After about 2 minutes of silence, the words finally sunk in. She had been cheating on him, all this time. She told him that she loved him every morning and every night. Knowing she was lying. She lied.
And now she was in love with this guy.
Which means that if my dad did go to jail, it wasn't over. He must be just like him. And he is going to hurt us both again. It was too much. I needed to breath. And I needed her to leave. To leave me alone. She just had to leave, and then I will have to live with my dad. And things will go back to normal.
"Please don't look at me like that." Just then I realized that I had been staring at her with tears coming down my cheeks. "I know what you are thinking, but I did it for both of us. I loved your father and he will always be a part of me, but he lost the privilege to stay with us when he started hitting us and.. Doing that to you." I cringed at her words. It wasn't true. He did it because he wanted to fix me, I was damaged and he was trying to help me. "He put all this ideas in your head that are not true and I know you know they are lies but you've been listening to them for so long you actually started to believe them"
"Stop" That was all I could say. She was wrong. It wasn't like that. He never lied to me. She did.
"They were all lies Lucas. All of what he said. He told you that so that you would feel like nothing and let him control your hole life. When in reality you are the best son anybody could ever ask for. The simple fact that you are talking to me proves it, any other kid wouldn't even want to see me after how I treated you. But you did, and you listened to me. You are a good person Lucas, just because he told you otherwise it doesn't mean it's true"
She couldn't be doing this right now, not after all this time, not after everything that's happened and, especially, not after everything she did.
"I now you need some time to think things over. So I'll be at the waiting room if you want to talk" And with that she stood up, but she didn't leave. She stood in front of me for a few seconds and seemed ready to hug me but think better of it and just left, closing the door softly behind her.
We were silent for a few moments. Curtis still leaning against the wall. But after a few more minutes he walked over and sat next to me on the bed, not touching me but still too close for my body who immediately tensed up.
"Talk to me, tell me what you are thinking" He said. But I just kept quiet. "You know, there are studies that proves talking out loud to someone, or just voicing your thoughts helps you figure them out. And you seem to have a lot to say. Come on, it's just me and you. Nobody is going to know what you said. Not other doctors, not your mom and not your father."
I kept quiet, maybe he was right. After all, he didn't say anything about what happened last night. And with all this things going through my head, talking to someone about it didn't seem like such a bad idea. But then my conscience stopped me. It always did. Because my dad was my conscience and he didn't want me to talk about it.
"Hey, I promise that no matter what you say, even if it's something life changing, it will not leave this room unless you want it to. Okay? Trust me. I promise" And for the first time I didn't saw that a an already broken promise, like the one my dad used to do to me. I saw it as a promise that he will no doubt keep.
"It's just that... She lied. She lied to him about loving him when she was cheating on him. He thought she was doing the grocery shop but she was with another guy. And she didn't even leave us, she was keeping it a secret, saying she was collecting evidence so that she could put him in jail. But if this have been happening for so long then she should have enough. She could have left us but she didn't, she stayed there and made everything worst." I seemed slightly hesitating at first, but as I talked my voice became even and I could talk without stuttering.
"And what about you?" I looked at him confused "How do YOU feel about this? You were a part of it too. All you've said is about your parents. But where are you there? Because you were there, but you don't talk about why do you think it's wrong."
I found myself looking down because I knew he was right. But my dad had thought me not to think of myself and not to talk about myself. It wasn't as simple as everybody put it, to forget everything he ever said to me. His words keep repeating themselves inside my head even when I was paying attention to something else. And the fact that he could still come back, didn't help. I needed to know that he was as far away as possible. But in order to do that I had to talk to Curtis and even though I really had warmed up to him I still didn't trust him that much. But when I felt his hand gently rubbing against my short hair, suddenly, everything seemed fine. And all the voices inside my head felt weaker. It felt as if Curtis was my life vest, keeping me from sinking. So I took one deep breath and just started talking.
"She could have taken us out of there. She could have said we were going to the market, and he would have let her. Because he trusted her. We spent days alone in the house and she would still stay. While she was out falling in love with that guy, he was making my life a living hell. If she was in fact collecting evidence then after one month... She should have had enough. It's all going to happen again. This guy is going to fill her with dreams and in exchange she will do everything he says, no matter what. Even if what he wants is for her to ignore me." I paused a moment when a memory from when I was 8 came back to me. And I looked at Curtis who was sitting there still caressing my hair and comforting me. And I knew that I could trust him "Once my dad got so mad that he said I didn't existed anymore and started ignoring me, and he convinced my mom of doing the same. They both ignore me for over a week. No matter how hard I screamed at them, they would pretend as if I wasn't even there. And if I got in their way, they would push me and keep walking like if I was some stranger asking them something on the street. And now is going to be the same thing on repeat. And she is going to forget about me. Again."
I haven't realized that I was crying until I felt Curtis wrap me in his arms and rubbing my back in a soothing way. He had been silent the hole time, just listening to me. And that's exactly what I needed. Somebody who would actually hear me and listen to me, without judging.
"I'm sorry. I really am, you are too young to be going through this and having to make all this decisions. It isn't supposed to be like this. You are supposed to have a happy childhood, one that you will remember when you are older, one that will help you through the sad moments. But you didn't. And I'm sorry for that, because you are a grat kid and an even bravest. But I need you to listen to me" And with that he pulled me back and looked me straight in the eye. And for once I didn't look away. "James, the person your mom is in love with, isn't going to do that. He is a good person, he divorced his wife because she used to hit her daughter. Now she lives in the U.S.A., and is doing her last year in collage, and she comes here in every opportunity to see her dad. And I know all this because I spend a lot of time with him. He is a cop and he is part of a team against domestic violence. He is not going to hurt you. And neither is your mom. And neither am I. Us three, you can trust. Because we are not letting you down."