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 Chapter 17: When the Body Rejects What It Doesn't Like

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Kell
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PostSubject: Chapter 17: When the Body Rejects What It Doesn't Like   Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:29 am

We must have driven for nearly half an hour in silence before Colonel Marley pulled the car into an embankment alongside a country river. I had no idea where we were but I assumed he'd know the way back. He parked the car & turned it off.

"What are we doing?" I asked.

"We're talking," he replied firmly.

"About WHAT? I said sorry & that this kind of thing won't ever happen again," I charged.

"Why do you act out?" he said flatly, turning to me.

"What?"

"Why do you act out? Why do you feel the need to do all this shit?"

"I don't have a reason."

"That's not a good answer."

"Do you have a lighter?" I said, digging into my pocket for a cigarette. "I need a smoke."

Suddenly, I felt my arm yanked up as the Colonel forced me to face him, holding my arm painfully above my head.

"Cut the shit Rory! What's the deal? Do you LIKE pissing people off?"

"It has its perks," I grinned.

"We'll see what your mother has to say," he threw my arm down. THAT got me. He knew it would.

"I TOLD YOU, I don't want her knowing! All she'll do is try to lecture me again on she thinks I could benefit greatly if we met each other half way & started becoming closer or whatever it was she last read in a magazine. Or motel pamphlet."

"Do you know how much trouble you could have ended up in?" he asked me, much more calmly this time. I almost felt bad for yelling at him now.

"Yes."

"You might have this whole tough-guy attitude out here, but if you ended up in prison, lemme tell you...you wouldn't stand a chance."

"Don't lecture me on prison life."

"Maybe you need a good lecture & maybe for once in your life you should fucking listen," he snapped.

"I appreciate the things you've done for me Colonel, I do. But it's a little too late for the whole responsible-role-model-from-far-away bit," I said. Damn, if I could just rub two sticks together, I could get a light...

"I don't believe that for a second. Sure I wasn't there for you growing up, but I wouldn't say it's ever too late to help someone."

"You weren't there for me growing up because that's not your job. It's really not even Ray's job to raise. Parenting," I said with a mocking voice "is the duty of the parents primarily." I started to feel fidgety. Just one cigarette, is that too much to ask for? "So don't kill yourself because that woman & a man I'm pretty sure was just another client of hers weren't there. I would never fault you."

"Rory, it IS my fault because it WAS my job," he said. I rolled the window down. It was getting stuffy in the car.

"How?"

"Like you said, it's a parent's duty to take care of their children," he said calmly.

I gave him a weird look. "Yeeeah..."

He just continued to look at me, as if I was supposed to just GET what he was talking about.

"Rory."

"What? Colonel, I'm so confused, what the hell are you TALKING about?" I said.

He tilted his head forward a bit & blinked.

"What?" I said again.

For christ's sake, it was like he was telling me he was my damn dad or something!

Suddenly, it clicked.

I looked at him.

"Wait...what?" I said quietly.

He nodded.

"You mean...no, bullshit," I shook my head.

"It's true," he said, his face softening.

I stared at him in disbelief. "You're serious, aren't you." He nodded. "You mean.....................you're my...my dad?"

He hesitated before responding.

"Yeah," he replied softly. "I am."

I can't tell you what my first thought was. But my second thought was to get out of the car, which I did. I opened the door, got out & slammed it shut, my back against it. Colonel Marley followed suit, getting out of the car & walking around to the hood, waiting to see my reaction.

"Ok, what...I don't understand...you're...what?" I stuttered, feeling mixed emotions. I didn't look at him. Instead I stared straight ahead into the woods. "How are you my dad?"

"Well, I first met your mother when your uncle & I were still working together & she stopped by to visit him for a little while, I guess to get more money for...whatever. And so I was instantly attracted to her & I THOUGHT she felt the same way. But...the morning after we slept together, she told me what I 'owed her' & that's when I learned what she did for a living."

I felt my throat close up & my eyes get puffy.

"I guess I was right all along...I was just the product of her & a client."

"Rory, don't think like that."

"Tell me it's false," I shot him a dirty look. I was filled with mixed emotions. Somewhere I could feel a twinge of happiness. Happy not necessarily because I found my father, but rather because it was Colonel Marley. Unfortunately, the feeling wasn't very strong & once again, my anger won out.

In my head... I screamed the most horrible things at her. I felt hot tears threatening to roll down my cheeks as I ground my teeth so hard together I swear my jaw was about to fracture. I had never hated anyone or anything so much in my life than I did at that moment. Sure, maybe the Colonel's feelings were a little premature for just meeting someone...but she USED him. She had used countless men but this was different on an unfathomable scale. That one moment where Colonel Marley, a man who I had admired so much, thought maybe he could have found someone for him, only to be slapped in the face with something like THAT. My mouth was open, on the verge of screaming out into nothing. I dug my nails cruelly into the side of his car, stripes of paint gathering under them & groaned involuntarily out loud as each breath I took crawled through a closed throat.

I saw images of terrible things. Terrible things I wanted to do to her. I gasped as I realized that through my thoughts, I hadn't taken a breath, not wanting to interrupt my thoughts. Just then, I felt my stomach lurch & out of nowhere, I fell to the ground & vomited.

"Rory!" the Colonel cried as he rushed over to me & knelt down, putting a hand on my back.

His touch...his touch made me feel even sicker.

I angrily turned my head to him. "Don't touch me," I growled at him, throwing his arm off me.

"Rory, I'm sorry..." he said, his eyes watery.

I felt my face go red hot as he apologized. I shot daggers at him, his apology nothing but poison being poured into an already open wound. I couldn't even bring myself to scream at him I was so angry at everything. I took a breath & spit furiously right in his face. As he lifted a sleeve to clean it off, I lunged at him with all my weight & shoved him hard up against the car. Standing up, I took off into the woods without looking behind me.

"Rory!"

I continued to run as fast as I could. I ran for at least 10 minutes straight with no breaks. When I came to a small open area in the woods, I collapsed onto my hands & knees & became sick again. This time though, it was more than a bit of spittle. I heaved what felt & looked like half my insides onto the cold, hard dirt. Only...it wasn't enough. Trembling, I stuck my hand into my mouth & tugged at my uvula. Immediately, I felt my gag reflex kick in, but instead of stopping, I kept going. In a matter of seconds, I spewed out wave after wave of hot, bitter bile, my body ejecting whatever it had last consumed. But I didn't stop. I couldn't. I kept at it, feeling my stomach empty itself out onto the ground. For several minutes I continued on, for what reason I'll never figure out. But what I did know was that I just needed to.

After almost 10 minutes, I began to feel light-headed. I finally stopped when I saw a tiny hint of red among the pool of yellow and brown. Whether it was blood or just some sort of discoloration I didn't know, but I had had enough. I was kneeling in a puddle of my own vomit, my one hand on the ground & the knees of my pants stained & soaked. For nearly the whole time, I was emotionless. But now that I had stopped, I felt my fury come flooding back to me.

I wasn't done.

I stood up & walked over to a huge redwood tree, my teeth grinding against each other as I huffed angrily. Staring at the hard bark, I clenched my fists. I angrily shot a fist forward into the side of the tree, a jolt of pain blasting its way up my arm. But I didn't stop. I punched with my other hand. And then the other. As hard as I could, I madly punched at the massive being before me, my bare knuckles smashing themselves against the wood. Harder & harder...with each hit I ground my teeth in blind rage more & more. I clenched my eyes shut as I slammed my fists into the wood over & over again. But closing them couldn't stop the tears, which now flowed heavily.

With each punch, I choked on my anger, tears pouring down my cheeks. I opened my mouth & screamed. Screamed as loud as possible into the cool, crisp air. I kept screaming, so much & so loud that my voice cracked as I felt as though whatever shreds of a soul I had left in my being escaped with each blow to the tree.I screamed & sobbed & gasped & screamed more as I kept my fists crashing against the trunk. Only when my arms finally tired did I stop. Through wet eyes, I looked at my hands. My knuckles were virtually gone, replaced now with craters of where skin & tissue once were, with hot, dark red blood now wildly gushing out & spilling onto the ground and down my arms like a sink that couldn't stop. Both my hands & most, if not all, my fingers were undoubtedly broken. But I didn't feel anything. They were the least of my problems at this point.

My shouting finally died down as I sank pathetically to the ground & fell back against the tree's trunk. I held my lame hands in my lap, staining my pants even more now, mixing blood and vomit. I began to just...cry. Tears were nothing new to me. But simply crying was something that I hadn't done in many years. I leaned my head back & sobbed openly, guttural moans breaking out as cried not out of sadness...but of hatred & anger. To anyone passing by it probably would have looked like I was very sad about something. But I wasn't sad. I was so...angry that my body just couldn't handle the kicking, screaming or punching anymore. It was just acting in any way it could. And this mopey, weeping, pathetic excuse for a way had now, on top of everything, given me a splitting headache.

I cried...& I cried...& I cried. I cried until I just couldn't anymore. My body was drained. Keeping my eyes closed, I leaned sideways until my body feel limply onto the ground. Moving my back against the tree, I passed out.

*****

It was two hours later when I came to as I looked at my red-stained watch. I wiped my tear-crusted eyes with the back of my wrists, only to feel the sticky feeling of still drying blood transfer over. I looked at my hands. It looked like they had only just begun to actually stop bleeding. By now I could feel the raging pain sear through my wrists & hands. I didn't care though. With a struggle, I made to back to my feet, looked around to see if I could remember which direction I had come from & started my way back. It had taken me almost 10 minutes to run as fast as I could from where the Colonel & I had parked to wherever I was. Fuck only knows how long it took me to reach that area again.

I don't know what I was expecting, but I was surprised when I saw the Colonel's car still park in the same spot. I could see Colonel Marley sitting in the driver's seat, his head leaned back. I hesitated for a moment before dragging myself to the passenger's side. Opening the door painstakingly, I woke Colonel Marley up from his snooze. I climbed in as he watched me quietly, staring at my vomit and blood soaked clothes. He must have seen my hands.

After an awkward moment of silence, he finally spoke up.

"What did you do to your hands?"

"Why didn't you tell me you were my dad?" I asked him hoarsely.

"Rory...we need to talk about your hands. Are they broken?" he asked.

"No," I lied, "now answer me."

"I'll get you back to your uncle's house, we'll clean you up, go to the hospital, get you checked out to make sure your hands are ok-"

"Why didn't you tell me you were my dad?" I said again, slower this time.

"Rory..."

"Why didn't you tell me you were my dad?" I swear to GOD I was about to have a fucking meltdown that would dwarf the other one if he didn't answer me in two seconds.

He sighed.

"The first time I met you, when you were a little boy...I couldn't be sure. I was so sure it was but not enough to bring it up & make an issue out of it. I mean...haven't you ever noticed how similar we look?"

I studied his facial feature for a moment, going over his eyes, their color, his hair...as I took it in, I was dumbfounded. He was right...we had always looked alike & I had never even known it.

"When I ran into you a few years later, I knew it just had to be. And by chance, I briefly ran into your mother & when I asked her about it...she told me that it was definitely me."

"So she knew..." I said. I was on the verge of another meltdown with every passing second. But this time, I think even my own body recognized that it didn't have the strength to explode again.

"Yes. Rory..." he said. I turned to look at him. "I've wanted to tell you so badly all these years. But each time I've seen you, it just got harder & harder to think of how I could do it without you being mad at me. I guess I was right..."

"Why now?" I asked blankly.

"Because for one thing, it IS time you knew. But also because you're obviously going through something that I wanna be there to understand & help you with. I'm so sorry Rory, but if you can find any room in your heart to forgive me, I really wanna get the opportunity to start something between us."

I looked at him for another moment before I turned my head to look out the window. Leaning my head back against the seat, I sighed.

"Rory?"

"Just...take me back to Ray's," I whispered.

After a second, I heard him finally start the car up. The ride back was silent.

*****

When I walked through the front door, she was sitting in a chair reading a cooking magazine when she looked up.

"Hey guys, how's it...OH MY GOD!" she cried, jumping up & dashing toward me. Colonel Marley, who came in behind me, must have signaled her to back off because she suddenly looked past me & stopped in her tracks, her eyes never leaving my limply hanging hands.

"Rory, what happened! What's going on??" she asked frantically.

I walked closer to her & lowered my voice, feeling one last hate-filled tear painfully slide down my cheek.

"If my hands weren't broken," I whispered, "you'd be dead on the floor already."

She looked at me, unsure of how to feel, as I slowly made my way past her to my room.

When I made it into my room, I shut the door & moved toward my closet. Inhaling sharply, I painfully removed most of my clothes & threw them into a nearby trash bin. With my lame arms, I rummaged through my closet & dragged out my stashed away cooler. Managing to flip the lid off, I was met with the comforting image of nine cold beers situated amongst ice. They would ALL be put to good use tonight.

Sitting on my bed, I noticed a large, dried semen stain on the front of my boxers. That must have happened back in the woods. I smiled awkwardly as I leaned over & grabbed a cigarette & a lighter off my nightstand. I winced in pain each time I tried to get a light. After a few painful minutes, I finally did it & lit up. I took a long drag & blew out. But I didn't intend to smoke the whole thing. I took a second drag & looking again at the front of my boxers, laughed at how fucked up everything just was. I took the glowing end of the cigarette & pressed it firmly into the underside of my left forearm, the heat searing through my skin, causing me to gasp. When the pain was finally so intense that I was able to block it out, I flicked the butt into the ice-water filled cooler & looked at my arm. A deep red welt has risen up & blood was threatening to escape through the surface.

Leaning over, I grabbed the edge of the cooler & moved it with me farther back against my bed so I could lean against the backboard with the cooler on the floor right next to me. Picking up a beer, the sheer coldness shocking my hands, I bit the tab off, spit it out, put the bottle up to my lips & drank away whatever was left of the day.

It didn't take too long to succeed with that.

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Chapter 17: When the Body Rejects What It Doesn't Like
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