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~Part 1 | Section 9 ~

I was sitting on the couch next to Aaliyah and Gael was sitting on the armchair away from us. We watched as my father closed the door behind the last guest. He then started to pace around the room while frantically messing with hands. He passed me about six times before he stopped in front of me and smashed his pointer finger against my forehead.

His face was twisted and a vein was popping out on his forehead. "What is your problem? Why would you embarrass me like that?" His finger had enough strength to push me back in my seat.

"What do you mean what is my problem? I came to join the party!"

He was pacing around the room again but as soon as I stopped talking, he stepped in front of me once more. "Do you know what people are going to say about me? Do you know how much you ruined our reputation?"

"By what? Being gay? By kissing a boy? It was no big deal!"

"No, big de-" He took a step away from me with his fists balled up. He took deep breaths and I watched as his fists turned back into hands. "I don't want to talk about it."

"Good," I said as I took a stand. "I'm sure you hate me more now than you ever did huh? I kissed a boy and Gael got shit drunk and you praised him for it! If I were to get shit drunk at a party and show up with Aaliyah, you would kill me! But no, Gael is your dream fucking child so whatever he does is okay! He was basically having sex with some girl at your party and you didn't say shit to him! So why is it different for me?"

My father's face went sour as he turned his head the other way. "It's because I'm fucking gay, huh? Go on and say it! You don't want to accept that you have a gay son." With each word I said I stepped a bit closer and on the last word, I was in his face.

"Miles, move."

"Make me."

My father pushed me to the floor and I immediately got up to push him back but Aaliyah grabbed me and shouted, "Milo, no! Don't do it!" I turned to Aaliyah and her eyes were glossy and her bottom lip was out. "I don't want to see you get hurt. Just please back down."

I stared at Aaliyah until a tear rolled down her fearful face and then I turned to my father who was already out of the living room. I heard a door slam and that's when I snatched my arm out of Aaliyah's grip.

"I need to get out of here," I said as I walked up to my room.

I tossed myself in bed and just lied there on my stomach. Originally, the plan was to get my father to hate Gael but that plan backfired and instead, I made him hate me more. Either way, at that point, it was a win-win situation for me. I enjoyed the look on Gael's face as he watched me and Georgio. I hoped he hated me. I wanted him too.

~x~

The next morning, I woke up at noon with a pounding headache. I sat up and held onto my head for a bit until the pounding stopped.

Once it did, I made my way downstairs where everyone was having breakfast, without me. Which was fine until I caught Gael in my spot next to Aaliyah.

I wanted walk in there and pulled him by the collar but instead I pretended like I didn't see it and walked back up the stairs and took a hot shower. I had to move out and fast so my plan that day was simple; find a job.

~x~

I rode my bike around the town, going down and up and around and back to all the stores that I knew paid well enough for me to save up money to move out. I went in, asked if they were accepting applicants and if they weren't, which most of them weren't, then I walked out.

If they were, I applied on paper right there in the store and then handed them my papers. I was told that they would get back to me as soon as possible so I thanked them and headed back out on my bike to search for more places. Dontella, being pretty small, there wasn't that many opportunities for me and once I walked out of my tenth store, I decided that it was time for me to grab a bite to eat.

I sat in a small restaurant and just stared outside the window. The place was right across from a park so as I ate I stared out at it. I watched a father and his young son chase each other around the park until the father caught and pinned him down for some tickles. I guess you could say, I smiled at the sight.

"I sometimes wish I could go back to the times when I was just a kid." I forgot to mention that Cindy was sitting across from me but surprise. I was out to eat with my only friend. I turned to her. "I miss when me and my dad were close, y'know?"

She nodded. "Me too." She picked at her spaghetti for a moment before she looked up at me with a forced smile. "I know that me and my Pa don't have the greatest relationship and I know that me and you are pretty much in the same boat so my advice might serve as useless to you but I think you should hear me out."

"Okay. What is it?"

"I think you should apologize to your father. I understand that it might be hard but you and I both know that you did what you did to be petty and I guess I also feel a little bad because I helped and I don't want to be the reason why you and your father's relationship got worse."

"To be honest, what happened at the party wasn't really meant for my dad."

"Hm? Wait, so who was it for?"

"Doesn't matter. I guess making my dad mad was just a plus but I do regret it a bit. I just-" I sighed. "I don't even know anymore. I don't want to make excuses or anything. It happened and I can't take it back and I don't want to take it back but I guess I just wish my dad would see that Gael isn't as perfect as he wants to believe. I wanted to ruin the relationship between him and my dad but my dad seems to take it easier on him than me."

"Well that's because you're his actual son. Parents are typically harder on their kids."

"Whatever. It's just so stupid." I took a sip of my drink.

"Listen, we are lucky to have fathers. Some people lost theirs or just have really shitty ones. If your father really was that bad then you wouldn't even be living with him right now and probably not even in college."

"Yeah. Maybe I should be smart and apologize before he does kick me out."

"All I'm trying to say is that I can tell that your father loves you. Even if you don't see it."

"He doesn't love me. I think he just feels obligated to take care of me because mom died. I don't care though. It's whatever. If apologizing will make him feel a bit better and keep me in the house longer, then I'll do it. Anyways, how are things with you and your sister? Talking again?"

She smiled. "Yeah, we are actually. She stopped by and we both apologized to each other and now we are back to being besties."

"That's good."

"Are you and your sister good now?"

"Kinda but I know we will get back to being cool again once things pass over."

"Of course," she said with a smile.

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