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Growing Up, Getting Older

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July 13, 1978

Dad made the divorce official today.  He’s leaving us to be with some man in some apartment on some street I don’t recognize the name of.  I don’t think I’m going to miss him.

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July 17, 1978

I’m sleeping at Dad’s tonight.  Apparently he filed for partial custody.  “Whizzer” is going to be there.  Mom calls him a homewrecker and said she doesn’t want me to talk to him.  She doesn’t like him.  I don’t think I like Whizzer either.

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July 23, 1978

Whizzer’s funny. He said that when my dad gets angry, smoke comes out of his ears like on television, but only he can see it because he and my dad have a special connection. He doesn’t know how to play chess though, but that’s something we can fix.

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July 27, 1978

Mom said that she doesn’t like it when I talk about Whizzer. She says he’s a bad person, but I don’t see it.  She said that he is a shegetz*, whatever that means.  I don’t think she knows how funny he is.  She doesn’t like that he’s a homo, either.  I don’t care if Whizzer’s a homo.  He’s nice to me.

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July 30, 1978

Dad and Whizzer were fighting last night.  Dad was angry because Whizzer hadn’t done his laundry and the clothes he needed for his business meeting weren’t clean.  Dad yelled at Whizzer a lot and Whizzer tried to calm him down, but it didn’t work.  I think Dad hurt Whizzer, but I’m not sure.  All I know is that Whizzer was grumpy making breakfast this morning and he had tiny red bruises on his arm where it looked like he was grabbed.  I don’t think I like my dad.

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July 31, 1978

I saw a really cool bird today.  It was big and fast.  But then it flew into a tree.  That bird reminds me of Whizzer.  Like the bird, Whizzer goes too fast and always ends up hurt.  That’s what my Dad told me.  My dad reminds me of the tree.  Only when I saw it happen, the tree didn’t mean to hurt the bird.

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August 3, 1978

Mom had a family dinner last night.  Whizzer and Marvin came, but it was weird because Doctor Mendel was there too.  Mom and Mendel talked a lot.  Whizzer looked scared to be there.  Dad looked angry.  It was mom’s night, so I didn’t go home with Dad and Whizzer, but I think something bad happened because Whizzer had a purple mark on his cheek when I went to Dad’s today.  He does everything Dad says now.  I think I know why he was scared.

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August 8, 1978

Whizzer took me to his baseball game today.  His team won and I learned that he’s a very good pitcher.  Dad didn’t like it when people wanted pictures with him though.  I don’t know why.  I want to pitch like Whizzer someday.  Maybe he can teach me.

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August 13, 1978

Today at camp we learned about the 1950s and we got to see some advertisements.  I think my Dad used to treat my Mom like the girls in the advertisements.  He treats Whizzer like that now.  I don’t think I like my Dad.

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August 18, 1978

Mom signed me up for Little League today.  She said that if I try hard enough I can play like Whizzer.  She doesn’t hate Whizzer as much she used to.  I’m happy about that.

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August 23, 1978

Today was Whizzer’s birthday.  I made him a card and Mom baked him a cake.  She doesn’t hate him now.  She said he’s funny.  Dad bought him new clothes and a vacuum cleaner.  Dad said it was to keep him busy.  Whizzer didn’t like that very much, but he didn’t complain.  I think he’s scared of my Dad.

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September 1, 1978

Whizzer got hurt today.  He said he was playing baseball and a ball hit him in the eye.  He didn’t have practice today, and that’s why he was able to pick me up from school.  When we got home, Dad was asleep in the recliner and there was an empty bottle of beer on the table.  I don’t think Whizzer got hurt playing baseball.  Oh, today was the first day of school too.  Today wasn’t a very good day.

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September 7, 1978

Mom wants me to start going to see Doctor Mendel, but I don’t want to.  Whizzer told me it’s cool to talk about your feelings and even he does it, and I told him that I already do that with him.  He told me that it’s even cooler to talk to Doctors about it.  I have an appointment next week.

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September 14, 1978

I went to see Doctor Mendel today.  He told me that it sounds like my dad is “abusing” Whizzer.  Whizzer doesn’t seem like he’s getting abused.  He’s too cool for that.  But Mendel said that even cool guys can be abused, and that he wants me to tell him if it happens again.  I don’t want Whizzer to be abused.

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September 19, 1978

Whizzer doesn’t smile very much anymore.  He seems kinda sad and I don’t like it.  I think my Dad’s making him sad with all the chores he makes him do.  Whizzer’s too busy washing dishes or doing laundry to play with me now.  I don’t like it.  Not one bit.  

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September 23, 1978

Whizzer’s starting to remind me if my mom.  He’s always cleaning something and is there the second my Dad calls for him.  He barely ever speaks when he’s not replying to a question my dad asked or saying basic things like “Welcome home” or “How was your day?”  I don’t like this Whizzer.

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September 27, 1978

I can hear Whizzer and my dad fighting through the wall.  It’s been a while since I’ve heard them fight, so I decide to listen in.  I’m going to tell Mendel about this next week.

 

My Dad’s telling Whizzer he wants to do something to him- something only adults do.  Whizzer’s saying he doesn’t want to do it, not tonight at least.  My Dad tells him to stop acting like a “prude”.  He says he knows he wants it.  Whizzer says he’s drunk.  My dad just calls him a slut.  He tells him he’s “asking for it”.  Whizzer starts to raise his voice at my Dad.  He tells him to stop touching him.  I don’t think he does, because a minute later I can hear Whizzer choke and let out a cry.  I hear a loud crash from the other side of the wall and I decide that enough is enough.  I get out of my bed and push open my Dad’s door slightly and see him standing over Whizzer, who’s curled up and crying.  I think Whizzer pushed him off the bed.  My Dad’s yelling at him.  I want to yell at my Dad to stop, but then he’ll start yelling at me.  He grabs Whizzer’s arm hard and yanks it away from him.  He starts yelling in his face.  Whizzer’s saying he’s sorry and telling him to stop, but he won’t.  Things start to get louder and louder and now everything’s a blur.  I cover my ears and close my eyes, trying to block out the noise.  

 

It isn’t until my father’s palm

 

connects with Whizzer’s cheek

 

does everything go silent.  

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Whizzer’s lying on the bed, cheek bright red and tears flowing from his eyes.  My father is the one apologizing now.  Whizzer’s head rolls to the side and when he sees me, his eyes go wide.  Now he’s outside of my father’s room and has me wrapped up in his arms.  We’re both crying now.  He asks me how much I saw and when I reply “All of it”, he starts apologizing again.

I tell him I never want to hear him say “I’m sorry” again and he laughs.

“I don’t like how he was talking to you.  I don’t like what he said,” I tell him, and he smiles. He looks sad.

“Jason, I don’t think you quite understand what your Dad was trying to do-“

“No, he’s not my dad anymore.  You love your dad.  He’s just the man who got my mom pregnant.  Nothing more.  He’s my father,” I say.  Whizzer puts his hand on my shoulder.

“Jason, your dad loves you very much.  How would he feel if he heard you say that?” This made me angry. I didn’t want to get mad at Whizzer, though, so I didn’t yell and I didn’t shout.

“Why are defending him?  He hurt you Whizzer!  Don’t you hate his guts?!” I ask.  Whizzer shakes his head.

“Jason, your father and I have a very complicated relationship.  He never means it when he hurts me.  He loves me too much to mean it,” I’m losing my temper very fast.

“God, it’s like he has you brainwashed or something!  If he loved you, then he wouldn’t hit you!”

“Jason, that’s not what’s going on-“

“YES IT IS!  HE’S SO MEAN TO YOU, WHIZZER!  AND YOU JUST LET IT SLIDE-“

“Jason!  That is quite enough!” My father is standing in the doorway to his bedroom.  I’m gonna be sick.  I glare at him and then look back to Whizzer.

“Jason, I think it’s time for you to go to bed.  It’s late and it’s been an-“ Whizzer looks at my father. “-exhausting night.”

He looks to me like he wants me to say no, to give him an excuse to stay awake.  I begin to walk towards my room, turning around before reaching the door.  “Whizzer, can you please sleep in here tonight?  I don’t want that to happen again.” My dad looks mad again.

He looks at my father, who shakes his head.  “I’m afraid I can’t tonight, Jace.  I’m sorry.”

If anything, I should be sorry for him.  “It’s fine,” I say.  “Goodnight, Whizzer.”

I watch my father wrap his arm around Whizzer’s waist before Whizzer repeats the phrase back to me, my father leading him back into their bedroom.  He looks so scared.

It made me sick.

 

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September 28, 1978

Whizzer made us breakfast this morning like he always does.  Whizzer packed my lunch like he always does.  Whizzer kissed my father when he left for work like he always does.  The only difference was the bruise on his face.  I hate my dad.

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September 30, 1978

My father tried to tell me he’s sorry.  I told him to shut up.  I asked him why he hurt Whizzer.  He told me he didn’t know.  I asked him if he was going to hurt me.  He told me “of course not.”

 

That’s what he said to Whizzer.

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October 1, 1978

Whizzer took me to the park to help me with my pitching today.  I like him when he’s not around my father.  He’s not scared.  He’s funny again.  It’s like having the old Whizzer back.  He’s not sad when he’s playing baseball.  It makes him happier than I’ve seen him since that night.

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October 4, 1978

It was my birthday today.  Whizzer took me out for ice cream after we ate dinner with my mom.  I got a new chess board from my mom and Mendel.  My father bought me tickets to a Red Sox game.  I like the Yankees.

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October 7, 1978

I think Doctor Mendel has a crush on my mom.  He sweats a lot when he’s around her and he talks funny.  I’m scared that Doctor Mendel’s going to take my mom away from me.  It’ll be like losing my father all over again.

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October 10, 1978

My father went away on a business trip today and he won’t be coming back until Monday.  I’m staying with Whizzer.  Right now we’re at his friends house.  I think her name’s Delia, but I’m not sure.  She lives next door to my father.  Whizzer has to leave for some reason.  Something about getting groceries.  I’m alone with Delia now.

 

••

 

“Jason, I have something important to ask you,” Delia sits down across from me and I put my journal away, bringing my knees to my chest like I see Whizzer do.  Delia looks concerned.

 

“What?” I ask.  Delia tucks her blond hair behind her ear.

 

“When you’re with your dad, does he ever-“ she stops for a minute. “Does he ever hit Whizzer?  Charolette and I hear him yelling a lot, and I want to make sure he’s okay.”

 

Whizzer asked me very nicely not to tell anybody about what happens between him and my father.  

 

“He’s not my dad.  He’s my father.  I don’t love him.”  Delia nods.  I look at her and bring my knees down, sitting up straight.  “But yeah, sometimes I think he does.  I’ve only seen him do it once though.”

 

“Jason, you’ve seen it happen?  Do you know why?” Delia asks.  I nod and look down.

 

“My father wanted to have-“ I lean in closer and whisper “sex with him.” I sit back.  “And Whizzer said he didn’t want to.  So my father tried to touch him and he pushed him off the bed because he was scared, I think.  My father didn’t like this so he started yelling at him.  I came in then and watched from the door.  Whizzer was crying and my dad-“ I need to take a breath.  “My father slapped him, told him to shut up.  He was drunk when he hit him, but still.  Whizzer saw me in the doorway and we talked about it after.  He thinks my father loves him even though he hurts him a lot.  I think he’s brainwashed, because the real Whizzer wouldn’t say that.”

 

Delia hugs me.  She smells like flowers.  “Jason, I’m so sorry.”

 

“It’s okay,” I say, looking over her shoulder.  

 

“If anything ever happens like that again, you come tell Charlotte or me, okay?” I nod.  Just then, Whizzer opens the door and Delia stands up. 

 

“Thank you for watching him, Cordelia.  Marvin would throw a fit if I left him home alone,” he says, hugging her.  I stand next to him and be puts a hand in my shoulder.  We say goodbye and go back home to watch Baseball the rest of the day until he has to make dinner.  I like Cordelia.

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October 13, 1978

My father got home from his business trip yesterday.  When Whizzer picked me up from school today, he had little red and purple marks on his neck.  I think my father bit him, but that would be weird so I hope not. 

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October 17, 1978

Today when my father came home Whizzer was still making dinner.  My father was mad about something that happened at his job.  He started pushing Whizzer around.  He was yelling a lot and I couldn’t focus on my homework.  He was telling Whizzer he wasn’t cooking dinner right and that he’s dumb.  Whizzer only asked him to lower his voice.  My father got mad at him for not saying anything so he hurt Whizzer.  I think he pulled his hair because he didn’t have any bruises at dinner, but when it happened he was begging my father to stop.  I always check for bruises now.

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October 25, 1978

I think something’s wrong with my father.  He hasn’t yelled at Whizzer in a while, and he hasn’t hit him.  I think he’s just waiting for Whizzer to let his guard down though.  That’s what people like him do.

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October 28, 1978

Whizzer was crying tonight.  I asked him why.  He said that it was because he thought my father didn’t want him anymore.  I asked him why.  He said it was because he hadn’t been acting like himself.  When my father acts like himself he hits Whizzer.  Whizzer was sad because my father hasn’t hit him in a while.  I hate how my father makes him think that way.

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October 29, 1978

I’m going trick-or-treating with my friends this year.  That means that Whizzer’s going to be alone with my father.  I’m really scared for him.  My father yells a lot when he’s drunk.  October 31 is when he proposed to my mom.  I’m scared for Whizzer.

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October 31, 1978- Part One

I’m going trick-or-treating with Peter and Axel tonight.  The problem is that I don’t want to go anymore.  I want to protect Whizzer.  I’m really scared.

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October 31, 1978- Part Two

•••

Whizzer paces the kitchen, wringing his hands and trying to control his breathing.  Today was Trina and Marvin’s anniversary, and from the knowledge of what Jason’s told him, Marvin gets particularly upset on this day.  He runs his hands through his hair and double checks everything, making sure everything is clean and in place for when Marvin comes home.  Dinner was made and set out on the table, along with a fancy bottle of champagne he had picked up, hoping that he could distract Marvin long enough for him to forget what day it was.  

 

Whizzer nearly jumps when he hears the door open, and once he gets his nerves under control he greets his lover, who has just returned from work.

 

“How was work?” He asks, sliding off Marvin’s coat and pecking him on the cheek.  Marvin just rubs his eye and mumbles something under his breath.  “What was that, Marv?”

 

“I said it was fine, Whizzer.  I’m not in the mood for all this,” Marvin hisses.  Whizzer nods and takes his hand.  The older man looks up at him tiredly, raising an eyebrow.

 

“Dinner’s ready and the table’s set.  Shall we?” Whizzer says.  Marvin grumbles something along the lines of “fine” as he’s led into the kitchen.  Whizzer didn’t know what to expect as a reaction.  He had cleaned the entire apartment, spending hours scouring it for any and all imperfections.  The kitchen was the most spotless of all.  To notice anything more than that, Marvin would have to have eagle eyes.  

 

“It looks like you’ve finally learned your place, Whizzer.  I’m glad,” Marvin says, and Whizzer tries not to take it to heart.  

 

“I made linguini.  I know it’s your favorite,” Whizzer bites his lip and Marvin looks down at the table, raising an eyebrow.  Again.

 

“I can see that.  Where’d you get the champagne?” He barely acknowledges the meal, his eyes going right to the most expensive thing on the table.  

 

Whizzer took a deep breath.  “The Wine Outlet by the store.”

 

“And how expensive was it?” Whizzer cringed at the question.

 

“S-Sixty dollars,” he replied.  Marvin stepped forward and Whizzer diverted his eyes towards the ground like a guilty child.

 

“And who’s money did you use?” Marvin seemed eerily proud of himself.

 

“Look, Marvin if you let me get out of the house I could make some money off of my pictures-“

 

“Photography is not a job, Whizzer.  Now stop avoiding my questions!” Marvin crossed his arms. Whizzer visibly flinched when he raised his voice.  

 

“It was some of the grocery money you gave me,” Marvin chuckled and Whizzer’s head snapped up.  “$400 is a lot for a couple of groceries, Marv-“

 

“That’s not the point, Whizzer. That was my money that I earned that you spent.  Now tell me, why did you buy this champagne?  Would you die without it?  Was it ‘the newest trend’?”

 

“I thought that, maybe, because this is the one night we don’t have Jason, we could have a little fun?” Whizzer said.  Marvin looked like he was holding in a laugh.

 

“We have Jason three nights a week, Whizzer.  There are seven days in a week.  How  dumb do you have to be to forget that three is not equal to seven?” Whizzer, ground his teeth.  “Now you see why you do the housework and I make the money.”

 

“Marvin, can we not do this tonight?  Let’s just relax, have a drink, and maybe we can-“

 

“Whizzer, why don’t you just shut up?” Marvin said, sitting down.  

 

“Marv, can’t we just talk? It’s been a while-“

 

“Whizzer, just shut up, sit down, and look pretty.  Okay?” Whizzer huffed and took his seat.  “Thank you.”

 

Whizzer rested his head on his hand, playing with his food.  Marvin took a bite, scowled, and placed down his fork.

 

“Dinner’s cold,” Whizzer pinched the bridge of his nose and slammed his hand on the table.

 

“Will you stop that?!  I’d been waiting for half an hour before you got home and then it took another half hour for you to stop chastising me!” Marvin swallowed and leaned forward in his chair, resting his hands on the table.

 

“And who said you could raise your voice at me?” Whizzer began to get annoyed.

 

“Oh my GOD, Marvin!  Can you stop nagging me for once?!  Not everything’s about you!” Marvin stood up, and Whizzer did too.  

 

“You’re cute when you’re angry, Whizzer, you really are, but that’s not gonna get you out of this one.”

 

Whizzer crossed his arms. “What’re you gonna do, beat me?  You’re pathetic, Marvin.”

 

“Listen here, you slut.  You don’t talk back to me in my own house-“ 

 

“You know how many times you’ve called me a slut? Thousands, Marvin.  It doesn’t hurt anymore,”. Whizzer began to get in his face, just like Marvin had many times before.

 

“Yeah, well at least I don’t have to sleep around to get money.  You, Whizzer, you were practically a prostitute before you met me.  You opened your legs for any man with a monthly income over 15 grand.  You wanted to marry rich, didn’t you?  But we ALL know that fags like you don’t get married, you just sleep around,” Whizzer stepped back but didn’t let down his guard.

 

“You don’t know shit about my life before I met you, Marvin.  I was a free man.”

 

“Yeah, a free man that had to have his Sugar Daddy pay his rent for him.  Did you ever do anything for yourself?” Marvin spit at him.  Whizzer clenched his fist, puncturing his palm with his nails.

 

“Marvin, I was doing just fine before I met you, you just don’t-“

 

“You were working at a shitty shoe store, Whizzer.  At nights, you got drunk and hooked up with any man that offered you a ride home.  You were not doing just fine,” Marvin scowled.  “You would be nothing without me.  You still are nothing.  You’re job is to stay here, cook, clean, and do what I ask of you!  Is that too much to ask?”

 

“Stop treating me like I’m an idiot, Marvin! Just because you have a Master’s degree in Accounting and Advertisement or whatever doesn’t mean you’re smarter than me!”  Whizzer hadn’t fought back in one of their fights in a while.  It was refreshing.

 

“At least I went to college!  You, Whizzer, are out here with a high school diploma and nothing more! You don’t even have a job anymore!”

 

“Yeah, because you made me quit it!  I tried, Marvin, I really-“

 

“Bullshit!  I didn’t make you do anything!”

 

“I should just leave you, Marvin.” He saw the slap coming even before he said it.

 

“You probably wouldn’t even be here without me, you know?  You should be happy I’ve kept you around this long,” Whizzer took his hand off his burning cheek.

 

“You’ve never done anything for me, Marvin.  Stop pretending you have,” Marvin clenched his jaw, balling his hand into a fist.  “You make me sick,” Whizzer said before his lover’s fist connected with his right eye.  He doubled over in pain, falling to his knees and holding his hand over the now bruising area.

 

“You ungrateful little whore,” Marvin stared down at him, watching him hold himself and try not to cry again.  He couldn’t give him anything to use against him.

 

“Marvin, I’m sorry-“ he said, getting into a sitting position on the floor.

 

“You know what?  I swear to god my son is smarter than you!  And that’s saying something,” Whizzer felt anger rise in his chest.  He felt like yelling, screaming until it was all gone.  This life, this relationship, everything.  But he was hurt.  He was convinced Marvin wouldn’t do anything short of killing him if he did.  So he clenched his teeth and spoke through the pain shooting through his face. 

 

“You can insult me, beat me even, all you want, but you don’t bring Jason into this!” 

 

“He’s my son, Whizzer, not yours.  You have no significance in his life.  Hell, he’d probably be happier without you.  Happier because he wouldn’t see me pissed off all the time because you did something stupid!” Whizzer felt tears well up behind his eyes.  Marvin fastened his cufflinks, squaring his shoulders and beginning to walk away.  “Looks like I won this argument.”

 

“You don’t mean that.  Jason doesn’t hate me,” Whizzer shook his head, looking up at him.

 

“You don’t think so?  He told me himself.  He doesn’t want you here, Whizzer.  You ruined his family.  You ruined his life,” Marvin said.  Whizzer stood up slowly, putting his hands on Marvin’s shoulders.  

 

“Marvin, please tell me you’re joking.  Jason doesn’t really think I ruined his life, does he?” Marvin nodded his head.

 

“Maybe if you spend more time around him in the house he’ll learn to like you.  That’s, of course, if you stay.  If you don’t, I’m sorry but I can’t allow my son around you,” Whizzer nodded frantically. 

 

“I’ll stay!  Please!  I just can’t live with Jason hating me!” 

 

“Good.  Now get off me, you’re hideous with a black eye,” Marvin pushed Whizzer hard enough for him to fall.  Whizzer watched as he crossed the kitchen and scraped the linguini off of his plate and into the garbage.  “Dinner was shit.  You need to remake it.” 

 

Whizzer didn’t even hesitate this time.  He got up, apologized, and started cooking.  After all, he didn’t want Jason to hate him even more because his dad was angry when he came home the next day.

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November 1, 1978

When I came home, Whizzer had a black eye.  He only smiled at me when I came in through the door.  My father was at work, but I think he said something to him.  He looked really sad when I said anything to him.  He only responded in short answers.

 

I think he’s mad at me.

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November 2, 1978

I want Whizzer to break up with my father.  I don’t want him to get hurt anymore.  Even if it means I don’t get to see him again.  I just want him to be safe.

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November 4, 1978

Today at baseball I got three strikes.  We lost our game because of me.  I’m never going to be like Whizzer.

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November 6, 1978

My father’s disappointed that I lost my game.  He doesn’t even like baseball!  Whizzer told him that sometimes players just feel out of it.  My father told him to shut up and go wash my uniform.

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November 8, 1978

I can hear my father talking to Whizzer through the wall again.  He wants to do adult things with him, again.  Whizzer said he wasn’t in the mood.  My father brought up my name.  “You don’t want Jason to hear us fight, do you Whizzer?  He’s trying to sleep, you don’t want to wake him up with your idiotic statements, do you?  Just let me do it Whizzer.  I’ll be nice and fast, in one second out the next,” my father said.  Whizzer said ‘okay’ very quietly and a second later I hear things I don’t want to hear.  I cover my ears and close my eyes.  I hate how my father brought me into this.  I hate how he treats Whizzer like a toy.  I really hate my father.

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November 10, 1978

Today there was a snow day.  My father still had to work so Whizzer and I watched movies.  He laughed more than he does when my father was around, but he flinched sometimes when there was fighting in the movies.  We had fun.

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November 12, 1978

Today my father brought Whizzer flowers.  He said he was sorry for everything he’s done.  Whizzer accepted the apology and they hugged for the first time in a while.  Whizzer was in a good mood the rest of the day.  I think the flowers were a Trojan Horse, though.  I think my father’s trying to lead him on. 

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November 13, 1978

Today Doctor Mendel told me that he does like my mom after I asked him.  He says he wants to marry her, he just doesn’t know how to ask her.  I told him to just do it.  I can’t wait to see my mom happy again.

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November 18, 1978

The flowers were a trick.  My father lied.

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November 19, 1978

I saw it happen.  My father and Whizzer got into an argument about something and my father lost his temper fast.  He grabbed Whizzer and yelled in his face and when Whizzer tried to pull away my father slammed him against the wall.  He hit him a couple times and when Whizzer didn’t react to that he started choking him.  I yelled at him to stop because it looked like Whizzer was about to turn blue.  When he finally stopped, Whizzer was coughing a lot and I was too shocked to move.  Whizzer said something bad about my father through coughs but he wasn’t attacked this time.  I’m so scared.  Not just for Whizzer anymore, but for all of us.

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November 21, 1978

Mom asked me why I haven’t been talking very much.  I just told her I was tired.  I couldn’t tell her what happened, or she wouldn’t let me go see Whizzer anymore.  

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November 23, 1978

Whizzer’s been really quiet for the last couple days.  He won’t look anyone in the eyes and he flinches whenever my father raises his hand or his voice.  He does everything my father tells him.  I’m going to tell Cordelia.  She’ll help me.

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November 23, 1978- Jason’s perspective

 

I went to Cordelia’s tonight when I heard my father and Whizzer doing stuff.  It was really late but I made it out of the house.  When I knocked on her door, a short lady with darker skin answered.  She said that her name was Charlotte and she was Cordelia’s wife.  She said I could come in while she went to get Cordelia.

•••

 

“Jason, sweetie, whats the matter?” Cordelia came in wearing pajamas, curlers in her hair.  

 

“I’m scared for Whizzer, Delia.  I’m scared that my father’s gonna kill him,” I said.  She sat down and Charlotte did too.  She took my hands and Charlotte talked again.

 

“Jason, did something happen?  Did your dad- sorry, father- say he was going to kill him?” I shook my head.

 

“No, it’s just a couple days ago he almost did.  He was choking him, and I yelled at him to stop but he didn’t until Whizzer started to turn blue.  After that, Whizzer laid on the floor until he could breath again,” Charlotte looked at Cordelia and she nodded.

 

“Is that why we heard you yelling the other day?  We thought something happened to you, Jason,” Delia said.  “You need to come to us right after it happens, your father isn’t safe to be around when he’s like that.”

 

“But what about Whizzer-“ 

 

“Jason, Whizzer’s a strong guy.  He can get through it.  But next time your father goes off on him, you need to come over here.  We can’t have you getting hurt,” I nod.

 

“So you guys are mad at me,” I say.  Charlotte sighs and looks at her wife, who closes her eyes for a minute.

 

“Jason, we’re not mad at you, we just want to protect you.”

 

“But I want to be there to protect Whizzer!”

 

“Honey, when your father’s like that, he doesn’t see you as his son.  He just sees you as another enemy.  You can’t protect Whizzer when he’s like that, or you’ll both get hurt,” Charlotte says to me.  I rub my eye and look away.  

 

“Okay,” I tell her.  She smiles.  I think I like Charlotte too.

 

“Okay.  When you were over there, were your dad and Whizzer fighting?” Charlotte asks me.  Cordelia excuses herself to get some cookies from the kitchen. 

 

“Yeah.  Whizzer said no to something my father said and he got mad,” Charlotte nods and Cordelia comes back in with the cookies, putting them on the table.

 

“Was he yelling this time?” Cordelia asks when she sits back down.

 

“I think he was going too, but I’m not sure,” I take a cookie off of the plate.  It’s burnt, but I eat it anyway.  I don’t want Cordelia to feel bad about herself.  She smiles at me.  She and Charlotte are holding hands.  They haven’t yelled at each other or called each other mean names.  I want my father and Whizzer to be like that. 

 

“Okay, well we’ll take you back over there in a little bit, when we can be sure they’re done.  Cordelia, don’t you have some Looney Tunes on VHS?” She nods.

 

“I’ll go get them,” I bring my knees to my chest as she puts the tape in the player.  I almost fall asleep on their couch.  Almost.

Chapter Text

November 23, 1978- Whizzer’s 

Marvin’s yelling again.  I’m lying in the bed while he’s pacing the bedroom.  I’m trying to cancel out what he’s saying, because I know it will only hurt me more.

All I did was tell him I couldn’t chaperone Jason’s field trip.  I had a game that day.  He told me to quit baseball and do something I was good at; clean.  I told him to fuck off and that I was tired.

He slapped me hard, but I’m used to it.  Now, my heads swimming and all I can think of is the conversation I had with Cordelia before this all started.

 

•••

 

“Whizzer, I’m really not sure that this relationship is very healthy.  You and Marvin, I mean.  You two fight an awful lot,” Cordelia spoke as she set a glass of wine down in front of Whizzer, taking the seat adjacent to him.  She had began to grow concerned about all of the yelling she had been hearing through the thin walls, all the times Whizzer had came to her door in tears late at night for for a comforting presence.

“Delia, Marv and I are fine.  We just don’t agree on much, but is that such a big deal?” Whizzer replies, sipping his wine.  “You can’t tell me that you and Charlotte don’t argue from time to time.  Marvin and I are the same way.”

“But Whizzer, you don’t get it.  Marvin pushes you around, he treats you like a maid.  You shouldn’t have to be doing all of the housework by yourself, and he shouldn’t just be able to order you around like that!  Whizzer, he’s not good for you, and you know it,” she spoke, concern heavy in her voice.  She placed her hand gently on Whizzer’s right hand, which was gripping the wine glass tightly.  His jaw clenched and unclenched, and she could see a mix of sadness in anger in his eyes.  “You know, before you met him you were happy all of the time.  You were always smiling, always cracking jokes.  But when he came along, all of that just- fell away.  You seem miserable, Whizzer, and it kills Charlotte and I to see you this way.”  

“Cordelia, you don’t get it-“

“No, Whizzer, I do.  Growing up, I saw my mother in your position.  She was pushed around and used by my father countless times, and I couldn’t stand it.  If I couldn’t stand to see it happen to my mother, I can’t stand to see it happen to my best friend.  Whizzer, staying in this relationship is just going to get you hurt, and none of us want that.  Marvin’s not who you thought he was.”

“YOU DON’T GET IT!” Whizzer yelled, standing up and slamming his hands down on the table.  His eyes were filled with tears, and he was struggling to keep his voice from trembling.  “Cordelia, you don’t get it.  You don’t see what Marvin’s like late at night when we’re both exhausted from the days work.  You don’t see him when he’s content, when everything’s to his liking.  You don’t know what it’s like to love him!  He’s charming and handsome and- and-“ Whizzer sat back down, hiccuping slightly as he dug his palm into his eye.  “And I’m so stupid, Cordelia.  I just want to make him proud.  God, I’m such a patsy!” 

Cordelia crossed the distance between them and placed a hand in his shoulder, rubbing his back as he cried.  “Whizzer, we just don’t want you to get hurt.  Charlotte-“ Cordelia took a deep breath.  “Charlotte is concerned that it might get physical soon.  He’s constantly yelling at you, belittling you.  Whizzer, we can hear what he calls you.  He acts like this is the 50s and you’re his housewife.  It’s not okay.”

Whizzer shook his head.  “Marvin would never hit me, and I’m not Trina.  I don’t blindly do everything he tells me to.”

“Are you sure, Whizzer?  Cause you’re starting to turn into her.  You both seem so scared, so insecure.”

“Cordelia, just stop worrying,” he laughed lightly, looking up at her.  His tears had dried, but he still had the same pained look.  “Marvin would never hurt me on purpose.  He loves me.”

“Whizzer, if you’re not going to think of yourself, think of Jason.  What if he saw you and Marvin fighting like this?  What if he saw you staying in this relationship?  With his mentality, he thinks anything you do is cool.  Imagine him when he’s older, treating his girlfriend like Marvin treats you.  You’re showing him that this kind of relationship is okay.  Whizzer, do it for the kid.”

“He loves me,” Whizzer spoke softly, gazing down at his own hands.  It was as if she hadn’t heard a word she had said.

“That’s what you keep telling yourself, Whizzer!  But if he really loved you, he wouldn’t treat you like a plaything!” Cordelia was beginning to grow impatient with Whizzer’s responses to her protests.  He began to stand up, straightening his shirt and combing through his hair with his fingers.

“Delia, thank you for the wine, but I’ve got to go make dinner.  I’ll see you later.  Goodnight,” he kissed her forehead, and she grumbled a stubborn goodnight back.  She was ridiculously concerned with the instability in her friend’s relationship.  She had known people in a relationship like his that didn’t make out alive, and that was the last thing she wanted to happen to him.

 

•••

 

Marvin’s making me quit baseball.  He said Jason would hate me if I didn’t chaperone.

I want to leave, but I’m too scared.  I need to talk to Cordelia.

Chapter Text

November 23, 1978- Marvin

When I lay down with him again, Whizzer says he needs to take a smoke.  He gets up, grabs his jacket, and leaves the apartment.  He’s going to Cordelia’s.  I know it.  So I get up, go to the kitchen, and open a beer.  I don’t want to be sober when he gets back.

 

The little fag is going to rat me out.

Chapter Text

November 23, 1978

 

When Whizzer knocks on the door and Jason answers, he knows something’s wrong.  Charlotte and Cordelia are sitting on the couch behind him, watching TV.

 

“Jason, why are you over here?  I though you were in bed?”  Jason practically flings himself at him.  Whizzer picks him up and the lesbians join them at the door.  

 

“I’m glad you’re not dead,” Jason says.  Whizzer laughed lightly, looking at the ten year-old.

 

“What makes you say that, bud?” Jason looks to the floor and Whizzer puts him down, crouching to his level.

 

“I thought my father was gonna kill you.  He seemed really mad,” he said.  Whizzer stood up, looking between Charlotte and Cordelia.

 

“When did he come over here?” He asked.

 

“About a half hour ago.  Whizzer, he was terrified,” Charlotte told him, looking him straight in the eyes.

 

“I think it would be best if you two stayed here for the night.  Whizzer, you can sleep in the chair and Jason can get the pull-out couch,” Cordelia told him.  Whizzer smiled and shook his head.

 

“Everything’s fine now, guys.  Marvin was just a little upset about something but we took care of it-“

 

“Whizzer, turn your head,” Charlotte interrupted, putting a hand on his jaw.

 

“Excuse me?” He asked, looking at her incredulously.

 

“Turn your head.  I want to see your cheek.”

 

“Charlotte, I don’t think that’s necessary-“

 

“Please, just do it Whizzer,” Cordelia says.  His eyes flit to Jason, who ran off to finish the cartoons he was watching before he came over.  Whizzer sighed and gave in, allowing Charlotte to see the bruising mark forming on his cheek from where he was hit.  

 

“Charlotte, that’s from baseball, I promise.  Marvin would never hit me-“

 

“Whizzer, this is linear bruising.  Either that’s one weirdly shaped baseball or you were slapped,” Charlotte told him.  “Delia, could you get him some frozen peas or something to help this fade out faster?”

 

Cordelia nodded and Whizzer looked down.  “Fine, I got into a fight with the umpire-“

 

“He’s lying,” Whizzer looked up to see Jason speaking from the couch.  “My father hit him.  He always does.”

 

“I know, sweetheart,” Charlotte said to Jason.  She took Whizzer gently by the wrist, looking him in the eye.  Cordelia came back in with a bag of frozen peas and handed it to Whizzer, who held it to his cheek.  “Whizzer, we know what’s been going on between you and Marvin.  Jason told us.”

 

“Whizzer, you need to get out of there!  Jason’s right, one day he’s going to go to far and you’re going to end up in the morgue rather than a hospital bed,” Cordelia told him.  “Come in, you need to sit down.”

 

“Thank you,” he said. He took a seat at the table and Charlotte and Cordelia pulled up chairs across from him.

 

“Whizzer, why do you stay with him?  We’re not going to judge, we just want to know,” Cordelia asked.  Whizzer heaved a sigh and shook his head wistfully, avoiding eye contact.

 

“For the nights when he’s happy, for his lazy after sex smiles, for when he’s in a good mood, for when it all goes back to normal,” he replied.  “You know, he used to kiss me softly, tell me I was special and that he loved me.  He was always so kind and gentle.  He cared.  He helped me when my landlord kicked me out.  He didn’t care what shitty job I worked.  He just wanted me with him, and I loved that.  I felt wanted for once.

 

But then, thinks started to get a little rough.  He’d slip up and use the wrong name or he’d drink too much one night and pass out on the couch.  I wanted him to stop drinking so much, so I told him.  He got mad and started yelling.  Of course, I was young and dumb so I yelled back.  From then on, we got into fights about anything and everything.  It didn’t get physical until I forgot to make dinner one night.  He slapped me, but he promised he’d never do it again.  I believed him.  And as you can see, that was a lie.  And now I’m here.  I promise, I’m going to leave him before he starts getting physical towards Jason.  I’ll tell Trina and get us out of this trainwreck,” Whizzer said.  “After that, I’m never looking back.”

 

“We didn’t ask for a life story, but thanks for telling us,” Charlotte said.  Cordelia swatted her arm lightly.

 

“Thank you, Whizzer.  I think it would be best if you took Jason home to Trina tonight.  Tell Marvin he was throwing a fit and wanted to see his mom.  Then, please come back here, it’s not safe for you to go home,” Cordelia suggested, putting a hand on his.  He nodded.

 

“I’ll take Jason to Trina’s, but that’s it.  I have to go home to Marvin eventually, and I want to get it over with.  By the time I come back, he’ll know I wasn’t out for a cigarette,” Whizzer stood up.  “Jason, we’re leaving.”

 

“Whizzer, it’s really not safe for you-“ Charlotte tried to say, standing up with him.

 

“Charlotte, I’ll be fine.  I promise.  Just  try to get some sleep, I’ll come over tomorrow,” Whizzer said, walking towards the door.  “Thanks for watching Jason, bye.”

 

After Whizzer closed the door, Charlotte turned to Cordelia, who was now standing as well.  

 

“Whizzer’s going to get himself killed in that relationship.  I’m sleeping in the living room tonight,” Cordelia put a hand on her wife’s shoulder.

 

“Char, Whizzer’s going to be okay.  We can check up on him tomorrow.  Marvin’s not going to do anything too terrible tonight, he’s tired and probably-“ 

 

“Cordelia, that’s what you tell yourself!  What if he’s not okay tomorrow?  What if he ends up in the hospital?  Or worse, the morgue.  Men like Marvin, they don’t think about what will happen after their little fit is over.  They don’t care about who they hurt,” Charlotte brushed off her lovers hand.  “Delia, there’s no way that we can make sure he’ll be okay unless he comes over here.”

 

“Charlotte, he’s stubborn.  He’s not going to listen to either of us.  We should’ve gotten Jason to tell him when we could’ve.”

 

“But then Marvin would go after Jason,” Cordelia shook her head.

 

“He uses Jason to control Whizzer.  He wouldn’t hurt him, it would risk him losing his maid,” Cordelia put her hands on her wife’s upper arms.  “Let’s just leave this be for tonight.  If we hear anything, we can check up on him, okay?”

 

“Fine.  But we’re finishing Looney Tunes before bed,” Cordelia smiled.

 

“You read my mind.”

 

____________________________________

 

TW; Domestic violence 

 

Marvin was on the couch when Whizzer got home, sipping beer in boxers and a wifebeater.  Whizzer closed the door quietly and Marvin looked up from his drink.  

 

“That was a long time to be out for a cigarette, Whiz.  What’d you do, screw the man at the drug store for a pack?” Whizzer tried to keep his façade strong, squaring his shoulders and crossing his arms. 

 

“I took Jason to Trina’s to.  He was throwing a fit and said he wanted to go home,” Marvin placed his beer bottle on the table and rose to his feet. 

 

“This is his home, Whizzer.  Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, at least,” Whizzer breathed deep before replying.

 

“He was crying, Marv, and I was tired.  I just want to get some sleep now so-“

 

“No, no, Whizzer, let me get this straight- you took MY son out of MY house without my consent and brought him to his mothers?” Marvin crossed his arms.  

 

“Yes, that’s what I did, but-“

 

Marvin surged forward, slamming Whizzer against the door and locking it.  “It sounds like you’re a spy for Trina.  Do you tell her about us?  About what you make me do?”

 

“Marvin, no, of course not-“ Marvin punched him, balling the fabric of his t-shirt in his fist.

 

“I think you are.  Why else would you be over there so often?”

 

“Marvin, you’re drunk.  We can discuss this tomorrow,” Marvin’s palm connected with his cheek in the same spot as last time, and Whizzer felt his vision blur for a second.

 

“ANSWER ME!” Marvin screamed at him.  “WHY ARE YOU AT TRINA’S ALL THE TIME!”

 

“I drop off what Jason forgets here! I promise, Marv!” Whizzer squeezed his eyes closed when Marvin’s hand was raised again.

 

“And why didn’t you tell me you were dropping him off tonight?” Marvin tightened his grip on his shirt, twisting it to the point that it started to choke him.  He put his hand on Marvin’s arm, trying to bring it away from his body but to no avail.  Instead, Marvin replaced his grip on his shirt with a strong grip on his forearm, twisting it to the point that Whizzer was gasping in pain, tears rushing from his eyes.  He yanked him away from the door and pushed him back again so his back was facing him.  

 

“Stop, Marvin, please- it hurts!”  Whizzer sobbed, face against the wood.  Marvin didn’t stop, though.

 

“Answer my fucking question, Whizzer!”

 

“Marvin, let go and I will!” Marvin only twisted his arm more.

 

“Answer me first,” he said.

 

“MARVIN STOP YOU’RE GONNA BREAK IT!”

 

“ANSWER ME!”

 

“I don’t know!  I wasn’t thinking!  Just please let go!” Marvin finally released Whizzer’s arm, and the taller man sunk to the floor clutching it.  “You broke it!  Marvin, it hurts!”

 

“Oh, boo-hoo.  It’ll be fine tomorrow,” Marvin said, looking down at Whizzer.

 

“I think I need to go to the hospital, Marvin, it hurts!” 

 

“Oh, shut the fuck up, we can go tomorrow if you stop whining,” Marvin said, delivering a swift kick to his back, effectively shutting him up.  “I’m sleeping on the couch tonight.  You get the bed.  I don’t want to look at you anymore.”

 

“Marvin, it hurts so much, please take me to the ER.  I’ll do anything,” he begged.  Marvin walked into the kitchen, and walked out with a bag of frozen peas.

 

“Ice it.  I’ll take you tomorrow.  For tonight, I don’t want to hear another word out of you.  Got it?” Marvin threw the peas at Whizzer, who didn’t make an effort to catch them.  He nodded and tried to stand up,his legs shaky.  “I’m going to bed.”

 

Whizzer watched him lay down on the couch and cover himself with a throw blanket, and he wished he had just a little bit of what Cordelia and Charlotte had.  What Mendel and Trina had.  He wished his boyfriend actually loved him.

Chapter Text

November 24, 1978

•••

“Whizzer?  Baby, are you awake yet?”  Marvin stood in the doorway of the bedroom they shared, already dressed.  Whizzer shook his head but didn’t say anything, still numb from what had happened that night.  Marvin stepped into the room and took a seat on the bed, resting his hand on Whizzer’s arm.  Whizzer inhaled sharply, but not because of the pain.  He was afraid that Marvin would try and hurt him again.  “Do you really think I broke it?”

 

Whizzer nodded and Marvin stood again. “It still really hurts.”

 

“Alright.  Well, get dressed and I’ll take you to the hospital.  You need to cover up the bruises on your face though, you don’t need them drawing attention to you,” Whizzer sat up, touching the bruise around his eye and wincing.  

 

Whizzer remembered what he told Charlotte and Cordelia the night before; how he wasn’t going to get hurt, and suddenly he didn’t want to go to the hospital anymore.  He didn’t want Charlotte to be right about this.  “Marv, I don’t want to go to the hospital anymore.  You probably didn’t break it, it feels a lot better now.  I just want to stay home today anyway.”

 

“Whizzer, you were whining about it all night.  Are you sure it’s not broken?” Marvin crossed his arms, looking down at his boyfriend.  Whizzer slowly sat up, wincing when he put his weight on his arm.  

 

“I’m sure.  Now what do you want for breakfast?” Marvin began walking towards the door.

 

“Eggs would be nice,” he said.  Whizzer ran his hand through his hair and breathed deeply before standing up.  

 

“Okay, I’ll be in the kitchen in like five minutes,” Marvin nodded and exited the room, closing the door behind him.  Whizzer recognized his behavior as what he does the morning after they have a rough fight.  He tried to come off as caring and gentle, as apposed to the calloused and abusive self he showcased during their arguments.  

 

He walked barefoot into the bathroom, his heart nearly stopping when he saw his face.  It was covered in bruises, the biggest being the black eye adorning the left side.  There was bruising on his right cheek from getting slapped dozens of times when he didn’t do what Marvin had asked of him.  There were hickeys littering his neck from nights before, the ones Marvin left after he deliberately asked him not to, as he had a game the next day.  

 

He looked down at his arm, where a black and blue bruise was forming where Marvin’s hand had been.  That bastard.  That was his pitching arm.  Now he couldn’t play even if he wanted to.  He splashed some water in his face to wake himself up, hoping he wouldn’t be battered and bruised when he opened his eyes again.

 

But that didn’t happen.  He started to cry.  He cursed Marvin for doing this to him.  He cursed Cordelia and Charlotte for letting him go home.  He cursed himself for letting Marvin beat him instead of standing up for himself.  Thanks to him, he became a shell of his former self.  He was lacking the confidence, the sass he used to posses.  He barely even looked the same anymore, what with the bruises all over his body.  What used to be clear, tan skin was now pale and marred.  He barely was able to style his hair anymore because he had so much to do around the house.  He missed practices, meetings, and sometimes even games, so many that he was surprised he hadn’t been kicked off the team yet.  The only joy he possessed nowadays was Marvin’s son.  Jason.  He was always there with a smart joke or quick-witted comment, even when he acted out at school and Whizzer had to pick him up.  

 

If he was holding on for anyone, it was that kid.  That kid who had seen him at his best and at his worst.  Whether it was the pride of winning a game or the depression and anxiety after a particularly bad fight with Jason’s father, the kid was always there to see him through it.  The thought that he hated him according to Marvin tore a hole through his soul, and he knew that he had to stay around just so he wasn’t hated by the one thing that gave him hope.  

 

“Whizzer, are you ever coming out of there?  It’s been fifteen minutes,” Marvin turned the knob, opening the door.  “What have you even been doing in here?”

 

Whizzer looked at him, tears still in his eyes, and clenched his jaw.  He pushed by Marvin in the doorway, crossing his arms.  “I’m making breakfast now.  Knock next time.”

 

Marvin pinched the bridge of his nose and closed the door, following Whizzer out to the living room where they parted ways.  “Whizzer?  Don’t burn the butter this time, okay?  I know your cooking skills are subpar, but at least try.”

 

“Fine.” He spat out, cracking an egg into the pan.  He pictured himself in a happier place as he cooked, with a kind and caring boyfriend and a career in MLB.  Anywhere but where he was now was happy.  

Chapter Text

November 25, 1978

When mom dropped me off, she wanted to see Whizzer.  She was worried about him.  My father wouldn’t let her.  He said he was out grocery shopping.  We both knew that wasn’t true.  We could hear him in the kitchen.  When she left, my father walked into the kitchen and left me alone in the living room.  Mom gave me a letter.  She and Mendel got engaged.  She told me to give the letter to Whizzer.  My father’s not going to like this.

Chapter Text

November 27, 1978

I gave the letter to Whizzer and he hid it from my father.  He said that he had a bad day at work and he’d get angry if he gave it to him now.  My father started drinking as soon as he got home.  He’s had two beers and now he’s touching Whizzer all over the place.  Whizzer tells him to stop, my father tells him to shut up and look pretty.  Whizzer told him that he wasn’t going to make him dinner if he kept doing it.  My father told him to shut up again.  Whizzer slapped his hand away and put down the pan he was using. 

 

“I’m taking Jason to the library.  Make your own dinner, asshole,” Whizzer said.  My father grabbed his wrist as he walked away and Whizzer yanked it out of his hand.  Whizzer’s been fighting back lately.  I like that.  

 

When we got home, there was a pizza on the dining room table and my father was already in bed.  Whizzer laughed.  “He’s pathetic.”

 

I nod and take a slice.  “He’s no good without you,” I say.  Whizzer smiles.  

Chapter Text

November 29, 1978

Today was my parent-teacher conference.  Mom and Father fought outside the classroom the entire time.  Mendel was at home and Whizzer was sitting next to me.  When my parents were talking to my teacher, we talked about my school.  I told him I didn’t like it and that I wanted to stop going and he told me that if I dropped out, I’d end up like him.  I told him that it would be cool to be like him because he’s really good at baseball.  I don’t think that’s what he meant, though.

Chapter Text

November 30, 1978

Today when Mom dropped me off at Whizzer’s, he wasn’t there.  It was just me and my father.  I asked where he was, and he replied with “I don’t know.”  My father had to try and make dinner.  When Whizzer got home, my father was angry.  He was yelling, and Whizzer yelled back.  My father tried to hit him, but Whizzer slapped his hand down.  Whizzer had little red marks on his neck and his hair was messy.  My father used to come home like that.  Uh-oh.

Chapter Text

December 2, 1978

Whenever I’m at my father’s, Whizzer has more and more little red marks.  My father seems sad because of it.  They’ve been fighting a lot, too.  Whizzer causes most of these fights now.  He’ll mock my father or tell him he has bad fashion.  My father yells at him about “sleeping around” and how he should “save his body for him”.  Whizzer says that “it’s his body” and “he’ll do what he wants with it”.  He’s been drinking a lot of wine recently.  Sometimes he gets drunk from it and starts kissing my father, who pushes him away every time and makes an excuse to leave the room.  I think Whizzer’s cheating on my father.  For the first time in a while, I feel bad for him.  He just can’t keep up with Whizzer.  None of us can.

Chapter Text

hey,

it's emma.  i apologize for not posting for a while,  i'd like to let you all know that i am continuing this fic.  with the way i have it planned,  i am hoping to cover acts one and two.  i haven't really been satisfied with the way i'm writing this.  marvin and whizzer's relationship seems misrepresented so far.  marvin would likely never harm whizzer like this.  i apologize for writing them in such an out of character way, and now i am working on exploring the complexities of whizzer's character like i have with jason and marvin.  i have made whizzer weak, which he is not.  i am currently working on the next chapter, which will probably be the chess game.  this should be up by next monday.

i'd like to thank all of you for reading my work, and i hope you'll stick around to the end.  i can't wait to see what happens next.

Chapter Text

•••••

Before he returned home, the house was silent.  Marvin sat on the couch, reading the paper, but he was unable to concentrate due to his thoughts racing and anger growing stronger every minute Whizzer wasn’t there.  When he had gotten home from work, Whizzer wasn’t in the house.  It had been like this several other times, but he was usually home by 5:30.  Now, it’s 6:15 and something was wrong.

When the door opened, Marvin put his paper down and stood, waiting for Whizzer to address him.  “You’re late for dinner.  Again.”

Whizzer took his time hanging up his coat.  “So?  We have food in the house.  Cook something yourself.”

Marvin scowled.  “Don’t talk back to me.  I’ve been waiting all afternoon for you to get here and do your job.  Where were you?”

“That isn’t any of your business.  I will go where I please, thank you very much,” Whizzer removed his shoes, stepping onto the living room carpet and making eye contact with Marvin.  “Besides, I thought you were an ‘strong independent man who could do anything and everything’.  Does that just fly out the window every time you do something that you’re afraid threatens your masculinity?”

“Look who’s finally learned big words.  Also, no.  I am a man, and that is why I don’t do the housework.  Now you need to go and cook, Whizzer.  I’ve waited long enough,” Whizzer rolled his eyes.  

“The second I stop dumbing myself down for you, you mock me?  Jesus Christ I just can’t win, can I?  I’m not cooking dinner, order a pizza or something,” Marvin clenched his fists and took a deep breath.  Whizzer tried to walk past him and into the bathroom, but Marvin put a hand on his chest.

“I’m not spending money just because you’re too lazy to cook.  Get in the kitchen, or neither of us are eating dinner,” Marvin said.  Whizzer laughed.  

“Fucking starve then.  Like I said before, I’m not cooking dinner for you when I don’t feel like it, not anymore,” Whizzer pushed his lover’s hand off his chest and walked past him.  In a fit of rage, Marvin turned around, fists clenched.  

“Then get out.”

“Excuse me?” Whizzer scoffed, turning around.  

“You heard me.  If you’re not going to do what you’re supposed to do, get out,” Whizzer bit his lip.  He was trying to prove a point to the man that he wasn’t going to be pushed around anymore, but evidently that hadn’t worked.  Now, there was the threat of getting kicked out with nowhere to go.  He only had one choice.  

“I’ll go cook, but Jesus Christ.  You need to get a hold of your anger issues,” Whizzer began to head towards the kitchen when something hit the wall beside his head.  He looked down to see a coaster on the floor, and turned to look at Marvin.  “Really?  A coaster?  You’re so fucking childish, Marvin.  It’s pitiful.”

“Shut the fuck up, Whizzer.  You aren’t here to talk back to me, you’re here to cook dinner and suck my dick.  It’s that simple,” Marvin yelled.  Whizzer turned around completely, his face now red.  

“Don’t objectify me, Marvin.  You know what?  You’ve pretty much controlled this relationship and I’m sick of it.  I’m tired of you demanding me to do this and that.  You’ve been a manipulative asshole for the past six months, Marvin.  I want to take my life back.  You’ve pretty much destroyed this relationship for both of us,” Marvin shook his head.  

“Oh I’VE ruined this relationship?  How about your sleeping around with any guy who looks your way?  At least I’m not a fucking whore.  Do you fuck those men for money, Whizzer?  I wouldn’t be surprised if you do.”

“Oh, please, even I have higher standards than that,” Whizzer replied.

“Oh really?  Didn’t you start out as stripper when you got to New York?  Your standards weren’t too high then, were they?” Whizzer clenched his jaw.  He felt like yelling, breaking something, anything to get his anger out.

“Yeah, and I’m in a better place now, so don’t fucking bring that up-“

“You were fired after you were caught stealing money.  You weren’t even smart enough to be a stripper, where you?” Marvin wouldn’t back down from this argument. 

“Marvin, shut up.  You’ve been rich all your life, you don’t know what it’s like to not have money,” Marvin scoffed.

“I also don’t know what it’s like to get kicked out at sixteen.  You see, Whizzer, I made good choices with my future.  That’s how I avoided becoming an eighteen year old stripper.  I got married, had a kid, and I’ve worked every day of my life, unlike someone I know,” That hit Whizzer hard.  He stepped forward, standing a foot away from Marvin.  

“Maybe I should move back home.  I’m obviously not wanted here,” Whizzer turned away and was about to walk off when Marvin said something that hit a nerve.  That made him feel weak.

“Back home to the family that doesn’t love you?  To your mother who wished you’d never been born and your father who was ashamed to be related to you?  To your brothers who stood and watched when your dad threw you into the streets?  You’re twenty-nine, Whizzer, do you really want to go back to that?  Stay where you’re loved, Whizzer, and maybe then you wont get hurt,” Whizzer turned around with tears in his eyes, shaking his head.  

“Why did you say that?” He asked.

“What?” Whizzer was shaking.

“Why did you remind me of all that?  Sometimes I just want to forget, Marvin, and you don’t let me.  Why did you need to bring all that up?” Marvin sighed.  

“You know what?  Don’t make dinner tonight.  I’m tired of fighting-“

“Answer me, Marvin, please,” Whizzer begged. 

“Because, I want you to stay with me, Whizzer.  I don’t want you to leave,” he nodded.  Marvin put his hands on his shoulders.  “Hey, you need to sleep or something.  You’re obviously tired.”

Whizzer nodded and looked him in the eye.  “Marvin, can we just talk about this- about this relationship for a minute?  We need to figure out what the hell we’re doing.  We need to make this healthy again.”

“What do you mean?” Whizzer took his hands.

“I mean we need to stop fighting so much.  If not for us, for Jason.  The kid’s petrified.  He hates seeing you angry,” Marvin heaved a heavy sigh and looked up at Whizzer.  

“You’re right, but he hates seeing you hurt more.  Whizzer, I’m trying to control my temper, I really am, but it’s not that easy-“

“But did you have to hit me-bully me- into doing what you wanted?  Of course not.  Marvin, I’m also doing this for me.  If you slip up one more time, I’m leaving.  I’m tired of having bruises everywhere, and I’m tired of being scared.  I’m serious this time,” Marvin wouldn’t look him in the eyes.

“You know, I never meant to hurt you-“

“Then why did you?  Why did you hit me all those times, Marvin?  Why did you almost break my arm and choke me to death?  Give me a good answer.  I’m not going to tolerate any bullshit, either,” Whizzer let go of his hands and crossed his arms.

“I don’t know, Whizzer-“

“Bullshit.”

“Can I- Can you take off the makeup please?  I need to see what I did.  I want to know,” Whizzer nodded.  He rolled up his sleeves- his right arm was still black and blue in spots- and Marvin followed him into the bathroom.  He watched as he washed off concealer, drying his face with a hand towel and standing up straight again.  Marvin felt his heart plummet when he saw the bruises adorning his cheeks and face.  He reached out to touch a particularly big one by his jaw, but Whizzer brought his hand up to it and covered it before he could.

“Don’t touch me,” Marvin clenched and unclenched his jaw, crossing his arms and nodding.  

“I guess I deserve that-“

“Why did you do this to me?  Why?!” Whizzer gripped the counter turning towards Marvin.

“Whizzer, I’m really not sure,” he shook his head.

“Tell me the truth, Marvin.  You know why you did it,” Marvin took a deep breath.  

“Whizzer, look, I didn’t mean it-“

“Does this look like you didn’t mean it?!” Whizzer pointed to the largest bruise.  He looked like he was either going to sob or scream.  “You clearly meant something.  What, did you want to see if I would fight back?  Wanted to see if the pretty boy had any strength?  Did you do it to get me to submit to you?  Why did you do it?  I need to know.”

Marvin looked at him and tried to take his hand, but Whizzer yanked it away.  The older man pinched the bridge of his nose and gave in.  “I guess- I wanted power.  When I was younger, I didn’t know how to control my anger.  I hit other kids on the playground, I got into fights in highschool.  My mother told me it was perfectly normal for that to happen, so I didn’t question it.  Whizz, baby, I never wanted to hurt you, but I was so used to using violence to get what I want and you made it so hard to control my anger-“

“So now it’s my fault, huh?”

“No, Whizzer, of course not-“

“This has been a nice conversation Marvin, but I’m going to bed.  Don’t follow me,” Whizzer pushed past Marvin to get out, leaving the bathroom.  

“Whizzer, baby, that’s not what I meant-“

“I don’t want to hear it, Marvin,” Marvin heard the bedroom door slam and like that, he was alone.  He leaned against the counter and put his head in his hands.  What in hell had he done?

That night, when Marvin tried to put his arms around Whizzer in bed, he pried his hands off of him.  They slept with empty sheets between them until morning.

Chapter Text

December 7, 1978

Today my Dad took me to temple with him. He wanted to pray for forgiveness, I think. He wanted Whizzer to come with us, but he said he’s only half-Jewish. He’s also only half-Catholic, but he still walked all the way to church when we left.

Chapter Text

December 9, 1978

 

Mendel’s moving in with my mom this weekend.  Dad’s not happy about it, and mom told him to suck it up.  Whizzer told her that that was great and Dad got a little mad at him, but he’s trying to control it.  I’m glad.

Chapter Text

oh my god.

 

i am so sorry this hasn’t been updated in so long.  i promise a new chapter will be uploaded in at least a week.  i’ve been very busy recently what with school and theatrical productions and such.

sincerely, emma

Chapter Text

hey y’all

emma here 

back with another questioning what i should do with this

i am currently caught between the decision of continuing this specific work or not.  personally, i am not a huge fan of what it has turned into.  so far, marvin’s just been a huge dick, and it would be inappropriate for him and whizzer to continue a relationship, and that includes whizzer getting back with him later in the storyline.  canonically, whizzer is a lot smarter than that and wouldn’t get back into a relationship with someone who hurt him so much.  in real life, abusers don’t get better.  

so as of right now, i am considering simply publishing the chess game and leaving it be.  please share your opinions on what i should do next, as i don’t know what to do myself.  

 

i am also considering writing a highschool or college au.  would any of you be interested in that? 

 

this is emma signing off

bye thots

Chapter Text

hey

so after not updating this for months, i’ve decided to 1)leave this and 2)revisit the idea.  i am still a fan of writing through jason’s perspective, so i am very likely going to rewrite it because here the characters are completely off.  

i do have several feasible reasons for not updating, however.  for instance, at the time i was writing this i had a major role in a play, and now coming up soon i have yet another musical that i am going to be in, so when i do upload a revised version, it’s likely that updates aren’t going to be nearly as frequent as they used to be.  i aim to update every three days or so. 

 

sincerely, emma