Today I used the “go for emotion” prompt again. This time, I shot for a more tearful emotion. Though I may have tapped more into fear, at least at the beginning, than sorrow. There is mention of child abuse(from Isaac’s memory) below.
Isaac stepped out of the building, shifting his bag on his shoulder. That was it then. No more classes until the middle of January. Nothing to do but get ready for Christmas, spend time at the center and shelter. And maybe see Jonas a few times.
He shouldn’t be holding his breath for that. But with the connections between their families, he knew they’d at least run into each other. He made his way to the parking lot, digging his keys out of the front pocket of his messenger bag. He was about to hit the unlock button on the remote when he saw a figure moving on the other side of the lot.
Isaac’s stomach clenched. No. No, it couldn’t be. It couldn’t be him. Not here. Not right now.
He couldn’t move, couldn’t press the button, couldn’t do anything. The figure moved closer, and Isaac’s hand shook so hard, his keys fell to the ground. The sunlight was already dimming in the late afternoon, but the lights around the parking lot illuminated the man’s face.
“No,” Isaac said. “You can’t be here.”
He hadn’t thought he’d spoken loud enough for the man to hear him, but he laughed, so maybe he had. Isaac’s heart was pounding in his ears, but he dropped down and swiped his keys, finally unlocking the door, and practically leaping inside. He locked the doors as soon as he was in the seat but just sat there as he tried to get his breathing under control. His heart was still racing, but he turned the key in the ignition and backed out of his parking space.
The man behind him still had a cruel smile on his face. Apparently prison hadn’t gotten rid of that. Instead it almost seemed to have been carved even deeper.
Isaac tried to focus on the road, on getting home. It would only satisfy his father if he ended up killing himself on the drive. He’d probably call it some kind of justice. Since it had been because of Isaac, at least partly, that he’d spent the last seven years in prison.
Not his fault. That’s what everyone for the last seven years had told him. But, it was hard to beat out the voice from his first sixteen years saying everything was his fault. His father’s voice. One he’d hoped to never hear again.
Now, he was out, and there was really nothing keeping him from coming after Isaac. Sure, there were the conditions of his parole. But, what had his father ever cared about what he was supposed to do. A father wasn’t supposed to break their son’s jaw, either. He’d done that. Bruises he’d had to try to hide or explain away. Dislocated joints he couldn’t really do either for. That was over. He told himself over and over that he never had to go back to that.
He was trembling so hard that he barely made the turn into the Pederas’ driveway. Why had he come here? Why hadn’t he gone straight home? He could tell Roman what had happened. He’d know what to do. If that actually counted as his dad breaking the conditions or not.
But, instead he was here. If Toby was here, he would know, too. He was the reason Isaac was safe now, but he knew that wasn’t why he’d come here. He stepped out of the car, barely managing to shove his keys in his pocket. He stumbled up the sidewalk to the porch, banging his hand on the front door.
His chest was heaving as if he’d ran all the way here from the college, but even as the door started to swing open, his heart rate and breathing started to settle. As if his body knew exactly who was opening the door.
Jonas’ face brightened when he saw Isaac. “I didn’t think I’d see you already. How’d your last day of classes go? Notice something different?”
Isaac barely took in the fact Jonas was standing on two legs. He must have just gotten the prosthetic. But, he couldn’t think about that. And Jonas’ smile fled as if he realized something was wrong. “What happened?”
Isaac stepped into him and Jonas’ arms came instantly around him. “I saw him,” Isaac gasped out. “He was there. He’s not going to leave me alone.”
Jonas’ arms tightened around him, but he didn’t say a word. Not even as Isaac cried against him. His hand stroked down Isaac’s back, though. Then, finally led him into the house and over to the couch. Where he continued to hold him. If only they could stay like this forever, but he knew that just wasn’t a possibility anymore. Still, he couldn’t bring himself to pull away.
So, he’d savor it for a few more minutes. If that was all they were gonna get, he’d take advantage of it. Whatever he could get.