Shattered

A shatterred mirror. Each piece smashed, scattered around. Different perspectives of the world, broken for different reasons and in their own way. Slowly and carefully, we must pick up the pieces, attempt to piece the mirror back together.
*contains swearing and adult topics*

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5. Matt

Digging sharply into his hand, the plastic cup is crushed between his strong fingers, his hand fisted in his fitful sleep. Eyes twitching behind translucent eyelids, his mouth mouths words exchanged weeks ago. He is sprawled next to the floor to ceiling window, cheek smeared against the cold glass. A thin string of drool drips from his mouth onto the plush carpet.

He walked along the cracked pavement, rocking his head in time with the steady beat from his headphones. As he turns a corner, a shove pushed him forwards and he stumbled, only managing to right himself just in time. "What the fuck?" he shouted as he turned around, eyes darting around for his attacker.

A group of sixth formers stood in front of him, grinning mockingly at him. But being a freak had its advantages, and he towered over them, easily a head taller. "Oi, mate. Calm down. Just give us that nice iPod and we'll forget about it." The leader spoke smoothly, almost apologetically, holding his hand out.

He snorted. "Fuck off," he said and turned around, beginning to walk away again.

"Where you going?" Someone grabbed his back strap and pulled him back. The leader still stood with his hand outstretched, beckoning and nodding at his pocket.

"We don't want no trouble. Give it to us and we'll leave you alone. Don't make us take it off you."

He remained still, staring coldly back at them.

"No? Jake, go get it," the leader sighed. A muscular one on the right stepped forwards, reaching towards him. 

Without warning, he stuffed his iPod inside his pocket and swung out towards the advancing guy. He kept his thumb out, as he had been trained, smiling as it connected with the side of his head. It almost seemed to happen in slow motion; a look of shock filled his eyes, staring at him, before crumpling on the pavement. 

He rubbed his fist on his school shirt, before back up. "Can I go now?"

They remained silent.

He could still remember that day. A seemingly normal afternoon. Little did he know that that one punch would be the beginning of a downward spiral.

Limbs curled awkwardly, attempting fit in the space between the various people lying around him, curled up but still far too long. He'd always been too tall, always towering over his class since nursery. It added to an air of intimidation, along with his rugby-strengthened arms, meaning that not many people wanted to be friends with him. Sure, he had friends, but most people were scared of him.

They had a right to be.

The duvet was soft beneath his back, thin t-shirt rubbing against him as he shuffled, attempting to get comfortable on his bed. Windows were left wide open, wind blowing in and leaving a cool chill in the room.

"Rowan!" He lifted his head at the sound of his mother's voice. Sighing, he lay back down. "Get down here. Now." Strangely, she wasn't shouting. Her voice was cold as she spoke, but making sure that he heard every word. With a huff, he got up and trotted down the stairs. At the bottom stood his mother, arms folded across her chest, something clutched in one hand.

"Wassup?"

Silently, she opened her hand and showed him what lay inside. A crumpled packet of cigarettes lay in it. "Care to explain?" 

Cursing inwardly, he realised that he left them in his room during school. She must have found them while cleaning. "What about it?"

"I'm assuming these are yours?"

Deciding to stay honest, he nodded. "Yeah."

"What's wrong with you? Aren't you sorry at all?" Beginning to raise her voice, she stepped forwards and shook them in his face. "Rowan, these are cigarettes! What's wrong with you?" Her voice broke halfway through, a lone tear dripping from her eye.

"They're just a few fags," he replied nonchalantly. "What's the big deal?"

This was her breaking point. "What's the big deal? What's the big deal?! It's bloody illegal!"

"I gotta go," he muttered and pushed past her, opening the door. 

But she grabbed his arm and wrenched him backwards, shaking the packet in his face. "Get back here!"

"Just fuck off!" he shouted. With a push she was flung backwards into the coat hangers, mouth wide open as she hit the ground, surrounded by a mass of coats. She didn't get back up.

With a strangled sound he saw the streak of blood on the chair by the side, smeared across the corner. Mouth hanging open, he stared down at his hands, a moan ripping through his mouth.

"What's going on? What was that noise?" Small steps came down the stairs, his sister appeared next to his mum. She hadn't even noticed. "Rowan, what's wrong?" When he didn't reply, she looked around the room, searching for the source of his distress. Then her eyes came across her mother's body lying on the floor. 

She screamed, clapping her hands to her mouth.

"Emily? What's wrong?" Rushing in, he caught sight of the body. "Rowan. Please don't tell me you did this." His voice was expressionless, placing an arm around his hysterical twin sister but remaining with his eyes fixed on him.

When he lurched towards the door he jumped forwards, blocking his path. Anger bubbled up inside him, like a volcano about to erupt. He launched a right hook that caught his brother under the jaw, throwing him to the ground, before springing out of the open door.

The door next to him opens quietly, a figure moving outside. A gust of cold wind hits him and he whimpers, curling into a smaller ball. Arms are wrapped around his knees, protecting himself.

He had taken off at a sprint, running God knew where. Just kept running, as far as he could. Bodily needs didn't matter. Sweat dripping down his face, lungs bursting, mouth crying out for water. Soon he was in a neighbourhood he didn't recognise. His trainers scuffed along the pavement as he slowly drew to a halt. With no warning he slumped against the tree and burst into tears.

Silently the small droplets slid down his cheeks as he buried his face in his hands, the image of just a few minutes ago replaying itself a million times in his head.

The body collapsed on the floor, the look his brother gave him as his fist connected with his face. He hadn't meant to hurt them; he would never do that. The anger had just taken control of him, launched him forwards.

As he looked up, eyes bleary, he noticed how dark the sky was. How late was it? How long had been here? 

Music seemed to be coming from the house in front of him, windows lit up through he curtains, laughs and shrieks coming from the open door. He could attempt to forget it, ignore the pain in his chest, blot out the pictures in his head. 

Just for one night.

Taking a deep breath, he walks into the house.

The muscles in his arms flex as he remembers that day, moving under the tanned skin. He couldn't help it, couldn't change a thing. Now it's all over. His family, his life. Finished. 

And it's all his fault.

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