Redemption (Forgiven Series)(2)

By: Rebecca Brooke

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.”

When he took a step toward us, Tyler and Mom let me go. Tyler stepped up next to me and pulled my mother behind him. I laughed without humor. “I haven’t been ‘little’ in a long time, you piece of shit. Now you better turn around and walk your sorry ass out that door!”

His eyes raked over me. “Don’t worry. I’ll walk my sorry ass out the door, and straight to the police station!”

I clenched my fists at my sides, while Tyler shrugged. How was he so calm when it was taking everything I had to just stand there? “Be my guest. But when they come to question us, it’ll be our word against yours. Just remember, you hit her first,” Tyler said casually. His tone suggested he was bored, but his eyes told a different story. It was all a façade, and even though it wasn’t his mom who’d been hurt, he was as pissed as I was.

“This is not the end of this,” he snarled.

I took a step towards him. “This is the end of this, because I promise, if I ever see you here again, you will not walk out that door.”

We all stood rooted to our spots for what seemed like forever before my father finally turned and walked out of our lives.

Hopefully for good.

I was packing my equipment up for practice when I heard yelling coming from the kitchen. I grabbed my bag and walked into the living room to find Mom on the phone, looking like she was ready to throw something. I rolled my eyes.

Here we go again.

Mom and Dad were fighting, that was nothing new. Ever since they’d gotten divorced four years ago, the conversations were always the same. Mom would call my dad to make arrangements for his visitation, but he always had an excuse. They’d argue for a good half an hour before Dad would either give in and come to pick me up as scheduled—which happened very rarely—or he’d send an expensive present, as if that made up for not being around.

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