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The Crow and The Sparrow

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Belle had done all that she could around the house so she sat with a cup of coffee and waited for her brother to come back. She had spent a while day dreaming about Tig and maybe riding on his bike and then wondering how he would react when she returned his groceries and hopefully the money she owed him. She could feel the blush rising on her cheeks when she thought about what she would be returning to him. She would definitely need to make sure that she handed it to him. What would people think if she left his personal items for all to see. Glancing at the wall clock she wondered whether or not she should go check on her mother. Belle had been home for 4 hours and there hadn’t been a sound, Then again if she was ill then the last thing Belle needed was to catch what ever it was. It would be impossible to find a job if she was sick.

By the time she had to turn the lights on in the living room she still hadn’t heard from her brother and as much as she tried to not worry she couldn’t help it. Looking through the kitchen supplies she couldn’t justify making a large diner just for her so she pulled together a PB&J and grabbed a banana and some milk. She had just finished when she heard the front door open and her brother stumbled through. Standing to meet him she let out a gasp as she took in his appearance, He was frankly a mess. His eye was swollen nearly closed and was obviously going to be black, his knuckles were bruised and blood and his lip had been split. “Dear god John!” she moved over to try and help him to the sofa. “What happened? Did you call the police?” She wrapped her arm around him to try and help him move more easily but he shoved her away angrily

“What happened ? What the fuck do you think happened. I had a shit day at work. Jesus can you stop asking such dumb fucking questions and put yourself to some use and patch me up!”

Belle hurried to the kitchen and pulled out the small first aid kit they kept there, along with some dish towels before running the tap for hot water. Hurrying back through she found john resting on the sofa with his eyes shut “This happened at work? What the hell do they have you doing, why wouldn’t they take you to the hospital to get checked out?” As she knelt down next to him she could smell the stale tang of beer and knew that she wasn’t going to get a decent response. Rather than pushing him more she set about using the cloths to clean off his hands and then his face. When the worst of the blood was gone she assessed the various gashes and bruises, She would bring him ice for his eye and lip, the small costs just needed some neosporin but his hands were a mess and she wasn’t sure she had them fully clean. Heading back to the kitchen she grabbed ice and wrapped it in another towel as well as the bottle of rubbing alcohol. When she rested the ie on his face John had let out a groan but had seemed happy toehold it there, The rubbing alcohol on his hands didn’t go so well. The moment she poured some onto his knuckles her brother tensed before swearing loudly and shoving her away. “What the fuck do you think you’re doing!” he bellowed as Belle hit the floor, hard “Stupid bitch that fucking hurt, get the fuck up off the floor and clean up this mess.” He gestured wildly at the split water Belle had knocked over as she fell and the used tea towels. Throwing the make shift ice park at hr he stumbled off to the kitchen, and as Belle started to clean up she heard him rummaging around.,

Belle focused on cleaning up still shocked at his reaction, should she have warned him first? Lost in her thoughts she didn’t realise John had come back through until something small and metallic bounced off her head. Looking up she found her brother towering over her. “You know Belle, I found us a house, I got us moved out here and you cant even manage to do one thing right. Do you know what this is “ he wiggled the bottle of beer in his hand before he carried on “thi say beer and its the last one in the fridge. I figure a man should be able to come home and enjoy a couple beers but no! I see you managed to bring in more food to stuff your face but when I want a beer, this is what I am fucking left with!”

“The food is for us all. I would have gotten you beer but I couldn’t even afford the food we got today. A nice man paid for our groceries because we didn’t have the money too. Im looking for work but there isn’t a lot out there. Im doing what I can but we can’t afford beer and food” Tears rolled down her face as she looked up and John

“You let a stranger pay for our food, like we’re some kind of charity case. What the fuck do you think people will say about us you stupid bitch!” . Belle tried to control her breathing and calm down but as John slammed his beer down she felt her heart start to pound and realised that she was afraid of her big brother. This man who came back from the war left her afraid in their own house. She watched as he showed his hand into his pocket, hissing as he further irritated his knuckles. He glanced down before pulling out two bills and throwing them at her. “$70 that i earned, take it and make sure you pay back that fucker and buy me beer” Scrabbling to pick up the money Belle clenched it lightly in her hand “Yes John” “Now fuck off and give me some peace” Slowly Belle gathered up the tools and other items before leaving the room to her brother, She had been going to ask him to check on her mother but she couldn’t face dealing with him any more. Glancing at the money she gave a small smile, at least now she could pay Tig back