In The Face of It All
Even though something inside is grieving
Laugh, clown, laugh! - Abbey Lincoln
The clock on the wall silently ticked away as Francis sat on his bed, thinking. Just where, exactly, had things began to go wrong? When had his life began to horribly unravel?
Was it when he first realized, at four, that he was different from the other little boys in his play group?
Was it when, at five, they took him out of his kindergarten class, and forced him to undergo (and endure) seven long years of state mandated Hell, all under the guise of "speech therapy"?
Was it when, at six, his sadomasochistic, misogynistic, alcoholic uncle began to molest him, thus birthing Francine in the process?
He wasn't sure he knew, but one thing Francis Drakeford Suvette did know was he could no longer tolerate the pain a lifetime of abuses had caused- physically, mentally, and emotionally.
He had laughed it off- too many times to count, actually- when he was oft overlooked by his peers in lieu of faster, stronger, more athletic boys. He was always the last to be picked for any team, and only then grudgingly and with great trepidation by the unlucky team captain.
So, Francis had found an alternative means of escape- through academics and literature. In the myriad books he owned and had repeatedly read, he was the hero, and not just some totally useless nobody that no one ever wanted, except as a whipping boy. He could be Tarzan (though he preferred Jane), or Robin Hood (Maid Marion tickled his fancy more). King Arthur (Guinevere) or Peter Pan (Wendy) or Buck Rodgers (Colonel Dearing).
The sedatives were beginning to take effect. Francis's eyes began to droop, and his head began to slump.
That didn't take as long as I thought it would. Better write my Goodbye letter while I still can...
He opened his laptop and set the timer for ten minutes.
All the time it would take for his plan to succeed.
He sent his will to his lawyer, requesting any useful organs to be harvested, and the remainder of his worthless body cremated, his ashes to be spread over his deceased parents' farm. At least his passing would accomplish something- giving life to those who were losing theirs, and fertilizing the ground, providing sustenance to the local flora.
He pressed the button, beginning the countdown- and the pain's release.
Had he forgotten anything? He wasn't sure, as the fog began to envelop his brain, erasing the tragic memories he had lived with for so long.
I made the honor roll, Mom! Straight A's! Aren't you proud of me? Mom???
Show your uncle how a 'neice' 'takes care of' her uncle...
You've been accepted into the Duke University Talent Identification Program. Congratulations.
But why, Mom? It won't cost you and Dad anything. I worked hard and earned it. Why can't I go to Furman this summer?
I just came to say I love you, and goodbye, Bubby. Don't cry. Death is a part of life, Son, and as long as you remember the good times we had, then 'Paw Paw' is never really gone...
It was... OK? A little unexpected, but... Well, your Mom's here. I'll call you tonight. We'll.. talk... or something...
He's in here, guys! We made it just in time...
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