The sound of birds chirping outside my window wakes me from my deep sleep. I sit up and stretch while yawning, today is going to be a good day. I stand up and walk to my dresser to look in the small mirror there. My hair has just started turning grey but it’s still mostly brown. I ruffle my hair around to try to get rid of the bed head and then walk away. I walk out my bedroom door and toward the bathroom. After relieving myself I walk over in front of the big mirror and look at my bare chest. I have a scar across my chest from my right shoulder that almost reaches to my left hip. I brush my fingers along it and smile at the memories that it gives me. When I was younger my father would beat me until I was almost dead and then have my mother nurse me back to health so he could do it again. I know it seems weird to be smiling about something like that but when I touch my scars I’m not reminded of my father’s harshness but of my mother’s soft touch as she gently put bandages over all of the now formed scars. Both of my parents died in a tragic house fire which also makes me happy because now I can be my own person without having them prying into my life.
I live in a house that is in the middle of nowhere which is perfect because I don’t have to worry about any neighbors and I don’t have to make any friends. I live by myself here or at least I did live by myself up until two years ago. I found a homeless teenager wandering down an alley about two years ago and I felt so bad for him so I decided to take him in and give him some shelter. He actually lives in my basement because I don’t want him up in the main house messing with any of my stuff. I walk down the stairs and into my study where all of my books are stacked perfectly in alphabetical order by author’s last name. I am very particular about how things are done in my house and that is yet another reason why I live mostly alone because I could not stand another person coming through and messing up all of my piles of books or other perfect stacks of items around my house.
I walk to a chest that is right in front of a door. The door leads to the basement, which is where my homeless teenager friend lives. I pick up the key from a dish that rests on top of the chest and turn around to the door. I fit the key into the lock and turn it, the lock clicks and I hear a satisfying clanging from the bottom of the stairs. I feel a smirk spread across my face as I start my descent. I stop half way down and grab a belt from the rack and run it through my hands before beginning to walk down the rest of the stairs. The boy is sitting there with his head bowed not daring to look up and it makes me smile even wider.
“Good morning, brat!” I greet him. He jumps at my harsh voice and keeps his head bowed. I reach down and grab him by the hair, yanking his face up to look at me. “It’s polite to greet people when they greet you. Didn’t your parents teach you anything?” I spit at him. He flinches away from me but I grip his hair tighter. “You can’t get away from me. So stop trying.” I growl at him before dropping his head and kicking him in the side. He falls over holding his injured side and I kick him again before bringing the belt up and lashing it, watching as it cuts through his delicate skin and his blood runs. He doesn’t scream but there are tears flowing steadily down his face. “You’ve been going through this for two years. You would think that maybe you could just learn to grin and bear it. But no, you’re still just a crybaby.” I jeer. I bring the belt down five more times before I see him pass out. I kneel down in front of him and look at his face. “Well, he lasted longer than he has the other times, I wonder if he is getting used to it.” I comment. Suddenly, the boy’s eyes open and he stares sightlessly at the wall.
“Why didn’t you just finish me? Can’t you just kill me?” He asks quietly. I let out a breathy laugh and his eyes suddenly snap to mine and a grin splits his face. “Do you think this is funny, old man? What’s wrong? You can’t kill me? You want to know something?” He asks the grin on his face getting wider.
“What?” I ask genuinely curious. He crawls up to his knees and leans close to my ear.
“I can do it. I will kill you.” He whispers. I quickly jump away from him just as he passes out again. I cautiously approach him just to make sure that he won’t pop up again and he doesn’t so I quickly get to work letting him down from the chains and taking him up to my truck. My toy is broken now, and broken things need to be thrown away. I’m sure he’ll find Greenborough welcoming and fun with his new broken mind. I quickly grab my truck keys and run back outside. I look just to make sure that the boy is still in the bed of the truck before quickly starting the vehicle and starting the hour long drive to the asylum.
We get to the asylum and I quickly stop the vehicle and jump out of the cab. I grab the boy and hurry him inside, eager to get him out of my hands and somewhere secure where he can’t go through with his promise. I run up to the check-in window and barely see the nurse through the hand-print covered glass.
“We don’t treat fainting victims.” She tells me in a nasally voice. I look down at the boy and then back up at her.
“He’s not a fainting victim. He’s having a psychotic episode and he’s been having them for years. I’m afraid that one day he might kill me if one of his episodes goes too far.” I cry to the nurse. She takes one more look at him and sighs.
“Fine. We will take him for you. What is your relationship to him?” She asks.
“I’m his father.” I quickly answer her. The sound of pencil scraping against paper reaches my ears as she makes the kid’s check in papers.
“What is his name?” She asks. I have to think about this. I never learned his name.
“Xavier.” I tell her. She scribbles down the name and then the pencil drops and she walks out from behind the window to place a folder in a broken plastic holder. She looks at me still holding the boy and points to the ground.
“You can just lay him there. He’s going to go straight to isolation. If what you say is true he shouldn’t be around other patients until we’ve gotten him a bit under control. One of the nurses will be up to get him in a few minutes.” She tells me. I nod and basically drop the boy on the dirt covered ground, dust flies up everywhere and I all but run out the door of the hospital. I will not die today.