Steal Your Heart

The heart is a fragile thing, most say. But to the boy who is always alone; that delicateness is something he has gotten used to by now. At a timeworn high school downtown is a boy who attends there. He is all by himself, all alone.

Snoring emanated from the small classroom doors. With a piqued curiosity the girl tip-toed in to see where the noise was coming from. There she saw a boy, with his head resting gently on his desk. He was fast asleep from what she could tell and the bell signaling the end of the day had long since ringed. She was just helping out with after school duties but she was positive that was not his reason for being here.

With cautious footwork she made her way over to his desk and softly poked his pale face. He didn't even stir, not one bit. She persisted further by repeatedly poking his cheek over and over again. Still no response from the boy. With a determined resolve to awaken the young lad the girl spoke his name.

"Kren? Helllooo? Are you planning to sleep here all day?" She tried as hard as she could to get the boy to wake up and just as she was about to give up and call a teacher for help he woke.

With groggy eyes and messy hair he sat up and glanced around at his surroundings. "Huh? Am I still at school?" He shivered as he spoke with his hands wrapped tightly around his arms. "Yeah, you fell asleep and everyone already left." He looked at the youth with glassy eyes, she swore for a second she could see hell itself reflecting in his eyes. Without any warning the boy began to shake more, he squinted his eyes closed and sneezed.

He sniffled to himself and the girl ran to grab the tissue box. "Are you sure you're okay? Do you want me to take you to the Nurse's office?" She spoke as she handed him the brightly decorated box of tissues. With another sniffle he denied her request and shook his head. "I'll be fine, don't worry about me. I probably just have a cold or something." He gripped the soft tissue around his little nose and blew hard.

"Thanks for waking me up. I'll see you tomorrow." And with that final notion the boy left the room and the girl. He meandered his way through the hall and down the flights of stairs to the front entrance of the school. He swiftly flicked the right combo into his locker, grabbed his stuff, and headed out the door.

As he walked down the street he noticed the sun was already setting. Its golden glow on the town lingered for a still moment until it disappeared beyond the horizon. He trampled up to a crosswalk and waited for the light to turn red so he could go. Cars zoomed by him and their lights shone brightly in the night. Finally the traffic light switched to that famous color.

After that it was a fairly clear shot to his house. He carried a stone faced expression that wavered only slightly at the occasional wave to a stranger. The wind picked up and he rushed quickly down the sidewalk further to a rundown apartment complex. He reached in his pocket and pulled out a set of keys nonchalantly flipping through them until he found one that was marked "412" by black, bold letters. He inserted the key and unlocked the door, pushing it forward with care.

Once inside he slipped off his shoes and warily hung up his coat. He crept along the floorboards ever-so-slightly not to make a noise. Once he was halfway to the stairs he heard the sound of bottle being put down on the coffee table and panicked inside. From the living room his father had been abruptly woken up, and wasn't happy about it.

He grunted and slammed the bottle of alcohol on the table. Standing up was difficult' his vision was blurred and his speech was slurred. "Who the hells there?" He burped and hiccupped as he finished his sloppy sentence. No movement from the boy outwardly but inside his heart was running a million miles an hour. He attempted to act like he wasn't there but he clumsily stepped on a creaky floorboard and received a furious shout from the other room.

The man was finally oriented enough with his surroundings and he made his way over to the stairs. He struck the floor loud with every step he took. Kren from the other side of the wall bolted as fast as his legs could carry him up the set of steps. As his foot hit the top stair he rounded the slight corner and practically flew into his room. With a swift attempt to close the door and lock it for dear life he was sadly stopped.

His father had somehow managed to climb the flight of steps and reach the boy's bedroom. He grabbed the handle of the door before the boy could close it and directed his empty stare back at Kren. The young boy froze inside as he had seen this stare many times in his 17 years of life. Those eyes meant trouble for him and he was not prepared.

As the older man stepped into his room he reached forward and grabbed the boy's collar, roughly throwing him to the ground. He got on top of him with his large legs and pinning the small boy down. He struggled to break free but he already had his wrists in his grasps. The man's breath reeked of booze and make Kren want to vomit, just the sight of him was sore to look at.

His "father", though he was never really a father figure, had never kept good care of himself, not ever. He had on old, dirty jeans and a wife-beater than was stained from meals he had weeks ago. His teeth were yellow, his hair uncombed, and his eyes red with anger. The list goes on and on but the point has been made and it is that he has no boundaries when it comes to personal hygiene.

His own father toppled him, pinning him down and raising his fist into the air. He hit him. Kren whimpered and sunk deeper and deeper into the ground and into the sorrow that engulfed him. With each blow he received his body began to form new wounds. His small, soft cheeks were now decorated with fresh bruises and his arms and legs were red from the impact.

He cried out and pleaded for the older to stop: "Please…Stop, it hurts."

"Oh it hurts? Heh, well then let me make feel even better." With that he lifted up the boy's shirt, took his sharp, uncut nails and dug them into the boy's sides. He clawed and laughed. He clawed more and laughed more as the boys eyes filled with tears and pain. He screamed and kicked for him to stop and get off of his injured body. Blood poured from the scratch marks and slid down to the floor in tiny droplets. Blood fell, tears fell.

A whole hour passed and Kren endured this torture. Meanwhile his father seemed to relish in the pleasure he got from it. For Kren it was utter hell, for his twisted Dad it was utter bliss. He always had a strong hatred for the boy since he was a baby, he blamed him for the bad things that happened and took his rage out on him. Every single day. Since he has been recently fired and is now jobless, he spends his afternoon like this.

This was the only father figure Kren had in his life, he knew nothing but him. The only interactions the pair shared was between his fists and his skin. With the deed done, he got up off the boy and walked out the door. Not forgetting to slam it behind him. He left Kren all alone in nothing but his clothes and his misery. The boy curled up into a ball, the slightest movement causing him immense pain. He lay there thinking.

"Why me?"

"I never asked for this…"

"I never asked to be born."

His fragile heart had long since been past the breaking point. He cried and looked over his body with fear. New bruises covered him from head to toe, especially on his arms with which he tried to block his face with during the scuffle. With much effort he got up and looked in the mirror on his wall. A nasty-looking bruise was freshly on his face and he knew he would get questioned about it at school the following day.

Time to come up with another lie…

He was used to the occasional stare he would get from kids looking at his injuries. They would usually do no more than stare and point. But of course there are always those kids who want to be nosy. They inquired on how he got those bruises or how he got those cuts. There wasn't much he could say other than lies.

"Oh, my cat clawed me."

"Hmm? I dunno. I must have bumped into something."

"Heh, I fell down again."

These were only a few of the large list of lies he had used up.

How was he supposed to tell them otherwise? Admit the truth and rat out his Dad was not an option in his head. He knew how angry he would be if the school ever found out. In fact when he began abusing Kren he warned him to keep quiet about it, or else. He never asked what that "or else" meant but he knew it was nothing good, and something he never wanted to find out first hand.

He walked to the far corner of his cramped bedroom and sat down next to his dresser. With his beat up arms he pulled the bottom drawer, reached in and pulled out a hoodie. He stripped of his current shirt that was now stained with blood from the scratches on his torso which would definitely need some medical attention, but would he receive any? The answer to that question was simple. No.

He lay his previous shirt aside and put on his black and white stripped hoodie. This hoodie would serve as a great cover up in the days to come. Meaning that if he was able to cover up the wounds no one would question him about them. He sat there for a while longer, doing nothing more than contemplating his next few moves. He would think about lies for school, how he could fix the lock on his door to avoid any further encounters with his Dad, etcetera, etcetera…

Most kids his age wouldn't be thinking about those types of things, their topics would most commonly include: shopping, homework, friends, normal teenage things. But here Kren was lying in his own doubt and fear with no one to even come to his rescue. The fact was that nobody was even aware he needed rescuing.

Another hour had passed and Kren decided it was safe to venture beyond the limits of his room. He walked up to his door and opened it slightly; just enough to peek his head out and check if the coast was clear. Looks like it is… Kren slid through the small opening and made his way quietly to the bathroom.

Down the hall, and to the right was the family bathroom. Though no one except Kren used it. In there he was able to store all kinds of first aid items in cases like the one he is in now. With a shaking hand he opened up the cabinet mirror and grabbed the bottle of disinfectant off the shelf. He pushed down on the top of the can and began to spray his wounds in order to clean them all out. He mainly focused around the area on his stomach, where his Dad clawed him, which were the worst injuries he received.

Then with a single swoop of the hand he grabbed the box of ace bandages. He wrapped and wrapped and wrapped layers of bandages around his torso just to cover up the large array of injuries his father had given him. Once that was done he simply dabbed some antibiotic cream on the bruises on his arms and legs and on the big bruise on his face.

He looked in the mirror and to himself he looked like a hospital patient that had been dissected and taken apart then sloppily put back together. But it would have to do for now. He flipped the light switch to off then started walking back to his room; as soon as he did he heard the front door open once again.

Downstairs, a tall blonde woman walked through the doorway. She had lusciously long, tempting legs and her face was plastered with makeup. Red lipstick adorned her mouth and she wore a long, black dress with sequins. She had a very serious expression on her face, one that could be summed up in one word: disappointed.

This woman is Kren's mother. She is frequently getting home later and later each evening. Where she goes is not exactly a mystery to the boy, he has known for a long time that she has been having an affair with other men. She spends her weekends and nights like this, her husband though is completely oblivious to her actions, he doesn't even bother asking. He is always too busy for anyone else and only focusing on his own happiness which is alcohol and when that isn't enough he takes it out on his own son.

It's no wonder she is lonely. She is disappointed with her marriage, with her son, with her life all in all. She longs for more and when she doesn't get what she wants she gets angry too…

"KREN!" With a furious yell hidden by a devilish smile she yells up to the kid.

"Would you be a dear and grab me my lighter?"

Instantly the boy is frozen over with terror like a lake in the winter. With a quick gulp, he dashes downstairs for he knows there is no way he is going to get out of this. He rounds the corner of the stairs without making eye contact to his Mother, he is too afraid to even look her in the eyes. He enters the kitchen and opens the drawer near the sink which holds her lighter.

With long, swift movements she strides over to the youth. "Hmm? What happened this time, Kren?" She points to his bandages and bruises, just now taking them into notice. "Huh?" The boy shakes with fear and can't help the involuntary twitches from his hands and eyes. "Oh, this? It was-"

It was what exactly? It was Dad? There's no way I can tell her that. She wouldn't believe me anyways…

With a heavy heart he frowns and lies once again. "It was nothing, Mother. You don't have to worry." He stands there shaking, hoping she can't see through him. If his heart were a ticking time bomb it would go off right about now. His heart beat so fast, he was scared, and afraid to admit it to himself.

"Hmm… Is that so?" She finally speaks and glares at Kren. All of a sudden her tone of voice changes and the mood changes. "Hurry up and give me my lighter, dammit!" He rushes over to where she is now seated at the table and hands the lighter to her. "Sheesh you're such a dimwitted kid. Why did I ever give birth to such an idiot like you?" She grumbles and mumbles these words to herself, without any consideration for the boy standing beside her.

With one swift hand movement she grabs Kren's golden locks roughly and slams his head on the table. "Apologize!" He winces from the impact, and tears begin to well up in his eyes. He stutters but manages to speak. "…I-I'm sorry, Mom." She grips his hair tighter and pushes his head further on the table. "Not good enough, you're mocking me aren't you? You're not even sorry, are you? You useless piece of trash! It's all your fault my life ended up this way!" She spat these words into his face, her voice full of hate for the innocent boy.

"Its. All. Your. Fault!" With each word she spoke she picked up his head and slammed it on the kitchen table. "Apologize, again." She was dead serious. The boy didn't even know what he was apologizing for. He had no clue what he had done wrong. The truth was he blamed himself for his parent's unhappiness, he never wished for it to be this way. But it wasn't his fault, why would it be?

With her command there was no way he couldn't comply. "I'm sorry, I'm so sorry." Still not satisfied, but bored of toying with him she releases her grip and his head drops to the hardwood surface of the table. She shakes a cigarette out of the box and lights it up. She brings it to her mouth and smokes a few puffs, breathing in, and breathing out the smoke.

Her eyes go to where Kren has slumped down to the floor, tears dripping from his cheeks from the pain. His previous bruise that he received from his father is now twice as worse. She glares at the boy with a disgusted expression on her face, she feels no remorse for the way she treats her own kid. With a few more puffs of smoke she reaches down and grabs Kren by the hair once again.

She yanks on his blonde hair and pulls him up to stand on his wobbly feet. He winces from the pain and avoids any eye contact from her. Blood pours down from the side of his head, and down to his jawline from the previous contact with the table. She glares at him and growls deeply as if she is an animal which she certainly resembles in nature. She firmly holds her cigarette in one hand and grabs Kren's right hand with the other. She presses down hard, burning cigarette meeting flesh. Kren screams fill the air with pain.

The pain is almost unbearable. He pleads for her to stop, begging, crying, pleading, and bleeding. She doesn't. Instead she hammers down further. Tears flow from his eyes like a waterfall it hurts so badly but there's nothing he can say or do to make her stop. She finally releases her grip on the poor boy; he falls to the ground once again. He grits his teeth and grips his hand which still feels like it is on fire.

As if this weren't all enough his Mom grabs his by his upper arm and forcefully drags him all the way up the stairs. Each stair hitting his legs over and over again forming more bruises due to the way she was dragging him. At the top she looks him dead in the eye and says:

"You are a piece of trash."

She then proceeds to toss him down the flight of stairs. His head goes first and bumps all the way down. By the time he reaches the bottom he is already passed out from all the trauma he has endured.