I’m finally able to pull myself from the corner I’ve huddled in. I’m still extremely anxious. It’s been almost twenty years since he shot himself. I still can see it unfold.
“Allan, I can’t do it anymore. This is it. Your mother doesn’t love me. You, and your siblings don’t need me. Cassiel is the man of the house. I’m nothing but a drunk poet. A man of words, and false promises.”
I look at him, I’m terrified at the moment. I’ve never seen a person, a man for that matter so vulnerable.
“Dad please. Stop talking like that. Mom does love you. Things are just a bit stressful.”
He shook his head at me.
“Allan, I named my children after a mad man I idolized. Your mother named you with meaning. I named you in selfishness. She had no say. I’ve ruined her. I’ve ruined her life. I’ve ruined her body. I’ve destroyed who she was.”
What’s he talking about. Our mother is absolutely beautiful. Breathtaking to be accurate. Long black silky hair. The most beautiful blue eyes, and pink lips that remind me of roses. High cheek bones, and her smile. Her smile is like that of an angels.
“Dad please stop you’re scaring me.” I beg of him.
He shakes his head.
“Allan she went through hell with her pregnancies. I made her have children. I demanded it. I was a bully. I pressured her into marriage. She didn’t have the strength to say no. I beat her Allan. I’m nothing. I’m a piece of shit. I’m not even a human being.”
I can see him shudder, and I’m not sure what he’s about to do.
“Dad I’m ringing an ambulance. You need to get to the hospital. You’ll be ok.”
He shook his head, “It’s too late. Your mother will be ok. You, Edgar, and Poe will be better off without me. Your mother will collect benefits, and she’ll do as she see’s fit.”
I started to move towards him, and he pulled the gun out of the back of his pants.
“Allan I’m sorry. Please leave the room. When I’m done, then call for an ambulance. Just wait for a few minutes please. I want to make sure there’s no saving me.”
I stopped watching him, “Dad please.”
He placed the barrel against his temple. I started towards him, and he pulled the trigger. The bang ricocheted through my chest. Blood splattered everywhere. The thud of his body hitting the floor, stopped me in my tracks. I dropped to my knee’s, and tried shaking him. His eyes were wide open. I didn’t know what to do. Did I disobey my father, and ring for the ambulance, or wait. My brain was in an utter fog. I moved backwards into the corner of the room. I was covered in my fathers blood. I sat paralyzed.
“Allan I’m home.” Cassiel’s voice called out.
His footsteps could be heard coming up the stairs. The doors to different rooms, opening, and closing.
“Allan?” he stopped outside our parent’s room.
I was speechless. I’d wrapped my arms around my knee’s and huddled in the corner. Cassiel opened the door.
“OH MY GOD DAD!” Cassiel ran over, and looked him over. He checked quickly, but he was gone. He whipped around to find me in the corner.
“ALLAN?” He quickly crawled across the floor to me, and grabbed the phone ringing for an ambulance.
I was in shock, and I couldn’t hear anything. I just saw Cassiels lips moving.
“There’s been a shooting, a suicide.” Cassiels voice was trembling.
He’d provided the information they needed, then hung up. He reached over to a chair, and grabbed a blanket wrapping it around me.
“Allan answer me please.” His hands were on my shoulders. I couldn’t hear him.
When I finally came around, I was in the hospital. I was in a hospital gown, wrapped him blankets, and hooked up to an IV. There sat my mother quietly smiling at me.
“Hi there love. Are you alright?” She held my hand smiling at me. Her eyes were red, and her hair was wispy looking. She was searching me. She wasn’t able to tell if I was in this body, or if I was still somewhere else.
“Sweetheart, can you squeeze my hand if you understand me at least?” She held my hand hopeful.
It took my brain a moment, but I squeezed, and her smile widened.
“They want to keep you overnight, just for precaution.” She moved closer, brushing my cheek with her hand.
I started quickly pulling at the blankets, trying to free myself. She stood up, and placed her hands on mine.
“Calm down. We’re staying with your Aunt Nadine ok. She’s aware of what happened. Poe, and Edgar are already there. They’ll be a special cleaning crew coming to our home.” She looked at me, and I could tell she had her mask on. She was distraught, and confused.
My voice cracked, “He told me to wait. I tried to ring,” I couldn’t get the rest out.
She moved from her chair, and sat beside me on the bed, cradling me.
“Allan, nobody could have known. I was his wife for eighteen years darling. I knew he battled demons. He never once talked about it. He’d have his ups and downs. It happens with anyone who suffers from mental illness. I loved your father though. I know what happened. I’m so sorry you’ve seen the things you have. That sadly, was the alcohol. I think he used it to quiet what ever was haunting him.”
I listened to her talk, but I was unable to say a word. The doctor came in, and she was sweet. She was young, and had green eyes. Her hair was in loose curls, and framed her face perfectly.
“Hi there Allan. I’m Doctor Asklepios. I took a moment to look at her.
“The God of Health, and Medicine.” I spoke softly.
“Wow you’re quite up on your Greek Mythology.” She smiled at me. Her eyes twinkled. She sat down on a stool beside the bed.
My mom spoke, ‘He doesn’t want to stay. We’ll be staying with my sister, until things are taken care of at home.”
Doctor Asklepios looked over my chart, then watched my vitals.
“He’s perfectly fine. It’s a traumatic event that took place. He doesn’t appear to pose a threat to himself, or anyone else. So I’m going to write a prescription for a mild benzodiazepine.It will help with any anxiety until you can see his pediatrician. Now if he doesn’t want to take the medication, that’s fine. It’s a PRN, so as needed. I will step out, we’ll give you some information on therapy, and therapists. I just need you to sign discharge papers, and you can be on your way.”
She smiled at me, and I thought it was strange she had an american accent. I shrugged it off, assuming maybe she’d moved here for work specifically. She removed the IV, and stepped out.
“Allan, go ahead and get dressed. I brought fresh clothes for you.” My mother smiled, and stepped out pulling the curtain closed behind her.
Once I dressed, I waited for my mother to return. She walked in a few minutes later, her arms littered with literature, and papers.
“Lot’s of phone calls, and reading.” She smiled, and reached out for my hand.
I stood quietly taking her hand.
“We’ll get through this darling.” She kissed my temple, and I flinched. She squeezed my hand gently, and we left.
Once we were at my aunts home, my mother looked at me, “I want to talk about calling you children by your middle names. If you don’t want to,”
I looked up at her, “My name is Arcanum. Arcanum Corvus.”
She looked at me, “Corvus?” She was unsure I could tell what sparked the name choice.
“You know what it means.” I looked at her.
She nodded, “Raven in Latin.”
I looked up at the sky, pointing out the constellation of Corvus.
“That’s Corvus. It’s strange. Today’s date is the eleventh of the month. Dad was forty eight years of age.”
She looked at me, and listened.
“You see, Corvus is a small constellation. Even though it’s small, it shines brightly. Only eleven stars are visible to the naked eye. It was one of the forty eight constellations listed by Ptolemy. So tonight, of all nights Corvus is quite visible. Ironic, or a sign? I take it as a sign to move forward with my life.” I looked at her, and she smiled.
“You know what your middle name means correct?” She asked smiling, holding my hand.
I nodded, “The Dictionary states, and I quote; mysterious or specialized knowledge, language, or information accessible or possessed only by the initiate —usually used in plural
The origin from Latin neuter of Arcanus secret. As and Adjective, it means; hidden, secret, private, intimate, personal, confidental, trustworthy (to keep a secret). Now here’s the most interesting part. It was first used in the fifteenth century. Isn’t it fitting, I’m of the age of fifteen, and I’m using this name for the first time.”
My mother stood there, silent. I’m not quite sure what she was thinking. This was the most I’d spoken since leaving the hospital. She simply smiled, and said,
“Let’s head inside Arcanum.”