It was always the same.
Night after night.
As soon as I got in bed and closed my eyes, my mind would start drifting back to my childhood. It wasn’t something that I liked to think about, but I just couldn’t seem to help myself. With each moment that passed, I could feel myself being pulled into an old familiar nightmare—one that I’d had many times before. A cold sweat washed over me as all those old childhood feelings of fear and helplessness came rushing back, causing my pulse to race and my breath to quicken. I’d tried to fight it. I’d tried to force my mind in a new direction, but I couldn’t stop those dreadful memories from flooding back, haunting me as they forced me to remember a time I was desperate to forget. I’d tossed back and forth, trying to shake myself free from the nightmare’s hold, but it was no use. No matter what I did, I’d find myself back in that house, listening to those gut-wrenching cries of anguish and feeling completely helpless to make it stop.
“No. Please. I don’t want to.”
I knew she was petrified. I could hear it in her voice, and it made my blood run cold.
“You know what will happen if you try to refuse me,” he growled.
“But you promised. You said the other night was the last time.”
“I lied,” he answered with an evil tone.
I could hear her struggling with him, and her pleas pulled at me as she cried, “Please. Just stop.”
I had no idea what was going on behind that door; I just knew I had to do something to make it to stop. I wrapped my fingers around the doorknob, my heart pounding in my chest as I eased the door open and stepped into her room. My mouth dropped open in disbelief when I found him, our guardian—the man who was supposed to love and protect us, holding her down on the bed. His pants were unbuckled, and it was clear he was hurting her. After losing my parents and sister, she’d become the only real family I had, and seeing what he was doing to her enraged me. I charged forward as I shouted, “Get the hell off her!”
With a surprised look in his eyes, he turned to face me. His shock quickly turned to fury as he pulled himself off of the bed and started towards me. Before I had a chance to react, his hand was at my throat, his fingers cutting off my air supply as he tightened his grip and spat, “You got some nerve coming in here, boy.”
She scrambled out of the bed and rushed over to us. As she reached for his hand, she begged, “Let him go. He doesn’t know any better … he doesn’t know!”
“Well, he’s about to fucking learn!” I could smell the bourbon on his breath as he slammed me against the wall. “You’re living in my house … under my rules, and it’s time for you to learn exactly what that means!”
He released his hold on my throat, only to pull back his fist and slam it ferociously into my jaw. I had no time to protect myself before he struck me again, plowing his fist into my stomach. Air rushed from my lungs as I dropped to the floor with a loud thud. I prayed that someone would hear, that someone would come and stop him, but no one came. He laughed as he kicked me continuously in my ribs and back. As she pleaded with him to stop, I curled into a fetal position and covered my head with my hands, but it did little to shield me from the powerful blows of his foot into my side and head. Ignoring her, he kept kicking and punching me over and over again. Just as I was about to lose consciousness, he dropped his hand to my head and grabbed a fist full of hair. He pulled me towards the closet and shoved me inside. Barely lucid, I fell to the floor amongst the clutter of shoes and clothes. The taste of copper tinged my taste buds as he slammed the door in my face, locking me inside. I flinched when I heard him growl, “Don’t make a fucking sound or I’ll slit your fucking throat!”
Just as the real horror was about to begin, the nightmare ended.
Gasping, I sat up in bed, relieved to see that I was in my room … in my bed. I ran my hands over my face, trying to wipe away the remnants of the dream, but it still clung to me, unwilling to release its hold. For some sadistic reason, it wanted me to remember, forcing me to relive the hell I’d encountered during the years I’d spent in that foster home. It wasn’t fucking fair. I was just a kid. I was supposed to be loved and protected, but all I’d found was pain and suffering. I hated those fucking people. I hated them with every fiber of my being for the things they’d done to us, especially that last night—the night that permanently marked me. That night I lost a piece of my soul, leaving me utterly broken, and since then, I’d never been the same and knew I’d never be again.
I was destined to live in the shadows, but thankfully, I wasn’t destined to live there alone. After years of living in my own personal hell, I became a member of Satan’s Fury and found a place where I truly belonged—a place where I would be accepted for who I was. My brothers could see the good inside of me, where I could only see darkness. My inner demons were constantly pulling at me, frantically trying to take control, and every day I fought to keep them at bay. But the fight was over. I’d just been voted in as the club’s new enforcer, and those inner demons were about to take the reins.