By: J.L. Perry

They’d been seeing each other for a few months before she brought him to the house to meet me. I was on my best behaviour the first time we met. I did it for her. He was very pleasant until she left the room for a few minutes to get us some drinks. The way he looked me up and down with disdain instantly had my suspicions rising. As time wore on, those looks turned into hateful remarks. In the beginning I’d done nothing to provoke them. I guess he just took a disliking to me for some reason. Maybe because I was a bastard. Who knows? I was used to rejection. I’d faced it my whole life.

My mum’s love has always been unconditional. Even when I acted up, she still loved me, still cared. I’ll be forever grateful for that. She’s been through a lot with me over the years, but her feelings for me never wavered. Not once. I was nothing to Fuckwit, I guess. Just a thorn in his side. Someone standing in the way of him being with my mother.

I was shattered when he proposed and she accepted, but I didn’t let her know that’s how I felt. I wasn’t about to burst her bubble. She deserved happiness after all the sacrifices she’d made for me over the years. I wasn’t about to stand in her way.

The day he finally put the ring on her finger was the same day he made his true feelings for me be known. They had some lame-arse civil ceremony at the registry office. It was my mum’s first marriage. She deserved so much more than that. I didn’t even want to attend, but she wanted me there, so for her sake I had to grin and bear it.

Afterwards, the three of us were heading to a nice restaurant for a celebratory lunch. Well, they were celebrating. I sure as hell wasn’t. My mum asked Fuckwit to stop off at the local patisserie so she could buy a nice cake to take with us. The minute she was out of the car he gave me a hateful look through the revision mirror.

“I love your mother,” he told me. “But don’t think for a minute that any of that affection extends to you, because it doesn’t. In my eyes, you’re the unwelcomed part of the package.” I hate to admit it, but his hurtful words stung. It only served to make me feel even lower about myself.

Why was I such a hard person to love?

Before I get a chance to close the trunk, my stepfather leans out of the driver’s side window. “Hurry up, son. I haven’t got all day,” he sneers in a sarcastic tone. I swear he does shit like this to bait me. My head snaps in his direction.

“I’m not your son. You best remember that, old man,” I retort, my eyes narrowing. “If you got off your arse and helped instead of sitting there barking orders at me all afternoon, we would’ve finished hours ago.”

Throwing back his head, he laughs at my comment. He acts so sweet in front of my mum. She falls for his pathetic shit all the time. Truth is, he’s a fake-arse prick. As soon as my mum’s back is turned he treats me like dirt. She might love him, but I don’t. I fucking hate him. This is going to be the longest six months of my life.

Slamming the trunk shut, I make my way around to the passenger side of the car. “Wipe your damn feet before you get in the car,” he barks. I swear if there were some dog shit nearby right now, I’d tread in it just to spite him.

Sighing, I do as he asks before seating myself in the passenger side. “Prick,” I mumble under my breath.

“Watch that smart mouth of yours, boy. I won’t tolerate you speaking like that in my house, and especially in front of your mother.” I’d never speak like that to my mum. Him though, that’s a whole other story.

Ignoring him I turn my head, gazing out the window, taking one last look at my home as he backs out of the drive. Christ, it hasn’t even been twenty-four hours and I already want to punch him.

Not a word is spoken on the drive to his place. I’m thankful for that. My stomach is in knots. Living with this arsehole is going to be pure fucking hell. I have no idea what my mother sees in him, but surprisingly he makes her happy. That’s the only reason I’m going along with this bullshit. I’m doing it for her, no other reason. After everything she has sacrificed for me she deserves to be happy.

It’s about an hour’s drive from my old neighbourhood to the gates of hell. Fuck, I need a cigarette. As soon as we pull into the street I’ll now be calling home, my heart rate picks up. The street is lined with perfect houses, with perfect lawns and fancy manicured gardens.

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