Kyle leaned back in the seat he was sitting in and closed his eyes for the first time in weeks without a second thought. He was going home with his dad and away from his abusive stepfather.
"So Ky, did you have a good time?" Dexter turned the steering wheel sharply.
He whammed into the door then grabbed his right arm in pain. "Yeah… It was great."
"What happened to your arm?" He kept his eyes on the road.
"Nothing." Kyle mumbled, his black hair a mess.
"I'm not getting a medical degree just to hear kids say 'nothing'." Dexter scowled, turning his blue eyes towards the child.
He managed a fake smirk. "We were playing football. It's only a bruise, Dad. Not like I need some sort of emergency surgery." Kyle felt like hitting himself for telling such a stupid lie. Why couldn't he just say 'Dad, Garrett just beat the crap out of me right before you picked me up'?
"Really?" Dexter didn't fall for it. "When we get home, I'm gonna take a look at your…" He paused; adjusting his glasses, then finished crossly, "Bruise."
"Dad, it's fine!" He crossed his arms. "Why can't you believe me for once?" Kyle felt a tear go down his cheek in both despair and anger.
"What?" Dexter shook his head. "Why are you so objective? You know, I'm really starting to wonder about you."
Kyle bit his tongue. He wanted to scream 'Yes! I'm hiding something for you! I have this huge gash in my side and Garrett said if I told you he'd kill me!'
Instead, Kyle looked out the window. It was dark outside except for the occasional lightning that collided across the sky. The rest of the car ride was in silence aside from grinding of the wheels of the blue Honda truck on the beat up road.
Dexter parked the truck in the driveway, but instead of getting out of the vehicle he looked at Kyle. "What's up, kiddo?"
"I told you already, nothing." His eyes were glued on the window. "I'm just tired, okay?"
"Need help with your suitcase?" Dexter had a hint of concern in his voice. Instead of the loud mouth brat he brought up, there was a ghost.
"Just leave them here; I'll get them tomorrow." Kyle opened the door and slide out of the truck. "Keys."
Dexter handed him the key to the brick house and watched him disappear. He rubbed his temples, before grabbing his cell phone and calling Kristy, his fiancée.
Kyle opened the door to his bedroom and locked it. Grinding his teeth together, he pulled off his shirt and looked at his abdomen. It was bruised and swollen; his chest was matted with dry blood.
It was the first time he ever laid eyes on Garrett and his real mom, Shelly. He didn't understand how his dad could just give him up for the summer to people like them…
No… Dexter didn't know what they were really like. He talked to them on the phone and meet with them a couple time before Shelly begged to see the child she abandoned so long ago.
Kyle felt insignificant, discarded and used. His mom took advantage of him as if he was just a sex toy. What could a twelve year old do to stop it though? All Garrett ever did was watch and beat him if he didn't cooperate.
He opened his closet and grabbed a shirt. He was getting ready to put it on when he saw a two-way radio on the top of his dresser. "How the heck did this get in here?" He grabbed the radio and threw it in a trashcan.
Kyle put on the shirt and laid down on his bed when he heard footsteps. He lifted up his head to the sound of doors slamming.
"Dad?" He mumbled, getting out of the bed. He started walking to the door to see what was going on.
"Hello Kyle." The laughing voice was coming from the trashcan.
He stopped dead in his tracks; it was Garrett's voice… He was in the house.
"I didn't want you to forget the fun we had together…" The icy voice sent a chill out Kyle's back. "Remember the swimming pool?"
Images went through Kyle's head. Garrett was holding him underwater… Choking the life out of him until he was unconscious. Pictures of Garrett hitting him with a bat and laughing.
"Go away…" He felt lightheaded. When he though Garrett was gone for good… He wasn't. Kyle fell to his knees and grabbed his head. His stepfather was driving him to the brink of insanity.
"I know you're listening, Kyle." Garrett's almost demon-like voice filled the room, echoing. "I could see it now. The look on your face every time I hold that gun to your face and shot. Why must we forget the good times so fast? It's just such a shame that your father never had the chance to tell you about the birds and the bees, huh?"
His heart banged against his chest while his hands tried to rip the hair out of his head. He heard screaming in the room, unaware that it was his own voice.
He heard something bang against his door. "Kyle!" It was his dad trying to get into the locked room. "Kyle? Unlock the door, kiddo." Dexter was hitting the door, but kept his voice calm.
Kyle felt like the world was pushing him down, the banging had stopped. He trembled in fear, afraid of what his stepfather might do.
There was a quick scrapping at the doorknob before the door busted open. Dexter scuttled to Kyle, wrapping his arms around him, he whispered, "It's okay, kiddo. Daddy's here, nothing's gonna happen."
"What… Happened…?" Kristy walked into the room like she seen a ghost. "Kyle…"
"His chest's bleeding; I'll need some bandages." His voice was serious, but calm.
"I'll call a hospital, too." Kristy turned and left sight; her footsteps pounded against the stairs as she raced to a phone.
"I knew you were lying when you said nothing was wrong." Dexter stood up, shaking his head. "But the yelling doesn't add up to the injure."
Kyle felt light headed. "Garrett…" His voice was barely audible.
Dexter looked at him, losing his calm over the silence of his son. "Kyle…? Kyle…?" When he didn't look up, Dexter dropped to his knees. "Kyle, what's wrong… With you…?"
Kyle didn't say anything. He didn't know what was wrong with him. He felt like he was going insane, but at the same time, he felt calm.
A sense of eccentricity chilled Dexter to the core. Unknowingly he grabbed Kyle by the shoulders and shook him violently. "What's wrong with you? Kyle, god damn it!"
His actions were abruptly stopped when a high-pitched shriek filled the house, followed by the bullet of a gun. "Kristy!" Dexter jumped up and ran out of the room leaving his dazed son alone.
The radio cracked with Garrett's voice, "I've only started the game, Kyle. It's not over, yet. It's not over…"