I looked at the car in the driveway. I’d never seen it before but I knew exactly who owned it. We hadn’t seen him in five years and I’d hoped we would never have to see him again.
“SHIT! I don’t feel like dealing with that asshole,” I fumed.
“Are you telling me that’s your dad’s car? When was the last time you saw him?” Tyler turned to face me. His eyebrows arched and his hands relaxed on the steering wheel so I knew he was curious. Tyler was one of the few friends who knew about my dad’s issues with the drugs. He was actually there the last time my father walked out on us—back when I was a scrawny twelve year old. That time I’d told him if he ever came back, I’d throw him out myself. Mom had promised after he’d left that she was never letting him come back again. He’d practically wiped out Mom’s bank account and we’d struggled for a while after that. No way I was doing that again. A month shy of my eighteenth birthday, this time I was going to kick that fucker out of my house, and out of our lives, for good.
I scrambled from the car without answering Tyler’s question, but heard his footsteps as he followed me toward the house. I threw open the front door and saw the son of a bitch standing in the living room. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see my mother sitting on the couch, her head in her hands as she choked back the sobs.
“What the fuck are you doing here?” I yelled.
“Don’t you dare talk to me that way, I’m your father,” he bellowed. The sound of knuckles cracking filled the air as his fists clenched at his sides. It’d been five years, but he still wore the same sneer on his face. He took a step toward me and I knew he expected me to back down, but what he failed to realize was that I wasn’t intimidated by him anymore. Back when I was twelve he seemed like a giant. Now, at six foot two, I had a good four inches on him and, thanks to Coach busting our asses at the gym, I had an extra twenty pounds of muscle.
“You’re not my father.” I shot him a look of disgust. “You gave up the right to call yourself that when you decided to walk out on us for the pills,” I snapped.
He stalked towards me but before he got there Mom looked up from her hands. “Stop it!” she said, sounding so tired. “Alan, I told you to leave. I will not allow you back into our lives just so you clean out our bank accounts again.” I took a closer look at her face and noticed a red welt on her cheek.
He’d hit her.
He’d never been physically abusive before. Emotionally, definitely, but he’d never laid a hand on her in anger. Until now.
Rage poured through my veins like acid. I moved toward him and he was so focused on her that he never saw my fist coming. With the full force of my weight behind it, my fist connected with his jaw, snapping his head sideways.
His hand clutched his jaw and I saw the fury on his face, but I wasn’t a scrawny twelve-year-old anymore. I heard my mom screaming as I tackled my father to the ground. Tyler tried to grab me, but I continued to land punches, not caring where I hit, just as long as they connected. My arms were suddenly wrenched behind me—my mother had one, and Tyler had the other—and I was dragged off him.
Hearing him moaning in pain, I tried to free myself from their grasp so I could beat his ass some more. When I couldn’t get free I snarled at him, “You will NEVER lay another fucking hand on her again, you sorry son of a bitch.”
He slowly rolled to his feet, clenching his side with one hand and his nose with the other. “You’ll pay for this, you little bastard.”