VII: To Know a Regret

I’m not very good with words.

I had a horrible stutter and lisp that made talking simply painful. I didn’t really care about it until I started first grade. My first day was a bit of a mess. I wound up in the kindergarten class for a good hour before they figured out that, even though I was the same size as everyone in the kindergarten class, I was supposed to be next door. So, Mrs. Ballard, my first grade teacher, waltzed in and whisked me out. I was ridiculed by the kindergarten class for the rest of the year. Not kidding. It’s pretty funny.

Anyway, most of the first grade class picked on me for three reasons: a.) I was the smallest person in the entire grade, b.) I was teased about no one knowing which class I should have been in, and c.) my ridiculous speech.

So I stayed awake at night, dragging a step stool in front of the bathroom mirror, and would practice speaking. It took for-freaking-ever.

What does this really have to do with anything?

Well, I still get tongue-tied. If it gets bad enough, it still takes painfully long to say anything. On a day-to-day basis, you’d never be able to tell.


“What did you say?” His face is unnervingly close to mine and I can smell the sour tinge of his sweat.

I stammer, trying to force out the words, “I already delivered.”

He turns from the kitchen counter and strides into the living room, phone in hand. There is a cracking sound as he slams the handset back into its cradle.

The apartment above the club is dark, with the hallway leading to the two large bedrooms in back providing the only source of light. The floors are wooden, the counter tops are granite, and local artwork hangs on the walls.

I follow him warily, keeping a distance of several feet between us. Not that it does me any good. He simply turns, reaches out his long arm and easily tosses me over the back of the couch, driving his other fist down into the cushion next to my face. I hold still and refuse to look at him, focusing on keeping my breathing steady

We breathe.

His gaze is boring into me, I can feel it.

“You delivered to Jessica,” The name flies from his mouth like a hiss. I cringe as he continues, “Do you know what that means? You stupid, stupid shit.” He walks around the couch and grabs my arm, tossing me to the floor. I scamper to my feet and stand picking at the thick leather wristband on my right arm, wiggling the small blade from it and into my palm.

I’m not paying attention. At least, I knew I wasn’t when his fist made heavy contact with my jaw and his knee rose up to kiss my ribs as the momentum from his hit spun me backward.

“Congratulations, slut,” He mutters as he steps on my right hand, digging the blade into my palm, “You made your first crack baby.”

I freeze.

His words strike me more than the broken ribs do.


I visit Jessica often. Sometimes to deliver, but mostly just to see her and the baby. I don’t forgive myself.

  1. GEO says:

    hmm i wonder some times where he is, I wonder how his teeth will sound when i rip them out one by one!

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