I stood in front of an unfamiliar door remembering flashbacks of the day I left. After one month of searching, I had found my son. I didn't leave my family of my own choice. I was forced to leave, just when I was about to leave for my own good. Let's start from the beginning.
No matter how much I love Susan, it just couldn't work. When she starts craving for her drugs, she would get really eccentric and crazy. She didn't give a damn for anyone around her. With her blood-shot eyes and sneering lips, she would scream at me to die a thousands deaths. All I could was to try and protect our son from her.
We were just unruly teenagers getting high on life. I was addicted to my anger of never being accepted by my father, and hers was due to her strict father forcing her to follow in the generational footsteps of her grandmother, mother and so on.
Of course, with a child on the way, I was forced to get my act clean and was able to find a job, but Susan wasn't as strong as I was. Susan kept on a downward spiral... till the day she disappeared. I'm such a shit person that I don't even know when exactly she even vanished. She just did.
Susan had started off with Xanax, and somehow she moved on to volume and ecstasy. When that wasn't enough, mushrooms or heroin and finally crack. It was sad to see her go down that road. Her once beautiful black luscious hair, had turn dull and brittle. Those pretty brown eyes, became lifeless and shifty. Her entire being was just a empty shell of who she use to be. A vibrant girl with a bright future ahead of her, now had the attention span like that of a young child with a floating mind; and even more so when she was on one of her benders.
The thing that would piss me off the most, was when she was craving and in one of her bad moods, she tended to take it out on our child. She'd throw glass cups, and plates his way. They would all broke and the shards would wind up embedded into his skin. She'd flicked cigarettes butts his way, blaming him for everything that went bad in her life.
Soon I subjected myself to the abuse in order to protect my soon. Yet, I didn't want to leave her; not in this state. I wanted her to get clean, but she would only ever be truly clean if it was her decision, not mine. By default, my son and I grew close, just as I grew timid and depressed.
When Jaden begun talking and walking, I couldn't be around much since I was out working 16 hour shifts. Why? Let's just say being an ex-addict, people had some type of pre-conceived notion that I would be a good employee.
The job I had found was due to my younger brother's connections. My brother and I weren't close, but for some reason, he lent me a hand. A hand that I desperately needed, since my father had turned his back on me and basically disinherited me.
Susan wouldn't let me around Jaden. After Child Protective Services threatened to take him away, she started secretly sneaking out the house and got high elsewhere, just to come home and reek havoc.
I protected Jaden as much as I could but, he wasn't blind. At the time he had turned eight, he asked me a stagnant question. "Blake, do I make mom unhappy?" My expression probably said all, as he hid his face under the sheets. "Why does Mom need those drugs? My Teacher say that people who turn to drugs are unhappy with their lives."
Patting his head lightly, I replied, "You make me very happy, Champ. Mom---Mom is still sad because of other adult things that you don't need to worry your pretty little head about." Pulling his nose playfully, he giggled as I tickled him, "and stop calling me Blake, I'm Dad."
At some point, he had stopped calling me Dad. I wasn't quiet sure when, but even if I corrected him, it just wouldn't stick. While I tucked him into bed, he reached for my hand and brought it to his chest. "Wait, d-don't go yet. Um... a-aren't you going to give me a goodnight k-kiss?"
I chuckled at the boy, his eyes pleading and cute. "You're a big boy now Jay, you don't need this weird old man's kiss to put you to sleep, do you?"
"Well... c-can you stay with me... at least until I fall asleep?" he asked nervously.
In my head, I knew he was just afraid that his mother might come in the middle of the night again and pull him out from under the sheets like some type of boogeyman. My heart ached but I still managed to give him a smile as I slid into the small bed beside him.
He hugged at my waist tightly and whispered sleepily. "Don't leave me, okay?" he said drowsily.
Snuggling closer to him, I whispered back, "I won't leave you, promise."
I just wish I could have kept that promise but with the relationship I had with Susan being more than dead, things become more than even I could've handle. That was the day I gave her an ultimatum.
It was either the family or drugs.
She blew up way more than I thought she would. Her eyes went wild and I barely escaped one of our hall lamps that she sent flying my way. The glass shards flew everywhere and she came charging at me, the shattered pieces of glass cutting her feet. A stream of obscenities left her mouth one after the other.
What was I to do? She yelled at me to leave her if I wasn't going to accept her as she was. The thing is, I accepted her fully as she was, it's just that what she'd become wasn't who she was. At that moment, all she seemed to be was a junkie aching for her next fix.
"Susan, can we just talk this out in a civilized manner? Keep in mind Jaden isn't a baby anymore. Everything you say, he's able to understand, and the way you're acting isn't the way a mother is suppose to behave," I tried.
That's when she begun the most atrocious accusation I could've heard. "All you worry about is that fucking kid!! Do you realize that ever since he was born, we aren't able to do anything we want? Why don't you care about me anymore?" Her thoughts were as incoherent as her words, but just as damaging. "Are you tired of me now? Who are you fucking now huh?!!! Are you sleeping with someone else?!"
Susan was screaming this out at the top of her lungs by this point, but I still tried to reasoned with her. "There is no way I could do that. We have a son. A son of which we should both devote our love, time and money to. Don't you want to change for your son?"
Her eyes went ice cold in under a second. "Change?! You're talking about change?! You're the one who change! Is really because he's just our son? or are you maybe fucking the kid too?"
"Don't you dare fucking say that shit again!!" I suddenly interrupted her, my blood suddenly beginning to boil. "How would you even think that?"
"I know things you piece of shit, you think I didn't see you at Shelby's party but I did. You're a fucking Homo!! Now you want to get rid of me, so you can have young tender flesh, right?! Why not? He is young, and he idolizes you. You like that don't you? He is nothing to you, so you might as well let the little brat feed your sick urges. You pervert! You child molester! You sick fuck!"
Instantly, I took a step back from Susan. Not because I was afraid, but because the only urge I got at that moment was to hit her for saying such disgusting things. I had never thought that I'd feel the urge to hit a female in my life, than at that moment.
"Nothing to me? He is everything to me!! He is MY son and of course I'm going to love him! Since the only thing his actual Mother loves are powered or liquefied chemicals. Have you ever stop to see the way you treat him or me? Whatever love you had for me, has long been gone and whatever love you have for Jaden is probably nonexistent."
"You fucking pedophile!" she screamed, with her once beautiful blue eyes piercing through me like a blade. That was the night it finally sunk into me. Susan was long gone. All there was before me, was a really sick woman.
"I'm leaving because if I don't, I might do something I regret," I packed my shit, which was very little might I add, and was about to go get my son. There is no way I was leaving him with that nutcase of a female.
"What are you doing? Aren't you leaving?" she spat nasty at me.
"I am, but I'm taking the kid with me. You need help," I said as I stepped into the room.
My heart dropped to my stomach as I spotted Jaden hiding his tiny form away in his closet. Before I could reach forward and grab him, I felt something hot and burning through my sides. Instinctively I reached and touched my sides just to feel something warm and wet. Jaden's voice ringed painfully in the back of my head as my brain registered that the wet substance on my hand was actually blood.
The woman had stabbed me with a kitchen knife right in front of our son.
"You are leaving, but not with the kid. If you're gonna leaving me, you're gonna leave empty handed."
That day was the last I heard of Susan.
After I stabbed, I was rushed to the hospital to what I can gather. The mother of which I hadn't spoken to in almost 8 eight years stepped into my hospital room and left me an address and a phone number. She said nothing more and disappeared once again but not before I could see the redness around her eyes.
She had been crying, but she was an Arons. She was too shrewd to show any weakness in front of her injured son, nor did she show pity, which was more than I could have asked for.
I forced myself to get better in a week and searched for Jaden. Susan had moved from the apartment we had been in and had disappeared along with my son. The number and address my mother left me weren't of great help. It had been Susan's father's number and address; and he was of no help. He was as good a father as my own was.
Light was shown down on me, when I got a called from Susan's mother. That's where I learnt of the whereabouts of my son and of Susan's disappearance. I had hoped and prayed to find him okay, but God wasn't there; not for someone as innocent as my Jaden.
What I found was a dilapidated crack, and somewhere behind this unfamiliar door was my young son. The lady who opened the door looked shocked to see me but none the less she gave me a gaped-tooth smile and pointed to a particular direction.
That's where I found Jaden. His knees were sore and raw, scabbed wounds stretched across his back and he had bruises all over his body. He was in the safest place he knew, inside a closet among some sheets that would probably be called a make-shift bed. A bile to rose, clogging my throat. My eyes pricked with tears at the scene before me and I ran to him.
He pressed himself against the wall, trembling as his eyes darted wildly from side to side. "Please, don't let it hurt this time Mister," he cried tiredly. He didn't didn't even look up as he said this. "I won't scream this time, I promise. Just don't hurt me anymore."
Tears streaked down my face. I couldn't even recognize my voice as I called his name. "Jaden? Jaden?"
Suddenly his face lifted, his eyes were swollen almost shut. Either from crying or---I couldn't fathom another option. I couldn't. It hurt me too much to see him in like. Jaden screamed at me. "Why are you here?? You fucking left me! You left me with that bitch... she... she... said you were dead! Why are you here now? After everything!!" His use of obscenity shocked me, since I had never heard him curse before. "You said you weren't going to leave me, but you did."
He didn't need to know that his mother almost killed. If she had twisted the knife... I wouldn't been done in by now. That dreadful feeling of being useless ate at me for a whole month, as I was confined to my hospital bed. It was my fault that this happened. I could've done more! I could've saved him.
"I'm so sorry Jaden. I'm soo sorry," I crying openly in front of me. He really didn't deserve parents such as us. He had no fault in being born in such dis-functionality. Trying to scoot closer to him, just to have him move further away from me broke my heart.
I saw big globs of tears running down the young boy's face. Pain beyond his years flew across his features and he could only cry harder. "You don't even care about me. All you care is about her, when all she cares about is her stupid fucking drugs. You know what she did to me? She made those men... d-do things..." Jaden was hysterical. "B-bad things. W-why'd she make them do t-that to me? Why weren't you here?!"
My heart shattered. He was trembling down to his barely clothed feet. His entire body quivered as he cried out the betrayal he had felt. I forcefully reached for him, and embraced him in a hug. He tiny shaking fist punched at me, and I just let him. As I cried with him, my apology seemed too little to be forgiven. "I'm s-so sorry, Jaden!"
"L-let me go!" he screamed trying to push me away with his entire might. "No!" he continued, fighting against my arms, but I kept him there, unable to let him go. I can't believed that Susan had sunk this low. What on earth had she done to him---had 'we' done to him?
He gave up the struggle, realizing that I wasn't going to let him go. "I'm filthy. I'm fucking disgusting! Don't touch me!" he hiccuped as he kept punching at my chest. "I'm dirty. I'm so dirty."
"Jesus," I swore as it dawned on me. The thought of her using him such atrocities, made me want to throw up. "No!!! Jaden, you listen to me right now!" I commanded as I held his tear-stained face in my palms. "You aren't dirty. You are perfect. You are my perfection, you hear me? I love you. I don't ever want to hear you say those things again. You hear me? I love you okay. "
We both cried, as his bony arms finally reached up and wrapped themselves around my neck. He gripped was so tight, that I might as well have passed out, if it weren't for his heaving cries. "Don't leave me again. Please! I'll do anything. I'll be a good boy. I'll be anything. Please love me again!!"
As I held him, I could feel him shuddering. My heart was breaking, and I couldn't keep it together. Just seeing him like this was making me so angry, so guilty, that I couldn't hold my cool anymore. Crying with him, my tears fell into his hair. Oh god, my poor boy.
I'm not even sure how long we stayed like that upon our painful reunion. After he fell asleep, I looked at his pale little face. His fragile body looked scarred and he felt dangerously light in weight.
The cops raided the spot the same day after my report, but with everyone being junkies, and lack of evident, and a junkie run-away wife, the case was left cold. To what I was told, Jaden was left there as Susan's 'rent' until she was actually able to pay with cash.
I don't even remember when or how I got out of that crack house, or when exactly I even contacted the cops. Everything went like one of those fastforwarding tapes or dj backpedaling on a turntable. Jaden became attached to me, and I too him. Through this incident we drew closer, and never have felt the need to protect anyone, than I do, when I'm with Jaden.
I'm positive that isn't about to change any time soon.
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