This chapter was so long I had to cut it .
I told her I don't remember when my mother left, that I was maybe about two. That wasn't true. I was two and I remember very well. I remember everything,my whole life since that night. Everything that hasn't been literally beaten out of me. I have gaps from blacking out after being hit but that night isn't one of them. I had never seen it before that night, she wasn't wearing make-up to hide it and I saw the bruises as she picked me out of my crib.
Linda - I love you so much.
Whispering so he wouldn't hear her she held me close to her, silent tears running down her cheeks.
Linda - I wish things were different. I'll come back for you... someday, my sweet boy.
I reached for her as she put me back. I wanted to cry out, but even then I knew not to. Even then I was smart enough to know she was leaving and to be afraid of what he would do if he caught her. I don't resent her for leaving. I only wish she had taken me with her. I know she wanted to, I could see it, but for what ever reason she couldn't. She said she'd come back for me, but she never did. I waited for years before realizing it wasn't going to happen, I wasn't going to see her. I don't know why she never came back, I tried to tell my self that it wasn't what I most feared, that he had found her,done something to her.
Adam - I'm hungry.
John - You know where the kitchen is. You expect me to do everything for you?
Adam - You don't do anything for me.
John - DON'T TALK BACK TO ME! You don't know how lucky you are. I pay for your food, your school, keep a roof over your head. Now go do your homework.
Adam - B-b-but I already did it.
John - I JUST TOLD YOU NOT TO TALK BACK TO ME, YOU LITTLE BASTARD.
Then he hit me again.
John - I wish you'd just disappear ,like your good for nothing mother. The whore, probably not even mine, sure as fuck don't look like me.
I thought about that for a while, I don't think that way about my mother, but still I wanted to believe the possibility that I wasn't his.
I started volunteering at the hospital once I was old enough, anything to keep me out of the house, away from him. I was about to leave one day when one of the doctors told me he wanted to go talk to this girl down in pediatrics, he suspected abuse and thought she'd be more likely to open up to someone closer to her own age. I still wonder if he knew about my own situation. If he did, he never said so. Never did anything about it.
That was the day I met Kiara.
A voice rouses me from my musings of the past.
"What are you thinking about?"
Adam - You.
Crossing the room I pull her into my arms.
Adam - Always you, my Kiara.The day we met, actually.
Kiara - You remember that?
Adam - You know I remember everything. Especially when it comes to you.
I still don't know how I feel about her being here. I love her, love seeing her and holding her again, but then I see that thing on her neck. I can't stand keeping things from her but even she wouldn't forgive the things I've done. I don't want her to know how I've changed, what I've become, but I can't change who I am. Even if I could I'll never be who I used to. Yet, since her being here I know I'm already no longer as I've been either. I raise my hand and run a finger across her collar.
Adam - I hate this. I don't want this for you.
Kiara - Neither do I but at least we're together again.
Adam - You wouldn't go if you had the choice?
Kiara - Would you want me to?
Not knowing how to answer I change the subject.
Adam - Do you remember that evening, in the gazebo, back in Weston Valley? When we first got together?
Kiara - My fourteenth birthday.
Adam - I'm glad your here.
Kiara - I snuck off from the party. I wish you could have been there, but... you know how my dad is.
Adam - He wasn't drinking ?
Kiara - No. He doesn't drink when people are around. Why'd you want me to meet you here?
Adam - I wanted to see you, I like your dress, you look...
Kiara - Please don't say cute, I've had enough of everyone telling me how cute and adorable I look today.
Adam - I was going to say beautiful. You're beautiful Kiara.
Kiara - What?
Adam - I like you Kiara.
Kiara - What, what do you mean.You like me? I don't understand.
Adam - This.
I pull Kiara close and kiss her as I remember that first time.
Adam - I still can't believe it's you! I thought I'd never see you again.
Kiara- I knew I'd find you someday, and I swore that when I did I wouldn't let anything come between us ever again.
Adam - Turn around.
I massage her back and shoulders gently. I can only imagine how hard all of this is for her, shes always been a neat person but she never had to do this much. Not while I knew her. At least cleaning is all she's made to do.
I just want to hold her and protect her. I always have,even though in the past she had it better then me, and never hesitated to tell me so. That though, similar our situations were not the same, and I was the one who had it the worst.
I saw that for my self one night. We had been out together and I walked her home. Her father appeared by the door as we kissed goodbye.
I was about to leave when I stopped, the bottle in his hand catching my sight. He raised it to take a drink as she ran to him. I wanted to stop her,to protect her but I was frozen.
I wasn't able to hear what they said as the talked for a moment.
The sound of flesh against flesh made me wince as he smacked her. She had told me, so I knew when I saw the bottle,I wasn't surprised, but still I had never seen it. He didn't drink in front of people,didn't hit her in front of people. He had started drinking after her mom died when she was ten,other then when she had had a broken arm when we met she'd said he'd only ever slapped her and always only once. His face softened as she held a hand to her cheek and he said something else. What surprised me was what came next.
He hugged her. That was the biggest difference between our fathers, he loved her. I spite of everything, he loved her.
She was taken from him within a week. The court ordered her father into rehab for his drinking and she was placed in a foster home. Her foster family seemed nice enough, they had money and gave her her own big room and new clothes and transferred her from Weston High to Weston Prep. Looking back though I realize the abused her too, not physically, be emotionally, physiologically, they tried to take away her past.
We would lay on the couch in her room, Kiara curled up to me, her head resting on my chest. She was always so miserable with them. It made me feel guilty. I thought that she'd be with nice people and he would get help and would stop drinking and get her back and they would be happy and no one would ever hurt her again. But that's not how it happened. She didn't know and still doesn't, that it was my fault.