up and left, partly closing the door behind her.
Avery stopped his descent.
I kept my eyes slightly closed and lips pouted. “Where’s my kiss dammit?” I asked.
I could tell he was barely holding back laughing.
I mock glared at him.
“Serious?” he asked.
“Hey I just had brain surgery” I emphasized the word brain.
“No doubt” he said and kissed me gently on the forehead.
I felt my face flush.
“So what’s your plan now?” he asked.
I shrugged. “Mom was talking about new living arrangements.”
“That’s good” he said, ruffling my hair.
I felt Avery staring at me intently, as if puzzling over something.
“About our talk on the phone?” he asked.
I tried to think back. I felt my cheeks flush again. “It’s kinda fuzzy I was uh--”
“Kind of high?” he asked.
“Were you serious about wanting to be a girl?”
“I am what I am… and maybe I am. I mean the thought of looking like a boy, or growing up into a man… and doing manly guy things” I felt kind of sick at the thought.
“What about puberty though… I know you’re a late bloomer, but your hormones will change, voice will deepen, hair will grow, testosterone will change how you think and feel. Maybe you’ll be fine with it.”
I gave him a dirty look. “You idiot. I already went through puberty.”
He looked shocked for a moment and eyes widened. “Oh… yeah… it’s coming back to me.”
There was a knock at the door.
“Doctor Simpson!” I practically squealed.
“So you know who I am this time” he said.
I gave him a confused look.
“It’s alright” he said. “So how’s my favourite young lady?”
“Great” I smiled. “This is Avery, the love of my life.”
Avery’s entire face blushed. I mouthed ‘brain surgery’ at him and he gave me a funny look.
“Nice to meet you” Dr. Simpson offered his hand and Avery shook it.
“We were wondering if you could maybe check out my hormone levels” I said. “Apparently it’s weird that I already went through a boys puberty and still look so dam cute…minus the facial abuse”.
“Sure, but first we have something we need to discuss. It’s about what happened last night. Do you want your boyfriend to wait outside?”
“No he can stay” I said.
Dr. Simpson asked me some questions about my pain level, dizziness, etc.
Then he told me I had a bleed in my brain and they had to do a craniotomy and aneurysm clipping. All things considered he said I would have to remain in the hospital for at the least a week, probably closer to two weeks. Also that there were a number of complications that could arise following brain surgery such as blood clots, stroke, seizures, and problems with speech, memory, balance, vision, and just about anything you can think of that concerns normal brain function.
I felt my spirits drop.
Dr. Simpson rustled in a metal table and pulled out stuff for taking my blood. Avery, bless his heart, held my hand while the doctor drew the blood. Of course I was watching the whole process. “Neat” I said watching the blood spiral through a tube into a container.
He said he would let me know the results when they came in.
Mom tentatively came back into the room looking much more put together.
Avery said he should get going, kissed me on the check and whispered in my ear “we really need to talk” and then left the room.
“So you two… are?”
“Are what?” I asked giving her my best clueless and innocent look.