Sunday, October 31, 2010
in the dark of night
How come Halloween always made Derrick think of his mother? She loved the holiday. Even had a Halloween tree with little pumpkins. Maybe she was a witch in another life, for all he knew.
But he knew it would be a long night. Tonight. Regardless. Endless trick or treating which somehow ended up in endless bullying, in his case.
He got left at a cemetery once. Not exactly his favorite Halloween. It was one he'd never shared with anyone. He walked home in the dark in his jockeys. Honestly, he hadn't exactly had that much fun in his life. He was always the extra. He knew his sister Amanda hadn't always wanted to do everything for him, but she had. Still did. Even now. She'd make him pancakes the way he liked. Not the way Elliot wanted them. It gave him a slight satisfaction. But still he felt quite sad about everything.
He was used to it. Kind of liked it. Maybe. People were suppose to feel just a little sorry for him. His mom was dead. Although, he could never say her name. He couldn't even manage to have the word 'mom' in his vocabulary. It parched his throat and made him a little sick. But he was thinking of her on Halloween. Dreaming of things he wished he'd said to her. How he wished he hadn't treated her like crap when she was so sick. It was just he couldn't find a way to be there for her. Well, he wanted to be.
A part of himself felt shattered. Just a little, not right in the head. He guessed. But who was? He'd had to live with a brother who never really talked to him. He guessed Dan didn't think he'd get it. He never told Derrick he was a homo. He was just suppose to accept it. So more silence to adapt to. So much loud silence and only music to take him away from all this dysfunction. And now they wouldn't let him have his guitar. Of course, he had six, but no. He did not even have his old messed up one that was probably an antique that was a great Uncle of his, from his mother's side. No one trust him when it came to music. It was like a bad addiction according to Elliot.
So fine. He'd kept his mouth shut. They had to see how he was going to do at school. With them. It just made him want to revolt. But they didn't like his old ways. What would become of him if he absorbed himself in this one thing that kept him alive?
His mother loved his songs. Loved how he could play her a tune. She adored him. And she'd made him smile. He loved her smile. All that was left behind now. He was just a shell. Nothing inside him felt good.
Elliot wanted him to go out with them to a haunted house after trick or treating was over.
"No, I've got plans." Derrick lied. He made it sound that he and Ian had hit it off. Ian set him up with some girl and well, they were going to a party. It would be fine. He'd be home by 11. He promised.
No way was Ian spending Halloween with Derrick. For starters Ian worked and then there was Amy. That was a laugh. Derrick could tell Ian just knew Derrick would make a move on his girl because nothing was really going on with them. It was so Above the Influence that it was a big joke. What were they trying to do? He knew Ian wanted to be more than the good boyfriend, and maybe she wished they were already doing it. But no, they just couldn't stop making cookies and casseroles. It felt as if he'd fell in with Betty Crocker's family.
Derrick knew he didn't fit in. It was like the time he went to that concert with Kyle and Amanda when they first met. He was the third wheel and had been left with some drunk girl. He wouldn't say he'd been violated when possibly he had. It was just something to get over. He guessed. He tried to think it was something fun now. When all along, he'd felt left out.
He still felt left out. So he knew where Amy lived. He hadn't exactly stalked her, but he was just there with Ian along for the ride. And she didn't live all that far from Amanda and Elliot's. But in the older side of town. Older than where Amanda and Elliot's shoebox house was. Amy's house was actually a big old house on main street. It was for everyone to see. A lovely old place.
He'd gone by the OK convenient store to get a Slurpee. Why not celebrate? He could wish he could see this demon living at Amy's house. Well, that's the way Ian made it sound. Had the young woman just vowed to silence for some religious reason because she'd been taken from her cult family? Or had they removed her tongue and she couldn't speak? These were the questions that taunted Derrick now. His mind wasn't really on much else.
All right. His mother. He wondered what she thought of him now. A lump merged in his throat. He wondered if she could like him. Understand him. It was so haunting. And bitter... and why didn't he like anybody? Well, he didn't want to get hurt. He didn't. He just wanted to hide. He didn't want to be anything. Except, his music. What was so bad about that?
So there was the house. It was dark. But lit up. Inside. He thought he might take a better look. Of course, he saw Amy's father sleeping in a big old chair, still with his wire frame glasses on, holding a bible. Derrick should have expected as much. There, through the livingroom window.
Maybe Amy's sister was upstairs. He climbed the rose bush trellis to investigate. It took some doing, but he climbed up to part of the roof and there was a window. Her window, in fact. But there was a thin curtain in the way. He could barely make her out, just sitting there with her back turned from him.
Derrick smiled. He felt as if he were part of a movie. Possibly a horror movie. And he just might be the bad guy in the movie.
But then he smelled smoke. He saw the fire lit at Violet's feet. He just couldn't stop staring. It was a shock. It was the last thing he expected.