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If Home Is Where The Heart Is, Then We're All Just F**cked
Topic Started: Jun 29 2010, 02:47 PM (411 Views)
GameMaker
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Fucking dammit... JJ had been forced to take the bus back home from Prom, and it took him to the nearest bus station to his house- about a mile and a half from where he lived. And it was... shit, it was 3 am. JJ had managed, somehow even in his drunken stupor, to find a liquor store after prom had ended. He had bought a bottle of Jack, and then spent most of the rest of the night walking around aimlessly, hoping in vain to find some way to get home. Eventually, he had stumbled upon one of the "night owl" bus stations, one of the buses that ran 24/7 in Minnesota. On the way back towards his home, JJ sat down next to a man who was obviously homeless. He reeked of cheap alcohol. But that was alright, because JJ did too.

JJ looked down the street, down the way he knew led to his house, and he saw nothing but darkness, illuminated by a few streetlights here and there. As he began to walk down the street, covered only by the infected yellow light of the lamps above him, he felt a sense of... what would you call it, premonition?... hit him. A feeling that something bad was going to happen, something that he couldn't avoid.

He kept walking, and looked around him, studying the streets. There was no one else around him- none of the people who had gotten off at his stop had gone his way. The streets were clear; just the night, the lights, and him. JJ pulled his Jack Daniels bottle out of his hip pocket, and saw that there was still half of it left. That was good... he needed some of it right now.

JJ tilted his head back, and chugged the last of the Jack. The bottle burned his throats, and his eyes watered, but it was a good burn. His mind spun, but at the same time, he became more focused. He needed to get home, and soon. He was sure of that now- he didn't know why he was sure, but it was a feeling that wouldn't leave him.

JJ began to run, and he let the bottle of Jack slip out of his hands. It hit the ground, and shattered to pieces. JJ ran as fast as he could, and he felt a burn begin to build in his legs and his chest. The world became a blur around him, nothing but darkness and the occasional street light. As he rounded the last street to his house, he felt his legs starting to give out, and the alcohol starting to rise. He stopped running and bent over, vomiting not even two houses from his own. His whole body burned, and even with the vomiting, JJ knew he was still extremely drunk. He just... he just needed to get home right now. That's all he focused on, walking slowly towards his front door, and the porch where he had started the night.

As soon as he walked into the house, he knew something was wrong. His parents were still awake- he could hear the TV blaring from the living room, and a sliver of light came from underneath the bathroom door. He walked towards the bathroom, and as he did so, he heard the door creak open. "JJ..." came the voice from the bathroom. It was his mother.

"Yes?" he said, walking towards the door. The door was only open a foot at most, but JJ could clearly see his mother's face through it. There was a red hand print on the left side of her face, and JJ could see a bruise beginning to build up underneath her left eye. Both of her eyes were puffy and red, and JJ could tell she had been crying. "Mom, are you alright?"

"JJ, I'm fine. Just... do you have a cigarette?" JJ reached into his pocket, finding his pack, and quickly got out a cigarette, and handed it to his mother. She grabbed it quickly, and put it on the sink.

"Mom, are you sure you're alright?" She looked at him for a second before she responded, looked at him in the eyes, and that was an answer enough for JJ's question. There was no happiness in the look she gave him- just simple, resigned sadness. "I'm fine, JJ. Your dad wants to speak with you- he's in the living room." And after that, the bathroom door slapped in his face.

JJ walked into the living room, and instantly recognized the movie on the TV- it was The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly, one of his dad's favorites. JJ's father himself sat in an armchair, watching the movie with a cigar in his mouth and a glass of whisky on the coffee table in front of him. "Fucking women, huh, JJ? C'mon, son, take a seat in the couch. Me and you need to talk."

"You... you were the one who did that to Mom?" JJ made no move towards the couch. He just stood at the entrance to the living room, a look of disbelief on his face as he stared at his father. His father didn't even turn to look at JJ, just kept his eyes stuck on the movie.

"Of course it was me, JJ. We got in an argument at the party- things got a little out of hand, and she ended up calling me a no good useless drunk. I might have gotten a little heavy handed in my response to that, but eh, next time she'll know not to open her mouth, you know what I mean, JJ?"

JJ sat down on the couch, drained. He was tired... he was so fucking tired. Not just because of the night, but because of everything. He thought of all the girls he had been with, when his dad spoke. Especially Rosa Fiametta. "Yeah, I know what you mean."

His dad took another puff of the cigar, letting the smoke out slowly, curling it in shapes and rings. Then, he took a drink from his glass of whiskey. "But JJ, that's not really the reason I called you in here. You guys got a trip coming up, right- your school, I mean?"

"Yeah... we got some camping trip we're going to. What about it?" JJ looked at his dad, wondering where he was going with this. He couldn't read his father's face- it was just blank, still stuck on the movie screen, watching Clint Eastwood talking to his partner.

"Well, just enjoy it. I talked to my friend Mitch, and he's pretty sure with a strong guy like you, he could you get a job with construction. You'll start this summer." There was something wrong with that statement, but JJ couldn't put a finger on what it was until his dad continued. It was the fact that his dad had said "start this summer" and not "do it this summer", or "you'll work over the summer". "I gave a call to your college, too, JJ. They weren't happy when I told them you wouldn't be going, but, I worked things out."

What... what the fuck is he talking about? "Dad, why would you do that? I want to go to college!" JJ raised his voice, and began to get up from the couch. Finally, his dad looked over at JJ, and this time, his expression was very easy to read. It was one of nothing but hatred.

"Frankly, JJ, I could give a fuck less what you want. You're a failure, JJ. I've already wasted enough time and money on you as it is- you should be thankful I even got you a job."

JJ looked at his face, and he couldn't shake off this disbelief he felt. How could his dad fucking this to him? That... that fucking bastard! "I need to go to college, dad! You can't... you can't do this to me!"

"I can, and I am, JJ. You're pathetic... a failure. I'd hoped, ever since you were a baby, that you'd be like me- something worthwhile, a success. You've always let me down- and now, even more. At least you were popular before, from what I could see... but now, I've seen what you've become. No one's ever over here, JJ, and most of the nights you do go out, I can hear you when you come home, moaning and complaining in your room. You have no friends, JJ- the one thing you had before, and now, you lost it."

JJ was angry now, as angry as he had ever been in his life. Fuck holding back because it was his father- he was going to let it out. Everything he had ever felt about him. "You fucking arrogant prick! You ruined your own life, and now you're trying to ruin mine?! I stopped hanging out with those kids because they only hung out with me for the worst parts of me- the bastard I could become when I was drunk, and the bastard I was becoming when I was sober. I stopped because I didn't want to end up like you- that was what I had always tried to be before, you. But I realized- you're a fucking failure as a father, and as a husband. And mom was right- you are a fucking no good useless drunk."
JJ spit the last words out as his father, and perhaps because of the fact so focused on what he saying, or because he was drunk, he didn't see the fist coming until it was too late.

His father hit JJ hard, in the middle of the face. It wasn't a great punch- there was no technique to it, just pure anger. Still, the surprise and the considerable force of it knocked JJ to the ground, and he felt his nose begin to bleed. His dad stood above, and drained the glass of whiskey in a chug.

"You don't fucking talk to me like that, you understand me?! You're going to take the job I wanted you to, alright? Get these fucking dreams of college out of your head- you're doing my job, and regardless, even if you could go, if I'm not paying, you wouldn't have the money. Nobody's gonna fucking pay for it besides me, you understand?!" As JJ lay there on the floor, the truth of what his father was saying hit him. Even if he was to disobey his father and go to college, there would be no way for him to-
"I'll pay." Two simple words, and even though both JJ and his father knew the voice, they both looked for the source, in a bigger shock than they had had the whole night. JJ's mother stood there, at the entrance to the living room, and there was a look of solid defiance on her face. It was a look JJ had never seen before. "I'm going to pay, and he's going to go to college, Frank."

"What the fuck are you talking about, Karen? Karen, this doesn't concern you, sweetheart- go to bed now, come on. Me and JJ need to talk this out, man to man, father to son." JJ's mother didn't move, she just stood in the entrance, still staring at his father. They both stared at each other for a few seconds, before Frank began to walk towards her, unbuckling his belt as he did so.

"Sweetie, I thought I already taught you tonight about keeping your mouth shut, but I guess you didn't learn your lesson. Now, this isn't going to be as easy as before- trust me, after this, you'll know only to talk when-" And that's when JJ's punch hit him. This punch, unlike Frank's, had both anger behind it and technique. It took Frank in the side of the head, and he hit the floor hard. He quickly rolled to face JJ, but by the time he did, JJ was lifting him up with both of his hands, and he punched him again, this time in the other side of his face.

"Listen to me, now, alright? And believe me, you better fucking listen, because this is a promise." JJ held up his father by his shirt, and they were now face to face. "If you ever so much as touch my mother again, I'll fucking kill you. Do you understand me? I'll fucking kill you." Frank nodded, and JJ let him drop to the ground, his cigar now lying unlit and half smoked on the floor behind him.

JJ began to walk towards his mother, while still keeping an eye on his father. Their father merely glared at them, as they both walked out of the living room. Lying there on the floor, JJ saw just how pathetic his father was... and he thought that if he hadn't changed, the man on the floor could just as easily have been him in another 20 or 30 years.

They walked into the kitchen, and his mother opened her mouth. "JJ... I'm sorry, there's so many times where I should have been there for you, and I just... I didn't do anything. I'm, I'm..." His mother began to cry, and for a few minutes, JJ just stood there with her, holding her. He heard his father get up from the living room, and walk somewhere, but he didn't come near the kitchen. When his mother finally stopped crying, JJ looked her in the eyes, and began to speak.

"Mom... it's fine. You were here for me now, and this is when I needed you the most. And I'm going to be here for you... I'm not going to let anything happen to you." His mother nodded, and looked down, then back up at JJ.

"JJ, tommorow, I'm going to do what I should have done a long time ago- I'm going to go talk to a lawyer, start the divorce... I should have done it years ago... but I was just so scared. I have another bank account, though- one Frank doesn't know about it, and I've got a lot of money in there. Enough to get a respectable place for myself, and more than that, enough to get you through college." JJ looked up at his mother, and saw she was smiling. He smiled back. "Tomorrow, we'll leave- I called my parents in the bathroom, and they'll let us stay at their place until I can find a new house. For tonight, I'll sleep in the guest bedroom, right by your room. We'll pack tomorrow, and we'll leave."

JJ nodded, and then they hugged each other again, enjoying a mother and son bond that they had never really had before. JJ was stunned by the emotions he felt welling up in him, just from feeling his mother's love for him. This was how things should have been all along- this is what he had been missing for 18 years, just knowing there was someone who loved him, and who would be there. With a smile still on his face, and his mother holding him tightly, JJ began to cry.
All in the game, yo... All in the game.- Omar Little, The Wire

V4:
J.J. Sturn- "I'm not a bad person. I'm not a bad person."
Mike Jeffries- "Don't worry, guys. Everything's going to be just fine."
Omar Burton- "I must say, I'm beginning to realize that I'm the only smart person in the room."
Kaitlin Anderheim- "I've never even talked to a guy before..."

DEAD THEY'RE ALL DEAD
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