I cheated myself when I said that I didn’t actually do the writing exercise at Saturday’s workshop. Actually, I did, I just didn’t get much accomplished in the time allotted. Here’s what I wrote (this version rewrote and quickly revised):
I know boys aren’t supposed to cry, at least that’s what Harley, my mom’s so-called husband, told me the last time he slapped me in the mouth, causing my lip to bleed. But this time I couldn’t help it, when he hit me with that bottle he was drinking from, I hit him back. I didn’t mean to, it was more reflex than anything else. But when my fist hit his jaw, he lost his balance, tumbling back, falling clean over the lazy-boy chair. He was so drunk he couldn’t even get up, and seemed more concerned with retrieving his bottle than anything else. I dashed up the stairs to my room while cursing him uncontrollably. I snatched the phone off of the wall, and slammed the door so hard behind myself that my autographed picture of Tim Duncan fell off the wall crashing to the floor. Seeing it lay there cracked and scratched didn’t help matters any. I had got that picture at a Spurs game the last time I visited my dad in Texas.
"Jay!" I could hear Harvey yelling, but I couldn’t make out what he was saying. I could hear him fumbling around downstairs, it sounded like he may have fallen again. I locked the door behind me.
I grabbed the phone, and slowly dialed the number, I had to get in touch with my dad, my real dad. A tear welled up in my eyes, rolled down my left cheek and into my mouth. It’s salty taste made me cringe as though I had just swallowed a teaspoon of gasoline.
"Hello," my dad answered. I tried to collect my composure, so he wouldn’t know I had been crying, but hearing his voice seemed to make my chest heave even worse. Quickly, I reached over to hang up.
"Hello," he said again. Jay, is that you?— Jay?" Damn, caller ID, he knows it’s me.
"Hi…dad…um, I need—"
"What’s wrong, Jay, are you ok? Is everything alright?" He asked.
"I need to ask you something very important," I said, practically choking the words out of my mouth. My mind kept going back to the last time that I had asked him this question. Then, he said no, and his faulty excuse cut like a knife.
"Dad," I asked. "Can I come live with you in Texas?"
Click…buzzz. The line went dead. Harley had pulled the phone cord from the socket.