“Dad, please.” I said softly, cringing backwards.
“FUCK THAT! IT’S YOUR FAULT ALAINA LEFT!” His hand was raised behind him, and I shook my head.
I cringed again as his fist descended, throwing up my hands and half-shutting my eyes.
It didn’t help.
I swore under my breath and clutched at my throbbing cheek. His fist clenched again, and I dropped my hand, holding it out in front of me.
Again, to the stomach. I crumpled to my knees.
His foot to my back. I slammed into the ground, my head bouncing of the wood.
He glared at me for a moment after he was finished, and then retreated to his room, while I got up and made my way into the bathroom, blood trickling slowly into my eye.
I stared into the mirror as my sister walked into the bathroom, probably having heard the commotion.
She frowned at the mirror, her brow creased with guilt.
She managed to stop the bleeding- which was good, since we were probably gonna have to use makeup. On any other day, I would have just let it be. Tomorrow, however was our first day of school.
“Oh, Alex.” She sighed as she dabbed on that cold wet stuff. Hell if I knew what it was. The fact is, it got the job done and took away most of the burn.
“‘S not your fault.” I muttered, closing my eyes as she finished.
My name is Alex Hodges. My mom left me and my sister when we were three, something my dad blamed me for.
So he decided to cope with it the best way he could.
Taking it out on me.
Her frown just deepened.
She blamed herself.
I, for one, blamed my cuddly father.
When he looked at me, he saw my mother. When he looked into my eyes, he would see himself. Stop the insanity for a little while- never too long.
He couldn’t take it for too long.
I jogged over and opened the door raising an eyebrow at the grimacing woman. “Uh, can I help you?”
“Yeah, no. I’m just saying hey and leaving-“
“Mum.” The boy with blue hair smiled. “Niceness, remember?” His voice was slow and deep, scratchy as if he had yelled too many times.
She mumbled to him. “We couldn’t make a good impression if we tried.” I chuckled, and that caused the mother to smile, the blonde boy on the right looking as if he would rather be anywhere else.
She gave a big, fake smile then. “Hey!” She chirped in an unnaturally high voice. “We’re the McCartney’s from down the street.” The boy on the right’s mouth corners lifted.
The blue-haired boy glanced sideways at her. “Nice going, mum.”
She shook her head and smiled gently. “So, yeah, we need to come in and say hi and stuff.”
I stepped back and examined the trio, taking in everyone. The mother of the two seemed to be the most childlike- throwing a temper tantrum, making fun of her surroundings, cracking jokes.
“Uh, yeah sure. Wait, your names-“
“Floss.” The mom muttered. I snorted, but covered it up with a cough. She glared at me again.
“Jazper.” Blue hair smirked, stuffing his hands in his pockets. The forced charisma faded, and he slumped his shoulders and gave a slow smile.
“Simon.” The blonde boy spoke up, his voice louder than the other two’s. He seemed the most comfortable with other human contact.
Rayna swooped down the stairs and snatched Simon’s hand. “Name’s Rayna.” She winked and tugged his hands. “I’ll show you ’round.”
I stared uncomfortably at Jazper, and he rolled his eyes. “Your room, dude. Mom, meet the other…” He waggled his fingers. “Let’s see. Adult?”
I nodded, waving my head towards the stairs. “I’m Alex.”
“Dude, you play?” He made a beeline for my guitar and just stared it down as if he didn’t want to touch it. “Man, you got a good one, too.”
“Yeah.” I said, also staring at my two guitars. “I guess.”
“Man, don’t just guess. You have a guitar, and I’ve already met a pretty solid bassist, and I got a drumset.”
I paused to let that sink in. “Like…a band? Gigs and whatever?”
He smirked. “No, that’s not what being in a band means.””
“Hell, man, I don’t know. What kind of music, first of all?”
“You look pretty punk to me.”
“You hit it right on the head, man. I just…don’t know?”
He batted his eyelashes. “Please?” He cooed in a falsetto. “For meeee?”
“Dude, you look retarded.”
“I know. We’re hanging at six, tomorrow, The Grind.”
“The Grind? I could totally hook you both up with a gig.” She tacked on the next sentence, looking us both up and down. “If you’re good, that is.”
“Wait, what? When did you start listening? And how…?”
“Got connections, brother. I know the owner’s little bro, and he can probably pass on the message. Oh, and the whole time.”
“A gig?” Snickered Simon. “For what? You and your little fag friends?”
Jazper glared darkly at his brother. “Fuck off.”
He turned back to my sister. “So, you’ll hook us up? We need, like, a month or so to get set up, though.”
She nodded. “Do my best.”
“More like a year. You suck, man.” His brother teased him.
“Simon, don’t be a dick.” She said before flawlessly resuming conversation with Jazper.
“He’ll probably want at least one song.” She told him.
He shrugged, smiling. “I figured as much.”
“Shit.” My sister murmured, staring up at a clock on my wall. “Well, dad’s probably drunk, and it’s time for you to leave.”
“Marvelous tact, sis.”
“…Is this for real?” I asked him as Simon and Rayna shuffled out of the room.
“Dude, hells yeah. We’re set, man.”
I grinned like an idiot as he walked away.
It was weird. I felt content for the first time in forever, but apprehensive. We probably wouldn’t be good, dad would probably find out, we most likely wouldn’t get the gig- But who cared?
This was the first thing I had done for myself in years.