Become a Fan
The Long Road To Freedom
By Zebrial J. Gossage
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Rated "PG" by the Author.
Jet Springsleys is your average teen being bullied on a regular basis, messed up family life. Things just go haywire in this very heart filling story.
THE LONG ROAD TO FREEDOM
ZEBRIAL J. GOSSAGE
Donna Dollher sat at her kitchen table sipping over-sweetened store-bought coffee with her husband like she did every morning. She threw back a couple Tylenol and chased it with a glass of water to relieve her headache of a hangover from the night before. She had long, dark, curly hair that shined like no other middle aged womans hair could. She was very pretty for her age as well and her fingernails were kept like gold. If only she didn't drink alcohol she'd live to be a hundred and fifty years old. Her husband Ronald, a short stocky handy-man, felt lucky to have such a beautiful wife. He was a bit older than her but he kept in pretty good shape as well.
Donna had recently quit her job with the local newspaper. She didn't feel respected by her co-workers, which was a big deal to her. She was a very picky person. Ron was a kind guy, and a mechanic that made decent money. He told Donna she could take as long as she needed to find a job she likes, one that she really enjoys doing, not something that makes her miserable. That was one of the things she loved about him. His charm and his big heart. He always knew what to do when she felt down. She never wanted to lose him. Unlike her ex who was nothing but a pig.
In the kitchen walked Jet Springsley, her fifteen year old son. He was tall and scrawny with bleach blonde hair. He had his mothers eyes and his dads nose. Dick Springsley was his father. His parents had been divorced since he was two because things got to be so crazy between Donna and him. Jet didn't remember much but he knew his dad had been a drunk and was never afraid to lay his hands on his mother. It was sickening.
After the divorce their father pretended to play dad a couple weekends out of the year but that didn't last long. When Jet was four his dad abandoned them for good. Nobody had a clue where he went. Donna figured it was better that way, and a few years later she met Ronald. He was a great guy and has been a way better father figure than Dick ever could have been. But Jet didn't care. He gave up hopes of having a happy family. He felt it was to late for that. He just wanted to be free of it all.
"Do you want some breakfast?" Donna asked Jet.
"No. I'll eat at school." He replied emotionlessly. He threw his red and black backpack up over his shoulders. He slumped his head down and headed for the door.
"Don't leave without telling me you love me." His mother yelled at him.
"I love you mom." He smiled forcively. His mother wanted love. She was just messed up in the head from all she had been through. Jet tried to make her happy, but deep down he himself wasn't happy either. So it was hard for both of them.
"I love you. Have a good day." Donna replied.
"Yeah, have a good day." Ron included.
"You too." Jet slammed the door behind him. He felt relieved to finally be alone. His father caused a great deal of grief in his life by just not being around. Jet was confused about alot of things and didn't know quite what to believe or who to follow. So he just lived life second by second and went with the flow of things.
Down the street lived Daisy Springsley, Jet's older sister. A walking beauty. She was even more dazzling than her mother. Hair of a princess, a voice of an angel, lips that sung the sweetest voice. Her and Jet weren't close anymore like they were when they were younger. They just had nothing to talk about anymore so they just quit talking except when they really had to, which wasn't often at all. A family Christmas or Thanksgiving was the only time they even spoke now days.
She was only seventeen and had dropped out of high school. She moved in with her boyfriend Jackson Roughouse. They were both crazy, but the perfect couple. Jackson worked at the local factory while Daisy stayed home and prepared for her GED. She was very smart, just made dumb decisions in her past. Probably due to the same lack of not having a father. All of her childhood memories of him were blurry because he was always drunk and things would become unreal psychologically. She would basically use her mind to escape the madness. It was her key to happiness growing up. Once she met Jackson it wasn't needed anymore though. He was her key to happiness.
Daisy loved her life with Jackson. He comforted her, and understood her. He promised she'd never feel alone again, and so far she hadn't. Jackson's life was very similar to hers. It was like destiny. They both met at a crazy time in there lives when they were both using drugs but then they used eachother to get away from the criminal drug life and devote their lives to eachother and their future. It was truly amazing how devoted the young couple was.
Jet arrived at school the same time everyday. It was a Tuesday so he knew hew was stuck going to school another long three days after. He hated school. He didn't fit in well. His childhood had alot to do with it. He felt he couldn't trust anyone and it was a major problem in the social world. One thing he hated was discussing his childhood because he didn't feel he actually had one, so he pretended to barely remember it if someone mentioned the subject to him.
Alot of kids made fun of him. It didn't help he was so skinny. His main problem was Roger Hempstun, a much bigger fifteen year old, with bad breath, and not a bit of sympathy for the weak. He called Jet every name in the book any chance he got. But he got away with it because his mother was the co-principal of the school. Which was not good for Jet Springsley.
Jet made it through the morning bully free but lunch hour was a different story. Roger tripped him at the lunch line causing his tray to cover his shirt in the daily grub. It embarrassed Jet because alot of kids were watching. Luckily for Roger a teacher wasn't anywhere to be seen.
Jet stood up and ran into the bathroom, by this point he was crying. He knew going to the principal wouldn't do any good. Everybody underestimated the negative impact bullying actually had on people. It's a very pointless subject to bring up with any teacher because it's always ignored. Deep down Jet knew somebody would get hurt one day due to bullying. Only because nobody does anything to prevent it.
Jet cleaned himself up and dried his tears. He headed back to his locker to prepare his books for History class. By that time the bell had rung. It was time for his next class. He hated history. He could care less about what had happened in the past. He felt his grades would be better if he could take classes that he would find interest in. But his school was small and the rules couldn't be changed over one teenagers dislike of their educational system. Even though it was a very dull one.
Jet had been failing classes all year. He didn't care though. The teachers would put him down emotionally for his attitude, rather than handling the situation in a positive way like a teacher should. He needed special attention. But nobody could see that. All of this bothered him the rest of the day. It wore his mind to exhaustion.
When he arrived home his mother and stepfather were out grocery shopping. His mindless thoughts of earlier that day lead him to his mothers liquor cabinet. She had alot of skeletons hidden deep in her closet. So she drank alot. Ron didn't drink much himself but he never judged Donna for her choice to poison her body. He smoked an occasional cigarette so a drink here and there couldn't be much worse he thought.
Jet opened up the liquor cabinet and glanced at the shining liquor bottles. The look intrigued him. He grabbed a forty dollar fifth of vodka his mother drank on a daily basis. He glanced once more at all the shiny bottles before he shut the cabinet door. He grabbed a glass and headed to his room where he would soon toxicate his body and mind.
He sat up in his bed slamming shot after shot. The taste was horrid with every swallow but it seemed the visions of his past grew dimmer as his head fell drunker. He stumbled over to his dresser where he opened the top drawer reveling a cigarette and lighter he had stolen from Ron. He lit it and inhaled the bitter stale tobacco. He coughed a lung up before he put it out. He fell onto his bed and gazed at the ceiling that spinned above him. It wasn't long before he passed out. He suddenly fell into a bizarre dream..... A dream that took place in the past:
The scenery was unknown...
The only vibrations in the air were intimidating, you could feel the saddened cries for help.
A windowless, basement apartment. The only thing in it was a blue couch.
Jet's father was on the blue couch with Daisy. He was touching her inappropriately. She looked about four years old and very scared.
She looked empty and betrayed...
Jet laid in his car seat, strapped in as his father violated his older sister.
"It's just a game kids." Dick said disgustingly.
The dream began to fade into blackness.....
Jet woke up to spinning walls and a horrible feeling in his stomach. Moments later he was covered in vomit, along with his bed, and his floor. Even a wall had little specs of stomach yuck dripping down it. Jet laid still for a few minutes and finally the spinning calmed. His stomach was empty so he felt a little better. He heard his front door open in the distance. He knew he was in trouble.
Donna and Ronald entered their quiet home and placed their grocery bags on the kitchen counter. Ronald proceeded to put the groceries away, Donna wanted to poke her head in on Jet and see how he was doing. She tiptoed to his room and knocked twice on the door, opening it to a very unpleasant surprise.
"What the hell happened?" She yelled. She wouldn't have been so angry if she couldn't smell the foul stench of vodka.
"Clean this mess up and get a shower. I hope this will teach you not to steal from my liquor cabinet." She exited his room and left him to sob. She had nothing else to say. He struggled to push himself out of bed and into the bathroom to get a shower. He felt terrible.
Ronald sat in the kitchen and waited patiently for Donna to come back. He heard her yelling but he didn't know what was going on.
"What was that about?" He asked as she approached with a disgusted look on her face. She explained the situation and Ron got a little chuckle out of it.
"It isn't funny, his dad was an angry alcoholic. I don't want Jet to grow up and be like him."
"Don't worry. Jet's better than that. It was just a boy being a boy." Ron smiled and stood to comfort her. He hugged her and gave her a kiss.
"I love you." She said.
"And I love you." He replied.
Jet finished his shower and walked out into the kitchen to grab a trash bag. He saw them hugging and didn't say a word.
"Use a towel with soap and hot water." His mother demanded as Jet walked back to his room.
"I'll get it." Jet grumbled. He didn't feel like doing anything. He just wanted to sleep. So he was very grumpy.
He stripped his bed and cleaned up his mess. Without replacing the bed linen he laid on a naked bed and fell back asleep till morning.
The next morning was awkward for Jet. He didn't speak to his mother at all. He just got all of his stuff ready, through on his shoes, and tiptoed out the door. He headed toward his school on foot. It was a bright and sunny day outside. But it was just another Wednesday for Jet.
Down the street awoke Daisy. She began to feel sick. She felt like she wanted to throw up. She ran into the bathroom with her crazy sleep woven hair, but it was still beautiful. She vomited in the sink because the toilet was to far away. She didn't have a second to spare.
Jackson ran in after her to make sure she was okay. He was already up and in the kitchen drinking a glass of milk before heading to work.
"You alright dear?" He asked. He grabbed her a towel of the rack.
"Do I look alright? I feel gross." She stated angrily.
"Sorry grouch." He handed her the towel. She wiped her face and smiled.
"Thanks dear." She headed back to bed. Jackson put on his shoes and headed for the door.
"Love you." He said loud enough for her to hear him.
"Love you." She yelled from their bed. He left with no further comment on why she had thrown up. They both knew she was pregnant. They'd been trying for a couple months. There was no doubt now they succeeded.
Daisy began to doze back off as the phone rang startling her. She grabbed her cell phone off the shelf next to there bedside. It was her mother.
"Hello?" She answered.
"Good morning dear."
"Good morning mom."
"I just wanted to tell you what your brother did last night. You're not going to believe it."
"You caught him with a boy?"
"No. I told you a thousand times your brothers not gay he's just different. Anyways your stepfather and I got home from he grocery and there lays Jet in his bed covered in puke! The room reeked of vodka."
"Did you punish him?"
"No. I don't see a point. I think he learned enough sleeping in his own vomit." She laughed.
"You would have punished me."
"Oh. Whatever. I busted you plenty of times and didn't punish you. You just didn't know about it."
"Ok mom. I'm going back to bed. Love you bye." Daisy hung up the phone.
"I love you too." Donna said too the dial tone. She accepted her and her kids didn't have the best relationship in the past but she was beginning to feel as if she was getting too old to let this go on. She felt a sudden need to fix it before something very bad happens to one of them and it's to late.
Jet arrived at school and got some breakfast. A bagel with cream cheese was his breakfast of choice every Wednesday. Just another thing he did that separated him from others. Everybody else had biscuits and gravy on Wednesdays.
He finished up his bagel and headed to gym class. He knew Roger was waiting in the locker room to call him a girly boy or homo. So he told his gym teacher he forgot shorts that day. The teacher made him run laps.
He avoided Roger for gym class but he finally caught up to him in the hall way.
"Don't forget your palm palms for cheer practice queer." He nudged him with his shoulder. Jet tried to push him away but he was to small. Roger clocked him in the eye with a solid punch. Jet was stunned. A teacher approached them.
"You better not tell." Roger whispered to him threateningly.
"What's going on here?"
"Jet ran into my elbow on accident sir. I was just making sure he's okay."
"Jet is this true ?"
"Yes sir." Jet said. He held in his cry for help. Even though his eye hurt really bad.
"Roger get to class. Jet go see the nurse then get to class." The teacher walked away. He was blinder than a bat to not see what had really happened. A pair of eyes had watched from a distance and could have stuck up for Jet. But they didn't want to barge in.
After a quick visit with the school nurse Jet was ready to tough it out the rest of the day. It was about lunch time. He knew telling on Roger would just make people call him a coward and nobody would do anything about it. Jets reputation was bad enough. He figured the road to freedom wouldn't welcome tattletales.
At lunch time Jet didn't sit alone for once. A girl named Ariana Schmitt from his biology class randomly sat down by him.
"Hi." Jet said nervously.
"Hi, I'm Ariana. I'm in your biology class."
"Yeah. I know."
"I saw Roger punch you when you tried to stick up for yourself. I want you to know your very brave and you didn't deserve that."
"Yeah. I know." Jet took a drink of his milk carton.
The next twenty minutes they silently ate together. The bell finally rang.
"I'll see you around." Ariana said.
"See ya." Jet replied heading to class. He could tell she liked him. But he didn't have the same feelings for her. He wouldn't mind her as a friend though.
The school day came to an end and Jet walked home. His eye ached like crazy. He entered the house knowing his mother was going to let him have it. Especially if she was drunk. Which he already knew she would be.
He entered the house and sure enough, Donna was drunk. She looked disgusted when she saw Jets black eye.
"First you're drinking and you're fighting at school?" She laughed crazily behind her depression. Ron walked in the door. He had just got off work.
"Hey honey, look at Jet's eye." Donna insisted.
"Whoa, what happened?" Ron asked nicely. He was never a mean guy. He was for some reason always a pleasant person. Nobody knew why. But it was his best quality.
"He wants to be an idiot like his dad." Donna intruded. This angered Jet.
"FYI I was punched by a bully for no reason and the only person in this house that reminds me of dad is you! Drink another drink and drive!" Jet screamed before running into his bedroom. Donna was shocked. Jet never opened his mouth like that before. She put down the booze and prepared for supper.
At the dinner table supper was awkwardly silent. The trio sat in the dining room, picking their plates. Something needed to be said. Donna finally opened up.
"I've sobered up a little and I admit I was harsh. Now we should talk." She stared at Jets eye. She could almost see it pulsating.
"What's there to talk about mom?"
"Why did you drink? And who's this bully? And why's he bullying you?"
"I really don't think you can handle it mom."
"Handle what? You're my baby boy. Nothing can change that." She felt saddened. Jet scratched his head.
"Not in front of Ron." He demanded. Ron nodded in agreement.
They excused themselves from the dinner table and went into the kitchen. Ron waited patiently. He could hear a very brief whisper. The conversation didn't last long. They reapproached the dinner table and nothing more was said.
After dinner Jet went into the bathroom and washed his face before his favorite TV program came on the television. He never missed it. He sat in the living room in front of the TV for a solid hour. After it ended he headed to his room and lied in his bed. He thought about his dream he had the day before. He knew his father had abused his mother. But he couldn't grasp why he had the strange dream about his older sister.
He felt an urge just to call her. He ran out into the living room where his mother and stepfather had taken over the television.
"Can I use the phone?" He asked nicely.
"What for?" She asked.
"I want to call Daisy." She handed him the phone and he walked back to his room. He dialed the number and waited for her to pick up.
"What did he do now?" Daisy answered.
"He did nothing." Jet replied.
"Oh. What do you want dork?" She laughed.
"Daisy, be serious for a second. Do you think dad ever laid his hands on us?"
"Of course not? Why do you ask?" She was caught off guard.
"I was just wondering. I knew he had hit mom so I didn't know."
"Oh okay. Well that's your answer. Take care of yourself kiddo."
"You too." Jet hung up the phone.
Daisy sat her phone down and sat on the couch next to Jackson. He was watching an old sitcom.
"I miss how close my brother and I used to be." She stated.
"Yeah. Getting old sucks." He replied. He took a sip of his tea. He had a weird obsession for tea.
"Yeah. I don't know why we grew apart. When we were kids we wouldn't leave eachothers sight. Then one day the arguing began and we grew our separate ways."
"What did he want on the phone?"
"He asked if dad ever abused us."
"Did he?" Jackson asked.
"No. Not that I recall. We rarely saw dad and we were so little. I'd remember something like that." She shook her head.
"You're right." Jackson wrapped his arms around her and squeezed her tight. Just a little tighter than usual. She needed the comfort.
Jet returned his mothers cell phone to her.
"How was she?" Donna asked.
"What did you need from her?" She asked curiously.
"I was just seeing how she's been. It had been awhile since I'd talked to her." He walked back to his room. Their wasn't a trail of suspicion. Donna shrugged and put her phone away. Her and Ron continued with their movie. It was a newer movie they bought pay per view. They did that quite often. It was how they bonded.
At bedtime the house was silent. All the rooms were dark. Jet laid in his bed calmly. He slept calmly. At least until the dream reoccurred.....
The next day Jet approached school in a much brighter way after it turned out Roger had a cold and didn't show for school. Ariana sat by Jet at breakfast. They were alot more open then before. His black eye shined throughout the school but his smile shined brighter.
"I bet you were a cute baby." Ariana smiled. Jet laughed.
"I don't know. I could show you if you want to come over tonight or something."
"Yeah. That would be fine after supper. Around six?"
"That's fine. I'll have the pics ready when you come over."
"Okay. I'll see you then."
The bell rang and the two new friends headed their separate ways for the day. They didn't talk at all not even in biology. They didn't want to start any gossip. The day dragged for Jet. He was happy to have a friend. He felt a short step down the road to freedom.
Back at his mothers house Donna found a surprise knocking on the front door. It was Daisy. She entered the house feeling a sudden comfort. Her mother hadn't been drinking, and actually had her liquor bottles emptied in the trash bin.
"You're going to quit drinking?" Daisy asked.
"I'm going to try. For your brother."
"Why? What happened?"
"He said some things. I said some things. I'm seeing things differently now. Your dad abandoned us after he put us through hell. I can't keep letting our family burn. So step one is to quit drinking."
"Mom, I'm glad to hear that." Daisy was very happy. She hugged her mother for the first time in ages. Alcoholism carried alot of weight on the families shoulders. The weight was being slightly lifted.
"I just have to stay motivated." Donna said. She wasn't a hundred percent sure with herself but she sounded pretty motivated to give it a shot.
"I have some motivation for you." Daisy stated.
"Anti-depressants?" Donna joked.
"I'm pregnant. I just came from the doctor. It's official. I'm almost two months already." She smiled. Donna began to cry she was so happy.
"You're just a baby yourself. But you'll do fine. I'm happy for you dear." Donna was stunned her seventeen year old daughter was pregnant. But she loved babies and wasn't going to judge her daughters decision. She claimed not having babies around drove her insane. Now she knew one was coming so it was that much more motivation to quit her drinking habit.
They chatted about their plans clear up until Jet arrived home from school. He walked in with a smile on his face.
"You look happy." Donna said.
"Ariana from my class is coming over at six." Jet stated in a satisfied voice.
"Oh. Really? That's great!."
"You should get out my old pictures so I can show her." Jet smiled. Daisy stretched her hands above her head.
"Well, I'm going to get out of here before Jackson gets home from work and wonders where I am."
"Okay. I love you dear." Donna said.
"Love you, and I love you Jet." She forced out there.
"Love you too." He smiled. Daisy left, and walked home. Jet was still unaware of his niece or nephew that was on the way. They wanted to wait till the right timing to surprise him.
About an hour later Ron arrived home just in time for supper. He could smell the spaghetti pie and fresh baked blue berry muffins. Donna was a good cook. She had to learn when she was a kid. Her mother made her.
After eating Jet put his plate and silverware in the sink. He sat at his front door in front of a clock waiting for the hand to strike six and Arianas hand to strike the door. Minutes by minutes went by and before Jet knew it the clock struck eight. Ariana wasn't showing.
"I'm going to get their number and call." Donna said. She grabbed a phone book and flipped through the pages.
"What's her last name?" She asked.
"Ah. Mary Schmitt. They live across town. Not to far from here." She dialed the number and the phone rang. A man with a very deep, raspy, smoke-bitten voice answered on the other end.
"Yeah?" The man said rudely.
"Yes, this is Donna Dollher from across town. My son goes to school with your daughter and she was supposed to come over tonight I just wanted to make sure everything was okay?"
"She aint my daughter." He said, even ruder than before. It was Arianas mothers boyfriend. A drunken middle aged man. His mullet and tobacco breath would give it away to anyone he wasn't the brightest man in the world.
"Why didn't she show? That's all I'm asking sir." Donna was intimidated, but not going to back off. She could tell the man wasn't so bright.
"She brought home failing grades today. If she wants to see some boy she'd better straighten up." He slammed the phone back on it's hook. Donna hated the sound of the dial tone she heard right after.
She explained the situation to Jet and like before he hit rock bottom. He felt lower than ever. He grabbed the baby pictures and headed to his bedroom sobbingly. He slammed the door behind him and sat the pictures on his bedside so he could look at them later. He just wanted to lay in his bed and die. By that point he could care less. He couldn't believe how something so good could be ruined so quickly. But he was beginning to feel that was the story that narrated his life. He pulled out a pen and pad. He began to write:
The long road to freedom...
He paused after that point. He was to frustrated to write. He was quite the poet though when he was in the right mood. He laid his head down on his pillow and thought calmly to himself.
"Good thoughts." He repeated in his head. His eyes grew heavy as the sky grew dark. It wasn't long and he drifted off to sleep.
A repeat of the dream ran through his head in his moment of sleep. The same place. No windows, blue couch. The same sick vision of his father violating his sister and claiming nothing is wrong. His sister looks so helpless and empty. When he woke up his stomach felt ill.
His sister was his only sibling. Even thought he wanted a little brother he was happy with what he had. Nobody could ever do terrible things to his older sister. He would kill them. This dream made him realize how much Daisy meant to him. When he looked at the clock he realized it was time to get ready for school. He couldn't believe he slept so long so fast.
He got up out of bed and grabbed some clothes for a quick shower. He noticed he knocked the box of baby pictures off the bed in his sleep. He picked the box up and sat it back on his bed. He was hoping Ariana might be able to see them later that night.
He got a quick shower and dressed up for school. It was a few minutes early but he headed to school anyway. He wanted to talk to Ariana. He waited at the table for her anxiously till she finally arrived. She was wearing a long blue long sleeve shirt and a pair of worn jeans. She had a sorry look in her eye.
"Sorry I couldn't make it." She said.
"It's fine. What really happened?" He asked. She slipped him a note over the table.
"I don't want to talk about it here. Is there anyway you could sneak out and come over tonight?" Jet put the note in his pocket.
"You live in that little trailer next to the church right?"
"Yeah, I'll try to be there."
The rest of the day was kind of different for Jet. He had no idea what was going on and to make things worse Roger was eyeballing him all day long. Lucky for Jet he never made a move. He didn't even call him a name.
The school day ended and Jet avoided running into Roger on the way home. He was a bit cautious because nothing had happened at school. It made him kind of nervous. Once he was close enough to the house he ran quickly and got inside. His mother was in the kitchen doing dishes and listening to old country music. Jet had an idea, he was tired of feeling unsafe.
He tiptoed over to Rons toolbox that was sitting on the living room floor. He quickly opened it and grabbed a pocket knife with a blue handle. Ron had alot of knives and tools in that box so Jet figured he would never notice one knife. He stuck it in his back pocket and headed into his bedroom.
"Jet?" He heard his mother yell from the kitchen.
"Yes?" He answered, walking out into the kitchen.
"Just making sure it was you." She smiled. He noticed a can of beer on the table. She noticed his upset facial expression.
"It's just one beer give me a break. I'm doing good honey."
"Whatever." Jet went back to his bedroom and didn't plan to come out the rest of the evening. Donna threw her beer in the trash. She knew she had messed up.
Ron soon arrived home. Donna fired up the stove and made him some eggs and bacon. It was his favorite meal, even if for supper. She told him to have a seat on the couch in front of the television. She brought his food to him and sat down right beside him. He could feel something was up.
"Alright. What's going on?"
"Daisy's pregnant." Donna smiled.
"Really? Good or bad?" He asked.
"Good!" She smacked him in the arm. He laughed.
"Well, tell her congratulations. Does Jet know he's going to be an uncle?"
"No. I might tell him tonight if he comes out of his room."
"What went wrong there?"
"I drank a can of beer earlier and he caught me after school. I threw it in the trash and I'm accepting my punishment. So, when he decides to come out and forgive me I'll tell him the good news."
"Sounds fair to me." Ron nodded in agreement.
Nine 0' clock hit and Jet lied in his bed starring at the ceiling. His anger had fogged his mind and clouded his memory. Finally it had begun to clear. He remembered the note in his pocket Ariana had gave him earlier that day. He pulled it out and unfolded it. He began to read:
I don't know what to do anymore. My moms drunken boyfriend abuses my mother and I almost every other night now. My legs and arms are bruised. I just want to run away and be free. Please, come see me tonight.
Jet thought about the note, and it became very clear why she was wearing long sleeves at school that day. He slammed the note on the floor out of anger. He wanted to kill her step dad. He was fed up with everyone. He pulled out his notebook he had begun to write a poem in the night before. He finally finished it unleashing his feelings. He had a plan to be free.
He then grabbed the box of pictures and opened it so he could take a few photos to show Ariana but something else captured his attention. A picture of his sister and him sitting on a blue couch, in a windowless basement apartment that had belonged to his father when Daisy and him were children. It matched his dream perfectly. Jet began to feel it wasn't a dream at all.
He pulled out a sheet of paper and wrote a note to his mom and Daisy. He taped the picture of the apartment to the note and laid it on his pillow. It was time for him to escape this life of torment and find freedom with Ariana. He patted his back pocket to make sure the pocket knife was still there. He then put another shirt on over his other for some reason. It could get nippy out though.
The clock had met ten and he decided the time was perfect. He slid open his bedroom window and took one last glance back at his life. For some reason he wished he could call his sister and tell her bye, but that wasn't going to happen. He climbed out the window and shut it behind him. He headed down the road toward Ariana's house. He didn't look back, not even once. It was time to be free.
At Arianas home she laid in her bed watching her tiny TV. Her family wasn't very wealthy. In fact, they lived a poor life. Jet was her only friend. She would do anything to be free with him. She hoped he would soon arrive, but by that time her eyes were growing heavy.
Suddenly, a knock came from her window. It was Jet. She became very happy, she threw a jacket over her shoulders that was hanging on her door and she opened up the window. She climbed out quietly. She gave Jet a hug.
"You read the note.." She sighed.
"Yes. Listen, Ariana. I got a plant."
"What plan is that?" She asked.
"We're going to get away for sure." Jet smiled. Ariana still didn't quite know what the plan was but at that point she didn't care. She was pretty much in love with Jet. She'd die for him. He was her savior she believed so she was willing to do anything he told her.
They began to walk up the road cutting off into a wooded area. Roger, Jet's favorite bully was on his bike and spotted the two from a far. He plotted to follow them into the woods and scare the hell out of both of them.
Jet and Ariana fell deep into the wooded area. They could feel the darkness rubbing against their skin. A sudden strange noise came from the distance. Ariana felt a chill. Jet immediately drew his knife. Little did he know Roger was about to try and spook them. Jet approached the bushes and trees where the noise was coming from. From behind a small oak tree, Roger hopped out screaming in a deep scary voice. As quick as the echo of his voice faded in the distance, he fell to his knees, blood leaking from his throat.
"Damn, that knife cut deep." Jet said with no remorse.
"Jet, you don't see what you've done?" Ariana asked shocked. She didn't know whether to fear Jet or to keep trusting him. Jet grabbed hold of her and hugged her. He starred into her eyes, putting her into a trance.
"Roger was a bully. He was going to beat us up, at this time of night maybe even worse"
"I guess you're right." Ariana agreed. She leaned in to kiss Jet. He stopped her with his hand.
"Ariana there's something you should know."
"What's that?" She asked.
"I'm gay." He felt a large relief. Strangely Ariana did as well.
"That's fine. I kind of wondered." She smiled. She loved Jet anyways.
"We better get going. Help me hide Roger in this bush." Jet grabbed the dead corpses feet and Ariana grabbed the hands. They drug him into the large bush, nobody would find him for a good while there Jet believed. At least not in time for them to get away. They continued on their journey.
"Does anybody else know you're gay?" Ariana asked.
"Yeah, I just told my mom recently. She didn't have much to say about it."
"I bet." Ariana laughed. Jet smiled.
"We should be able to escape this hell before sunrise." Jet said. Ariana had no idea what he had up his sleeve but he sounded confident they would never have problems again. As they stepped closer to freedom, the search began.........
The phone rang at the Dollher house. Donna in her bed answered seeing it was her daughter.
"Hey sweetie." She answered.
"Hey mom. How's soberness going."
"Well good except I drank one beer today."
"Hey, that's not to bad."
"You're brother wouldn't agree."
"Did you tell him he's going to be an uncle?"
"No not yet."
"Go tell him!"
"What if he's sleeping?"
"He'll be just fine once he hears the news. You can blame me. Please!"
"Okay dear. Hold on." Donna got up out of bed and headed to Jets room. She politely knocked on the door. There was no answer. She knocked once more before intruding into her sonless room. Her heart dropped instantly.
"What the hell?"
"Mom? What's wrong?" Daisy asked nervously.
"Your brother ran away. He left a note."
"I'm coming over don't read anything till I get there."
"Okay. Hurry." Daisy hung up the phone and informed Jackson of the news. He asked if he should go with her but she insisted she go alone. Her mother was going to be a mess she had a feeling. She gave him a kiss and headed out the door. She used Jacksons car and drove down the street to her mothers. She rushed inside and joined her mother on her brothers bed.
"You read it out loud. He left a picture of you two."
"Okay. " She began to read out loud.
I am sorry to say goodbye. But it is time I must do so. There is only one way to escape the torment I see in my head and it's a hard road to come by. We all must walk this road. The road to freedom. Daisy, my only sibling. For a bit of brightness, you were right, I am gay. But now for the torment. Take a look at the picture. If you think hard enough you will remember dad sexually abusing you on that blue couch, as crazy as it sounds I've been having flashbacks of it in my sleep. I want you to know I love you and wish dad would haven ever torn us up because maybe we'd be somewhat normal. I wrote a poem to explain where I'm going it may sadden you so be prepared.
Love you all.
Daisy broke down in tears looking at the picture.
"It did happen mom." She remembered being sexually abused by her own father. Donna and Daisy were crying so hard they couldn't read the poem at that time. Ron intruded once he heard crying.
"What did the note say." He wrapped his arms around both of them hoping to comfort them.
"He ran away. It doesn’t say where. It kind of sounds like suicide."
"Jet wouldn't do that. " Ron insisted.
"Whatever Ron. He's messed up. Bet you didn't know he's gay. He's had it hard. He saw mom get beat." Daisy stated.
"Well even though he saw those things, surely that isn't enough to end your own life." Ron reapproached. Daisy starred at him with a death glare.
"He watched my father rape me on a couch while he was strapped in a car seat when we were just kids. Is that enough? Kids bullied him everyday of his fucking life. Call the cops Ron." Daisy cried even more.
"Okay. I'll call the police." Ron walked into the other room and dialed the police station.
"What's the emergency?"
"I'd like to report a missing teen. His names Jet Springsley."
"He wouldn't happen to be friends with Ariana Schmitt would he?"
"Yes. I believe that's the girl he's been having a friendship with. Why is this a concern?"
"Ariana has also been reported missing. Supposedly a neighbor saw her and Jet heading toward Oak Woods not to long ago. Were sending cops and a canine out that way as we speak sir."
"Okay, thank you. Let me know if you find anything."
"Will do sir. Have a good night."
"You too." Ron hung up the phone. Donna and Daisy walked out of Jets room.
"Well, what did they say?" Donna asked.
"Ariana is missing too. They were seen heading toward oak woods they are sending a canine out there they will call us if anything comes up."
"At least he's not alone." Daisy said.
For the next two hours they waited for a phone call from the police. Finally there was a knock on the door. Ron jumped up and answered it. Donna and Daisy gathered behind him hoping Jet would be on the other side. But he wasn't. It was officer Roots and the look he had on his face was a definite sign of bad news.
"Can I come in?" The officer asked.
"Yes come in." Ron stood to the side and held the door open for him. The officer took a breath and laid three pictures on the table of Ron’s blue pocket knife. It was glazed in blood.
"Do you recognize this knife?"
"Yes. That's one of my knives. What happened?" Ron asked.
"Well, we believe Jet used this knife in the murder of Roger Hemptstun Just an hour or so ago. They stashed his body in a bush, a few feet further the retrieved the knife."
"This is crazy? My boy killed a kid?" Donna asked. She was in shock.
"I'm going home! My brothers probably dead." Daisy cried, running out to the car. She sped back home and parked in the drive. She sat alone for a moment to catch her breath. She didn't know how she was going to tell Jackson.
She entered the house still upset but she managed to hold back her tears. When she woke Jackson he could tell something was wrong. Her eyes were bloodshot and her make up was smeared.
"So, what's going on dear?" He asked pulling her into his arms.
"Well, my father sexually assaulted me as a child. I had forgotten all these years. Somehow Jet remembered."
"I'm sorry dear. You're much better than your father. I'll help you through this." He wiped her tears she had dripping down her cheek. Something about Jackson calmed Daisy and made everything seem better.
"Jet also ran away. He'll probably never be back"
"They'll find him."
"He left a note. If you ask me he's already dead. He took a girl from his class with him."
"But, that isn't all. Roger Hempstun the superintendent of the high schools son, was found dead. His throat was slashed."
"They think Jet did it?"
"He used my step dads knife to do it! They found it right by the body! If only he would have known he was going to be an uncle. Maybe he would have had hope." Daisy covered her face and leaned into Jackson’s arms. She let it all out.
Several minutes past before she could stop crying.
"Okay, I'm better. I just got to stay positive for the baby."
"Just breathe." Jackson said. He held her and rocked her. He could only imagine how she felt.
"I love you." Daisy said.
"I love you. In the morning we'll go to your moms and hopefully everything is figured out. Lets try and get some sleep." Jackson shut off the light. After a moment of lying awake in the silence. They both drifted off to sleep.
Two miles away it had reached three AM. Jet led Ariana through the woods and onto a railroad track.
"Are you sure you know where you're going?" Ariana asked. She felt tired.
"Yes. Not much farther." A train blew its horn in the distance. It was still miles away.
"Maybe we should turn ourselves in. I'll even say I did it." Jet turned around and took his extra shirt off. He winded it up and tossed it around his shoulders. He grabbed Arianas hands gently.
"Trust me. You don't want to go back there. All the torment. It isn't worth it. Why deal with it if you don't have to?" Jets eyes were hypnotizing to Ariana. Her tiredness and nervous love wrecked mind swept her off her feet. Jet caught her and slid his feet behind her to keep her stable. She found her balance. Jets breath reflected off her neck. Her head filled with romance.
"I love you." She said.
"I love you. Are you ready to be free?"
"Yes." Her last words echoed through the night. Jet flung his tight shirt around her throat and squeezed her for dear life. He knew at this point there was no turning back. He laid her down to the ground on the tracks gently as she slept at peace.
Ahead of him came a light. He sat on the railroad track waiting for the angels to take him away. The vibration steadily shook the ground below him as he held Ariana in his arms. With the sounds of the horns, Jet and Ariana were free.
The next morning Jackson and Daisy arrived at Donnas house. Ron made coffee and they all sat patiently at the kitchen table. They waited for a knock on the door or even a phone call.
"God help me and bring my boy home. I promise I'll never drink again." Donna cried. She was a mess. Daisy held her hand for comfort.
Finally the knock came to the door they had been waiting for. The family jumped up and answered it together.
"Can we talk?" An officer asked standing outside the door.
"Yes. Come in." Donna replied. She was nervous seeing he was alone. They all felt bad news as he stood before them.
"It's hard for me to tell all of you this." The officer wiped a tear that dripped out of his eye.
"He's dead isn't he?" Donna asked.
"Yes. Ariana and Jet both jumped in front of an on-coming train. We were lucky we were able to identify the bodies. We could tell they were male and female but if it weren't for the engineers description we wouldn't have known."
"Well. Thank you." Ron said leading the officer out the door.
"Wait. Take this. It's a note from Ariana. Give it to her parents." The officer grabbed the note and nodded.
"I'm sorry. Take care." The officer exited the house and drove away. He headed across town to tell Arianas mother and step father. The mother was in complete sadness. The officer handed her the note. She read it. Suddenly she began punching and smacking her boyfriend.
"This is your fault!" She screamed. The officer seperated the couple.
"I'm done with him. Get him out of my life. He's an abusive drunk."
"We'll help you take care of that ma'am. For now let's take care of your daughter."
Officers finished there duty. Medics cleaned up the mess on the railroad. It was tragedy. It was going to take a lifetime of healing for the ones who were touched by this to get back on track.
Days later the funeral began. White doves sang above them. Daisy stood up to read the poem her brother had wrote. She was able to hold back her tears long enough to read the whole thing. Everybody looked at her with much confidence. She was so strong. Everybody lended there ears in respect.
"Hello everybody. Jet was my little brother and I'm going to miss him dearly. He wasn't treated right growing up and it resulted in a tragedy. So I ask for you all to respect everybody around you. In hopes something like this doesn't happen to you, because it could if things don't change. He wrote this poem and it inspired me. I'm going to read to you all. She cleared her throat and began to read:
The long road to freedom
Your life till your death
How long will you suffer
Till your dying breath
Walk your road
Whether it be true freedom or not
Don't bring others down
They will disappear
All that you hated
You're wishing were here
The long road to freedom
Is wherever you go
The more free you feel
The more you will grow
My road was cut short
It's so sad to say
The long road to freedom
Can't be walked in one day.
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