A story about a thirteen year old boy who just wants his life to make sense and break free the bonds of his Christian town and strict mother.
Couldn’t Do It Alone…
Chapter 1: Uncle Rich’s Funeral.
Today was my birthday. It was also the day of my Uncle Rich’s funeral. I hardly knew him. My birthday did not really matter. Despite turning thirteen only happened once and having the pleasure of not wearing a tacky and itchy new suit. My Aunt Gladys had picked it. The moment she saw me within the suit she had tears in her eyes and said I was the splitting image of Uncle Rich. Apparently, it was the same kind of orange plaited suit Uncle Rich used to wear. The moment my Aunt had said that I resembled Uncle Rich in the suit, I had an image of Uncle Rich wearing the same kind of suit in his coffin. I shuddered at the thought, not wanting to resemble a dead person, relative or not.
My mum practically had to drag me on the way to the car to attend the funeral at the town church. I put up a great struggle but eventually gave up. On the way, I kept fiddling with my orange bow tie. The high collar kept on threatening to strangle me and I kept on scratching, which only made the itchiness worse.
“Don’t fiddle with it, Henry,” stated my mother in a disapproving manner as she kept on driving.
Huffing slightly, I crossed my arms in a disgruntled manner and glanced out the window.
(to be continued...)
“What...what do you mean?” I asked her, stumbling slightly over my words.
“Well, I heard my dad say that he liked a woman on television because he thought she looked sexy,” stated Jenny clearly.
Jenny lived with her father, a bit like Tom did, but aside from Tom, Jenny was a girl and her dad was not so much a lazy bum as Tom’s dad.
“Well, I Don’t know…” I stated, even though my mind was screaming YES!!!
Jenny seemed sort of bummed at this.
“Oh,” was all she stated and the rest of the walk to the church doors we did in silence.
I felt like a fool as we were walking along. Jenny probably thought I was a fool too.
I tried to avoid looking at her as we walked out, letting go of her hand as we emerged into the sunlight from the dreary church.
I watched as Jenny left my side, her Sunday dress seeming to make her look more noticeable then I gave her credit for. She turned and smiled at me and I smiled back, watching her turn around and get back into her car with her parents.
“Do not let your mind dwell on such things, lad,” said a voice beside me. I glanced to the side of me and saw Brother David with a somewhat stern yet distant look on his face.
“It is not good for the soul,” he murmured before my attention was drawn to my mum’s loud voice.
(to be continued...)
Here we go...hopefully that is enough.
(part 38, end of Chapter 3)
“Henry! Stop standing there like a turnip and hurry up!” snapped my mum at me that made me jump slightly.
She was sitting in the car waiting for me, a vengeful look upon her face.
I knew it was probably about her being upset with dad, but still it did not feel good to have your mum shout for you just after church.
I grew red in the face with embarrassment but realised it did not matter what other people thought. Using this thought as a confidence boost, I marched over to the car and got in the passenger side, banging the car door after me.
Chapter 4: The Lighter Incident…
The ride home seemed shorter then I remember. I kept fiddling with the hem of my Angelic Proclaim robe, yanking it down slightly cause it was riding over my knees. I felt embarrassed enough as it was just wearing the stupid thing. Sure, I was wearing some boxer shorts underneath but it still felt silly.
My mother did not pay attention to me. She still had the look of thunder on her face as we rode up into our driveway.
(to be continued...)
I did not really know what it was she was angry about but I assumed it had something to do with me. I was the cause of my mother’s anger mostly, especially after she had a couple of drinks. One night she drank too much and started cussing at me because she mistook me for Dad. I decided to ignore her after that night.
I watched as my mum left the car and followed behind her into the house. I immediately shut the front door behind me after we entered and watched my mum walk towards the kitchen. It was obvious to me what she intended to do so I decided to go up to my room before she came back.
I took the stairs two at a time, I wanted to get this stupid “skirt” off me as quickly as possible. I had heard when I was ten from the older boys who were previous members of Angelic Proclaim that the more you wore the robe the more queer you became. Now, I did not really understand what they meant until Tom had explained to me that queer meant two guys who liked each other…a lot. Needless to say I was disgusted by it and I somewhat still feel a bit weird about it now but understand it is a choice for guys to make.
I tried asking my Dad about it when he came over last year but he merely told me it was best not to question it. I suggested I’d ask my mother but he said she’d probably put soap in my mouth for such things since she is a “devoted Christian” and things like two guys liking each other is a sin or something.
(to be continued...)
Frankly, I could have cared less what my mother thought but I had agreed and never mentioned it to her.
I made my way into my room and immediately took my Angelic Proclaim robe off after closing my bedroom door behind me. I stood there in my boxer shorts gazing at the maroon-coloured material within my hands. Scrunching it up I flung it to the sidewall where it landed on top of my waste paper basket. I did not care if my mum found it there, she was used to it and did nothing but hang it up in my closet as if on display for all to see. She seemed to believe having me as part of our Local Choir Group made up for some of the things the neighbours already thought about us. Believe me, it didn’t.
I had once heard one day in Church a woman whisper to her neighbour as I walked by, “They seem to let anybody into Church these days. That mother of his tries too hard,”
I did not really care what they thought or said but it did leave me feeling slightly depressed that day. But I just had to sing and bear with it.
I felt inside one of the pockets of my boxer shorts. I felt the lighter my Dad had given me yesterday. I had contemplated at leaving it at home before we had left but I felt more comfortable in Church, the weight of it pressing against my leg slightly every time I moved put my mind at ease. Because of this I had coped with the pressure to sing with my Dad and Claire there. I took my hand from my pocket and held the closed lighter in my clenched fist.
I just finished 3 chapters! Huzzah!
Hmmm... The story is quite interesting... I can somehow relate to Henry... I think my mom is a slave-driver, too. Lol... I do have some questions... How can you be a "girly girl"? Does that mean there's a boyish boy? Lol... Just kidding. I lol'ed at the part when Jenny asked Henry, "do you think I'm sexy?" Did she really expect him to answer properly? They were at church, after all. Lol... (Hmmm... Maybe she did expect a proper answer since he shouldn't lie at church, right? Lol... )
I'll answer your questions as best as I can.
Well, he is only 12. Girly girl is just an expression.
lol..she expected an honest answer from him. Girls that age want to know exactly how boys they like feel about them...and yes they do so in the strangest of ways.
I will continue this when I have written some more. Glad you are enjoying it GL.
I do not know what had come over me. Wether it was the pressure of my over-bearing mother or the fact my birthday was on the same day as my Uncle Rich’s funeral but something in my head compelled me to do what I did next.
With a flick of my wrist I snapped open my lighter and clicked it with my thumb. The solitary flame soon became a blaze as I knelt down to my wastepaper basket and set alight the corner of my Angelic Proclaim robe. It took a moment but pretty soon the whole robe was alight in my metal wastepaper basket and I immediately threw my orange sweater I had worn to Uncle Rich’s funeral and the wooden soldiers I had gotten from Claire at my “birthday party”. It was not like I wanted to throw in the wooden soldiers, I acted on impulse and before I knew it pretty soon they were also burning within my wastepaper basket as the flames soon overcame the orange sweater and was roaring again as it came in contact with the wooden soldiers.
I knelt a few feet away, merely gazing at the fire, having extinguished my lighter with the lid after setting my Angelic Proclaim on fire.
I felt dazed and almost a sense of freedom, not noticing my mother coming in and screaming blooming heck as she grabbed me and dragged me down the stairs with me in only my boxer shorts out into the street..
(to be continued...)