Ruined The Hazed Series Book Three (Chapter One)
“Things will be different from here out,” my mother said for the millionth time. I rolled my eyes and slumped in the leather seat. Trees were blurring past us on the windy road as we drove further from town. Her coddling is suffocating.
“You told me,” I sighed, throwing my arms across my chest.
“You remember everything we talked about last night?”
I looked at her, brows raised. How would I forget she signed everything my father owned over to me? “Got it.”
“Don’t abuse it. I would be partial. When you’re older, you’ll be fair. You’ll do what needs to be done. You’ll always be taken care of and it’s your job to make sure everyone else is.”
“We’re here,” she said, turning the wheel. Using my elbows, I pushed up, looking out the window. People in their yards were watching as we drove down the narrow path. I guess it wasn’t every day that a car like ours drove through this shit-hole trailer park.
“Where’s here?” I asked, stuttering.
“This is where your father is staying for now. I’m sure it’ll get worked out and he’ll move soon,” she said, smiling reassuringly.
“Did you take all his money in the divorce?” I asked, confused.
“No, honey. This isn’t something a boy should be concerned about.”
“Why aren’t his parent’s helping him?” I asked, staring wide-eyed as she parked.
“He has to do this on his own, Hayze.”
She handed me my backpack, patting my shoulder. Slowly, I opened the door and slung the bag over one shoulder. Looking at the grimy trailer in front of me, I cringed.
“I’m sleeping here tonight?” I asked, hoping I’d heard her wrong.
She nodded. “It’ll be fine. Call if you need anything.”
I watched as she backed the shiny, black Suburban out of the cracking drive-way and drove away. I picked up a rock, and it hurled it in her direction. “I’m calling C.P.S.!”
Groaning, I turned to the house. I kicked the same, small, grey rock until I reach the rotten steps. Tugging my bag up, I walked up and knocked on the door.
When it opened, my dad wasn’t on the other side. Some girl with long, blonde hair was staring at me. I studied her for a moment; something about her was familiar. She had the same shape of my face and the color of my eyes. Annoyed, I shoved past her.
“Where’s my dad?” I asked. I saw him sitting on an old sofa next to an older lady.
“Well, look who it is. My favorite child,” he said, laughing. He didn’t bother getting up. The lady on the couch watched me with amusement. The girl behind me, shoved the door closed and stormed beside me.
“What’s going on?” I asked, looking between the three.
“Meet your sister,” my dad said, pointing to the girl beside me.
I looked at her, disgusted. “Step-sister? You got married?” I asked, looking around the place. He had left my mother and I, and not to mention our lifestyle, for these people.
He laughed ever harder this time and the woman beside him joined in. “No, you have a sister and two little brothers. That’s why your mom and I aren’t together anymore… Well, that and other things.”
“You cheated on mom?” My jaw hit the floor.
“Everyone cheats, boy. Don’t even bother gettin’ married. Just find a new one every night.”
The lady beside him gasped. “That’s all over now.”
“I’m not staying in this dump!” I ran to the door, finding that my mother was long gone. I had hoped she came back just in case. Surely she didn’t know what she was leaving me in.
“Don’t come in here insultin’ my new family,” my father said.
I had never been this angry before. I wanted to punch all of them in the face. I wanted them to feel a portion of the pain I felt right now.
“They aren’t your family! Mom and I are!
He nodded, “They are my family. They’re yours too, now.”
I shook my head, angry. “No, they aren’t. We need to leave! Wake up and come home! You’ve kept them hidden out! You’re obviously embarrassed by them!”
“Hey!” The girl, my sister, yelled at me.
“I don’t blame him,” I said, looking straight at her.
Before that moment I’d never felt pain. My mother wouldn’t allow me to be disciplined. So, I didn’t know what it would even feel like. As soon as my father’s fist connected with my face, I knew pain. I stumbled backward, trying to keep my conscious. I held the side of my face with surprise. Maybe I was out of line with what I said, but he shouldn’t have done that.
You can’t tell your son you have families he doesn’t know about, then punch him if he reacts badly. He looked at me, smiling. The closer he got to me, the more I could smell alcohol and something else. Something weird I’d never smelled before. He shoved me once and I scrambled on the ground.
“Get up. You said all that shit, now be a man,” he said.
I cowered on the floor, covering my head as he kicked my side. I didn’t care if my mom was outside or not, I sprinted to the door. I yanked it open and flew down the steps and out of the trailer park.
I wasn’t going back to that place, but I wasn’t going home. I walked along the two-lane road, hoping someone would pick me up. I had no such luck.
I don’t have many friends to call, just Joel if that’s what you would call him. For some reason, most kids aren’t allowed to hang out with me. I know my dad has been in some trouble, but that isn’t my fault.
Sighing, I grabbed my flip-phone from my backpack and dialed Joel’s number. He answered on the second ring. “I need you to steal your mom’s car and come get me.”
I liked his mom, but I didn’t want her to see me like this. She would run off and call my mom. I knew my face was swelling. I could feel it growing by the second.
Like always he laughed and agreed. He didn’t need a reason. He liked getting in trouble; hanging out with him would probably be my downfall, but sometimes he was the only one I could turn to.
My lungs were on fire. I studied at the burning, orange tip, flicking it as I took my mind off the pain. I knew my face was turning red as laughter rippled through my douchebag friend. He had to be playing a trick on me. No one did this for fun.
I exhaled, a thick cloud of smoke billowed from my lungs. I sat back on the couch, instantly feeling different. The grey cloud that hung over me before was lifted. When I thought of what happened before, I could only laugh.
“That motherfucker hit me again,” I said.
Joel smirked, leaning up, he took the small joint from my hand. “Maybe you aren’t his after all.”
Briefly, I thought about what it would feel like to hit him. But that didn’t last, I shrugged my shoulders, playing it off. I was too relaxed to care.
“When did you start doing this?” I asked, my head dropped back, looking at the ceiling.
“With my cousins a couple of months ago,” he said, choking on his words. “You think you like this, just wait.”
I wasn’t doing anything else. I wouldn’t turn out like my father. “Nah, man, I’m good.”
It was painfully quiet for a few minutes before I heard him release his breath, sending more smoke into his small room. “You have a sister now?”
“I’ve always had a sister. I just didn’t know,” I said, annoyed.
“Is she hot?”
I tore my eyes from the ceiling, giving him the finger. “No, she’s a bitch.”
She stole my father. Of course I hated her. It didn’t help that she looked like a freak. I kept her a secret for years, but she was moving here next year, and all of my friends would know we were related. I told Joel tonight because he was becoming someone I talked to. He always found humor in everything, which helped. And he was more screwed-up than I was. I guess around here you’re either fucked-up or headed that way.
The sensation had worn off, leaving me pissed. If only a hit of a joint could make me feel better, imagine what harder things could make me feel.
“Maybe sometime I could give that other stuff a try,” I said quietly. His parents were in the house, and we didn’t need them barging in here.
His mouth curved into a smile. You would think I’d just made a deal with the devil himself as he nodded his head in agreement. I could give it a try. One time wouldn’t hurt. I wouldn’t get addicted. I wouldn’t turn out like my dad. I just needed something to turn to when my dad did shit like this.
I rubbed the side of my face, cringing. I told my mom I ran into the door, and she believed me. Her asshole husband that just moved in told her I was in a fight. She didn’t believe him, but she didn’t know the truth. She didn’t need to.
This would be the last year of my high school career, and I was done with all of them. I didn’t need them. They only caused me problems. My dad with his girlfriends and kids scattered around the country, my mom that insisted she married the first asshole that she brought home. I didn’t need them anymore. And I was about to find something to make my last year with them bearable.