Remember Last Knight

I hate this for you, baby


I’m full from a delicious dinner of polish sausage, grilled peppers and greens with Julie, Allison and Knight. I’m comfortable and cool, from my window, rolled down completely as I ride; seat pushed back, hair whipping around my head. I’m happy, completely so, I know, as I sit and wait out the short trip to my house, Knight’s fingers crawling over my knee ever so often as a slight reminder that yes, I’m here, I’m happy you’re here, I like you, I love you, hey baby, hey Elle.

It’s been a good week; a good eleven days, actually. They’ve been full of Knight and summer. Knight, sitting across from me as we lick at ice cream cones hand scooped from Joe’s. Knight, beside me as we cruise down the road, the radio turned up and our smiles wide. Knight, his arms wrapped around my waist, his forehead pressed to my shoulder. Knight, holding me close as we lay on his bed, his lips smoothing over mine between our quiet conversations. Knight, smiling, laughing, holding me, talking with me, knowing me, not caring about anything in the world.

I looked up when the car slowed, Knight’s hand returning to the steering wheel. My father’s car is in the drive, but that doesn’t explain my confusion for why Knight has decelerated to a whopping two miles per hour, seeing as he has met both of my parents. It happened a week or so before, actually, and I counted it as one of my good days. Though, it wasn’t that great of an event, it didn’t bring me, or us, down.

My parents, both of them, were home, on Sunday. They were there all day, in the kitchen, or in the living room, just watching television or having a snack or reading over a new magazine. It surprised me, a lot. I actually had thought I was dreaming. When Knight showed up around noon to hang out, I asked him if it was true, were both my parents home, or was I imagining things? He only laughed as he opened the front door again, giving me a quick kiss, grabbing my hand, and walking through the threshold of my home, where yes, indeed, he told me, both of my parents were there, feet propped up and watching NCIS on USA.

I had never planned to let Knight meet my parents. I had dreaded the day it would happen, for reasons I understood and reasons I did not. I ignored the thought of it ever happening than to worry over it. When the time finally came, completely unexpected and as a surprise to me and Knight, it was worse and better than what I could have ever imagined.

I stuttered. A lot. I stuttered and my cheeks flushed as I tried to explain to my parents that Knight was my boyfriend, and had been for some time now. I was a mess, obviously. Planning would have never helped me from turning into this embarrassed mess in front of my parents.

Knight was my rescuer, as always, as he stepped up, extending his hand and his manners to my father, who stood and accepted Knight’s palm for a heavy shaking. My mother stood as well, as my father’s voice boomed as he started asking questions.

My father does this thing, when he’s around teenage boys who happen to be his height or taller than him. Knight has maybe a half an inch on my dad, which brought out his loud voice, which he puts on to emphasize his age and wisdom and blah blah blah. I hear him, as he booms on and on, but I only pay my attention at trying my best to ignore my mother, standing a few feet from my father, a cold look plastered on her face as she glares at me.

My father is busy acting like he cares, like he should. I’d rather him act like he cares here, now, than any other time. My mother didn’t even make an attempt at making anyone in the room, Knight, my father, and definitely not me, feel as if she welcomed them. She just stood off to the side, a hateful look sent my way, no sound or words or yelling to accompany it.

I know why she was drilling holes into my skull with her eyes. I understand completely, and I’m sick to my stomach as I feel her stare on my skin. We’ve done this before, with another boy, a boy who I ended up hurting others because of; hurting the bitches who hooked up with him, and my parents, and Ayden, and myself. I hurt a lot of people the last time I brought a boy home to meet my folks, and she hated me for it.

I hated myself for it.

The nauseous feeling in the pit of my stomach didn’t stop, not even as Knight tucked me under his arm, pulling me onto the sofa beside my father. It didn’t stop as he rubbed his thumb over the skin of my hand and squeezed. It didn’t stop, even, when he turned his head to mine, burying his face in the hair by my ear and whispering, “I’m sorry, Elle. I hate this, baby. I hate this for you.”

It didn’t stop, and it never did, not until Knight had “gone home” for the night, then parked a block away and walked back to my house, crawled up the tree by my window and slipped in. The grotesque feeling of doom went away as my bad day turned good, when Knight crawled into my bed beside me, our bodies facing one another, one of his arms slung around my waist as I buried my face in his chest, his other hand running through the length of my hair, over and over and over again until I found sleep.

Now, however, I’m not feeling one bit nauseous or sick or uncomfortable. Simply confused, as I look from Knight, to my driveway, to Knight. I’m confused, and I’m ready to just get out of the car, seeing as Knight doesn’t seem to be accelerating any time soon, when we decelerate completely and he shifts the gear into park.

“I’m sorry,” he said to me, looking out of the windshield and up at the top of the drive. I finally look past my father’s car, past the exterior of my house and the whole of the materials that shield our fucked up life from the world, into the clear window that pieces it all together for me.

My father.

My probation worker.

My cheat of a Dad.

Stacy the slut.

Nausea doesn’t hit me. My insides fly right past that feeling into anger, and rage, and adrenaline, and I’m out the door of the car before I can think twice, and I’m sprinting up the walk and through the door before Knight can unbuckle himself, not that I’d know. Not that I’d turned back and watch. Not that it would have stopped me.

I slam through the threshold, the front door making a loud bang against the wall as they collide. Stacy is standing up, fast, pulling at her clothes and hair as I round the corner, fast, coming up too close to her, the nasty skank who dare try to wedge herself into this family. I can feel my blood pumping, my skin hot, my fingers curling around each other as I take a look at her.

Her lips are bright red, and not from lipstick – Stacy is a ChapStick whore. Her cheeks are pink, her hair still out of place despite her quick fix up she tried to give it seconds earlier. She stood now, at her full height, maybe three inches taller than me, eyes wide as she looked down at me.
This wasn’t my probation worker, strong and sturdy and ready to deliver news to my parents, judges and lawyers with a level voice. This is my father’s mistress, flustered and afraid of the messy (and in this case, insane, angry, mad, and dangerous) child who has walked in on the disgusting couple.

“I’m not going to hit you,” I whisper, because that’s all I can do. Yelling seems impossible, and unnecessary, as I watch her wince at the small sound that is my voice. “I hope you understand that I want to. I want to grind you into nothing and bury you in the ground. I want you to suffer. I want you to hurt. I honestly, really, really do.

“I’ve learned, though, haven’t I? Continuous work together, you and me, court dates and community service and meetings… I know a few things about you, like you know things about me. Your job means the world to you. I fucked up a few times. You worked your ass off to get where you are, and no doubt bounced it around a bit, most likely. I’ve learned a lot from the last three years of hell I’ve put my family through. I want to cause you so much more damage than I ever did to those girls who messed with me years ago. I messed up our lives, and then you just tried to nudge yourself into the mess I’d made. You were there, incidentally, and why not fuck around with my Dad now that you were here? You don’t love him. I know you don’t.

“You love your job. You think you love yourself, and if you really do, I suggest that you stop coming here. Don’t meet with my parents again. Leave my father alone, don’t speak to my mother. I’m eighteen, meetings can go through me. I’m off of probation in October, and then I hope we never, ever meet again. I messed shit up, don’t push it further. I’m going to fix what I did. I am. So, please, now, leave. Don’t come back. Don’t.”

I don’t really figure that I have to say it, but I do anyway. I look to my father, who is sitting where he’s always sat, on the leather couch where he’d sat when I was a kid, where he met Louis, and Knight, and made out with Stacy Lee. He was looking down, eyes cast toward his feet, his elbows on his knees. I look back at Stacy Lee, who looks nothing like how she’d looked at the beginning of this whole mess. She wasn’t the woman who held my hand when I didn’t want her to, reassured me or addressed others on my behalf. She was, however, afraid. She knew what I meant, and what I was going to say, but I repeated it anyway without regret.

“I’m threatening you right now, yes. I will not ever doubt that. We have witnesses, right? If you report me, I will report you for having sexual relations with a client’s family, and you will lose your job and your whole reputation. Your whole life will fall apart, like mine has. Only you won’t be able to fix it.”

That’s the end of it. The end of it all. The beginning of the end of it, at least, I know. She won’t come back. Stacy Lee, holder of a Masters’ Degree in Human Relations, certified probation worker in Houston, Texas, she will never bother either of my parents again, because she is selfish, and she is smart, and she knows better – we’ve spent years together looking over the bruises and broken bones I’ve caused – and she knows me. I’m serious. I won’t back down, and I won’t let her go. We spent the first six months of my first probation going over my childhood and the time before Louis, which consisted of eight years of Boxing medals and matches – she knows, I never backed down from a fight.

I can tell, looking into her wide eyes before she hurries from the house, that she remembers one thing more than my fight schedule – my fight record. I never lost. Ever.
♠ ♠ ♠
Ooh, a twist? I really enjoyed writing this chapter. Tell me, do you think it was too much or just right? What do you think is going to happen now that Stacy will be out of the picture (if that holds up)?

Oh, and I want to say something important. I realize that Knight and Elle seem very, very touchy. I want to emphasize the fact that we have only seen them thus far as alone, together. I've rarely written of them with parents or friends, which is where you would see them as being a more conservative couple. I want you all to understand that, because as we know, Elle wasn't exactly prepared for touching and jurdging, et cetera, and Knight, well... he was a one-night stand kind of man, and he obviously isn't now.