Some Things Stick With You, Pt. 14

Julia frowned. “What do you mean you started seeing things through the Thin Man’s eyes?”

“Well, I started seeing myself in my dreams. Like, you know how sometimes when you dream it’s like your watching a TV show? Like you’re there, but you’re in the audience, watching everything but not really making decisions and participating?

“It wasn’t like that.

“I was still myself, you know? I still felt my fear and everything. When I wanted to run, I ran. But I was watching myself run. I was watching myself cry. I was watching my eyes go wide with fear. A hand would reach out, thin and bony and dark as the night sky, and it’d wrap around my mouth or my throat, and I’d hear a voice in my head saying, ‘Don’t cry. Don’t cry. I just want to play. We’re going to play.’”

Julia’s eyes were wide. She looked at Richard who stood there with his face twisted up in anger. “You see why I hate our father?”

“I think I have an idea, yeah.”

Louis frowned. “Man, Dad never touched me. It was the Thin Man.”

“How long did these nightmares last?” Julia asked. “That might give you a time frame for the abuse.”

“Dad beat us stupid damn near every day of our lives, but he never touched me.”

“He still has the dreams, and he’s lived with me for six months. Frank kicked him out the day he turned eighteen.”

Julia went silent. She arched a single eyebrow. “He still has the dreams?”

“Okay, stop it!” Louis said. “I don’t appreciate you two talking about me like I’m not here!”

Julia stared at Louis for a moment before contrition washed over her face. “You’re right. I’m sorry. And I’m sorry for just making myself at home here. I’ll go. Richie, walk me out?”

“Yeah, sure.”

The two walked in silence to Julia’s car. She stopped next to her door and stood there for a moment, a thoughtful look on her face. Richard felt himself blush some. “Hey, look. I’m sorry about all that. It’s just… Family stuff, you know? You can’t really–”

“So, have you ever observed him while he has one of these dreams?”

Richard stared at Julia in silence. A grin slowly crept across her face.

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