Walking into the halls of Martin Luther King High School was like coming home, and that wasn’t really a good thing. Home was full of reasons I didn’t want to be there, and school wasn’t any different. This was supposed to be better, even though I knew that was a load of shit my mom told me to get me to pack up my stuff and leave in Dad’s beat-up old Corolla. It was Dad’s house, Dad’s rules, Dad’s decisions, or it was military school. At first I thought my mom was full of shit with that threat. You see that on TV; it doesn’t really happen. But there were fucking brochures on the dining room table the last time I came home with bruised knuckles and a black eye, and if she was bluffing then she was better at it than I thought. She called Dad the same night.
Their divorce had been bad and I probably made it worse, but I didn’t care. Their bullshit had been hell to deal with for years and they had no idea how much they stuck me in the middle. How much they used me and never even listened to me. How much they didn’t even know me and worse, didn’t even try. So fine. I took my shit and left my mom’s house. It couldn’t be any worse at Dad’s.
I was wrong. He had rules, strict curfews, and a big fist. He hit me once and I hit him back, made him remember I was as big as him now and I wasn’t Mom. I could have called someone, maybe, but CPS likes to skip past our neighborhood. So we handle things our own way.