Man of the Housebyclearwinston©
"Get the fuck out! If I ever see you in this house again, I'll kill you! I swear I will!"
I stood over my father's body, seething with rage. He was drunk and bloody. He didn't show up that way. Well, not bloody anyway.
I walked in at the wrong time. For him. I had been out playing football with my friends. We met every Sunday afternoon and played a pick-up game with whoever else showed up to the field behind the National Guard Armory. After about two hours of full-contact football, I was sweaty, gritty, scraped up, and exhausted. A few of us stopped off to eat some pizza before I drove home.
My stomach knotted up when I saw my dad's truck in the driveway. I parked at the curb and as soon as I rounded the bumper of my car I heard my mom yelling with a return from my father. I burst forth in a run across the lawn when I heard a sharp scream from my mom. I had heard that scream before, countless times while growing up. It was the immediate response to the hand across her face, usually knocking her to the ground.
I burst through the front door, never stopping to close it. I kept running through the narrow hall, following the noise of repeated smacks peppered through constant begging and crying. As I rounded the corner, breaking the rule of removing my shoes before walking on the carpet, I saw my dad bent over, his hand wrapped around my mother's bicep, her form cowering on the floor. His hand was back over his head for another blow as he spit insults at her.
His "bitch" was cut off when my shoulder caught him under the arm, his feet leaving the ground before he landed on his side on the living room carpet. He didn't have time to recognize my face before my left hand had a fistful of t-shirt and my right fist smashed into his face repeatedly.
It wasn't until my mother screamed at me to stop that I came out of my rage and stood up, dropping my father onto the carpet. Okay, so I shoved him onto the carpet.
"Get the fuck out! If I ever see you in this house again, I'll kill you! I swear I will!" It was hard to see with the tears in my eyes. He was blurry, but I could tell his face was spattered with blood. He was barely moving, but he groaned. He was obviously dazed, which was a step further from death than I had wished, but there it was. Naturally he wasn't in any position to leave on his own, so again the responsibility fell to me. His responsibilities had always fallen to me.
I pulled him up by his arm, enough to get my other arm around his ribs. As much as I wanted to drag him out by his feet instead, I carried him like a drunken friend, dragging him to the front door and off the porch, literally dropping him on the lawn. Confident he wasn't going back into the house, I walked next door and knocked on Mrs. Wilkes' front door. After a moment, she opened it and her face showed that she knew what I needed.
"I'll get the camera," she said.
I nodded. "Thank you."
Mrs. Wilkes had lived next door to us for as long as we'd lived there. When we moved in, I was six and my sister, Erin, was three. Mrs. Wilkes and her husband didn't have any children of their own, so she treated us like family, watching us when needed, and sharing in celebrations of birthdays and Easter lunch. They were a few years older than my parents, her husband a retired Air Force colonel who became a golf pro, and she spent her time volunteering with charities.
The first time she let on that she knew, we had lived there about two years. Years later, mom told me the story after she had requested I go get Mrs. W. After Mrs. W. came and took some pictures, sending me out of the room while she did so, I asked mom about it.
Taking a deep breath and patting her bed, mom sat down on the edge and I took a seat as she had invited. "A few years ago, your father and I had a fight. You and Erin were at school and your father was drunk. Again. Unsurprisingly, it got heated quickly and your dad started in on me. When he had his fill of beating me, he left and I cleaned up and went outside to trim the rose bushes. Gardening has always comforted me, you know." I nodded.
"As I worked on the roses, I didn't hear her walk up, but she had approached the fence and caught me off-guard. 'Michelle, are you all right?' she asked. I thought I was, but I just started crying. Maybe it was too fresh or maybe it was just that she asked. She immediately pulled me to her and hugged me over the fence." She laughed a little and said, "I remember the thorns digging into my hip and leg, but didn't want to say anything. When I had settled down, she invited me to her house for tea. While we were there she told me that she had heard us several times, but didn't want to make things worse for me by imposing. That day, however, she said she had had enough. She had been doing some research and called a friend of hers at social services who works with victims of abuse. She said the best thing to do is to be a safe place.
"So Mrs. W. offered to help me build a case if I ever decided to press charges or file for divorce. Or...to help the police if something...should happen to me." She took a deep breath. "So she took me upstairs and took pictures of my injuries while they were fresh. She keeps them in a safe place so your father can't find them in our house and get rid of them. She's been taking pictures ever since."
I can't count the times I've been to Mrs. W's house at my mother's request. And somehow she was always able to treat my father as if she didn't know what he had been doing. Up until the separation last year, that is. My mom had finally had enough and kicked him out, threatening to call the police. She still hasn't called them and she hasn't filed for divorce. I think mostly she just wants to feel safe, not be single. A separation means hope, but a divorce doesn't.
Mrs. W. followed me back over to the house and as we rounded my dad's truck at the end of the driveway, she stopped and gasped, "Oh, my."
"Yeah," I cleared my throat. "I, uh..." I was suddenly embarrassed and looked down.
"I see," she said with a smirk, placing a gentle hand on my shoulder. "Let's go take care of your mother."
When we got inside, mom was still curled up against the wall where I left her, but now she was crying. I felt like a shit for not coming back in to check on her. What a dick move. I rushed over to her and knelt down beside her. "Mom." She looked at me, her eyes red with tears, and her left cheekbone swollen. She had blood streaking out of her left nostril and her lip was cut open. "I'm sorry I left you. Are you okay?" She placed her hand on my cheek and nodded, reassuring me that she was not upset with me. She knew the necessary routine.
She looked past me to see Mrs. W. standing behind me. "Oh, Trish, I'm so sorry to call you again." She began to cry again.
Mrs. W. was at her other side in a blink, talking as she crouched down, the camera hanging from her wrist by the strap as she reached around my mother's shoulders. "Believe me, dear, you're not the one who should be apologizing."
Again mom nodded. Carefully, we helped my mother to her feet, me on one side, Mrs. W. on the other. They didn't even bother asking me to leave the room this time like they usually did. Mrs. W. just began taking pictures from different angles, making sure not to miss any wounds. "Cory," she called.
I snapped out of my haze. "Ma'am?"
"Why don't you go get something to help me clean her up while I finish this?"
"Yeah, sure." I turned and went upstairs to grab a washcloth, some cotton balls and hydrogen peroxide, then halfway down the hall, I remembered I'd better get ointment just in case and returned to the bathroom before bounding down the stairs. I u-turned the corner into the kitchen and stopped dead in my tracks.
"Son of a bitch," I muttered. Mrs. W. was snapping pictures of my mother topless. But that wasn't what surprised me. My mom had her back to me, so all I saw was her back, but she had large welts and bruises across her back and around her upper arms where my father was fond of grabbing her.
At my voice, my mother jumped and hugged herself as if hiding her breasts which I couldn't see anyway. "Cory!"
"I'm sorry, mom. Here, I'll turn around." I turned my back to them and saw a couple more camera flashes reflected on the wall, hearing the electronic click of the digital camera with each flash.
"There. That should be enough for now," I heard Mrs. W. say. "You can turn around now, Cory."
I turned around just as my mom's shirt dropped to her waist. She brushed her short brown hair behind her ear, looking sheepish as if I had just caught her doing something she shouldn't have been.
I pulled a chair around from the table so I could clean mom's face and Mrs. W. took the washcloth to the sink to get it wet. As we began to gently clean her up, Erin came through the front door and stopped when she saw us at the table.
"Oh my god! What happened?"
"Erin!" mom corrected her.
"What mom?" my sister dropped her shoulders and crossed her arms. "He's not?"
Mom didn't say anything, but gave her a stern look of disapproval. She knew Erin was right, but she also didn't like her kids talking about their father that way. She had told us repeatedly. There's no telling what was coming for me later after the beating I gave him.
I continued to clean mom's cuts as I asked Erin, "So I'm guessing he's not here anymore?"
"What? No. His truck isn't here."
"That makes sense," said Mrs. W. "Since you didn't step over him on the lawn." She winked at me and I smiled back. I looked at mom and she gave me a half-hearted smile and mouthed, "Thank you."
"What do you mean?" Erin asked, approaching us and pulling out a chair at the table to sit down. No one said anything. "Mom?" Erin persisted.
"Your brother kicked him out. Well, dragged him out."
"Cory, you did?"
I just shrugged.
"We'll talk about it later, baby," mom replied. For now, would you please spray the carpet by the couch so I can clean that up when I'm finished here?
Erin turned around to look at the carpet and saw the blood stains on the light brown carpet. "What's that?" she asked, getting up to look closer.
"Your father," mom said, winking at me.
"Holy shit! Cory?" She whipped her head around at me, a huge smile on her face.
Again, I shrugged, smiling back at mom, continuing to clean the cut at the outside tip of her eyebrow.
Erin practically bounced over to the kitchen sink, getting the carpet cleaner before shaking her head and laughing a little as she sprayed the carpet. We've used a lot of that cleaner over the years, but it's mostly been for mom's blood. I think this is the first time it's ever been used on dad's.
After mom was cleaned up, Mrs. W. went back home to print the pictures for the file and to stow the pictures and a printed, dated report in the file, along with the original camera disc. She assured us that she stored them in her firebox with their important documents in case anything ever happened to her, so that we could have access to them. Col. W. knew about it, but promised to keep his nose out of it until invited in.
After Erin cleaned the carpet, she went upstairs to draw mom a bath to relax her and to heal her wounds a little, hopefully preventing any additional soreness in her muscles. As I was putting the cotton balls and peroxide back into the first aid kit, my mother took my hand and pressed it against her right cheek, the one that wasn't swollen. "Thank you, baby, for taking care of momma." I hadn't called her momma since I was little.
"I love you, mom." She wasn't looking at me, but was still looking down, as if ashamed.
"I love you, too, baby."
I finished putting everything back and closed the lid to the plastic box. "Here, let's get you upstairs for your bath." I wrapped my left hand around her back and took her right hand in mine, when she grabbed my wrist and fingers.
"Oh, Cory, your hand!" She was looking at me with that same look that she had given me when I fell off the top of the slide and when I dropped off the monkey bars and when I got spiked as a catcher in high school. Her brow was furrowed up and her deep brown eyes filled with tears.
"It's fine, mom." I pulled my hand away.
"It's not fine!" she snapped, looking me in the eyes. More gently, she said, "Let me clean that up for you. She pulled me toward my chair again, and reached for the first aid kit.
I sat in my chair and laid my hand on the table and winced as she cleaned out the cuts on my swollen knuckles. I don't know if I caught dad's teeth a few times or what. Honestly, I'd only been in one other fight in my life, which was in middle school and that fight was with Mark Harvey. We mostly rolled around on the ground stretching each other's shirts and taking the occasional shot to the ribs. Nothing like this.
After a few minutes of complaining about the sting and my mom telling me to hold still, she put everything away and held my hand. Looking into my eyes, she told me, "I don't know how to thank you for what you did for me today. I was shocked when it happened, but I was more scared for your father. I've never seen you so angry before. You've always taken care of me after a fight, but I've never seen you in one. So thank you. But don't ever do that again. Okay?"
"I can't promise that, mom." I looked at her, tears in my eyes. "Something just took over today, you know? It's almost like I couldn't control it. I'm afraid I'm just like him."
"You're nothing like him!" she yelled, jolting me. "Don't say that!" She calmed a little and continued on. "Your father is an angry drunk. You're a protector. You're the kind of man any woman would be lucky to have. Right now I'm lucky you're here. With me. And with your sister. She looks up to you, you know. A lot."
"Well, I guess I have to be the man of the house now?" I asked.
"Baby," mom countered, peering straight into my eyes, "You've been the only man in this house for a long time." She patted my cheek and leaned forward to kiss me right at the corner of my mouth. It's been years since that happened. When I was a little boy, we used to kiss on the mouth, but when I got older, it moved to the cheek. I was surprised and a little confused. But not offended. Not in the least.
"Bath's ready," Erin said. She had apparently just walked into the kitchen as we finished our talk. "Come on, mom," she said, helping her up and giving me a little smile, "I'll help you in so you don't fall."
"Thank you, sweetie. I hate that you have to help out so much."
"Not at all." With that, Erin helped mom up around the corner, slowly shuffling and moving very slowly up the stairs. A few minutes later my sister returned as I was rinsing out the washcloth in the kitchen sink, trying to get the blood out of it with dish soap.
"So," she said, popping up to sit on the counter, "Tell me about it." I sighed, but then relayed the story the best I could remember, stopping to fill in details as she interrupted to ask for them.
Let me tell you about my sister. Erin has always been popular at school, and for good reason. She's outgoing, athletic, compassionate, and naturally beautiful. She took after our dad's side of the family. Her hair is long and blonde, lighter in the summer, darker in winter. She has gorgeous blue eyes and moderately tanned skin. She doesn't do tanning beds or spray, but she's outside playing soccer or competing in swim meets enough that she has a good solid base. Her form is lean, but not skinny. She has a little curve to her hips, with an amazing rear end. Her breasts are smaller, but still look great on her. In her racing suit, she looks sleek and athletic, but in her bikinis she looks incredibly sexy and tone.
Our mom, on the other hand has more fair skin and dark brown hair with a little hint of natural red tint to it. Her eyes are deep brown and she keeps her hair too short to reach her shoulders, but long enough to touch the collar on her suit jacket. Her hair has a little more wave to it, making it full, but stylish. She is very classy and modest in her wardrobe and some of my friends have made comments about her, much to my embarrassment. But I can't say they are wrong. Her figure is a little more full, probably from age and two pregnancies, but she is still pretty small, and curvy. Her breasts are bigger than Erin's, but aren't huge. She works out regularly, running and swimming, so she has a good solid form.
I have the blond hair of my dad, but my mom's brown eyes. I tan pretty easily and keep in shape by just playing racquetball and football with my friends a few times a week. At 22, I'm finishing up college in a few months and have a couple of offers on the table from local businesses. I didn't want to go too far away because of the way dad treats mom. Erin feels the same way and has chosen to go to the same school I am, which is less than an hour away and has the major she wants as well. And they offered her an athletic scholarship for soccer, which is a great bonus for her and our parents. At 19, she's a freshman who already has the attention of the starting players and the coaches as one of their most gifted players.
"Holy shit, Cor! I can't believe you did that!" She looked excited, but I was still kind of ashamed. She jumped down and wrapped her arms around my neck, standing on her tip toes to reach. "You take such good care of us! I love you so much!" With that she turned and kissed me on the corner of my mouth like mom had before letting go and giving me that beautiful Erin smile.
I hate to admit it, but I felt my dick stir at that one. I know, I was surprised, too. Don't judge me.
"Yeah...well, uh...listen. I need to go clean up and then I'll go get us some cheese steaks for supper."
"Oh, yay! Cheese steaks!" Erin bounced and clapped. No wonder she was popular. She just made me feel like I had stopped the apocalypse or something.
I went upstairs to my room and grabbed some fresh underwear, shorts and a t-shirt before heading into the bathroom. I let the hot water run over me, stinging the scrapes and micro-cuts from the grass on my arms and legs, as I thought about this afternoon. So much had happened in such a short time. I thought about my mom, and how she had been beaten down by my father the jackass for so many years. I saw her cowering in the corner and heard her begging him to stop. Then I heard her scream for me to stop as I beat the shit out of my father in response. I recalled that kiss in the kitchen and then thought about Erin naked, lowering my naked mom into her bath...
Whoa! Where did that come from?! Shaking it off, there was a tinge of guilt in my stomach. But my dick had a better imagination than I did, because he kept writing the story and sending it to my brain. My conscious brain was hitting the delete button over and over in a panic, but my boner kept hitting send.
What kind of a sick fuck am I?!
But there it was, the image of my sister, naked and tan with perky tits arching her back seductively, her perfect ass jutting out as she gently lowered my mother into the tub. My mom's bruises were gone. Her skin was smooth and soft and perfect. Her breasts were incredible and her hips flared to give her that voluptuous figure. My mom's knees were together and as she lowered herself to sit in the tub, she let out a seductive "Mmmmmmm, yeah" when she reached the water. "This feels soooo good, baby. Thank you." She stroked the back of Erin's thigh as she looked up at her face with a faint smile.
"You're welcome, mom. Anything for you. I just want you to be happy," Erin replied, stroking mom's hair.
"You know what would make momma happy, sweetie?" mom asked.
Erin tilted her head to the side, and touched her hand onto mom's. "I can guess," she said innocently. Without another word, Erin stepped into mom's big garden tub, settling in across from her, making a cooing sound as her ass made contact with the hot water. Mom turned around, her back to Erin, and Erin grabbed mom's loofah off the side of the tub, wets it and begins washing mom's back and shoulders. She works down the arms before pulling mom back against her to rest on her.