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Date Posted: 10:44:46 03/03/22 Thu
Author: Comicality
Subject: (Part Four)
In reply to: Comicality 's message, "(S) "My Only Escape" Finale (Part Two)" on 10:34:43 03/03/22 Thu



"My Only Escape 40"





While under observation in the hospital, I did eventually have to tell my mom about what happened. I actually thought that I was softening the blow by holding back on a bunch of the details. I mean, there was no way that I could EVER tell her the full story of what really happened, day after day, year after year, while she wasn't there. I couldn't break her heart like that. Trust me...if she knew it all, she wouldn't be able to handle it. I doubt anybody could. It's best to just leave certain things unsaid...you know? Still...she cried sooooo much. She held me tight and stayed right by my side for an entire week without budging. I felt bad for making her take time off of work, and for making her suffer like this. My mom is awesome. She deserves to be happy. That's all I ever wanted for her. Not the daily chore of feeling sorry for a piece of garbage like me.



Wait...sorry. I should stop thinking of myself that way. Old habits die hard, I guess.



I had to give a detailed statement on my father's abuse. I think that was the hardest part. It took a lot of tears and a few boxes worth of tissues...but the more I allowed myself to say, the more the suffocating weight of it all seemed to be lifted from my shoulders. I just...I didn't even realize how much I was holding back until I started letting it all come out. It was a release. An orgasm for my soul.



Eventually, I was all checked out and knew that I'd be able to go home again in a day or two. Heh...fancy that. I finally duked it out with my old man, and he wasn't as much of deadly 'threat' as I thought he'd be. Had I been eighteen, I probably would have put him in this hospital bed instead of me. It's kind of funny when you think about it. What a punk.



Brody came to see me, and had to fight back tears the whole time when he saw my eye. But it'll heal in time. And luckily my dad didn't break my nose when he punched me. So that wasn't even an issue. Still, as ugly as I looked at that moment...Brody hugged me close and kissed me on the cheek as if there was nothing wrong with me at all. It's so easy to get swept up in his love all over again.



"You look like a total badass right now, you know that?" He said.



"Hehehe! Really? Is it the hospital bed and gown that opens in the back? Or is it the black eye?" I joked.



"Both, actually." He smiled.



"I'm so ugly right now..."



"Dude, stop that. I told you...you're not ugly. You've never been ugly." He smiled, lightly running his fingers through my hair. "That is a massive shiner you've got going there, though. Hehehe!"



"Well....you should see the other guy."



"Yeah? Do you kick his ass?" Brody asked with a grin.



"Ummm...no. Not hardly. But I'm pretty sure that I made him question his anger management issues." I chuckled.



Brody said, "Whatever. We'll see how he handles his anger management issues in jail with people who are more than willing to put his stupid ass in check." He then gave me a concerned look, and he said, "Zack...I'm so sorry that I didn't...that we didn't..."



"No!" I interrupted him. "None of this was your fault. Ok? And it wasn't mine either. I totally understand that now. I just...I needed you to teach me something about myself that I didn't know before."



A bit confused, Brody asked, "What was that?"



"That...being able to function without totally hating myself...isn't the same as loving myself." I said. "That wishes can come true. And that it's nearly impossible to love somebody else...when you don't feel worthy of it."



Brody smiled, and took a hold of my hand as he bent down to give me a sweet kiss on the lips. His shaky voice saying, "Cool..." As he sniffled and tried to fight back the tears in his eyes.



"Brody? You know...there's nothing that I would love more than to tell you that...all of 'this' was over and done with. That I could just move on from here and everything will be ok. But I don't want to lie to you." I told him. "I still don't feel ok. I....I don't know if I'll ever feel ok."



A tear rolled down Brody's cheek and he said, "You're still a perfect beauty to me, Zack. Promise. We've got all the time in the world."



"Cool..." I said, with a sniffle of my own. "I just want you to know who I am. You know, before make the big mistake of taking on the burden of being my boyfriend. You know what your mom said...about 'broken people'. I definitely fall into that category."



"No problem. I'll take it." He grinned. "I know eactly who you are. And I love you...'Aiden', hehehe!"



"UGH!!! Don't call me by my middle name! I hate it!" I cringed from the very mention of it.



"Come on! I think it's CUTE! What's your beef with the name 'Aiden' anyway?"



"It's..." I paused for a second, looking away from him before realizing that I might as well go for broke. "It's my dad's middle name. It's one of the few things that he ever gave me that won't ever go away. You know? I guess I'm just being stupid, but..."



"No. No way. I get it. I'm sorry." Brody said. "Honestly. I won't say it ever again."



But after a brief pause, I smiled at him. "It's alright. Honestly? It sounds kinda cute when you say it. Maybe I'll learn to like it a bit more. You know...so I can own it." That caused Brody to lean in and kiss me again, just as there was a knock at the door. That's when I saw Adam walk in to come and check up on me as well.



"You guys partying without me? What's that about?" He said, and moved over to give me a tight hug. "When are they gonna let you bounce out of here, Zack?"



"Another day or two at the most. They're looking for any bone fractures around my eye or in my nose. But I feel fine." I said.



"Well, you look like a total badass right now." Adam said.



And Brody was like, "RIGHT??? That's what I said!"



"You two...seriously..." I groaned.



Adam said, "I was going to come with Sam, but you know...his parents don't want anything to do with this...ummm...kinda thing. So...you know what that means."



"That Sam is gonna sneak out of the house, dive in the bushes, and probably ditch school to come and see me anyway?" I said.



"Obviously." He replied, and we all shared a few giggles over it.



"Thanks, guys. It means a lo to have you here with me right now. You have no idea." I said, and both Brody and Adam moved in to give me a hug.



A few days later, I was able to come home. My mom hugs and kisses me more than what I would consider comfortable for a teenage boy, hehehe...but I try not to fight her off too much. After all, a few kisses from Mommy feel good every now and then. I doubt I'll ever outgrow that.



She let me stay home for about a week, and Brody, Sam, and Adam, all came over on a daily basis to keep me company. We even had a sleepover on Saturday where we all played video games until we were too tired to stay awake any longer. And my father wasn't even an issue. I'm sure they were all curious, but they didn't bring it up. At least not when I was around. Chances are, his court case and all wasn't going to come up for months, and with my testimony alone, he was sure to do some hard time in prison. He won't be locked up forever. Probably not even for as long as the pain and the suffering that he put me through. But for now...he's out of my life. He's out of my mom's life. And maybe we can begin to heal ourselves without him constantly re-opening the wounds that he created for the both of us. Only time will tell, right?



At long last...I had to go back to school.



The whispers were deafening. Honestly. Nothing spreads faster than high school gossip. I just had to keep my head down and try not to let my paranoia get the best of me. Even with a slight discoloration of my black eye still lingering as I navigated my way from class to class. Ugh! So embarrassing!



But then...as I was waiting for the bell in my English class...something really odd happened.



The bell rang, and all of the students got up to gather their stuff and walk out. Me included, of course. But Mr Raffe called out to me before I could leave. "Zack? Stick around for a moment, will you? I want to talk to you."



Immediately, I felt my heart sink down into my stomach. I was already walking around with a black eye and an entire rumor society talking behind my back. The last thing that I needed was another flurry of insults and criticisms from Mr. Raffe. But...he's a teacher. What am I going to do? Say no? I don't think that's an option.



"Yes?" I said meekly as I approached his desk.



He reached into his drawer and pulled out the story that I had written for the last assignment, holding it in a way where I couldn't see any of the type on it. "I want to talk to you about the last story you wrote and handed in for you finished project." He said.



I looked down at my shoes, sighing out loud and preparing myself for the usual storm of highly emotional unfair criticism that I was so used to getting from him. He hated it, didn't he? He hates everything that I write. It's like he has some sort of stupid vendetta against me, where he feels the need to nitpick and totally destroy every emotion that I put out there for other people to see. Does he have any idea how HARD it was for me to write that? To expose myself to someone who will probably never understand what I've been through?



I didn't want to hear it. I really didn't. I wrote my own story, with my own voice...and I did it my way. If he doesn't like it, the he can just fuck off. I'm done trying to play the court jester for people who just don't seem to care!



I told him, "I know it's different, ok? I just...it's whatever. I'll do better next time. I don't want my grades to drop, but I wanted to write this particular story in a way that felt...you know...real."



Mr. Raffe gave me a look, and he asked, "What grade do you think I gave you on this story, Zack? Be honest."



I shrugged. "I don't know. A 'C'...maybe a 'C+'...if I'm lucky."



He hesitated for a moment, and then handed me the papers for me to look at fo myself.



I actually rubbed my eyes with the back of my hand because I thought that I wasn't reading it right. It took me a second or two to focus, and...right there...in red ink...was my grade.



A+



I was so confused. I furrowed my brow for a moment, and I said, "I don't...I don't understand."



Mr. Raffe sat forward in his chair, and he said, "THIS is it. THIS is exactly what I've been looking for when it comes to your writing, Zack. This story right here? It's phenomenal."



"It...it is?" I mumbled. Looking down at the A+ grade on the paper again.



"Zack...from the very start of this semester, I saw greatness in you. You have a talent and a passion that can't be faked. Not by anybody. A one of a kind artist that I always felt could carry you to places that most people will never ever go. And that includes me." He said. "But you always hold back. You pander to your teachers and to your audience and focus on what they want to hear as opposed to what you want to say. And what you want to say...I think it's amazing." I felt a lump growing in the back of my throat, but Mr. Raffe has been my number one enemy for so long that I refused to let the emotion show. "This is you, Zack. I can 'feel' you in this story. And if you keep writing literature of this caliber in the future, then I'll know that I've done my job. And I'll proudly applaud everything that you have to offer from this point on." He stood up and put his hand on my shoulder as I began to breathe hard and accidentally let a few tears roll down my cheeks as I tried to even process all of this. "In twenty two years of teaching...I can't say that I've ever read anything more engaging, and more emotional, from any of my students...than I did in this project of yours. This is where you need to be, Zack. Stop holding back. You are capable of such wonders. Write it down. And be the writer that I know you were meant to be."



"Th-th-thank you...Mr. Raffe..." I sniffled.


"You always had the talent kid. I was just trying to bring it out of you. And I can say, without a doubt...that you truly impressed me. You're one hell of a writer."



Crying a bit more heavily now, I held the papers up against my chest, and I sobbed..."I thought I'd be lucky to get away with a 'C' on this story..."



And as I sniffled and wiped my eyes, Mr. Raffe said, "Just a 'C', huh? Heh, you did much better than that. But who knows? Maybe you can take the 'C' and make it mean something when you're older. Use it as a pen name on the internet or something. Make it a symbol. Something you can be proud of." He sat back down and started gathering up his stuff too. I guess to go home for the day. "Make it count, Zack. You've got a voice now. Don't take it for granted."



When I left his classroom, I started panting as though I was having a panic attack of some sort. I felt disoriented and confused. I had to hurry into a nearby boy's bathroom to collect myself. I kept looking at the printed out papers in my arms. My whole life...my pain...my suffering...and it had Mr. Raffe's A+ grade on it. I almost couldn't handle the emotional weight of it. I had to hold on to the sink to keep myself standing. And when I looked in the mirror...I felt like I was actually seeing 'me' for the first time.



I...I won. I beat him. His voice is still in the back of my mind but...I figured out his trick now.



I'm worthy. I'm sane. And I am loved.



So loved.



I never thought I'd be standing here...looking at my own reflection...and be satisfied with what I saw looking back at me. It's...beautiful. Dear God...it's so beautiful.



I think I missed half of my next class just crying alone in that bathroom, but it freed up so much energy for me to go on with the rest of my day. It really did.



When the final bell rang, Sam and Adam and Brody all came to meet me at my locker and we all walked outside to go home for the day. But when they saw my mom's car waiting for me, Adam gave me a wink, and said, "You guys go on ahead. We'll be fine."



Sam said, "Wait! I wanna ride home too! I call shotgun!" But Adam elbowed him roughly in the side. "Owwww!"



"Really, dude? C'mon, Sam!" Adam said, and they stayed behind while Brody and I held hands on our way to the car.



My mom's been a little over protective lately, but a free ride home isn't something that I'm going to complain about. I hopped in the front passenger seat while Brody hopped in the back. "Mom...I want you to meet Brody." I said.



She grinned, and said, "I know who Brody is! Don't be goofy!"



But...I reached back to retake a hold of Brody's hand, and I pulled it to my lips to give it a gentle kiss. Hehehe, I think Brody was a bit shocked at first, displaying that cute blush of his that I loved so much. And, as always...I found it extremely contagious, adopting a blush of my own. "No, Mom...like...I want you to really meet Brody..." I didn't say much else, but I think she got the message from the way her eyes widened. Followed by one of the biggest smiles I've ever seen decorate her face.



"My oh my!" She said. "Pleased to meet you, Brody! For the first time...again." Causing us all to giggle before she put the car in gear and started to drive away, with Sam and Adam waving at us from the school steps. The radio was playing Stevie Wonder's 'For Once In My Life' again, and my mom turned up the volume. "LOVE this song! Zack does too! You should see him dance!"



"MOM!!!" Ugh...can parents be any MORE embarrassing?



"I would love to see Zack dance to this song! That's definitely a viral candidate for Tiktok! Hehehe!" Brody said, leaning in to give me a kiss on the cheek.



"Get out of here! Go away!" I said, but I couldn't have been any happier. This is life. Life without pain. Life without him. And as I felt the sun shining down on my face through the car window, with my loving mother, and my first and forever boyfriend...I finally felt at peace.



I have a whole life ahead of me. A future. And even after being trapped for so very long...I found my escape. My only escape. And I'm never going to take this freedom for granted ever again.



Why should I?



Life is Heaven...and I found my angel. I don't need anything more.



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