Wilma and Jocko watched as Belle walked home from school. Neither were riding a new high. Their eyes were clear, not a sign of haze was in either pair of eyes. Wilma’s eyes were sad, but Jocko looked dangerous. Like he had decided to take what he had been craving, Belle thought.
“Hey sugar bear. How was school?”
“It was okay. I’m swamped with homework.”
“Listen, I need to talk to you, okay?”
Wilma licked her lips and looked away. She took a deep breath and forced a smile. Jocko sat by and watched. His eyes never wavered from Belle.
“Jocko has asked me to marry him.”
“You said no, right?”
“Um, no. I said yes. It would do you good to have a father figure in the house.”
“What does HE know about being a father figure? Or a role model? He’s a drug dealer for God’s sake!”
“Shut your mouth, Belle,” Jocko growled at her. “Your mother has curbed her addiction. She’s an adult, no one forced her to make this decision.”
“An adult? My mother? Please, she is an addict. She goes where her need carries her.”
“That’s enough, Belle,” Wilma whispered quietly. Belle shook her head no and stormed upstairs.
“It’ll be a cold day in the lake of fire before I call Jocko my dad.”
Wilma and Jocko watched as Belle stormed off. Jocko picked up the pipe and handed it to Wilma. She fired it up and sucked in the crack, she breathed it out slowly. ‘Things are going to be better with Jocko here full time. Belle needs a firm hand.”
“You remember our deal, Wilma.”
“I remember. You get Belle, and you keep me in stock with the good stuff.”
“That’s right. You get ‘the good stuff’ after I’ve wrecked your little girl. A deal’s a deal.”
“Go easy on her, Jocko.”
Jocko gripped Wilma by the face and pulled her close. She looked in his eyes, they were filled with madness. She looked away.
“I’m going to ruin your daughter, and you’re gonna watch me do it. Then, you’re going to live with the knowledge that you served her up to me. When it’s all said and done, you’re going to have to live with that fact.”
Wilma sobbed and threw down the pipe. Jocko laughed. Darkness encroached ever closer.
Davy sat in his sub-basement and wiped away his tears. ‘Those that are gone have no need for them, and they do me little good. What’s done is done.’ War had changed him. He felt as if he was nothing more than a damaged husk. A soulless, empty skeleton who had no purpose.
He went in the kitchen and made some more coffee. His need for the stimulant was bordering on addiction.
A knock sounded at the door. He turned and walked to the door. Through the peephole, he saw that the boy was back. Davy sighed. “Jesus, what do you have to do to get rid of this kid?”
“Um, Mr. Davy are you home?”
Davy rubbed his head and opened the door. Billy grinned at him; Davy stood there silently waiting for him to speak.
“Um, I wanted to let you know that I stood up to the bully. I won,” Billy said.
“That’s great, kid. We had a deal, remember?”
“Yes sir. I am leaving now. Goodbye.”
Davy watched as Billy walked down his driveway. He smiled. “Good on you, kid. Always stand for something, even if it’s not popular. Stand for the weak; stand for those who can’t find the courage to defend themselves.”
Davy closed the door and locked it. Tom and Jerry played on his television. He shut it off. His coffee was done, so he spooned in some sugar and sat in his recliner.
“Scratch that, kid. Don’t do nothing. Standing for something would only lead you to heartache. Stay in the shadows. Be a nobody. Live a life of quiet dignity and peace.”
War had destroyed Davy’s peace. It had destroyed everything he had held dear. Then, when it was all said and done, he was left alone. Unloved. An empty, soulless husk of no good to no one.