What follows is a section from a longer, abandoned story. Be nice, please.
At no one point in his life did Edward Roache ever contemplate getting stabbed in the ass.
But it happened.
And it fucking hurt.
Edward was a quiet young man. He often blamed his parents for that.
Prior to Edward’s birth, his parents had been married for quite some time. At his mother’s behest, Ed Sr. got on board with the idea of having a child regardless of the fact that they were in their late 30’s at the time.
Given the Roache’s rapidly advancing age, Ed was their only heir.
Edward’s singularity, combined with the fact that they didn’t live in a neighborhood brimming with children that young Ed could play with, coupled with the fact that older, first-time parents seldom realize what they have fully gotten themselves into, did not provide Ed with the oral ferocity that most people from his generation are armed with.
Midway through Edward’s formative years, Mrs. Roache saw fit to remove herself from the lives of her two Edwards. Since Edward’s birth, Esme Roach had been nursing the thought that being a parent, for her, was a mistake.
She loved both of them. She really did. But she couldn’t reconcile the fact that her peers, other women her age, were enjoying their lives. While there are some enjoyable aspects of being a parent and raising a child, Esme couldn’t convince herself that the work that needed to be put into being a passable parent was the reward that she was looking for.
So she left.
Ed Sr. did the best that he could do. This was no small feat considering the fact that Ed Sr. never had a father of his own. His parents, (Ed Jr.’s grandparents) had divorced when Ed Sr. was very young. This was before divorce had become as commonplace as it is today. Combine that with the fact that he hailed from a point in time where men didn’t really have anything to do with their own children (because it was considered ‘the woman’s job’) and you have a middle aged man trying to complete a marathon when he doesn’t have a leg to stand on.
What no one realized at the time was the fact that his parents put Edward on a slippery slope. When a family goes through a trauma like divorce, children either shut down and wait for the dust to settle or they act out because they don’t truly understand what is going on.
In Ed’s case, it was the former.
Ed didn’t mind being ‘the quiet one’.
Everyone else outside of the Roache family thought otherwise.
Edward could come across as cold, intimidating, and sometimes rude, all by keeping his mouth shut. It didn’t matter how many times he assured people that everything was fine, that he enjoyed listening to them talk (for the most part), that he just didn’t like talking. Everyone, at some point, left Edward alone and moved on to someone more ‘entertaining’.
That is not to say that Edward’s life was the life of a hermit. There were a few friends here and there that stuck by him and that he opened up to even if it did take him years to do so. There was even “a” girlfriend for a very brief period of time.
As a teen, the one thing that sucked for Edward the most about being raised by his father was the loneliness.
Everything changes when you are a teenager. Your outlook on the idea of family and how you look at your family, how you see the world and your place in it: for teenagers, it’s really easy to get sucked into those handful of moments that make you feel like a drop of ink in a bowl of milk.
What all teens fail to realize is that the real trick lies in knowing that it’s going to be ok.
Everything will be fine.
Friends are going to come and go. It’s ok to have a lot of them.
Life is change. It can’t be avoided for long.
If there were one insight that Edward had wished his parents imparted on him at that time of his life, it would have been that.
Now in his 20’s, Ed realized that his struggle with the idea of change was his cross to bear.
As he grew up, Ed was never able to shake the feeling that his mother left because she couldn’t love anyone more than she loved herself. She had enjoyed her moments with Edward when it was her weekend to have him. But that enjoyment was usually dwarfed by her moments of unbelievable self-centeredness.
The last time that he saw her, she had made mention about the day that she found out that she was pregnant with him. She was at the doctor’s office and the nurse who was examining Esme offered her the ‘morning-after’ pill.
“Why didn’t you take it?” Ed asked as a vague feeling of numbness crept up on him.
Shame and a slight twinge of regret flitted across Esme’s face.
“I thought about it, but I couldn’t do it. I wanted to be a mom”, she told him.
That was the last time that they had talked. It’s been over a year. He found an odd sort of comfort in the fact that he was nearly an abortion.
Blind as most twenty-something’s are, Ed didn’t realize until years later that there were traces of his mother present in every female that he was romantically linked with.
The last relationship that Edward was in started at college.
It was the 2nd semester of his first year. Rebecca was outside with a bunch of her friends, one of whom Ed had gone to grade school with. Everyone was smoking. Back then it was still considered fashionable to be an angst-ridden 20-something with a cigarette hanging out of your mouth.
Ed was smitten with Rebecca before he had lit his first cigarette.
She was short, had a head full of teeth, and a type of feminine confidence that he had never encountered before.
Rebecca became a substitute for the hole in his life that his parent’s had never bothered to patch.
Ed did everything in his power to be a part of this young woman’s life: emailing, instant messaging, calling, practically stalking… It was pathetic. What he didn’t realize until it was too late was that he was trying to make someone love him who didn’t want to love him.
This occupied 2 years of Ed Roache’s life.
Ed knew he was working way too hard and getting nowhere. He couldn’t help himself.
Rebecca saw this but she didn’t want to decide how she really felt about him.
Eventually, they both agreed to just be friends.
After some time, ‘Friends’ became ‘friends with benefits’.
‘Friends with benefits’, finally, gave way to being a ‘couple’.
Ed’s happiness knew no bounds. He finally got ‘the girl’. He accomplished the one thing that he had invested a significant portion of his life in. Ironically, his accomplishment was awarded to him as soon as he stopped trying.
Ed should have known that things were wrong when she told him that their relationship had to be secret. At the time, she was still living with her parents. She had just gotten out of a relationship and her parents would never let her live it down if they had found out.
“What’s the big deal about that?” Ed asked.
“I have a habit of relationship-hopping,” she admitted.
Like the big, dumb, idiot Ed was, he allowed it. The satisfaction in knowing that they belonged to each other was enough for him, even if they did have to hide it.
In all romantic relationships, there is a certain level of OCD that permeates the first couple of months. For the first couple of months, the only thing that matters is being with the other person. Responsibilities? Those can wait. Outside interests? The only thing that is interesting is the other person. Living for your self? How can you live at all without them?
Eventually, that initial obsession wears off allowing reality to set in. Reality officially takes hold when you finally see all of the things, even the shortcomings, you had missed from the very start.
What Ed didn’t see at first was that Rebecca treated him like garbage. Oogling other guys in front of him, always hanging out with her friends and never his, never showing an interest in the things that Ed was interested in: it was bad.
On top of that, they never had sex.
They did the normal things that boys and girls learn to do to each other in high school but it never progressed past that because she was a virgin who was saving herself for marriage as dictated by her faith (that being Catholic).
Hindsight has shown Edward that Rebecca’s virginity was part of her allure. She was vocal about it. She was not ashamed. And it was something that most definitely would not leave her until marriage.
This is not to say that Edward thought that he could change that.
Every person currently on the face of the Earth relishes being a ‘virginity thief’. At some point, every one has been a part of such thievery. Edward is no exception to this.
It took Edward the better part of a year to see his relationship with Rebecca for what it was: a thing that shouldn’t have happened.
It wasn’t until their first Christmas as a couple that Edward realized just how miserable Rebecca was.
She didn’t know what to do with her life and she didn’t know how to deal with the fact that she was legally ‘a grown up’. Like most twenty-year-olds who are too chicken-shit to acknowledge that they are their own problem, Rebecca responded to her own inadequacy by taking her frustrations out on the people around her.
Ed had been taking the brunt of her emotional turmoil for fear that she would stop loving him.
Ed became thoroughly sick of her shit shortly after the New Year.
So he made up his mind to break it off with her.
After returning home from breaking up with Rebecca, the person that he had spent a significant portion of his life chasing, Ed climbed the flight of stairs that led to his bedroom.
It was late.
Ed Sr. was all ready asleep.
Ed was greeted by their boxer, Crankshaft.
Ed’s mind was reasonably elsewhere.
As he tiptoed up the stairs to his bedroom, his eyes drifted naturally towards the ankle-high laundry chute door just outside the door to his room.
Thoughts began to float across his mind. The days of when he was a lonely child who used to tie twine around his G.I. Joe’s and have them jump down the shoot, the other end tied to the handle of the metal shoot door… using the chute as an echo chamber to distort his voice… hollering down it to communicate with someone in the basement… All of these memories bubbled to the surface.
For as lonely a child as he was, he was pretty happy.
At the top of the stairs now, Ed caught site of Crankshaft, as he was about to go into his room for the night.
Ed looked at the dog.
Crankshaft looked back at him like he knew what was wrong.
Ed really needed a hug.
“Come here, Cranky” Ed whispered.
The dog dutifully obliged.
When the dog got to the top of the landing, Ed proceeded to squat down, and felt the corner of the cold metal of the laundry chute door bite into his left ass cheek.
Trying not to knock the two of them down the stairs, Ed hugged the dog, went into his room, and laughed himself to sleep.