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Tap Outby Eric Devine
From Chapter 1:
I am a pussy. I know this, and not much else.
A wet smack sounds in the next room. My mother cries in pain. Please, Cameron, I didnt mean anything.” He hits her again, twice, dense flesh on flesh.
The fuck you didnt,” Cameron, my mothers boyfriend, slurs. She must have made some joke that he was too drunk to understand. Again.
So hes kicking the shit out of her. Again.
Im sitting on the corner of my bed, listening, but not doing anything, even though I want to. My muscles are all coiled, tight, like Im ready to roll, but I wont. Cameron is wiry, works construction, and could toss me across the fucking room. At least thats what I tell myself about him, this boyfriend. Ive had excuses for all the others as well, and an entire list of reasons for my father.
He hits her again, a dull thud, the sound of his fist hitting her head. You gonna apologize or what?”
Im sorry. Im sorry. I didnt mean anything.”
Another blow, and she hits the wall. The house vibrates. Damn straight, you dumb bitch.” The door squeals as he pounds down the hall and the fridge opens. Hes grabbing a beer, or two. The can clicks and pops, followed by the sound of him falling into the recliner. The volume on the TV goes up: lots of screaming and yelling.
Fuck, maybe its over. I grab the back of my head and bury my face into the crooks of my elbows. I want to block out the sound of him and forget what I just heard, but my moms crying seeps through the paper-thin walls. I hate the noise, but more, I hate how common it is. How many times has she been like this? Its impossible to keep track, theres been so many.
Her cry lifts and then is muffled. She must be using her pillow. I hope so, because if he hears her . . . Hopefully shell be able to calm and then sit, red-faced and swollen, and wait for Cam get a sleepy buzz. Then, like always, she can ice or shower, depending on how bad it is. Once it started, it only took them three months to find this pattern. Not a record, but pretty fast.
Wonder how long it took for her and my dad?
Hes the reason Im such a little bitch now, hiding out instead of stepping up. As a kid I never once went after him, just daydreamed about taking him out. In the end I didnt have to; he just left. As have all the rest. But Camerons still hanging around, and this time I see myself stepping into her bedroom when hes wailing on her. I grab his arm mid-swing and twist him around. He sees me and his eyes go wide, but then he gets that sneer like he always does. But before he can do anything, I head-butt him. He collapses to his knees, grabbing his face as the blood pumps out. I ignore it and put my fist into his jaw. No, through it. My mom screams, but I ignore her and enjoy his pain. He goes to speak but realizes that his jaw is shattered and I laugh, because I know in that moment I could kill him. I may not be big, but you dont get beat your entire life without hardening.
I could take him out. I have the capacity, and that is enough for me, because I dont want to actually do it and be like him, or the others. In my fantasy I help my mother up and walk her out of the room, away from the oozing mass in the corner. We step into a cleaner version of our life, where were not confined to our prison of a trailer and no one sees us as white trash.
Its never gonna happen though, so theres no point in wishing for it. I stand up and walk to the bathroom and the trailer wobbles. Or it could be Im still amped and it feels that way. Or the fucking thing may really be falling apart. Why wouldnt it? Everything else is.
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Children's » Situations » Physical and Emotional Abuse