Aiden Point of view

"Hey where is the nearest store?"

"Down the street a little ways, why?"

"Well I need to check on Naomi's car and I'm craving a hamburger. Crackers just aren't enough. Lol. What do you want?

"I don't think I can eat" -grumble-

"But apparently your stomach has other ideas. "

"Would it be too much trouble for a Whataburger with-"

"Bacon, mustard, and no vegi's. Got it."

With that I threw on his hoodie and was out the window.

Irish Point of view I didn't wanna see him go, but this gave me time to pack up his bag, he'd be leaving today. We were lucky that Da didn't break down my door or that none of the neighbors had seen us pissing and me throwing up out the fucking windows. It had definitely been a strange last four days. But I had survived and he had survived. That's all I can ask for. I looked around the room, under the bed, and in all the drawers to make sure I found everything. I looked in the drawer by my bed last and found my gun. Those memories came back to me of that night, and I felt sick to my stomach. I slammed the drawer and went to the kitchen to get some water.

Standing in the kitchen leaning against the counter I looked into my back yard. I remembered when my brothers, Aiden and I would run around out there with old paper towel sleeves and pretend we were explores. Those paper towel sleeves would be swords and telescopes and everything in between. I laughed at this and continued to drink my water and let the memory take me away. That was a mistake.

I felt it before I heard or saw it. The thick arm going around my neck and squeezing hard. I dropped the glass in the sink and heard it shatter as I clawed at the arm. I threw an elbow back into a soft yet solid gut and I knew instantly I had made a huge mistake.

"You little worthless mother fucker!"

I was thrown to the floor and tried to regain my balance quickly to run to my room, but I was still too weak and as I went to brace myself to get up my legs were kicked from under me and a boot connected squarely with my thigh. -Ahhhhhh- My Da got on top of me and grabbed me around the throught again this time bending me back rapidly cutting off my air supply.

"Where the fuck have you been! Huh?! You too good to cook for me bitch!" I don't know how I missed it, his breathe smelled terrible. Vodka and cigarettes, and something else I couldn't place.

I was trying desperately to breathe, but I couldn't, I was slipping. -Da please- He released me and flipped me over and I thought it was over. I blinked a few times to clear my eyes and I saw it right as it connected. The full force of his fist connecting to my left eye and then I felt and heard the crack as I was punched in the nose and it broke.

"Worthless shit!" He wobbled off towards his room and shut the door.

'Get up. Get up. Get up!' I rolled over and tried to stand, falling once when I braced myself on my hurt thigh. I stumbled to my room and locked the door. Laying on my bed I curled up in a ball and shook until I drifted off to sleep. Too exhausted to do anything else.

'Irish! Oh my God!' I woke up to Aiden sitting on the bed next to me. He moved my head into his lap the food laying in the bags dropped on the floor, cups on the table. He stroked my hair and soothed me as I cried. I was so tired. I didn't want to be beaten anymore. I didn't want to do this. He moved for a moment to go into his bag and get another washcloth and using the water from the cup he got from Whataburger he cleaned up my face saying it wasn't as bad as he thought it was. My door began to rattle and thrash. I jumped off the bed and closed my windows leaving the one over my bed unlocked. I grabbed Aiden and the food and we moved into the closet and closed the door. We sat on stacks of clean cloths and linens that he had washed. I leaned into him and he put his arms around me as we waited. Soon we heard my windows being shook. The one above my bed I left open so that my Da would think that I jumped out of it and ran off again. He couldn't get up and into that window himself. I had done this more times then I wanted to admit. We didn't hear anything for a long time until we heard my Da yelling obviously on the phone, the front door slam and then his car started up and pulled off. We came out of the closet and forgetting all about the food laid down on the bed together and I drifted back to sleep.

"Go home Aiden" I said dryly as he sat on my now again freshly change bed. For the life of me I don't know how he found time to do all this laundry. It was Friday late morning now, Da was still gone and since my brothers didn't get home last night they would be home today with no doubt. I wasn't up for going to school, I still felt like shit from the withdrawal pains and now I felt even worse after this morning's meeting with Da. What I really wasn't up for was trying to sneak Aiden out of my house once everyone else got back. Da would be especially pissed that he couldn't find me to beat me again when he looked before he took off, my brothers would be pissed that all the laundry they left wasn't done and for pissing off Da, but they would all be furious when I told them not only was nothing done, but that I didn't earn any money. My family was more lenient on me if I gave money to the house and helped them struggle a little less, but with no money and nothing done I was in for three ass kicking's.

"I'm not leaving you here to deal with them by yourself! That's final Irish, FUCK!" He screamed.

He was seething mad. Perhaps he had a point, I didn't start this conversation off on the best foot; saying 'ok it's time for you to leave' while were lying in bed together, my head on his chest and he soothed me was one of my stupider ideas I'd had in recent days.

"Look, I'm sorry. That was a dick thing for me to say, but Aiden I'm not strong enough to worry about you in this house when my brothers and my Da gets home. If they found you here, I don't know what I'd do. Please Aiden."

My eyes start to water and my hands tremble as my knees feel weak. He stands up to steady me and we sit down with me putting my arm around his shoulder and his arm behind my back. I take a deep breath and breathe in the scent of the rose water still wafting through my room; it's mixing gently with his scent and the Irish Spring soap he used to take a shower with- foresty. It was soothing and the tightness that had been developing in my muscles was starting to ease up. -Sigh- I look down at him and he looks defeated, and relief washes over me. 'HA' He springs up and reaches in the drawer by my desk for his phone and begins rapidly dialing a number placing the phone on speaker and waiting. I look at him puzzled as to what in the hell is going on, but he just looks at me smug and continues to wait. Just when I saw a look of annoyance cross his face the line picked up. -Fuck-

"What on God's green earth took you so long to call me?!" As Naomi's voice filled with irritated southern drawl rang out of the phone I hang my head and knew that I am totally screwed.

"I'm sorry, it's been a rough last four days and this morning was bad, but I need your help with something."

"Well speak up child, are you ok? Is Irish ok? Do I need to call the police? Do I..." She listed off a growing list of things before Aiden got here to calm down.

"Woah Naomi, nothing like that. I just need you to talk to Irish, his Dad and brothers get home today and he wants me to leave him here alone. He basically told me to get out."

The next sound I heard could have brought the meanest dog to its knees and made Aiden and myself visibly flinch. And then we heard nothing, no wait breathing, we could hear deep calming breathing. "Irish are you their?" The tone was smooth and dangerous. If you can envision the eye of a Hurricane it reminded me of that. I couldn't speak all I could was nod and Aiden told here I was here and could hear her. "Irish boy you will get up and pack a bag and come with Aiden to my house. You two have one hour to get here, if you are not here so help me God I will be at your house so fast lightning couldn't catch me and I will cause such a scene the police will have to respond." With that she hung up the phone and the room feel silent.

"Holy shit."

I didn't say anything I got up off the bed and grabbed two large duffle bags from the top of my right closet and looked around my room. I had the feeling I wouldn't be coming back home... no this had long since stopped being my home. We both moved around the room silently packing my two bags. Aiden helped me by grabbing my cloths, how he knew which things were my favorite I don't know, but I smiled at that even though I didn't let him see it. I focused on getting my keep sakes; the few things I had hidden around the room: my mother's pictures, my grandmothers cookbook, a picture of me and my brothers when we were younger and happy. My rings and necklaces were next followed by any of the expensive things I had bought myself including my tablet I kept hidden under a floor board. Aiden had grabbed my books and notebooks and sketch pad and packed them. 'Get my gun. I don't want my Da to find it.' He went to the drawer and pulled out the gun, putting it in his bag. I was going to protest, but I knew after what had happened he might actually punch me in the jaw if I did. I sat down at my desk and wrote three quick notes. One to my oldest brother Cian; I had always looked up to him and he had never seemed to like me. I wrote how I wished we had been closer, how I didn't know what I did for him to hate me, and how I was sorry for not knowing how to help him. I wrote the next note to my Da, I told him how he was never there when I needed him and how I tried to be the perfect son for him. I apologized for him losing mom. Finishing it with please don't look for me. The last note I wrote was longer, it was to my middle brother Carney. He had been the one to protect me when we were younger, he consoled me when I was sick or scared. He was the one who helped me past losing mom and told me that Irish men are strong and we won't break down. He was cruel to me, but never as violent as Da and Cian. He was the one who when drunk would apologize to me and hug me saying he wished he was a better brother. I wrote to him how I love him and how one day I hope he makes it out. I told him he didn't owe them anything and that it was ok to let go. I folded the notes and went to put them on their beds. Aiden had taken our three bags out to the car parked two houses down on the opposite side of the street. He was standing in the door smiling at me, making my heart melt. I took a deep breath and looked around before stepping back into my room. I pulled up the base board in my closet where I had my money stashed; grabbing the rusted tin box and headed towards the front door. Slowly walking up the walk way shirt dirty eyes blood shot hunched over fists balled as Da. "Aiden! Run!" I screamed and he ran towards me; we rushed, him helping me with my thigh throbbing into my room and slam the board across just in time to hear a sounds of my Da's shoulder hitting the door with a sickening crack.

"I'll get you!!!! Trying to run away!!!"

Aiden Point of View

We heard his heavy footsteps run into the kitchen and then the sound of the screen door slamming shut. It was quiet, to quiet and panic was setting in. Suddenly with a grunt an axe came through the door. Again and again. With such destructive force that the door would not last long. I threw Irish's arm over my shoulder and began dragging him towards the window. He was snow white and cold with sweat, he was terrified. I jumped out the window first and helped him get out of it, landing on the ground with a muffled groan. We didn't want to alert his Dad that we were making our escape. We slowly crept around the house and then made a hobbling dash for the car. I helped him into his side and just then a truck pulled up. 'Get in! Get it NOW!' I ran to my side, swinging the door open and got in locking the doors. Two men jumped out of the truck both running inside. We drove away, the sound of screeching tires being heard across the neighborhood. People stood in there front doors and peered out of windows to see the chaos unfolding. I looked into my rearview mirror and saw his oldest brother running after the car. I sped away until he was a dot and I turned the corner.



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