Nicole put it. all comments and constructive critiscism very much appreciated.
Character: Goren, family
Rating: PG13 for CA
Word Count: 552
He heard a glass smash behind him. He winced and kept on scrubbing the plate he was washing. His mother was screaming something unintelligible and he didn’t need to turn around to know that her hair was ragged and unwashed and that she was wearing the same clothes she had worn yesterday. The TV was blaring. Reluctantly he set the plate down and turned around, cautiously picking up the broken glass.
The kitchen door slammed. His father was home. Without noticing, Bobby started picking up the pieces faster. He could feel his father standing in front of him, could smell the stale beer and cigarettes on his breath. “Did you drop this, Bobby?” his father snarled, grabbing Bobby’s chin and wrenching it upwards to face him.
“No, sir,” Bobby mumbled through an aching jaw.
Smack. A big, callused hand hit the side of his face. Before he could stop them, tears sprung to his eyes.
“Are you crying?” his father roared. “Only girls cry. Are you a girl, Bobby?”
“No, sir,” he said, just before his father slapped him again. The wedding ring on his finger drew blood. Bobby ignored the sting and kept on picking up the glass.
His father, finding no reason to further beat his son and thus losing interest, wandered off to another part of the house. His mother was screaming louder than ever. “Shut up, you stupid bitch!” Bobby tried not to hear the rest of the words his father said.
He quickly dumped the glass into the wastebasket and, abandoning the dishes, ran upstairs into his bedroom. The trapdoor to the attic was in his closet; he quickly clambered up the pile of junk on the floor and climbed through the hatch. Once securely in the attic, he squirmed between old boxes and suitcases. He badly wanted to see what was inside them, but he was afraid. He was afraid one of them would be like Pandora’s box, that he would open it and something horrible would get out and it would be all his fault.
He finally reached the one box he wasn’t afraid to open. It was a shoebox wrapped in a plastic shopping bag. Inside was a book, and Bobby grinned as he pulled it out. He wasn’t allowed to read except for homework, but he checked out books from his school library and hid them up here. The book was called I Never Promised You A Rose Garden.
Bobby Goren, age seven, hid in the attic and read until he fell asleep.
Bobby Goren, age thirty-seven, woke up in a cold sweat.
He looked at the clock. Four a.m. Too early to take a shower, but he got up and turned the water on anyway. Showers helped clear his mind. Especially after bad dreams.
He remembered that day in excruciating detail. Sitting in the attic, his cheek still bleeding, reading about the girl who worshipped gods of her own making. Slowly realizing that girl was exactly like his mother.
Bobby tilted his head back and let the hot water rush over him, trying to forget.
PEE.ESS For those of you who haven’t read I Never Promised You A Rose Garden, it’s a book about a sixteen year old girl who has schizophrenia. It’s an amazing book and you should go read it.