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Chivalry

Alcohol can be a very dangerous thing to mess with, many problems and serious traumatic and life threatening issues can occur from doing so. Many kids, especially teens do it these days for fun but then afterwards feel the consequences, and dont realize the dangers of drinking without any supervision. Though students may not think drinking under the influence or without supervision is ok, in reality you can get seriously injured or potentially worse. Photo by public domain
Alcohol can be a very dangerous thing to mess with, many problems and serious traumatic and life threatening issues can occur from doing so. Many kids, especially teens do it these days for fun but then afterwards feel the consequences, and don’t realize the dangers of drinking without any supervision. Though students may not think drinking under the influence or without supervision is ok, in reality you can get seriously injured or potentially worse. Photo by public domain
Alcohol can be a very dangerous thing to mess with, many problems and serious traumatic and life threatening issues can occur from doing so. Many kids, especially teens do it these days for fun but then afterwards feel the consequences, and don't realize the dangers of drinking without any supervision. Though students may not think drinking under the influence or without supervision is ok, in reality you can get seriously injured or potentially worse. Photo by public domain
Alcohol can be a very dangerous thing to mess with, many problems and serious traumatic and life threatening issues can occur from doing so. Many kids, especially teens do it these days for fun but then afterwards feel the consequences, and don’t realize the dangers of drinking without any supervision. Though students may not think drinking under the influence or without supervision is ok, in reality you can get seriously injured or potentially worse. Photo by public domain

by Essence Bryant, literary editor 

The floorboards creaked underneath his feet as he dutifully paced back and forth. His hands were clenched in fists, and thrown against the wall and the sides of his brain as the voices ricocheted through the halls and deep into his mind.

He gripped both sides of his skull and groaned. The dozen of pain killers he’d taken several hours ago ceased to work and did nothing to numb the pain. Hopelessly plopping down on his bed, he sighed, wiping his sweaty palms against the knees of his denim jeans.

“You’re drunk, honey, sit down, please let me help you,” came his mother’s frantic voice through the walls.

Caleb had been forced to listen to the brutal dialogue between his two parents. He’d been conditioned to accept the blows to the head from his father, who conveniently liked to carry beer bottles like his grudges.

He felt as useless as he always had. From an early age, always having been put aside to encompass the monster that his father became, he’d never known what to do but to standby and hope his mother would be okay.

The constant drinking and anger had done more than tear their family apart, it obliterated them. It put them in a constant state of fear, where the slightest comment could set free an unrelenting rage.

His mother told him it was the depression that made him this way. That it wasn’t his father’s fault that he acted how he did. That, someday, it would all be okay.

Caleb never fully understood what she meant until the illness gripped his own throat for years upon years.

His fathers slurred threats came hard and indistinguishable through the walls, along with a crash and the sound of shattered glass. He heard the distinct shrill cry of his mother, which made his ears feel like they were bleeding.

It was then that he unwrapped his hands from his ears and stood. He was tired of being a witness. He refused to let his fathers turbulence persist.

With a firm resolve, he burst through his bedroom door, and ran down the hallway, all the while gathering more and more reason to tear his dad away and banish him for good.

He abused Caleb’s mother.

He left the family in debt.

He contributed wholeheartedly to the make-up of Caleb’s mental illness.

He drank himself into comas.

But worst of all, he regretted none of it and showed no sign of repentance.

Upon opening the door, Caleb was faced a gruesome scene- his father clenching a broken beer bottle while his mother, bleeding and unconscious, was collapsed on the floor.

“Get out of here!” his father yelled, pointing the glass in Caleb’s face. His face was red, and angry, bearing scratch marks across his cheek.

“What did you do to her-”

“That’s none of your business, boy, go back to your room.”

“No.”

“Excuse me?”

Caleb clenched his fists at his sides, and held his head a little higher.

“I said no.”

His father approached him, but Caleb stayed stationary, the sickening smell of alcohol wafting over him.

“And who do you think you are? Telling me no? I am your father,” he yelled, directly in his face, staring him down.

It was a shame, that Caleb inherited those cold, blue eyes. Those eyes that shined bright with mockery and the high of inebriation. It sickened him that his father had any kind of reflection on who Caleb was, let alone what he looked like. He’d been a monster, and it made its impression on Caleb. And for a split second, Caleb honored that inheritance, as his vision went dark and he blacked out, and lost control.

When Caleb woke up again, he was staring at the tiling that made up the hospital wall. He heard the casual beep of the the machinery and equipment. His mother laid in her own bed besides him, bandaged up and swollen.

He looked down at his own hands to find that they too were swollen, his knuckles bloodied and bursted open. His wrist pierced by a needle and strapped to an IV bag.

And in the corner of the room, sat in the padded chair, was his father. He was deep in thought, his elbows leant forward against his knees.

His left eye was purple, and his cheek stitched together and bandaged. His father lifted his head and met eyes with Caleb, and hurried carefully across the room.

“Oh Caleb,” his voice broke as he knelt besides his son’s bed, grasping his hand as he let a torrent of tears lose.

“I-I’m sorry.”

Caleb frowned. The words sounding foreign coming from his father’s mouth. He repeated the words again and again, resting his head against his and Calebs’ clasped hands.

As he stared down in contempt at his father, a little of the anger dissipated.

His father was just a drunk who needed help more anything.

Then came the pleads for pity, the cries for consolation, and the meek requests for mercy.

“I don’t care that you’re going to change. You can tell me anything you want,” Caleb said. “You tore our family apart. Look what you did to mom.”

His father shook his head. “I know. I know. I… I’m going to make it right this time, look,” he said, placing a stack of papers into Calebs’ hands.

They were registration papers for a rehabilitation center, and partially completed forms for a therapy intake.

“I’m going to make it right,” he repeated.

Caleb smiled sadly, tears swallowing his eyes. This was all he ever wanted. All his father had to do was sign off a bunch of papers and that would encourage him to go down the right path; to reach out, get help and get better. Not to mention work on patching up the family.

“This isn’t going to happen overnight.” Caleb said softly, returning the stack of paper. “You’re going to have to man up, and push yourself,”

His dad smiled softly. It was the kind of smile that Caleb hadn’t seen his dad wear for years. Not since the death of his younger sister that set the premise for his horrible downfall.

“I was hoping you would help me with that.”

Caleb looked over at his mother as she watched the two quietly, tears in her eyes.

“What do you think?”

His mother smiled happily, twirling her wedding ring around her finger.

“I’d love that.”

 

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