I slept until 11:00 on Saturday, because I can. I got out of bed and went downstairs to see what the family was up to. My mom was in the kitchen washing up some dishes and told me I should go find my dad in the yard and say “hi”. I decided to have a bowl of Cheerios instead.
I’ve never spoke of the abuse I’ve received from my father to anyone, but it’s pretty obvious to my mom and sister, that I don’t care to much for him. They never ask why, so maybe they know something. I’m petty close with both of them, so it’s kind of surprising, in a way, that they don’t try to figure out why. It could be a family secret, buried so deep, because no one wants to admit it’s real. Or maybe the shame is overwhelming. Or maybe if it was exposed, it would destroy the family as we know it. All I know is, it’s my burden, I alone wear the scars and am left to ask the unanswered question, why me?
As I sat there eating my cereal, zoning out, my mom was rambling on about a bunch of stuff I couldn’t be bothered to listen too. That is, until she looked at me as if she was expecting an answer.
She repeated, visibly annoyed, “I said, while your sister and I are out, do you need anything from Target or Costco?”
“Umm…I don’t know.”
“Well, we are leaving in about an hour, so if you think of anything, please let me know.”
As she started leaving the room, I said “You know mom, maybe I should get a cell phone.”
“Really? I’ve been waiting for you to ask for one for a long time now. I’m not against it, but do you think you’d use it?”
“Well, yeah. I mean…it’d be good for emergencies, right? And, it’s like, everybody I know has one.”
“Well, your sister is due for a free upgrade, so maybe you can have her old phone and we can add a line. We’ll stop by AT&T when we go out today.”
I ran back upstairs and got cleaned up and dressed. Then I sent Kayla an email, telling her to meet me by the thinking tree in two hours. A cell phone would be a lot easier…
The most important thing I learned in my talk with my mom, was that I was going to be home alone with my dad, in a little while. Since the incident from over two years ago, I have not been home alone with my dad once. It’s not worth the risk. If he’s the only one home, I’ll go sit in the woods, until my sister or mom get back.
I stuffed some supplies in my backpack and headed out the sliding door. I decided to scope out the scene around the farm, from a distance. Without getting too close, I surveyed the area around the house with binoculars. I looked for areas to run to and hide. I looked for different ways to run away, if we got chased. I ran out of things to look for and think about pretty fast, so I found a spot in the tall grass, and laid down, looking into the sky. I reached for my ipod and popped in my earbuds. Then I closed my eyes and let The Notwist take me to another place.
After about an hour, I walked back to wait for Kayla to show up. After some more, sitting and waiting, Kayla snuck up behind me and poked me in the ribs with a “boo!” I jumped about a mile and let out a high-pitched “yelp!”
“What the hell? Shit ass!” I protested.
“Haha! Shit ass?” Kayla shot back, doubled over in laughter.
“Yes. Shit ass!”
“Ok. Whatever dick four.”
“Dick four? What’s a dick four?” As soon as I said it, I got it. Just a little too late. Kayla erupted with another round of laughter, that didn’t slow down one bit, even as I tackled her to the ground to get even with a playful wrestling match. We rolled around a bit, before settling side by side on our backs.
“You bring all the supplies?” I asked.
“Yup. Why did we meet here and not your house?” Kayla quizzed back.
“Long story. Anyway, let’s soldier up.”
I could tell Kayla wasn’t satisfied with my answer, but for the time being, she was going to let it slide. We did have a mission to prepare for, after all.
“Ok soldier boy, here is your outfit, complete with a hat.”
“Holy shit! How big is your dad? I could pull these pants up to my chin. Maybe we should just wear the jackets…and the hats.”
I did pull the pants on for fun, and I did tug them up to my armpits. We both laughed and agreed to ditch the pants.
After we were dressed and set to go, Kayla pulled out her phone and put her head against mine. “Say cheese” she said, snapping off a pic of us together in these obnoxious hats.
“There. Now I finally have a picture of you.”
“Can I see? Cool. Can you email me that? Then I’d have a picture of you too.”
“Sure” Kayla replied, smiling widely. “Can I say something, and you won’t get mad?”
“Umm…yeah. I’ll try.”
“Oh thanks. It’s nothing bad” she said while examining the picture on her phone.
“What is it?”
“Well…Daniel. You’re really pretty.”
“No. No. I told you, don’t get mad. It’s just you’re features. Long eye lashes. Little nose. Big, full lips. Soft skin. You’ve got everything all girls want. With your long hair, it almost looks like this could be two girls.”
I had to admit what she was saying, was making me more sad than angry. I motioned to turn and look down at the ground, not sure how to react.
Kayla reached her hand out to me and spun me, facing her again. She lifted my chin and said “hey. I’m sorry. I truly wasn’t trying to be mean. Daniel, you are gorgeous. I love how you look.” Then she pulled my body tight into hers and placed one of her hands on my hip, and said “anyway, I know you’re all boy” as she kissed me and lowered her hand, pushing my boy parts into her soft body. After a minute, there was no doubt what she said was true. I am all boy.
Just about the time I was ready to scrap the mission and learn more about sexual education, she broke our embrace and said its time to go. I reluctantly agreed, and we headed for the tall grass.