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"do you think the universe fights for souls to be together? some things are too strange and strong to be coincidences."
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In a small house in Elkmont, Alabama, lived a small family

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In a small house in Elkmont, Alabama, lived a small family.  With a dad, a mom, and a son.  Like most Southern families, the Pierce family enjoyed maintaining an image.  An image of a good family.  A brown picket fence decorated the yard with illustrious green grass and bright flowers tended to by Willow Pierce who stayed at home to take care of the house.

But behind closed doors, Willow knew exactly where to get the best supply.  She drowned her failed dreams in liqour and drugs and knew just how to hide the fact that she spent her adult life strung out.

Matthew Pierce was the breadwinner for the small house.  Working as a lawyer for a small Alabama firm, he worked long hours to uphold their way of life.

And behind closed doors for Matt, he drank away the stresses of his work and got far drunker than anyone would have ever recommended.

The Pierces had a more difficult time than some to uphold their reputation.  The family had Middle Eastern roots that showed clearly in their appearance, making it difficult to carve out a path in the small-minded state.

Finally, there was Ezra Pierce.  A quiet, lanky boy that never quite grew into his height or his long appendages.  He blended quite effortlessly into the background.

That was until Ezra realized he was gay.  He confided in a friend he thought was close and then as it turned out, that friend wasn't quite so close.  At exactly thirteen years old, that friend turned around and outed Ezra to their entire community and that made his entire life go from moderate, exactly straight to hell.

His dad began to despise him and his drunken stupors turned to drunken rage.  His mom began to ignore him, always looking through him instead of at him and she refused to speak a word to him for four years and the entire time they lived under the same roof.

The first time that Matthew punched his son was after calling him a particular slur.  He threw 'fag' around like confetti, every word hitting like a knife.  It was the first, and the last time Ezra fought back.  His words tasted like regret on his tongue and yet he continued, they spilled from his lips, his eyes screwed shut so he didn't even have a chance of seeing the punch his dad threw.

A father laying a hand on their child with such heinous intentions was the ultimate affront.  It delivered them from their tense lifestyle ever since Ezra was outed, full of awkward silences, frequent arguments, punishments for things that don't deserve punishments.  And it delivered them to a place that they could never return from.

Ezra blew up.

The fire department in small towns never had a good reaction time.  It took approximately twenty-five minutes for the firetrucks to arrive and put out the house that was swiftly turning to ashes.

Esperance || Paul LahoteWhere stories live. Discover now