Author's Note: Perhaps someone would say that all I'm doing is to re-write and re-write old things. I guess that doesn't make me such a good writer. But this is one of the best stories I've ever written and I want it to be perfect. Some of the ideas remained undeveloped and I decided to make that one, last re-writing. This time I'll try to remove the fluff as much as possible. Though I want to leave some feeling of tenderness. I hope I'll succeed. Read and review, please.
Rated for bro/sis incest, child abuse, violence, rape, some language, suicide in the future chapters.
By Gloria Krasy
1.I'VE GOT ONLY YOU
Sometimes you think you know someone but you actually know only his surface. People aren't always what they seem at first sight. And there are points in life when the things are more complicated than we can ever imagine. The moral and ethics, everything we have been taught in our early life fades away and sounds as some fake rules invented by those who had never really lived. In these times you can't recognize what the sin really means and who the real sinner is. And sometimes when your blindfold falls and you see the things in the way they are, it's already too late.
Sometimes whatever you do you are going to fail, crush and burn.
Sometimes finding yourself means to lose everything.
The heavy rain was falling outside the overgrown with ivy and petunia arbor. It couldn't reach the youth sitting on the bench inside. He was about eighteen, wearing a black jacket, velvet jeans with the same color, T-shirt of some strange music group no one have heard of. The expression on his beautiful yet slight feminine face was marked with the sign of the sadness. There was a reason about this. Greg Henderson had just said goodbye to one of the last darling people in his life.
A heavy rock was stuck in his heart, he wanted to cry, but there were no tears left in his swimming in sorrow blue eyes. "Why did it have to happen?" No matter how many times the question was asked there was no answer. "Now we are completely all alone in that bloody world." He kept on thinking and running fingers through his long dark hair. At this moment just one thing was keeping him alive.
Today was the funeral of his mother Kayla. Her face while she was dying was still in front of his eyes. That sweet doomed smile… Although the poor woman was trying not to upset her children it even more looked as a portray of grief. But how could she be happy after so many years of torturing and fatal marriage? It would be so much more better if they had grown up without a father in the family. Instead of such father. The man Greg hated more than anything.
He didn't know his real dad. But it wasn't bothering him at all. Perhaps it sounded awful but that was the way he felt. How could he miss someone he had never known, someone who couldn't care less about the children he had made and then abandoned? He imagined the faces of some stupid prudes if they could hear his thoughts. "The father is a father and no matter what he had done to you, you have to respect him!" Ha! What did they know?
Kayla and Garry Henderson had been one of the best couples at the high school of their hometown. They both were young, smart, beautiful and deeply in love. Everyone expected them to succeed in their future life. Of course, the real thing is always different from all dreams. They got married immediately after their graduation. She started working as a hair stylist at the beauty parlor owned by an old friend of her mother. The young woman was perfect in everything she was doing, especially in her occupation. That's why all her friends and clients loved her so much. She was kindhearted, sociable and always ready to listen to the others when they needed to talk. She felt content of the way her days were arranged.
On the contrary, her husband was not doing very well. He was a man of great ambitions and wanted something more of life. Garry was taking part in projects promising money and wealth. Unfortunately they all failed and in the end the Hendersons had to live on Kayla's salary. That was affecting his pride and the spouses were often arguing about that. Garry started to avoid seeing his family at all. By that time Greg and his little sister Melissa were still babies.
And in one sunny bright day the man just announced Kayla he was leaving her. He claimed that all failures of his were because of her, that HER children and she were his greatest obstacle. She was stunned by his cruel and cold words. For the first time she could see his true nature revealed in front of her eyes.
The divorce was short, but painful. After all connections with his past life were erased Garry Henderson left the town and no one saw him ever again. There were rumors that he was living in New York and got married twice more times. But for Greg and Melissa that man who was supposed to help them and set an example was dead since the moment he had walked away from their home. He never tried to get in touch.
The youth's first years were full of happiness though. Kayla was crushed by pain because of their separation but she couldn't leave the kids alone. They were little and helpless and needed a strong support, especially after she was all they had. She kept on working with the same desire as she used to. Although her heart was bleeding, the woman remained a very good mother and did everything for them. These were the only moments of joy in his life.
And one sunny happy day Kayla met Bryan Smith, her second husband. She thought the marriage with Garry was a disastrous mistake. But she didn't suspect it was just the beginning of her hell. Poor she let a monster enter their life.
They first met in the beauty parlor she was working in. He came for a haircut and they started talking friendly, although it all continued less than fifteen minutes. Before he left the young man smiled enchantingly at the hairdresser who blushed like a teenager girl. He said he would see her again. How terribly true!
Later the woman learnt that Bryan was a successful businessman and the new owner of her workplace. That was only little part of his areas. She felt overwhelmed. He called her after few days and asked her to go out with him for a dinner. Kayla needed some hours to realize what was going on. She had completely forgotten that kind of attention and was gazed. In all these years she was trying hard to be as good as possible in what she was doing and to be the perfect mother. It's been such a long time since she had thought of herself as a woman. Bryan was a good psychologist in some way, he noticed that and used it to enchant her.
Soon they started dating regularly and all her colleagues, including her best friend turned green with envy. He was every woman's dream: handsome, charming, wealthy and kind. It was true that he had dark past but considering the above-mentioned qualities they couldn't care less. If they only knew his real face, they would have been grateful to Kayla.
At first the kids liked him too, Bryan was so nice and always used to give them presents before going out with their mother. In the weekends the couple was taking them out too and they looked like a real family. Soon Greg and Melissa were so fond of him that they exclaimed enthusiastically when she asked them if she could marry Mr. Smith. Now their life was going to change completely.
The months after the wedding party were great. Suddenly everything changed and all happy moments were over. First Bryan made Kayla leave her job. He insisted that the family was more important and she had to dedicate to it. His words were still echoing through Greg's brain. It happened in the night. Their shouting woke him up and he went out to check what was going on.
"But why? You know how much I love working there! All my life is there, my friends, my clients and the occupation I'm so good at… Why should I give up just now?" Kayla cried helplessly from the living room. She was trying very hard to repress her sobs.
"So, you don't have life here, huh? How about me? Or you have forgotten you married me? How about your family, your children. Will you leave them alone just in order to pretend to be working girl? Where is your consciousness, woman? And what will happen when we have our own children?" His yell pierced through the walls.
"Bryan, don't be absurd!" His wife tried to protest. "Of course I know all that. But I used to manage very well working and taking care of Greg and Melissa. The hours I spend in the beauty parlor won't change anything. I'll still be your wife and I'll take care of everyone…"
Then his voice grew milder.
"Look, I know it's been hard for you after that bastard had left you. I understand you needed that job. But not anymore, Kayla! I'll give you everything you need. You don't have to tear yourself apart anymore. We need you here!" He made a little pause and then went on with suspicion in his tune. "Wait, wait a minute! You don't do that to meet with other men, do you? We are married for what… less than six months and you are already trying to cheat on me?"
Kayla tried to sound secure and laughed nervously.
"Come on, do you really think most men who prefer special hair style would be interested in me? Most of my clients…"
"But that beauty parlor was enough for you to find yourself a wealthy husband. What's the guarantee you won't find a lover there?"
"I love you, Bryan!" She emphasized her words with despair. "I wouldn't do that to you. Don't be stupid…"
Then Greg heard a loud thud and his mother's scream. He cringed with horror but didn't make a sound. Kayla's soft sobbing pierced through his brain. For first time in his life he was really scared and realized the things that gone terribly wrong. He almost jumped when he felt someone's hand on his shoulder. It was his sister. She looked shocked and half-asleep.
"What is going on?" The girl asked with confusion.
"Shh…" He whispered and hugged her. "They'd better not know we are here."
The boy hadn't finished his words when they heard Bryan's malicious voice shouting.
"Don't you ever dare call me stupid again, woman!" Kayla cried even harder. "I must have been fooled about you. I thought you were going to be my perfect wife… Anyway, I'll teach you! Tomorrow you'll leave that place and that's the end of discussion. Come in the bedroom in ten minutes, babe. In other way I'll punish you."
Then he went up stairs and the children ran fast to their rooms before he could see they were eavesdropping.
Kayla really did what her husband ordered her. And it wasn't the first compromising necessary to satisfy his ego. Unfortunately he wanted more and more… No one could really make him content for too long time. Later the nightmare grew even more terrible. Probably the story seemed ordinary to everyone who has never been through this hell. But from now on their days were fulfilled with beating, torturing, suffering, cheating and scandals all the time. The lovely, strong mother was more obedient than ever. She couldn't see the violence in her own home, the violence towards her own children.
Greg and Melissa started attending school. It was harder than they imagined. The boy was really upset because of what was going on at home and the atmosphere at the elementary school wasn't helping him at all. Soon everyone found out how shy, cooped up and scared he was. The other boys were mocking at him, calling him names and tortured him because of all this and because of his little feminine face. His sister, unlike him, had followed her parent's way. Everyone loved her: her teachers, the other girls and even the boys. But that didn't change her attitude towards the outcast Greg. She was the only supporting person. That fact made him feel ashamed. After all, she was younger than him.
Actually the physical and psychical torment were his last problem. Bryan got tired of his sexual life with Kayla and decided to look for pleasures somewhere else. At first his lovers were enough to tame his desires. Later he found out he needed something more. The man had noticed how girl-like and pretty his stepson was. That gave him a good idea and one night he decided to make it true.
In that evening Greg completely lost his innocence. The last traces of his childhood were erased and he had to enter the cruel world of violence and abuse.
He was trying to fall asleep. It's been such a terrible day. The mark on his left cheek from Dick Steward's fist and the pain in the jaw were still bothering him. His thoughts were full of some mix of fury, suffering and self-pitying. Greg hated himself when he was getting so pathetic.
Then he heard the door clicking and raised his head from the pillow. Bryan was standing at the doorstep and was staring at him with strange flame in his eyes. That could mean only one thing: more beating. He groaned inwardly. Why always him?
"I haven't done anything…" He muttered in a lame attempt to defend himself.
"Who said you have done something?" Bryan's voice sounded surprised. "Maybe I have just come to say good night to my son?"
Greg frowned. That was definitely strange. What had he planned on doing?
The man sat on the edge of his bed and ran a finger through the boy's cheek.
"Tell me, Greg…" He whispered almost seductively. "Has anyone told you how pretty little thing you are?"
"N-no… n-no, sir…" His heart pounded furiously against his chest. That change was scaring him.
"Well, someone has to appreciate your beauty and pay you… hmm… specific kind of attention. Do you understand me, boy?" Bryan's fingers grabbed a tress of his hair.
"No, sir, I don't." Cold sweat started running down his back.
"Sure you don't understand." The man's nails dug in Greg's arm. "Well, don't worry. I'll make you understand."
With these words he tossed his blankets aside and turned him rudely to lie on his stomach. Subconsciously Greg was already aware of what his stepfather's intentions were but he couldn't explain them. Authentic, bitter terror ran through his body and he realized he had to escape. The boy tried to scream but obviously Bryan had considered such an option, put some rag in his mouth and pressed it hard to keep him silent. Then the man collapsed on his body and pushed him so hard that the child ran out of breath. The sharp pain cut his very being and shook him violently. He thought he was going to pass away if that lasted any longer. His mind was totally blank; he still couldn't realize what was happening and why was happening. The sweaty, heavy body, the disgusting breath of alcohol in his neck and the hurt were tearing him apart. Tears ran down his cheeks. He couldn't keep his shouts but they were deafened by the man's arm.
After half an hour Bryan finally moved and left the shattered Greg on the bed. There was some blood on his sheets and every piece of him was hurting like hell. But the fear, the anger and humiliation were getting the best of him. The man obviously felt good about himself and was staring at his victim with mixture of despise and mock.
"This bitch, your mother is not doing her matrimonial obligations properly. That's why you'll be the addition." The monster whispered with sinister grin. "Something more, sweetheart, don't tell anyone. If you don't want your sister to be harmed. You really love Melissa, don't you? Don't confess and she'll be fine. Wait for me tomorrow." With these words he zipped his trousers and left the room leaving Greg to his nightmares.
The hell remained for ten horrible years. Bryan had stopped raping his stepson when he was sixteen, but Greg still couldn't bear that trauma. He had never told anyone and the thought how powerless and pathetic he was seemed worse than anything.
Weird, but the man didn't try to touch the girl although he was watching her with lust. Obviously he was growing more and more interested in the development of her body. Maybe he was waiting until her turning into a real woman.
She was the most beautiful creature in the world and soon the same would happen to her. But not as long as Greg was breathing. He was ready to protect her with great sacrifice of life. She wasn't born to suffer that way.
The youth himself wasn't interested in girls at all. The best describing word was that he was afraid of them. No matter how much he needed love he was afraid to reveal his weakness and fears. Once he tried to commit a suicide but the damned doctors saved him.
The last smashing blow came six months ago when Kayla was taken gravely ill, because of the stress. Cancer of stomach.
She was gone. Nothing could give back her wasted life.
Here was he in the rainy afternoon… full of anger, pain and sadness. And what was the point of all that? He was supposed to do something about that shameful position as a toilet slave… But he never said anything, never did anything, never told anyone. Greg was afraid. "Poor little child!" Some malicious voice hissed inside his head. That was the voice of his conscience. "The miserable baby! How unfair life was to him! Do you know what's your problem, boy? You just love taking the part of the tragic hero! You adore thinking how screwed up your life is but you never do something to change it. If you only had told your mother everything would be different now! Perhaps she would find strength to leave him. And now she would be alive and healthy! It's not only Bryan's fault she is dead. But you have always preferred to hide in the shadows and mourning for your destiny. Don't you realize how pathetic it is? Get a life and do something!"
Well, he realized that very well and just that fact made him feel even worse. The burden of guilt was something terrible… maybe he should have make up for that in some way… Like facing up to his fears and cutting with the past. Taking care of him and Melissa. Now she was the only person he loved in the whole world.
Yes, it was so easy to plan that…
A noise crossed his thoughts. Greg raised his head and looked up at the figure at the doorway. She folded her umbrella and came closer to him. Yes, even after so much time he still thought Melissa was the most splendid and charming person he had ever met. It was impossible for someone not to love her.
She had a lovely heart-shaped face and glorious as black as raven soft and dense hair around it. The milky tender skin, clear, honest emerald eyes, lips as red as wine were finishing the portrait of one perfect beauty. But the girl was something more. Greg had never known such a strong soul. She was quite different from him and never let anyone humiliate her. In spite of all long years of torturing Melissa built a resolute character and good generous heart. Most boys at school were crazy for her and sometimes that fact annoyed him. Well, he was pushing away that feeling, because he shouldn't have felt such jealousy towards his own sister.
Moreover, Melissa was the only one he could talk to apart from Kayla. They were inseparable friends despite all the myths how brothers and sisters never get along. Perhaps if their family background were different they wouldn't be that close but who could know?
"I knew I would find you here." She said and tried to smile, but the grief was clear in her voice.
The arbor was their hiding place for years.
"How do you bear all this?" The girl asked and put a hand on her brother's shoulder."
"I… I still can't believe it." Now his feelings went out of control, he needed to reveal all the pain.
"Me either. I already miss her so much. I've never believed she could die. In the last few months… she seemed just like a shadow of the woman she used to be."
"Mom WAS a shadow since she got married. Do you realize, Melissa? Now we are orphans. Kayla was our mother and father. Neither Garry nor Bryan could be considered as our parents. Both of them are bastards, who don't deserve living." The tears started filling his eyes. They had discussed that question a thousand times before. Even though he needed to talk. "I know it sounds terrible talking like this about my own father… He might not be that bad according mom's story though that isn't an excuse. But I'll never forgive this monster Bryan. He killed our mother and he... he…" But Greg couldn't say that. Even after so much time… he couldn't admit. "Oh, God, Melissa, I hate him so much!"
"I know…" She held his hand. "We haven't been brought up in different homes, remember? We weren't the perfect happy family before. But he destroyed even what we had. Try not to think now. Soon it will be over. We'll move to another place, away from Bryan Smith. You and I."
"Yes… Listen, will you promise me…" Greg couldn't keep his emotions and caught Melissa in despair embrace. His tears were streaming and he almost yelled. The girl hugged him tightly to her and whispered softly in his ear.
"It's all right. Don't cry…"
"Please, promise you'll never leave me." Greg sobbed and wrapped his hands around her shoulders. "N…never! Now… I've got only you. Please, never let go."
"Of course I won't, darling. Calm down now."
In this moment something inside his chest woke up. Strange desire. Suddenly he wished to embrace her much more close, to bury head in her hair, to kiss her skin and lips, to feel her near him, in him. Feeling of a man to a woman. "No! What the hell am I thinking! She is my sister! I… I can't, I'm not allowed to feel that way." Greg wanted to go away, to cross this desire, but the thought was unbearable. He just stayed in her arms and let her soft fingers to caress his skin.
Greg Henderson was in love for the first time in his life… with the wrong girl.
Melissa kissed his cheek and smiled sadly.
"How do you feel now?"