“If I Should Die” | #EatADick

By Andersen Richards

April 29th, 2016

I tell you a lot of crazy shit.

Shit I wouldn’t tell you if I thought I was ever going to live long enough to be arrested and tried for it. In the last year I’ve been arrested twice. Hell, since I started sharing this with all of you I’ve been arrested. And I’ve been caught. I’ve been caught by people who want to turn me in to get some kind of pay day. I’ve been caught by people who want to eat me.

My point is, I tell you things that I wouldn’t tell if I thought I’d ever change or be any better. But the person I am today is the person I’m going to die.

And if I should die, I want it to be knowing I made a sister world for my sister to live in.

I saw Luis walking home along the canyon after school. A few of his buddies were behind him. This is my sister’s boyfriend, the one who left her so badly bruised, hiding her injuries. I saw him. He didn’t see me.

So I tackled him, knocked him off the sidewalk and rode his body down, into the dusty ravine.

In retrospect it was impulsive.

Luis is a few year younger than me. In fact, he’s only seventeen. But he’s bigger than I am, bigger than I’ll ever be. If I wanted to keep my sister safe, I need to make sure he didn’t get back up.

I imagined it would be like a bobsled, for the few seconds I gave it any thought at all, riding his fucking body down that hill, through the brush and cacti. I had a pair of plastic bags I pulled over his head, choking him out as we fell. It just seemed like he’d be limp and I could ride him to the bottom.

But that was dumb. A lot of my ideas are dumb.

Instead of riding him to the bottom, head first, he hit a rock, his rear veered right and threw me. More accurately, I was hurled in the air while his body slowed, snapped through the trunk of a dried out tree, and was getting to my feet just as he reached the bottom.

Luis was struggling to get the bag off his head as I jumped onto him, covering his mouth beneath the layers of plastic so that he wouldn’t be able to tear an opening in it. In the last year, I’ve become a very good judge of who I can and can’t take in a fair fight.

So… fuck fighting fair.

He tried to pull my hand off him, but pummeling with the other hand weakened his efforts. Each impact into the center of his chest caused a vacuum in his lungs that wasn’t filling. Above I could hear his friends coming over the hillside after us. Provided they didn’t fall, I’d have two minutes to finish what I was doing.

My mother was never really compassionate. My step-father has never hid how much he hates me. My father… well, I don’t want to speak against him. But my sister is the only person who cared about me, who tried to make me happy. Her neck was purple and green, she’d been held down, she’d been made to feel things she couldn’t fight off.

And fuck this guy for doing it to her. Fuck this guy for doing it to anyone.

So, no, I didn’t feel guilty as his grip on my hands loosened or when his arms fell to the ground. No, I didn’t stop fucking hitting him when he stopped resisting.

Rocks and dirt were beginning to cascade in front of me as his friends neared. The advantage I’d had over Luis I wouldn’t have over them. I’d lose that fight.

But I had a different advantage.

The Bronco leapt over the hillside. Two tons of steel dropped into the terrain, forcing a dry landslide which swept the three men off their feet. Sam, behind the wheel hit a hard left, speeding diagonally down the hillside, missing them either on accident or on purpose. She spun again into a 180 so that the grill was pointed at them like the barrel of a gun. The engine revved, ready to be let loose at any moment.

I don’t know at what point I started screaming, but only about then do I remember yelling “Hey!” over and over again, like I was being ignored. Ripping the bags from his head, I grabbed his cheeks and pummeled his chest again. This time the vacuum brought in air, filling his lungs as much they could in one gasp. The second he let out again, I covered his mouth.

“Listen to me. Listen to me, you fuck! I’m about to punch a fucking hole through your sternum and when I do I’m going to reach inside, up your fucking throat and pull your goddamn brain out.” I hit him again. “Are you hearing me?”

I removed my hands and he started breathing, grabbing my arms as he did.

“Get your fucking hands off me. Don’t you fucking touch me.”

He pulled his hands away and buried them in the dirt beneath. One of his friends tired to get up and the Bronco lurched three feet forward, forbidding any intervention.

“Now I want to hear you say you’re not ever going near my sister again. Do you hear me?”

“I’ll tell… I’ll tell the cops… what you did… They’ll kill you… My dad will you…”

“I don’t fucking care who you tell. Maybe I should blow up your fucking house tonight so you don’t have to worry about your fucking daddy.”

He didn’t say shit that time.

“Now say it. Say what I want to hear.”

He took a few minutes to catch his teeth, bearing his teeth the whole time like the stupid fucking animal part of his brain told him. Like the stupid fucking animal part of his brain was ever going to be more dangerous than mine.

“I won’t go near her.”

“Say it again,” I said,pushing his cheeks together.

“I won’t go near her.”

“Say it again.”

“I won’t go near her.”

“Good.” I put my body weight into his face as I pushed up onto my feet. My head felt light, like my thoughts were racing down between my eyes and to my noses. There was a sense of elation and fear and every breath felt so… freeing. “Stay with a friend tonight. I may still blow up your fucking daddy’s house.”

I walked up the incline a little bit, the dirt giving way beneath me as I did, round the revving Bronco and into the passenger seat. Sam had the vehicle in four-wheel drive already and started up the hill, “Why can’t you do that when your life depends on it?” she asked.

I didn’t know.

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