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Paradise Lost

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Hey guys, this is an AU set in World War Two. It’s going to be twenty chapters long and I have had this as a paper draft for almost as long as I had started writing DI back in the day.

Please be aware some characters within this story are not anything like their real life counter parts because this is a story!

I might mention this a couple of times; all my military knowledge will come from research I have done on the American Army during WW1 and the training parts will come from my knowledge being an army cadet and the training I did there.

The cover has been made by the lovely Joana_Carter (all I did was make it wattpad size and credit her)

Enjoy!

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January 12th, 1917 – Private Jorel Decker’s point of view

I wake up on a freezing cold train with my best friend snuggled into my side, he’s still fast asleep. I notice that he is affected by the coldness of the winter weather a lot more than I have been. I feel a lot of guilt just watching him shivering in his sleep. It is my fault that he is here, he should be back home in Los Angeles, where it is a lot warmer. I wrap my arm around his smaller frame, then I start rubbing his arm. I am hoping by doing this enough I can generate enough friction to warm him up while he sleeps. Once we arrive at camp and get into the swing of things I think he will feel warmer. They will have blankets there too, we don’t have any blankets here. I don’t know why they haven’t issued us with one.

I look around, there are not many people awake at the moment. Right before we got onto the train to go to the training camp we were given a brief on what will happen and to get as much rest as we can throughout the journey since it will be a long one. Two people on the bench on the opposite side of the carriage were watching me with curiosity. It is scarce for two males to have the close bond that I have with my friend and be so open with it. “Hey, my name’s Jordon Terrell,” the shorter of the two says, I am glad he is not being rude after we made eye contact. It would have been an incredibly awkward situation otherwise. I need to get to know more people on this train anyway because we will be trained together.

I manage to shake his hand without disturbing my friend who has his head on my shoulder. “Hey, I’m Jorel Decker,” I tell him. Jordon nudges his friend, encouraging him to speak as well. “I’m Matthew Busek,” he tells me, the first thing I noticed was I was not expecting his voice to be like that. I look to my shivering companion who is still fast asleep, and I don’t think he is going to be waking up any time soon. I know that he is still struggling to warm up despite my best efforts. “So, your friend doesn’t really cope with the cold?” Jordon asks, making me look up from my sleeping friend. “Not really, but I am sure he will be fine once he gets to move around a bit,” I tell him. Matt doesn’t say much, but then I got to know him a little more and he is a lot like my sleeping friend. They are both shy and quite quiet.

Another guy who was on the other side of me wakes up and decides to join in the conversation. “Hey, I’m Dylan Alvarez,” he tells us, and that name rang a bell inside my head somewhere. We keep talking regardless. “The boss said you’d wind up here eventually,” Dylan says, and that was the thing that made me realise where I knew him from. Jordon and Matt gave us the WTF look. “We used to work together back in Los Angeles,” I say, I don’t know if they are from LA like us yet. That’s why I didn’t call it LA. They were about to ask us about it when my friend wakes up, a little startled and a little confused. “We are still on the train,” I tell him, as he rubs the rheum (Sleep) out of the corners of his eyes. “What’s your name?” Matt asks my friend. “I’m Danny Murillo,” he tells them.

Dylan seems to recognise that name, maybe they have met before. I have known Danny since birth, so there is every possibility that they have met before. “Hey, you’re the youngest child of Captain Murillo and you have a good job already. Why join us here?” Dylan asks, not trying to be offensive. He’s just blunt sometimes. Danny is used to being asked about his father when they discover who he is, so it doesn’t really faze him. Most people in our little part of Los Angles knows who Captain Murillo is, he has kinda of made himself a celebrity with his career and that he already has one son fighting on the frontlines.

“I kinda did it because I want my father to be proud of me for once. He doesn’t think I am capable of doing any other work than at the café. I need the money too, the café has closed down because of the war and I want to make sure my mom will be okay financially,” Danny replies. My grip on his arm is a little tighter than before. He does not have a good relationship with his father at all. I am pretty sure, well I know for a fact that his father beats him, just like he did with Danny’s older brothers before they left for their military careers. Danny’s older sister is the only one of the four children who has never been harmed.

“I am sorry, but who is Captain Murillo?” Jordon asks, I don’t think he is from the same part of Los Angeles as we are. Again, Danny does not seem fazed by this question either. I know he doesn’t trust them one hundred percent yet, he’s got strong barriers up because of the trust issues his father gave him. “It’s fine, my father is a high ranking officer in the army. He became less active with the deployment after I was born, and he was told not to join the frontline war effort that he was better off training people back in Los Angeles,” Danny explains. I have noticed that he has started to shiver a little less now and I think he is finally starting to warm up now. The other’s looked in awe because of how high his father is ranked. If only they knew the real Captain Murillo, they’d think a lot differently about the old man.

“Are your brothers still in the army?” I ask, to move the topic off the father. Danny nods at me. I knew Kyle is because he is off on the frontlines in Europe somewhere. “Rigo has been based in the camp we are going to for now,” Danny replies. That’s good, Danny will be looked after by his brother for sure. “Wow, that’s awesome Danny,” Jordon says, I like how positive he is about everything. Danny just shrugs. “It doesn’t mean that I will be able to get away with anything. If anything they will watch me closer because my brother is there,” Danny says. I know Rigo is going to have mixed reactions at first about Danny being at the training camp, but he will look out for his brother regardless of his feelings. We both would agree on the fact that Danny needs a break from the abuse he has been suffering back home.

Danny stretches a little and I see the pain in his eyes. “What did he do this time?” I ask, whispering to make sure the others don’t hear. “Broke a couple of my ribs and I have bruising all over. I think I have a few cuts scattered around too,” Danny replies. He whispered back. It’s moment’s like this where I really don’t like his father one bit. Just because he’s in the army does not mean that he has the justification to beat his sons like this. That has always been the reason he gives the boys for as long as I can remember at least. Danny and I always knew that excuse was total bullshit. There are plenty of people who have children while they are in the army and don’t hurt them. His father can’t even use the well I was abused as a child excuse either.

I think Danny will be happy to see Rigo again, it has been a while seen the brothers have been able to see each other. “What rank is Rigo now?” I ask him. Our ranks are Private since we only just joined. “He’s a sergeant major now,” Danny replies. So he is quite high up, but not as high as his father yet. “Do you have any knowledge to help you out here more?” Matt asks, I am sure Danny will share his tips if we are in the same room. “Yeah, I learned most of what I know as a child from my brothers and my father used to make me do drill every morning,” Danny replies. I always found that weird, a little kid doing military stuff properly. Then again his father would argue that discipline should be taught early on.

We decided to change the topic and try and lighten the mood a little bit. We are all getting tired though, this train journey seems to be taking forever. We don’t know what the time is since there are no windows in the carriage. Danny was already drifting off again, he was really tired, and he was exhausted trying to keep his body warm. “I am really sorry Danny,” I tell him. He looks at me as if I have gone crazy. “What on earth are you saying sorry for?” he asks me. I didn’t hurt him or anything, I would never do that to my friend. “If it wasn’t for me then you would be at home right now where it is warmer,” I tell him. I do really blame myself for him being here, I didn’t know until yesterday that he had signed up too.

He let’s out a little laugh and smiles at me. “Dude, I would have been here anyway if you were here or not. I needed another way out and having you here is a bonus,” he tells me. I hug him tightly, no one needs to go through what Danny has been going through in his lifetime. I know he is here to have my back, but I had no idea how desperate he has been to leave his father this whole time. I know he wanted to leave eventually. “Another way out?” Matt asks us, the others were not paying attention which is good for Danny. “My home situation could be a lot better,” Danny says, not wanting to say anything else. It would be hard having the pressure from his father to be the best and get called a failure if he didn’t.

Matt gives him a sympathetic smile. The others start paying attention now, so Matt drops the subject and we could figure out something else to talk about. “So, anything interesting about you guys?” Jordan asks, I smile. “Danny can tell a lot about a person by looking at them,” I say. Now Danny wants to hide in my shoulder. “You can?” Dylan asks, clearly in awe. “Uh, yeah,” Danny replies. Maybe I should not have said that and dropped Danny in that. Danny thinks about it for another minute or so. “Well, parts of your uniform look brand new and high quality, so I would say that you’re well off Dylan,” Danny says. It’s a skill that Danny’s father has made him aware of and learn from a young age too I think.

“My family are rich, so I would say that’s right Danny,” Dylan says and Danny smiles. He feels a little better about this now and we get to know the others a bit better in the meantime. “Matt’s and Jordon’s uniforms are like mine and Jorel’s. We aren’t well off so not all of the uniform is new. However we aren’t homeless poor either we are just in the middle,” Danny says, and Matt smiles with Jordon. It looks like Danny got it right again. “Jorel was right, that is awesome,” Dylan says, and Danny frowns a little bit. “It’s not really that awesome, I am just a good observer. That guy over there looks like one of those try hard people that everyone else hates,” Danny says, I’m going to keep an eye on that guy and see if Danny is right about that too.

The uniform we have to wear is called the Doughboy’s uniform. Danny’s a little big on him since he is always between clothe sizes whereas mine seems to fit okay. The cut and the tailoring of the uniform kinda gives us an hourglass figure since we look like we have broader shoulders, a narrower waist and wider hips or thighs. The helmet has got to be the worst part of the uniform in my opinion. The chin strap is the worst part of the helmet if it fitted on your head properly. It rubs and is just uncomfortable. I just hated the uniform in general. Danny’s helmet is a little big on him, but I am sure that he is used to this. He has been raised in a military family, so I guess he would have less complaints than I would about the whole thing. Then again, he could hate it the same or more than me because he has seen it so often.

“Go back to sleep Danny. I promise you that I will wake you up when they give the food out,” I tell him. I can’t promise that I will wake him up when we get there because I don’t know how much longer of this train journey we have left. I know it’s a long one though. Danny shakes his head and looks at me. Dylan is the only other person awake now. “I’ll have another nightmare Jorel, I’d rather not sleep right now,” Danny tells me. I just feel so sorry for him right now. He’s also in a bit of pain right now and I know that will not be helpful with sleeping either. I don’t think I have ever had the desire to kill someone as much as I have whenever I think of Danny’s father and what he has done to his three sons.

“You do need the rest though Danny,” I tell him, I don’t know how much we will be doing on the first day we get to the camp. The last thing I want is my best friend passing out because he is exhausted and not taking care of himself properly. Dylan gets up and makes Danny and I shuffle up one, then he sits on Danny’s other side. “Maybe if Jorel and I stay close then you’ll feel calm enough to sleep,” Dylan suggests. He wrapped his arm around Danny carefully, so we were both snuggling the smaller one. “It already feels safer,” Danny mumbles, he was already losing his battle against sleep. Dylan and I chuckle. “Go to sleep Danny bear,” I tell him, bringing the nickname back that I have for him just as his eyes close.

I smile at him once I know he has fallen asleep. Dylan looks at Danny, I wonder what the younger guy is thinking about. “It must be nice for him to away from his father for a while,” Dylan says, completely taking me by surprise. “What do you mean?” I ask him, once I had managed to regain my composure after that bomb shell. “I was there and saw his father give him the beating the other day,” Dylan says, and it made me gasp. My movements woke Danny up, who must have been in a lighter sleep than I thought. “Oh shit, I am so sorry Danny,” I tell him, seeing the pain in his eyes probably from the broken ribs. I probably should not have sworn either, but I felt so bad after waking Danny up when I told him he should be sleeping.

“You didn’t do the damage, it’s not your fault and you don’t have to be sorry for it. I was in a lighter sleep than normal anyways,” Danny tells me. Why does he do this? He manages to make my guilt disappear so easily even if I feel really guilty about something. “Danny, how long has your father been hurting you?” Dylan asks, Danny remembers Dylan from that day where he got beaten before we had to pack to leave and get the train. “Since I have been able to walk, he has done it to my brothers too, but no one knows for sure why he does it. He has mentioned the army as his reason before,” Danny says, he gave himself a minute or two to work out how he was going to explain it to our friend. It’s a tough topic to talk about.

“Woah, that is nasty. A real father would never beat his children, regardless of what reason they may or may not have for doing it,” Dylan says, giving Danny’s shoulder a squeeze. Dylan is right, but that has never stopped Danny’s father from doing what he has been doing. “What happened that day anyway?” I ask Danny, I was curious since I wasn’t there. I was only there the day after since I got a frightened phone call from Danny’s mother begging me to come over and help her with Danny who did not wake up. I have some medical training, so I ran over and helped her look after her boy. I think if he did not get home that evening it happened there is every chance that his father would have come back to kill him.

“Well, I might as well tell you the whole story. It was two days ago when the café had to close down because of the war,” Danny says. I am sure Dylan knows most of it, but it would be interesting for me to find out why Danny’s father decided to beat him up the other day. I have my suspicions, but I know assumptions are the mother of all fuck ups.

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January 10th, 1917 – Danny Murillo’s point of view – Flashback –

“Hey Daniel, what is this I hear about you joining up to join your brothers,” Jake, my boss asks me, as I wipe down a table that had just been cleared by Cali moments ago. I stop cleaning to look at my boss. “Well, we know we will have to close during the war because of the rationing and stuff. I might as well follow in my brother’s footsteps in the meantime,” I tell him. Then I go back to cleaning the table. I knew he was going to say something else about it, but the bell above the door rang, signalling we have a new customer and his face dropped a little. I turned around to see who it was since I had finished cleaning that table.

My father walked in, he must have come straight from work because he is still in his army uniform. I walk over to the counter to serve him. He has somehow managed to scare the rest of the staff, so they refuse to serve him and because I am his son I am the one who ends up doing it most of the time. “Hello Captain Murillo, what can I get you this afternoon?” I ask him, greeting him how I would any other customer. Father does seem to be in a good mood this afternoon. “Hey kiddo, I would like a mocha and my youngest son’s smile please,” he replies. I couldn’t help myself I had to smile at him as I put the order through the till. Father is never usually in a good mood, so I love to take advantage of the times where he is happy.

I make his drink how he likes it and he pays the $2 and even gave me a $5 tip for my tip jar. He has never done that before. “Had a good day in work then?” I ask him, wanting to call him father, but resisting in case he turns angry at me for saying father in public. “Yes, the new recruits we have are pretty good and there were no issues today,” he tells me, sounding proud of himself like usual. I turn to clean the counter where the coffee machine is, so he does not see me biting my lip. “That’s good then,” I tell him, giving myself a minute before I replied. He’s never been fond of me biting my lip, it’s something he has tried to beat out of me, but it has not worked so far. If anything it has just made it worse.

I hoped there was a slight chance that my name had not appeared on the list. He only trains the people who would be staying behind to fight in case America gets attacked. I applied to be a frontline fighter but there is every chance they would have put me on the list for the ones that father train. “I am glad you have not signed up son,” he tells me. Jake gives me a look while father is not looking at us and I shake my head at him. “I would not sign up, that would be going against your wishes father,” I tell him. I knew I was lying to his face when I was saying that. I am actually leaving for the training camp in two days’ time, something which Jake will know about by the end of today, so he is aware in case the café stays open when I leave.

He smiles, and I feel like for once. This whole thing through feels completely wrong. He has never been this nice to me, even if he has had a good day at work before he sees me. He always manages to find a reason to hit me and does not feel the need to tell me this. It could be over something very small and insignificant that I may or may not have done. Due to the fact that my brothers are away with the army themselves it is always going to be me taking the brunt of the frustration even if I should not be taking it. He would never hit my mother or my sister either and I wish sometimes that he would never hit me or my brothers. You could probably do an in depth study into his behaviour and never truly work out what is going on.

Jake told me earlier that he is making today the last day of the café being open until the war is over however long that may take. Ever since 1914 we have steadily losing customers. The war has been scaring people and then America announced they were going to prepare to enter the war as the Germans have started unrestricted submarine warfare now. That was yesterday but it has been brewing for about two weeks now. That has scared people more even if we might not be directly fighting on the frontline. Closing time is in twenty minutes and I know I am going to be a horrible nervous wreck by then. My father feels like this is the only thing that I am capable of doing so when they close down he is going to be so mad at me.

Jake notices that my behaviour has changed a little bit now that I have been thinking about it more. He takes me into his office and makes me sit down for a moment. “He doesn’t know about the café closing yet does he?” Jake asks me, and I shake my head. “He has not found out yet. He doesn’t even know I have signed up yet either. My name has not shown up on his list and it won’t since he is training people who stay here. He doesn’t even know that the café is closing down today either,” I tell him. Now I am feeling really nervous about the whole thing now. I don’t know how this evening is going to pan out now because only one thing will be revealed to my father tonight. The whole army thing will probably be revealed on the twelfth when I leave to get on the train and leave this place.

“What is going to happen when he does find out about those things?” Jake asks me. I know he is getting more concerned and more worried about me. He is the only person besides Jorel that I have had the confidence in sharing what goes on behind closed doors without fearing any possible repercussions from it. Jake has promised me that he will not tell anyone about it unless he has my permission too. “No doubt he will beat me up when he does find out,” I tell him. I bet Jorel will let me stay with him if it gets that bad. “Beat you over something that I have done and not you? That is a bit extreme,” Jake says.

“Extreme is something commonly associated with my father. It should be his middle name is you ask me,” I tell him. He puts his hand on my shoulder and I look into his eyes. “He also looks for any excuse to hit me or my brothers when they are home,” I tell him, feeling like I could be honest with Jake. He puts his other hand on my shoulder as if he wanted to shake some sense into me, but he knows that I know that it is wrong. “That is not right Danny,” he tells me, speaking quietly in case anyone decided to eavesdrop on our conversation. “I know it’s not, but it is all I have ever known, and I know that he isn’t going to change while he is still alive,” I tell him. We look at the clock and notice there are now ten minutes until closing time.

“Come on, he will be worrying,” Jake says, leading me back to the shop front where everyone else is. My father was watching the door as we walk out. “Is everything okay Daniel?” he asks me as I take his empty cup to clean it. “Yes, everything is fine. We were talking about how we plan to make some changes after the war to redecorate around here, make it look new for new customers,” I tell him. I did feel a little bad though, once again I am lying to him. Having said that though, if we have enough money to spare, then we might make a couple of changes and touch up before we do reopen the cade whenever the war ends. We have no idea when exactly we will be able to reopen the café because we don’t know how long the war is going to last.

This was has been going on since 1914 and people would be lying if they told me that they have not mentioned it into a conversation or kept up to date with the war on the radio. It has been three years now and the war shows no signs of slowing down or stopping any time soon. That is why America has started to keep more of a closer eye on the Germans activities as it heats up to see if they should intervene. In the mean time anyone who was already deployed overseas was ordered to join the war effort where they are based. That is why Kyle is already fighting on the frontlines. He was in France just after the war broke out and he offered his assistance almost immediately which led to more soldiers doing the same the government made the announcement that anyone who was deployed could fight on the frontlines.

Luckily father believed me. There are now roughly about five minutes until it is time to close the café. I am trying my best to show father that I am fine and not worried about what is about to happen. Jake is going to make a speech just before we close today. He will mention how we are not going to open again until the war is over. There are a few regulars that are still here, so we are not making the announcement to just my father. The regulars who are still here will spread the word to the others when they next see them, and I have been working with Cali and Kieran to make a nice little poster to let people know that we will be back soon. Kieran drew a little solider taking the sugar away which I found funny. It’s a basic way to explain rationing to people who might not be aware of it.

“Are we doing it now?” I ask Jake as he walks over to me. I decided to sit on one the barstools we had behind the counter to try and hide how much I was shaking over this. “Yeah, that way most of the regulars know and will be able to tell the others,” he tells me. Most of the regulars do leave within the next five minutes, so I guess now is as perfect time as any. He coughs loudly to get everyone to pay attention to him. “I would like to take this moment to thank you for all being regulars throughout the last three years or so. This has been tough for me and I am sure that Daniel, Kieran and Cali will agree on how tough it has been. Due to the rationing and the war, I have decided that I will close the café until the war is over and possibly the rationing has stopped,” he says, and lets it sink in with the people in the room.

I made the mistake of looking at my father straight away. He looked super pissed off, but when he saw my face he calmed down a little bit. I don’t think he wanted to make a scene here. I know I am in deep shit for this though. “This was never going to be an easy decision for me to make, however I knew that it was not going to be realistic for me to keep this place open during these hard times. I have already lost very loyal customers and I feel like I will loose all my business if this place stays open,” he says, looking at my father first and then around the room.

I know for a fact that father is going to beat me as soon as he gets the chance to. That will be as soon as we leave here no doubt. He seems to be cool, calm and collected to most people, but I was one the few who cold see the steam coming our of his ears. I know for a fact that he is fuming right now. His useless son has no job for an unknown amount of time. Well, that is what he thinks. I don’t think that he would start the beating right now as there are too many people here to witness him. He would be arrested and then fired from his job which I don’t think he would like really. He claims he is the only one capable bringing money into the house when he isn’t really. We could all get jobs and support ourselves if he would let us.

I do plan on letting my mother and older sister that I have signed up for the army when I get home tonight. I have a feeling that mother will kind of guess that I have signed up. It was inevitable considering my older brothers have gone to. I am now questioning whether or not I will be alive for long enough to both tell my mother and sister and then leave to go to the training camp. It all depends on how he leaves me tonight and if he kicks me out of the house or not. He might be too angry to make those kinds of choices and might just beat me up until I am dead or something. Then closing time arrived and we had to convince some of the people to leave since they didn’t want to go, and they wanted us to stay open a little longer.

One of our oldest customers had been watching my father carefully and pulled me down to talk to me. “You be careful young man, he seems very angry. I want to see you back here when the place reopens with your amazing smile and the best customer service I have ever seen from a young man,” she tells me. I think her name is Edith and she has been a regular since I started about 5 years ago now. She helped me settle in and get over my self confidence issues back in the beginning and she always gives me a biscuit with my tip and it’s often the highlight of my day. “I will Edith, don’t worry,” I tell her. Her grandson is signing up to join the war and I told her that my brother would look after him since he works at the camp.

I walked out after Edith had left and father followed behind me almost straight away. When no one was looking, he grabbed my arm harshly and dragged me into the alleyway next to the café. The first thing he did when we were in the shadows was slap me in the face. “What the fuck Daniel, why didn’t you tell me this?” he asks, angry as usual. It annoys me sometimes that he thinks that I have to give him a minute by minute breakdown of my day. It’s not like I knew this whole time, it was only decided the other day. “The café was going to close anyway. We have been losing customers since the start of the war. If we didn’t close then I would have no job to come back to by the time this stupid world war ends,” I tell him, feeling angry myself.

One thing that I hate, and I mean hate about this whole thing is that my father is making the whole situation a lot worse than it is and that it needs to be. I can get another job (I already have one, the solider one) there will be plenty going around as all the men leave for the war when America finally declares war on Germany. I am not the weak, useless person that he thinks I am, and I am going to continue proving him wrong. He kicks the weak spot on the back of my right knee which always sends me crashing to the floor. He continues beating me and I don’t bother fighting back. There is no point and I never would, I am no match for him in that aspect. He has a lot more strength when it comes to fighting. He also has three training dummies he uses frequently.

He also was the one who taught me everything that I know about boxing and self-defence. I would never stand a chance against him even if I felt brave enough to do it. He would know what move I would make and how to counter the move before I even fully thought it through myself. He punched, and he kicked me until I was sure I was going to be black and blue under my clothes. I don’t feel like I am going to pass out right away which I guess is a blessing. He also feels a bit merciful today as he has just walked off leaving me alone in the alleyway. I assume I can go home because he has not said that I have been kicked out or anything. He will be off to the pub now I am guessing, he should have gone before, I prefer the drunk beatings to the sober ones because he misses more.

There was a person standing at the entrance to the alleyway, just watching me. That was all that they were doing, they were not making any effort to come and help me. Not that I am expecting anyone to help me with my problems anyway. I have been told enough times by my father that I am not worth the effort to be saved by anyone and I should just rot. I have to move or else I am going to be in this cold alley all night and mother would be panicking and calling the police. I manage to painfully pull myself onto my feet and I had to take a minute to steady myself on the wall before attempting to walk anywhere. It was when I started my attempt to walk out of the alleyway that the stranger decided to help me to the nearest place, the café. Jake would still be cleaning, and he would not have locked up just, yet I can rely on him to get me home.

“Jesus, Daniel what the fuck happened?” Jake asks me when he hears the bell ding. He dropped everything he was doing to help me to the closest seat with the stranger holding me up. The stranger stayed even when I was sitting down. I think I have seen him before when I have been waiting for Jorel to get out of work when he wanted to come over to mine. “He got beaten up by an army dude in the alley,” the guy says. Well, this is going to be embarrassing for me in a minute. Jake looks at me to confirm my story and I can’t find my ability to speak so I just nod at him. It was like his worst fears had just been confirmed. He always worries about my father beating me when he has to make a decision about the café.

“That army dude was his father, I knew I should have kept Danny behind to clean with me and then let him go after this father left,” Jake says, mostly to himself. The beginning part was to the stranger though. The stranger gasps, anyone would when they found out that I was beaten up by my own father. “Why would someone do that to their kid?” the guy asks Jake. I was useless at this point to give any information. I guess it is even more of a good thing that I told Jake about everything. “No one really knows why he does it. It has happened to every son he has, and he has three of them,” Jake tells the stranger.

Then I see Jake getting up from his seat and walking to where I know the first aid kit is kept. My father has hit me with his belt on my back and his nails are pretty long and sharp now. I whimpered as Jake found one of the cuts on my back and cleaned it. “Sorry Danny, it has to be done buddy,” he tells me. I tried to speak, but no words came out again. I wonder what the stranger’s name is, he hasn’t said it yet. I don’t know what Jorel said his name was. I forgot because it has been a while since I have met Jorel at the factory. Well, he got fired from his job, so I don’t have to wait for him anymore. Since I have taken more shifts on at work he waits for me now. He comes in and orders a drink first which is nice.

“Hey dude, can you keep an eye on him while I get something for him to drink for the shock?” Jake asks the stranger who puts his hand on my shoulder. “Yeah sure, my name is Dylan by the way,” Dylan replies as Jake gets up again. Dylan rubbed my shoulder gently to keep me calm while we wait for Jake to come back. I hate it when I get beaten so violently that I go into shock and it lasts for a long while. “Yes Mrs Murillo, he is with me in the café. Yes, I will take him home in a little while and make sure he gets home safely,” Jake says, when he walks back into the room. We have some drinks in the staff room.

Well, Jake is currently on the phone, so he can’t walk very far with the cable length. “He is just in shock Mrs Murillo, I can see him from here and his eyes are open,” Jake tells my mother who is on the other end of the phone line. My mother must be worried about me now that is why she is calling him. I am usually home by now if I my father did not beat me to a bloody pulp. “I will see you later when I bring him home Mrs Murillo,” he says and a few minutes later he puts the phone down. My mother is the type of person who says bye a few times at the end of the call. I find it quite funny when she talks to someone else who does the same. They just end up saying bye until father pulls the phone wire out if he is home.

Jake walks back over to where I am sitting with a glass of orange juice. He clearly looks worried about me and my current state of health. I feel so bad for worrying him, but there is nothing I can personally do about it right at this moment in time. “Danny can you hear me?” Jake asks me, he is now crouched down in front of me with the glass in his hands. I do not think he wants me to drink while I am still in bad shock. I could potentially choke and die and that is the last thing he wants right now. “Yeah,” I finally manage to say and cheer in my head. Jake and Dylan smile at me so I know I am doing better. “drink a little bit of this. It will help with the shock and how pale you are,” Dylan says. He helps me hold the glass while I take a sip of the drink.

“Thanks,” I tell him. The orange juice is slightly cold, but it didn’t bother me at all. “Your mother called me, she was worried because you and your father are not home yet. I told her that I would take you home soon,” Jake tells me. I knew my mother had called because I heard his half of some of the conversation. He obviously wasn’t aware that I could hear him while I was in shock. My father is probably getting drunk again. I am starting to feel a little better now. Jake might wait a bit longer before he takes me home. I know that my father would not be home for a while, even if he does decide to come home at all tonight. He might stay out all night drunk as usual.

Dylan puts his hand on my forehead and I struggle not to jump at the sudden contact. I know why he is doing it though, he is checking to see if I have a fever. “He doesn’t have a fever,” Dylan tells Jake. That was good to know. Jake is still continuing his injury check on me. “That’s good, he doesn’t have one for now. He will need to have someone’s help keeping these wounds clean and make sure that his ribs heal in the right place,” he tells us. He has been well trained in first aid with my assistance over the years. “Oww,” I tell him as I feel him move one of ribs into place. I would have sworn too, but I decided against it.

I didn’t even know my shirt was off until then either. I guess I am still pretty much out of it. “I’m sorry Danny, it is going to hurt but I have to do it,” Jake tells me. He was about to bandage my ribs, but then he remembered it is a very bad idea to do that. If I look after myself and let the right people know that I have broken ribs, so I make sure that they heal properly. “How are you feeling now Danny?” Dylan asks me. He was sitting behind me and rubbing my shoulders while I try and cope with the pain I am in. He is standing up now and Jake is putting the rubbish in the bin. “Not as bad as before. I am still in a bit of pain, but that is to be expected really,” I tell him. I am used to being in this amount of pain really.

“We should be heading off now Danny, your mum will be worrying a lot now. Would you like a ride home Dylan?” Jake asks Dylan. He is obviously going to still take me home to calm my mom down and make sure that I get home fine. “No thank you Jake,” Dylan says, he put my shirt over my head. Then Dylan helps me up to my feet. I felt a bit weak, so I reached out to lean on Jake for support to help me walk around. “Take it easy Danny, I know you are hurting a lot right now. We can take as much time as you need. Your mom will understand when we get to yours,” Jake tells me. He also makes sure that I took as little of my own body weight as possible. That was helpful to me because I don’t feel safe walking by myself.

Jake currently owns a 1917 Chevrolet Series D car. It is own of the most expensive car I have ever seen. I have seen it priced at $1,385 brand new. It is also the newest, shiniest car that I have ever seen in my life. Jake helped me get as comfortable as possible on the seat, even though it is not the comfiest chair in the word. “Are you sure that you don’t want a lift Dylan? I would be happy to drop you off once Danny gets home,” Jake asks Dylan, just to make sure that Dylan doesn’t change his mind. Dylan followed us out to help me walk but he didn’t get into the car. “I will be okay walking, but thank you for the offer anyway Jake,” Dylan says. We know that Dylan should be fine on his own, he has good street sense.

“Okay Dylan, we will see you around,” Jake says, as Dylan walks in the opposite direction of where we would be going. I do hope he is right, and he will be okay on his own. Jake drives me home as carefully as he could, so that the ride does not aggravate my injuries further. I am starting to feel a little strange now. I think the events of the day are finally starting to catch up with me. The adrenaline from the incident between my father and I in the alleyway has worn off and I am feeling drained and very tired. “Try and stay awake for a bit longer Danny. Your mother will be able to take care of you better than I can. I am not sure if you have any other injuries I didn’t notice in the café,” Jake tells me.

The traffic this evening seems to be on our side which makes Jake feel a little bit calmer about the situation even though it is not a good situation to be in the first place. Then again not many people can currently afford to own cars so there will not be many cars on the road. Father has a car, but he does not let anyone else get in it. He does not want any passengers in his so called pride and joy. It makes my mom mad because it would be helpful to have the car to go and get the groceries once a week, so we don’t have to make several trips to the grocery store every week because we can’t carry everything in one load. My mother might borrow the car one day when my father is not around, so she can get the groceries.

I was starting to feel pain all over and I am starting to feel a bit light-headed. “Just try and stay awake a little longer Danny. We are nearly at your home I promise,” Jake tells me, looking at me while the traffic light is red. “I’m trying to, I don’t remember the last time he beat me this bad,” I tell him, which might not have been the best decision in terms of timing. It’s almost like I have no filter between my brain and my mouth. Jake will be worrying about me more until we are at my mother’s house and he knows I am safe with her and my older sister. It takes a few minutes for us to get through the traffic to reach my house. Mother was waiting by the front door as Jake helped me walk up the pathway. I tried to bear some of my own weight, but my mother took hold of my other arm and helped me into the cot bed that is in the living room.

It is a permanent fixture since Jorel stays over so often. It was just easier to have it up and keep it up because Jorel enjoys being spontaneous about coming over and staying the night and it was easier. It’s not the comfiest bed in the world, but I know I can not manage the stairs right now. I briefly close my eyes as the light-headed feeling gets worse, probably worrying people in the room. “Danny can you hear me?” Lisa Marie, my older sister asks me. I open my eyes and look at her, she was next to my head and playing with my hair. Mom is talking to Jake still, so she will know exactly what my “father” did to me this evening. I feel so comfy with her hand in my hair, my sister always calms me down and is so gentle.

“Try and keep him awake Lisa, from the looks of it and what I have been told he has hit head quite hard and the last thing I want is to lose my youngest kid to a concussion,” I hear mom tell my sister. Lisa Marie was checking my head to see if I have any injuries that are worth knowing about there. “You have a nice little bruise on the left side,” she tells me. My sister was always honest with me. I wince when she touches it and then she finds other one not too far behind. “I am pretty sure that there will be more where that comes from, I know my ribs are a bit messed up,” I tell her, being honest because they will find out anyways. I know mother will be doing a thorough head to toe check on me when she is done talking to Jake.

“I can not freaking believe your father has done this so publicly and that he would even consider this,” my mother tells us both. I could believe it, he is always wild and crazy, and he was going to want more attention eventually. She walks over to us and she has her first aid kit with her. “He was bound to do it eventually mother, it was just a question of when he was going to do it,” I tell her. She knows what the catalyst was for it after she spoke to Jake who mentioned what happened when the café closed today. She puts her fingers of my wrist to check my pulse. “I know Danny, but someone saw him do it now which could get him in a lot of trouble now. You have Dylan to back you up if you ever go to the police about this which you have every right to do,” she tells me.

“Jake told me that you have joined up with the army, when are you leaving baby?” mother asks me, neither of them seem angry right now. I guess they knew it was coming and they knew I would use it as a safe way to escape what I go through on a daily basis. “Two days from now hopefully,” I tell her, I only say hopefully because I want to live long enough to do that. I might not be well enough to do it and that would crush me. The light headed feeling I have has never really gone away the entire time mother was doing checks on me. “It is okay, just rest now Danny. We will be here to look after you now,” Lisa Marie tells me, playing with my hair again. Then my vision fades to black as I pass out on the cot bed.

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I hope you enjoyed this new story! I know this seems to be long, but most of the chapters will be as I have drafted this out at eleven pages per chapter and I have really enjoyed writing this!