A Fallen Angel, A Human Being, A Junky Boy
Warning - this story contains violence against a child. If you don't like such things, I advise you not to read any further
How to cut a long story short?
Well, maybe I don't want to cut it short. God, I'd rather keep it hidden - it's no fluffy rom-com story. Sure there's love in it, but there's also hate, abuse, depression and heroin.
Sure you wanna continue?
Because I do think it's time that the 20th century Botticelli angel (as I've so kindly been referred to) spills his guts for you. Brace yourself kid, cuz this is one rough ride.
Ah, Omaha. The home of Saddlecreek Records, Conor Oberst and my prostitute mother.
Oh yes, my mother began her adult life as no more than a street walker. She was pretty, in a cheap kind of way: too much make-up, too much perfume and too much skin on display.
She moved to Seattle, claiming to look for her best friend from high school. Flimsy excuse really, she just wanted a place where heroin was more readily available. She was lazy like that I guess.
Plus, high powered businessmen with unhappy marriages were a dime a dozen in Seattle (and in any other city in the world) and easier to rip off. My dad was a limo driver (classy, I know) who picked up my mother one night in May. He was a regular customer, or so I assume because they kept in touch.
By the time I was born, my mother was not only taking heroin, she was dealing it too. I was born a junky, weaned off heroin using methadone in the first weeks of my life. I don't think my father was impressed, if he really is my father. It's his name on my birth certificate, but my mother being a prostitute there really is no way to tell.
I was a month old when my mother was arrested for dealing heroin. She was imprisoned for 15 years and I was placed in my sleaze ball father's care.
Let's recap on what we've learned so far: my mother was a prostitute and a heroin dealer and my father was her client. Wonderfully Waltons huh?
My father did not see me as a blessing. Well, I was the son of his favourite prostitute. Not exactly a bundle of joy to him I guess. I didn't blame him, not in the beginning.
The start of the life of me was not as picturesque as other kids. My father was very cold and detached towards me. Sure, he fed me and clothed me, bought me stationary and schoolbags. He woke me up every morning, made me breakfast and dropped me off at St. Mary's everyday.
But he didn't love me. I was a responsibility. It was rather decent of him I suppose, after all I was the baby of his jail-bird hooker. He could have put me into care or neglected me or something.
Now, I'm well aware this all makes me out to be a sympathetic, good hearted, as good as orphaned sweet little boy. But don't feel bad for me - I didn't even realise how bad my childhood was until I was way too old and way too numb to care.
I was a happy kid, well I think I was. Quiet, ya know? Screw Action Men - chuck me a book, put me in a comfy chair and I would have been happy for hours.
Then my dad started dating again. It didn't bug me - we weren't close enough for me to feel like I was losing him.
But I hated the woman he went out with.
Her name was Mandolin (gay, I know) and she was a middle aged divorcee who was all sweetness and light when my dad was around.
"Oh isn't he adorable! Just look at those auburn curls!"
I was seven, but had rather longer thick hair for a boy my age. My dad didn't bother to schedule regular haircuts so my curls hung loose around my ears in delicate auburn ringlets. After my big brown eyes, my hair was my best feature and I was rather proud of it.
But when my dad wasn't around, she wasn't so lovely. It wasn't anything major - just a few murderous glances now and then. However, after six months of dating my dad, she moved in.
It was a Friday afternoon and my best friend Mark and I had walked home together. My father would be working late, I knew that. He always worked late on Fridays.
So it would just be me and Mandolin.
I closed the door quietly behind me and crept into my blue bedroom, not wanting to disturb her. I shrugged out of my bag and laid it carefully on my very tidy floor. I was a very tidy kid, always had been. Plus, I actually felt bad for Mandolin and kept my room especially tidy to make things easy on her.
I scanned my bookshelves for something to read. My father had given me all my mother's old books to keep me quiet. I had just started reading Interview With The Vampire by Anne Rice. I was enchanted by it.
I shuffled into the den and sat on my favourite chair. The TV was on some sort of trashy soap opera. Instantly, I opened the book and averted my eyes as if it was porn on the TV.
I didn't notice that Mandolin was standing behind me, I was too absorbed in Anne Rice to notice anything. But suddenly, she put her hand between my little shoulder blades (I was a very petite child) and pushed me hard.
I fell right onto the wooden floor, with a head jarring thump. I thought my knees were broken. Tears stung my eyes but I quickly blinked them away.
"You filthy little rat!" She hissed, her green eyes blazing with hatred. I didn't understand why she was being so horrible to me - what had I done?
Now I know I hadn't done anything. But I was young and naïve. She advanced menacingly, her hand raised. I scuttled across the floor on my hands and sore knees, desperate to just grab my book and get out of her way.
Her fingers wrapped themselves in my hair and she used my curls to pull me to my feet.
"Such pretty curls," She whispered, letting my hair go. I tried to bolt, but she grabbed my thin wrist hard enough to make me cry out.
"Your mother was a no good slut. She doesn't deserve such a pretty son." She gave my wrist a sharp yank. I bit my lip to stop from crying.
"You will not read her trash in my presence. Do you understand?" I caught sight of a chunk of my precious hair lying on the floor and felt sick to my stomach. The pain in my wrist was sharp and constant. I nodded slowly.
As quickly as it had began, it was over. She let me go and sauntered calmly into the kitchen to finish whatever she had been doing.
Silently I picked up the book. I clung to it like a lifejacket and scurried into my bedroom. I put my chair under the door handle so that she couldn't come barging in. I sat on my bed and examined my wounds with a clinical detachment that surprised me. My knees were bruised. My scalp stung and was bleeding a little. My pale wrist was pink and swollen. It was starting to turn a deep purple along the lines where her fingers had so mercilessly held me.
But I didn't really see the wounds, I wouldn't let myself. If I saw the wounds, if I touched them, then they'd be real. Mandolin would be my evil mother substitute and she'd hurt me again. Denial is so easy when you're a child. I didn't want to feel pain or be afraid.
So I pretended it didn't happen, it was as simple as that.
That night I imprisoned myself in my room. I sat on my bed and pulled the duvet over my head in an attempt to protect myself from further punishment.
With the tattered book open in my lap and the silver torch in my shaking hand I could forget the pain, even for a few minutes.
But when I closed my eyes, salty tears leaked out, tumbling down my cheeks in a silent cascade. I indulged in a good sniff and wiped my eyes on my sleeve. I was hit with a terrifying realisation.
I can't live like this…
(A/N: That was Chapter 1, hope it didn't scare you all too much. I have Chapter 2 and 3 written already so they'll be posted shortly. To anyone who's new to me and my work - this is the story of Luke, aka Deo, a character who featured in a series I wrote called The Emo Boy Stories. If you haven't read them, that's ok. But if you want to read them, then you can find the first story of the series Emo Boys Do Cry on my profile, and each story has a note at the end telling you the name of the next one. I hope everyone who already know of Deo like this story. Reviews always greatly appreciated!)