"This is the last time I'm going to tell you! Get up and get ready for school!," my mom yelled from down stairs at seven in the morning. "Right mom!, I responded."
I got up, half asleep, and stumbled my way to the bathroom. After opening the door I found, to my surprise, my only best friend, Tommy. After a quick yelp I noticed that he was stepping out of the shower, still fully dressed of course. "Whats up Nathan?," he asked. You looked tired."
Tommy had been my friend for a few months now, ever since we were roomed in a hospital together a few months back. Strange how fate works. We both were admitted on the same day and then discharged on the same day.
"I feel tired, but never mind that." I complained in a loud whisper. If my mother find you here we'll both be in trouble."
"Relax dude." He responded. I have been staying here, without your mother's knowledge for some time now ever since I ran away. You have been a good friend to me and I'm grateful for that, but at least have some faith in my ability to be discreet. Besides, I only wanted to stretch my legs a bit. Remember, I have sleeping in that cramped room of yours so I need the exorcise."
"Well you got a point." Agreeing with him. "Your skin is looking rather paler than usual. As a matter of fact. you've grown paler ever since our time in the hospital. It wouldn't hurt to a little sun once in a while."
"Perhaps," He whispered as looked at the bathroom mirror, rubbing his face." By the way you won't need to brush your teeth today."
"How did...," I began.
"I already did it for you while you were asleep." Tommy interrupted. Strange I know, but lately you've becomemore exhausted so I thought you needed a little extra sleep. Thats all. You didn't even budge as I rinsed out your mouth."
After a very uncomfortable moment I grew a little serious.
"Listen. Your concern for my health is touching, but I would prefer for you to be able to respect my personal space. Understand?"
Tommy didn't respond. He just kept staring into his reflection. He seemed to focus more on his pale hazel eyes than anything else. Another moment passed before looked at me and agreed.
I spent the next half an hour getting ready for school as Tommy stayed in my room looking at my homework. After a quick shower I got dressed and headed back to my room, drying my hair with a towel
"Tell me." I began. You don't go to school, yet you seem to know everything and your able to correct my mistakes. Whats you secret?"
"Uh...he paused. Internet. Students are not suppose to carry phones at school. I simply use yours to get the know how. Consider my way of saying thanks for giving me a place to sleep. When your sleeping or out at school etc I use it."
"Guess that explains it I suppose." I said while grabbing my book bag. Well got to go. Another boring day at school. Thank God it's Friday. We can catch a movie later or something."
"Yeah. Sounds like fun." He responded sadly.
"You alright Tommy? You seemed distracted. Something on you mind? We can do something else if you..."
"A movie sounds great."He interrupted with a forced smile. "Just bad memories is all. A movie could get me to cheer up a bit and take my mind off some things. See you after school Nathan. I'm really tired now. I think I'll get some sleep, but can you do me a favor?"
Before I could give an answer he asked me that in between classes I should stay in the boy's bathroom as much as possible and that I should even skip lunch break. For a moment I felt sadness and wasn't sure why. It seemed there was this empty feeling inside my chest that words couldn't explain. For a split moment I got the impression that his words were some sort of warning. In the end, with no more words between us, I decided to heed his words and went downstairs.
I went downstairs to catch a quick breakfast of some dry toast and orange juice with my mother. We both sat down at the table and gave me a scolding about how I should be more responsible by getting up earlier in the morning.
"Stop it already! I'm 17 years old and don't need a pep talk from you of all people. You didn't start acting like the good mother until dad..." I trailed off into silence. "Forget it. It's become harder to remember anything anymore and I want it to stay that way. So just go back to the way you were before. A miserable drunk who always...." Before I could say anymore she slapped me.
She tried to apologize, but before she could continue I ran out of the house and into the foggy bleak neighborhood with my bag.
Instead of waiting for the bus, as I normally did, I decided to walk the half mile to school instead. I didn't make my way passed a few houses before I got the sense I was being watched. Every few yards I would constantly looked behind me, occasionally catching a glimpse of a silhouette.
My fear, adrenaline, and heart rate kept increasing with each passing second. I still couldn't make out who it was through the fog, but got the feeling I knew him somehow. I just couldn't place it. What was more important was just who the hell was it and what did he or she want?
"Leave me alone!," I screamed and ran behind a random house and into the woods hoping I could the safe zone of the school. I knew this passage would take longer to reach my destination, but thought using the surroundings as a cover and throw my pursuer off.
I ran zig-zags through the trees, further into thefog of the woods, until my body wouldn't let me travel any further. I knew it would be risky, so I chose to take a breather on a tree that fell to the ground, that fell who knows how long ago.
I tried my best to slow my breathing in order to hear any sounds of foot steps crunching the dead leaves. I was a sitting duck for about five minuets until I felt recovered enough to move on. "I must have lost him." I thought to myself. I continued on walking this time just in case I needed to run again and the fates must have been kind to me because I reached the school without anymore trouble.
I arrived late so I headed to the principle's office in order to get a tardy slip so could be allowed to enter class. I had already decided to keep what happened earlier a secret. I never really was one to console to others unless it was my friend Tommy. He was the only I ever trusted anyway.
I sat there in class, not paying attention to the teacher. I only just sat there looking out the window as the fog would slowly disappear, due to the heat of the morning sunrise. It was nearly the end of class when I spotted a familiar face staring at from the teachers parking lot. It was my dad. He must have been the one following me.
Our eyes connected for a few moments, shock on my face as he kept staring intently at me.
The ring of the bell distracted me just long enough for me to look back, only to find that he was gone. I picked my bag up off the floor, hesitant to do anything else. I considered running out of the school and back into the woods and get home to tell my mother, but a flashback of what Tommy said made me heed his warning and rushed and pushed the other students aside. I was now in the bathroom alone.
I kept staring at myself in the mirror watching the sweat fall from my face. Moments pass until I heard complete silence. The students that roamed the hallway to get to their next class had ended. More time passes until I heard one of the stall doors open. Behind me, I saw my father emerge from the stall holding a blood covered bat along with fresh blood staining his clothes.
"Hey son. Been a while since we had a father son chat hasn't it?" I didn't say anything. "Come now Nathan. Is that anyway to act towards your old man?" I was still too stunned to speak. "Oh the blood. That must explain your silent demeanor towards me. I saw you leave for school this morning so I took the time to have a little chat with your mother. I needed money, but she turned me away. A shame to. She should have remembered her place."
I suddenly had more flashbacks, this time of dad always hitting me and my drunk mother.
"You...killed...mom?" I asked, stuttering my words.
"Don't think of it as killed. Just think of it as putting her to sleep," he grinned as he said it. "Now come here son. Don't you want to see her again? I'll take you to her. Just come here Nathan."
I thought about the last time I saw mom. I yelled at her. I said hateful things to her. I thought about how lately she tried to act as a loving one, but I just kept turning her away and I felt guilty for how I treated her.
I whispered the words, "I'm so sorry mother," under my breath.
"What was that Nathan? I didn't catch that."
I wiped the sweat and tears from my face and looked in his eyes.
"I bet your sorry ass wanted money for drugs!"
Anger filled his eyes as he rose his bat, prepared to strike me with it.
Instead of my mother, my last thoughts were of Tommy. Before the bat connected with my skull I closed my eyes for the last time, but the impact never came. I opened my eyes to find Tommy tackling my dad to the ground then trying to wrestle the bat away from him.
"Tommy?" I gasped. It was obvious he couldn't answer back.
The fight wasn't truly epic. Tommy and I had a similar build, so neither of us were especially strong, but with my dad being an addict with no fix, the playing ground was nearly even.
Punches were thrown back and forth, eventually taking it's toll on both of them. Next they both stood up grabbing each other, trying to ram one another into the walls all around the bathroom.
"Your bag! Open it up!" Tommy cried.
Snapping out of it, I opened it and found a loaded gun inside. I stood there in shock thinking about how my father's old gun got there. Tommy must have put it their this morning sometime before I left, but how did he know I needed it? What secrets was he keeping from me?
I kept staring at it as all the noise around me seem to just fade away and finally I blacked out.
When I came to I found myself looking into the bathroom mirror. I saw myself holding the bat over my head and myself covered in blood. I looked down to see the lifeless body of my father. He had a gun shot wounds to both his legs and bludgeoned upper body. His face was beyond recognition, his skull, eyes, and brain covering all areas of the bathroom. The only thing that kept rotating in head was one question, how did it come to this?
I slowly stood as I vomited in one of the sinks in front of the mirror, crying.
"Tommy?" I asked.
"I'm here Nathan and now I suppose you want answers as to what happened here today?
I didn't respond. I just rose my head to look in the mirror once again only to find Tommy deformed. There were no signs of injuries, sustained by made father, anywhere on his body. Instead his skin was a pale grey color with signs of his face cracking from his pale hazel yellow eyes.
"What happened to you Tommy? Your face... it's..."
"Different. I know, and my name isn't really Tommy. Then again maybe it is. I'm not sure myself either. As best I can put it I guess you could say I'm a part of your mind."
Your lying were the only words I could say as I kept pulling the hair from my head, trying to make sense of everything.
"It's true." He kept going. Your memory isn't complete but you should at least remember your dad putting you in the hospital that day. After you woke up from your coma was how wet met, but in a way we have always know each other since birth. Think of it as two kindred souls sharing one body, but in this case it's just one mind split in two."
I then asked how he knew my father would try to kill me.
"I can only take over as you sleep or simply look into a mirror. Every time we ever talked was when you ever looked into a mirror in the same room. It explains why your always tired, your body just needed the extra rest while I was awake and you were asleep. I also new what was going to happen here today because I ran into your father last night. I took a walk outside while your sleep and he approached me instead of you. He wanted money for drugs and I refused and struck him with a branch that was nearby and got away, which was fortunate in our favor. I'm the part of you in which most, if not all, your bad memories reside as well as your more primal nature, which explains why I look the way I do. Aggression can be and be an ugly thing."
"If what you say is true then what happens now?" I asked.
"We run. We can't stay here anymore. Granted, this crime was done in self defense, but do you think your life will ever be the same here? We are completely alone now so we must survive on our own. You have to embrace as your true self and let me take over from now on. Know that they will be coming for us and if you reject me you know they will commit you and you will be stuck there for a very long time. We have been friends for a while now and you've trusted me this long. Trust me again Nathan"
"Will it hurt if I do?" I asked.
"No. I will keep you asleep and I will take in all the negatives that will ever happen from here on out. It will make us stronger. Insanity makes us stronger and I will always protect you. I promise Nothing will ever hurt you again."
A few moments pass in silence as we, or I, could hear the sirens approaching.