It's not that he's afraid.
He honestly feels like he gets the bigger picture from far away, not having the lies and stories fogging up the truth. Hallam had managed to find a roof with a good vantage point, thankful that the people who lived there weren't home. He can see the men lowering his mother, Anne, into the six foot deep hole in the ground through his binoculars. His sister Lucy, his dad Julius, and that woman that had so conveniently nudged herself into there lives at a most unfortunate time, were gathered around in mourning.
From here he couldn't hear the prays that were whispered to the heavens, promising his mother eternity and salvation in God's arms. Hallam wondered if God was real, he wondered if things happened for a reason or if they just happened because they could. He wondered if his existence was meaningless.
Hallam shook his head and peaked through the binoculars again, fixated on the woman. Verity. He despised every aspect of the woman, but couldn't help realizing what a striking resemblance she had towards his mother. He cursed this vile woman. He couldn't look at her anymore. Hallam turned his gaze to his sister and watched as muted tears streamed down her face.
Hallam couldn't cry anymore, but Lucy sure could and Hallam wondered why his father hadn't cried since his Anne's death. Although, Hallam thought it went a little deeper than just a fall out of the boat, more than just drowning. He had it in his head that his mother was murdered, drugged then drowned in the lake on their property.
Not long after the funeral, his father had settled down with that lady, Verity, his personal assistant. It seemed all too coincidental that his mother had died and just months after, Julius had re-married. And to HER.
His home had been invaded by a stranger who was too quick to replace his real mom and Hallam was onto her. She could possibly be to blame for his mother's untimely demise, so Hallam poked around as much as possible to find out what he could, but spending most days in his treehouse to watch others.
He'd watch anything and everything. Hallam would watch the occasional couple in the woods, he'd sneak around the house and watch his father, he'd watch his sister. And then there was Verity. Hallam watched her the most, intent on finding the truth and more often than not cracking tasteless jokes about his dead mother and the irony surrounding the recent wedding. Verity would laugh it off, but Hallam could see through the facade.
His father had acted as if he was married to Verity the whole time and not Anne, causing Hallam to act out and run off to his treehouse.
He'd write in his journal, mostly about what he saw and how it made him feel, the emotion of disgust popping up more often than anything else. But no matter how much he hated himself for his unhealthy obsession, he couldn't stop even if he tried. This is how Hallam related to other human beings, this is how he understood how they loved, felt, and lied.
His home was foreign, but here in this treehouse was different.
He felt safe here. He felt like his mother was all around him in this one real place, away from the deception and lies of his father and Verity. The giant picture of his mom plastered against the aged planks of wood, the big trunk full of mementos and long forgotten memories of a past life. Hallam unlocked the trunk and pulled out his mother's red lipstick, liquid eyeliner, and an old badger pelt that had been turned into a hat long ago.
Hallam felt threatened and frustrated by his father's recent behavior, preparing, the best way he knew how, for the impending struggle against his stepmother. For the truth about his mother.
Hallam took the lipstick and drew crooked lines across his face as if it were war paint. He took the eyeliner to highlight the fierceness of his eyes and stripped himself of his shirt. Hallam drew circles around his nipples and lines down his torso, capping it then smearing the blood red makeup wildly. Grabbing the badger pelt, he put it on his head and shrieked out a wild man's cry.
Hallam was ready for war.