What the fuck?

What the fuck is unconditional love?

Well?

It's impossible, that's what it is. It's fake - phony - artificial. There's no such thing. It's just something thought up by a happy family so that when they got into a fight, they'd say, "oh, but you must love me! We're family! And that's what us sappy, happy families do! Ooh looooook at us we're so haaaappy! And gay, too! All of us! Really!" Augh, God. Really! It's like watching Barney. Those sappy little craps. damn them! I'm so envious!

Well, screw your petty little family and screw your whole goddamn life. My life is nothing like a happy, healthy, normal family. My life is all screwed up. Messed up to the point where there is no "family". There is only hate.

"You little fucker!! You g-damn bastard! I hate you, you little shit!! Just get your slutty, worthless piece of crap sister and get out! Just GET THE HELL OUT OF MY HOUSE!!"

That's my mom, screaming at the top of her lungs sat my eleven-year-old brother for going to a skateboard park when he was grounded. He was grounded for getting an F on his test. If my goddamn bitch of a mother ever paid any damn attention to Bryann, she would know that he always fails his stupid tests. Him and Dad are the only ones that I love, though. I love him because he's always been there for me. If I was about to get shot, he'd take the bullet. What a sad little fucker. I'm not sure I'd do the same for him. But then again, we're never exactly sure what in God's name we might do when the situation is right - the circumstances dire.

The circumstances sure are dire here, and I for one plan to do something about it.

"Leave the boy alone, Margaret!! Can't you see that he's high!?!"

That's my dad, protecting my little brother because he's high on marijuana - a substance which my Dad introduced him too. My Dad loves him, and he loves me, I'm sure, but - I'm not sure he ever loved Mom. Whenever he even just sees her, he explodes and they have terrifics screaming fits, battles of rage and fury. The same goes for my Mother. Truthfully, what I think happened was that they both got drunk one night and fucked and then had me and then they had to get married because they didn't want their neighbors to think badly of them.

Actually, right now the neighbors are scared of them.

"David, just SHUT THE FUCK UP!!"

"Why should I, Margy? Huh? Why should I? So that you can just go and have some more of your precious wine!? What a fine way to raise the children! Showing them that it's alright to be drunk!"

"I said SHUT THE FUCK UP YOU BASTARD!!"

Uh-oh. This sounds even worse than usual. I can sense Mrs. Pettigrew, the frail, ninety-year-old who lives next door, hiding behind the curtains and trembling, occasionally peering through the fogged-up window pane to peek at our ever accursed household. She's right to gawk at us, though. We've never been normal. My dad works for a gas company, where he's one of the higher ups. But he donates all of his money to charity, leaving us semi- poor and my mother like a hornet about to sting.

"I HATE you! Why don't you just roll over and die!!"

And sting she does. My father's a good man, and if he had just gone through and gotten the fucking divorce we could live with him and live happily ever after. But no, he stayed married. Then he discovered pot. And then he moved to Holland - a place where nearly everything is legal. Most importantly pot.

God Almighty bless Holland. Whoopee.

My mother is a horribly, horribly wicked person. She's a bitch, I hate her, end of story. She dropped out of school in middle school because of alcohol problems that she insists aren't there. The only times she acts semi-normal are when she's high off the cocaine she sometimes sprinkles into her white wine. And then she's so childish, it's scary. She's bitchy, she's mean, and she's selfish. She hates children, a.k.a. David and I, and immediately hated my father probably right after he told her he funds charities for orphans.

Let me give you a sample of how much she hates children. I'm nineteen, David's eleven. I'm in my last year of high school, while David is still in the fourth grade. Why? Because he's mentally retarded? Why? Because he has brain damage? Why?

"Shut the hell up, Margaret! Or I'll divorce you!"

There goes Dad's newest threat. not that it'll do him any good. I know he won't, he's such a coward.

Why why why

I'll never forget the day I was six when I met Bryann. My mother was looking at him on her lap, and he was just born. Her upper lip was curled in disgust. For Chrissakes, he was just born, and already she hated him. Hated him with such fury and fervor I knew right away that things were going to be bad. I waggled five, fat fingers at him. Bryann began to cry loudly.

Why why why

But the most tauntin' & hauntin' memories of all came from my eighth year of torture - also known in this disgusting household as the blessed thing known as "life". I was thirsty after doing all of my homework - I've always strived for A's, and I've always gotten them - and I went downstairs. As I descended the steps of our split level home, there was the fuckin' bitch with the fuckin' baby. Bryann was just a two year old. He was completely silent, which was saying a lot considering my mother was throwing hard against the wooden floorboards and the wall, and he was hitting his head.

Why why why

My brother's not the brightest bulb in the box, that's for sure. Maybe that's why I'm so protective of him. I have to protect him from that bitch. Because of her, he's fuckin' retarded. I actually prefer to call him dumb, it sounds a bit nicer, but damn retarded is what he is. He's also a selective mute. He never talks, especially to my mother. He does exchange a few words with my dad now and then.

"You'll do no such thing, Dave. You'll do no such fuckin' thing."

Everything's so quiet now. I wonder what's happening. I wish David would get away. Hell, I wish all of us could leave this place, except my mother.

I hear her opening a drawer. fumbling.

Why why why

There's no such thing as unconditional love. It's quite simple, what people have mistaken for this overrated "unconditional, family love". Actually, you love your family because they love you. Because of who they are. Because they're like you, and they forgive your faults, and because of this it's easier to forgive theirs.

Why why why

Why why why

Why doesn't my mom fit any of those descriptions!?!

What the hell in wrong with her!?

Why.

I want. I want to go to New York and study law. When I do, I'll be my own lawyer as I argue the case against my mother, claiming she abused Bryann. By the way, you're probably intensely curious as to why there are two of the letter 'n' in his name. That's because both of my parents were drunk when they named him. So now half the people who see his name mistake him for a girl.

Why why why

I want to go to New York and live in a high-rise apartment with my boyfriend Ryan and my my daddy and my Bry-Wy. I want.

"You'll do no fuckin' thing. Ever."

Gunshots.. And a wail. My eyes widen. Bryann! He better be okay, or I'll fucking kill that bitch. I really will. Goddamnit, I'll rip her face off. Just like Lisa Trevor.

No no no!! We'll go to New York and you'll marry Ryan and become a lawyer and save Bryann and get him a legal name change so that his name is something cool like Shredder or Night yeah I really like Shredder and get daddy help and put mommy in jail and piece our lives together somehow.

Why why why why why why WHYYYY?

Why why why why why why WHYYY?

WHY CAN'T ANYTHING GO RIGHT?

WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH HER?

SHE DID IT! SHE KILLED HIM! SHE KILLED DADDY! I CAN JUST TELL! I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS!

You knew it would come..

Talking to yourself is the first sign of insanity. That's it. This woman is driving me mad.

Mad mad mad mad MAD

I have to get out of here. She did it - she killed daddy. She killed him. I know it.

The door creaks heavily as it slowly swing open. There is Bryann, his hair a mess, his forehead bloody, and - oh my god, he's got a silver bullet just behind his left ear. He's bleeding, blood slowly trickling to the floor in a dark red, oozy puddle.

That's it.

She can't do that.

She can't shoot Bryann.

She can't.

She can't.

I will kill her if he dies.

I will, and I swear it to God and for all to hear. If she touches my baby brother, that bitch will go down.

I'll kill her with a knife.

I have one, you know. For "protection" against the "evil forces" - a.k.a. The Bitch, a.k.a. "Mum".

If Bryann dies. so will she.

Die bitch die die die

Die die die DIE!

PLEASE!

I want her to die. I want her to shut the hell up! And then I want her to die! And rot in hell, the goddamn bitch! I want to rip her fuckin' face off like that chick in Resident Evil, even! Or stab her in the neck with a sharp knife. Ugh! I can't think straight, everything's fuzzy, I hear a ringing in my ears. I turn to Bryann. He opens his mouth. He's not going to say something is he? Why. Why would he do that? For me. I love him. He's so sweet, he really is. He deserves better. than this. We all do.

"Clarissa," he says slowly. I stare at him, wondering why in the world he chose now to talk to me. But then it hits me. He wants to run away.

We all do.

Run away way way

To run away is to live to see another day

Another day day day

I gaped at him, startled, and I realize something: Bryann looks so much like his father. Like dad. Like the dad I knew. Like the dad I had, just five minutes ago. And right at that moment, I make myself a solemn promise.

Davey.

I'll change his name when we get to New York, I'll name him after dad. His middle name can be Shredder. Heh. Kick ass.

Dad dad dad

Dad's dead dead dead

Mom killed killed killed

Hate her her her

"Come on Bryann let's go," I command him. "Get everything you want to bring with you and put it in a backpack, okay? Where is mom?"

Bryann - no, David - David doesn't answer, so I assume that mom is in the kitchen pouring herself some more or her favorite white wine. Or perhaps it's red this time. Red like blood. Whine and wine. That's all she's good for. Not an alcoholic, my ass, My God I hate her.

David just stares at me, waiting for me to do something. I'm so confused, my head is spinning. I've got nothing planned, but I know that I have to do something. I can't just sit here and do nothing, wasting my life away with a hapless bitch who pretends I don't even exist and ignores me day after day, week after week. She doesn't even feed me. I cook myself. And I supposed to listen to other people's shit about unconditional love? Dream on.

"Bryann," I say gently, leaning forward, "we're running away. We're not gonna take this anymore, okay? We're going to New York."

Bryann nods, and turns quickly, making a beeline straight for his bedroom. Good I stealthily sneak into mom's bedroom and steal some of her hideaway cash - about ten thousand dollars. Heh, she'll never notice. In a few hours she'll be too drunk to notice anyway. It'll probably even be days until she even realizes we're even gone. Heh, in fact, I bet it will be. How funny. Funny.

It's funny how much I hate her

It's funny how the fire's burning in my eyes

Hate her hate her

It's funny how she always fails to surprise

Hate her hate her

Hate her, damnit

David II soon comes back, with his backpack. He also clings tightly to a large plastic bag. I frown, but I don't try to take it away from him. Now's not a good time to separate David from the marijuana, I suppose. Dad should never of shared his with him. They're both addicts. Were addicts. Dad was an addict. And him and Bryann would just sit in the den, smoking pot and ignoring the world aroud them. they found their happy place, I guess. Away from mom. Definitely away from mom. But Davey's not going to be like that anymore.

Davey's going to get help.

Davey's going to be smart.

Davey's going to be wonderful.

He is already wonderful, he'll be even more wonderful.

My wonderful, wonderful Davey.

Love him.

Love him, hate her.

Hate her

Hate her

"Let's go," I whisper after packing a few of my belongings. Mostly law textbooks and photo albums of my friends and family and stuff. Oh - and the word "family" does not include mom. It never will. It never has.

I throw my bedsheets, which I made into a long rope like I've seen in the movies, out of the window. I tell Davey to go down. He does, climbing as nimbly as a monkey. I can't believe it - I'm gawking at him. But I tear my eyes away soon enough, my eyes browsing the room to see if there's anything of value I missed. My signed Savage Garden poster. Can't forget that. My prized possesion, that it. I also throw in a couple video games and a Gamecube. I'll give them to Ryan, he loves video games and Resident Evil. Then I focus back on Davey. I can hear his Nikes thumping against the lush, slippery grass. No more lush than Mom is, though. I guess. But I won't have to deal with that anymore. I'm free from that bitch!! Free, damnit! I never thought running away could create such a rush of adrenaline!

Free from her!

Free!

But I know now. Know for sure, it's clearer than ever, like a crystal in the Antarctic: There's no such thing as unconditional love. You are free to choose who you love and who you don't. Just because someone spent nine hours in labor giving birth to you, a slimy little clumsy creature at the time, doesn't mean you have to love that someone. You have to earn love. And my mother doesn't make the cut. And she never will.

"Be right there!!" I hiss out the window. Then I turn to the computer. I don't know when I'll get to e-mail you again, Melissa, but you've been a great friend. Thank you for hearing me out. Or reading me out, whatever. And please, please, pleaes -- put my mother in jail. .Somehow. Please print this e-mail out and use it as evidence against her. I implore you. Did I just say that? Ha. Weird what being serious can do to you eh? Anyway. I've got to be serious. I'll be taking care of Davey, now, and saying goodbye to Ryan and heading towards New York. You need to print out and save this e- mail!! And we'll both fight against my mother in the child abuse case of the century. As for me and Davey II, we're off on a journey for a new and better life, without that helluva bitch I have the morbid displeasure to call my mom. Well, I hope to see you again soon next Autumn at NYU. See ya!

See you at college next year,

Love you,

And hope to see you someday,

Clarissa Templemen

Hate hate hate

Free free

We're

Gone.