Collision (Portland Street Kings)(4)By: Evie Harper
I tiptoe through the living room and peer into the kitchen. I can’t see Phillip anywhere. Where is he? Did he run, knowing he had killed Mia? Did I send my siblings rushing off for no reason?
I crouch behind the bench in the kitchen and look around to Mia’s body still lying lifeless on the tiled floor. Her right arm is outstretched, appearing to reach out for someone to take hold and help her. I stretch my hand out and softly touch the tips of her fingers, still so soft and warm.
Grumbling comes from the back door, and I hastily pull my arm back and scurry behind the counter. I hear Phillip mumbling, but no steps coming into the kitchen. I carefully look around the counter again and see him bringing an old blanket and a shovel covered in wet soil just inside the back door. He’s going to bury Mia in the backyard. No! I need to get to a phone, call the police and tell them what he’s done. She needs to be buried in a cemetery where she belongs, where I can visit her one day.
I look back to my unrecognizable Mia and my heart squeezes, twisting painfully as I force myself to say my last farewell. Tears fall as I swallow past a lump in my throat and finally I’m able to whisper, “Goodbye, Mia.”
Watching as Phillip goes back outside, I decide now is my chance to quietly move back through the house to the front door. I make it and find the door locked as usual, and Phillip is the only one who has the key. The window next to it is slightly opened and has been missing the screen for months now. I quietly, but with all my strength, open the window which hasn’t been touched in years. It squeaks once and I pray Phillip is too busy to worry about any sounds in this old, run-down house.
I jump up and slide my body through the window, scraping the skin off my hips as I barely fit, and fall to the ground with a hard thump. I bite my lip from yelling out in pain.
Terror grips my heart as I sprint frantically from the house, not looking behind me in fear I will find Phillip chasing me.
As I run from the only home I’ve ever known, the house of horrors, the only thoughts I’m having are ones I’ve never let released before this moment.
I think I was in love with her.
Not family love, but a different kind of love.
Now I’ll never know.
My clenched fist slams into his jaw, and bones crack and break under my bloody knuckles.
I stand and look down at the almost-unconscious asshole who was making fun of a woman with a stutter. Usually I don’t get involved in this shit, but damn, seeing her beautiful face frown and hurt cross her features, as if it was setting in stone to stay there forever, made me want to kill this fucker. And I’m the one man who’s capable of doing it.
A scowl etches its way onto my face at the memory of her eyes lowering to the ground. Watching as her features twist to sadness spurs me to reach down and grip the shithead’s shirt and begin punching him again and again.
I’m finally forced to stop when my brother, Mackson, pulls me off the asshole.
“Fuck, Slate, take it easy. I’ve never seen you with that pussy before, so if you’re trying to get in there tonight, trust me; you’ve already done enough to get a good cock-sucking later on.”
“Get the fuck off me, Mack.” I know he’s only trying to help and lighten the situation, but I’m not in the mood for his show of crude. Mack’s two different people: one in front of others and a totally different person when he’s with our family. We all have an image to uphold, one which has to stay in place to keep the vultures off our doorstep and show them what will happen if they try to cross us or take from us. This, beating a man, is nothing. We’ve all done worse, taken care of business to keep what we have worked so hard for, to keep our turf and our family safe. Our enemies are many and they are always close by.
I push away from my brother and storm back inside TK’s Bar. John, the bouncer, nods and walks past me.
I look over my shoulder and watch as he picks the asshole up and pushes him out the back door, not caring that he just fell again. He closes the back door and then turns around to shoot the shit with Mack.
I continue walking toward the toilets to wash the blood off my hands. I pass the stuttering girl’s table and find her staring straight into my eyes, not once looking down at my gory knuckles, which surprises me. Most girls would run screaming from a man like me, but instead, she meets my gaze and never turns away. We both stare at each other curiously, everyone and everything turning into a blur as only she has my attention. Until I pass her and we’re both forced to break eye contact from each other.