The Victim

Chapter One: The house

DUI

Who do you think brought alcohol to the party? It was me, of course. I stole it from mother’s booze cabinet, which is actually larger than my room. And how do you think my friends reacted to the alcoholic stupor? They broke stuff, tried to start a bonfire, vandalized and threw up on their parents. Of course eventually the fingers were pointed at me.

Mother puts me on a chair and starts yelling at me, raving over how I’m an ungrateful little c-word. You know, the usual stuff. I just sit there and watch her. Her resemblance to a rabid dog barking is uncanny. What bothers me most is the pain in my ears from her screams so close to my face. Also the accidental spit that rains on me from her lack of verbal restraint. After she finishes, she slaps me across my face. Twice. But I don’t look away, I just stare at her defiantly.

“What are you looking at!?” She tries to look indignant over my actions, but really it only bothers her I stole her good vodka, freedom vodka, which she was saving up. Father got it as a present after a business deal. She slaps me again. “For this, ohh, for this you’re gonna pay.” As she tries to figure out my punishment, I smile.

“What. What!?” she yells. “There’s nothing left for you to take away,” I say calmly. Then she looks at me, confused. It’s true, she has already taken everything that could possibly bring me any joy. Or at least she thinks she has. I still smuggle books into my room every now and then.

“I’m taking you to a boarding school right now.” she announces when her alcohol-soaked neurons finally make a decision. I struggle to conceal my excitement, keeping a poker face. Her drunkenness makes it easier. “Please, don’t! I beg you!” I say like a soap opera actress. “No, no, no,” she says dragging the words. “You won’t get out of this one.” I must admit, I didn’t expect my plan to work so smoothly.

We drive in the middle of the night to the boarding school. Our house is on the outskirts, so we have to cross long, poorly lit roads. She wants to dump me as soon as possible and be on her way. She plans to just ship me off to some other country and figure the rest out once I get there. That, if she has planned it at all.

As we race way above the speed limit to my new future, I begin to worry it won’t work out. Where will I stay? I don’t have any clothes other than what I have on me. And I doubt she will give me much money. The idea of being in a strange city begins to scare me. I feel the urge to turn back. At least, I know just how bad I have it at home. Outside, anything is possible.

“Mother, please turn back, you made your point,” I ask her. “Oh, mother, is it now?” she replies. “You’re not my kid, you can cut the crap.” “Look. I get it. You take the hate you have for your husband on me. But it doesn’t work. It just makes you hate yourself even more, so you drink. Little by little you kill yourself and me. Why don’t you divorce him and be done with it?”

She turns to look at me and is about to open her mouth when she hits the brakes. A loud sound comes from under the car. We spin out of control until the car stops a few meters later. “What was that!?” I yell. I know what I’ve seen, but I don’t want to say it. “P-probably, probably it’s, it’s just a deer,” she says, shaking. “I… I’ll check,” she stutters. “You know… just to be sure.” She steps out of the car and walks as I watch her from the rear-view mirror. “Oh my god!” she screams taking her hands to her face. I immediately run out, heart in hand. In the ground lies a woman, hardly breathing. I cover my mouth with my hands.

Mother is walking around the body, swearing all kinds of profanity. Then it happens. A faint “help” and some blood escape the woman’s lips. “We have to find an ambulance!” I scream, with tears in my eyes. “Let me think!” says mother. The dying woman starts repeating the words “help… me.”

“What is there to think!? She’s alive!” I say. “Shut up and let me think!” she screams. “Where’s the phone?” I ask, but she stays quiet. “The phone!” I say raising my voice. “In the car, in the car…” she finally says. I look for it, but can’t find it anywhere. I run back to mother, yelling “Where did you put it?” and freeze after I see her hunching over the body.

“What are you doing!? Stop! Stop!” I yell, my voice reaching a high pitch of desperation. I try to pull her away but it’s too late. The woman is silent. “What have you done!?” I continue, but she stays quiet. “I… I was drunk. They would’ve put me in prison. There was nothing else to do, nothing else… nothing else to do…” We both stare at the corpse. She gets up and drags me back to the car, turns it around and drives home in silence.