Jamie tried again to wash the blood off his sleeve; it was a fruitless endeavour. He sighed as he rubbed vigorously at the sorry pink stains.
“****!“ he cursed to himself as the bar of soap slivered out of his grasp. It landed with a smack on the tiled floor. He took a sharp intake of breath, clutched at the rim of the sink - his knuckles whitening with the pressure - before trying to reach for that damned bar of soap.
He knew this dance well, though. He lowered himself slowly, careful not to disturb the many angry gashes that napped discontentedly on his stomach like skittish new babies, waiting for the slightest excuse to commence their screaming. Clutching the soap close he knew he brought this on himself.
He also knew if he didn’t get the stains out of his shirt his mother would get the white-coats on him again. That was the last thing he needed. He just needed to make it through the next few days - till mother’s blue-eyed boy went back to his world. Then he’d be okay. He’d be okay. He’d be fine.
“Oi, what’re doing in there fag, jacking off?” Nathan bellowed, as he slammed his hand into the bathroom door repeatedly. Ripping the comforting thought of Monday out of Jamie’s head as he did.
“Go piss in a bush if you’re that desperate,” He yelled back while pulling on an overlarge black t-shirt that seemed to be making an escape from the dirty washing basket. Quickly shoving the stained shirt to the bottom of the basket before unlocking the door.
“About time, gay boy,” Nathan snarled as he shoved passed his brother.
Jamie ran through a list of things he could have said back, muttering to a few to himself as he trudged to his room. He locked the door behind him before peeling off the foul smelling t-shirt and casting it in the direction of a pre-existing pile of assorted laundry.
He prodded gingerly at the frantic gashes on his too thin stomach. He sucked in stale air, wincing. They were still too fresh to touch. They obscured the old wobbly white lines that littered his midriff.
He knew the ruby red slashes would fade, eventually. They’d join his growing collection. Yet more mistakes to hide.
He pulled some anti-septic wipes from his bedside cabinet; there was no use in getting an infection. It gave his mind something to focus on, kept his idle hands busy. What was that thing his mother said about idle hands? Empty space for the devil to fill. Or something like that.
Mustn’t be idle. Must not. He flinched. Retched. Then gave up. Infection be damned. He fished out his battered mobile phone from his draw. No new messages.
It was going to be a long weekend.
Either Jamie was taking the worlds longest dump, or he was at it again. Slicing himself a new one in the bathroom. Nathan knew which one was more likely.
Their mother would have Jamie’s head if she found out. Didn‘t he get, he was on the outs. His last chance to make good. He shouldn‘t waste it being stupid. “Oi fag, what’re you doing in there, jacking off?” Nathan pounded on the door; the deep tenor of the thumping noise leaving him vaguely satisfied.
“Go piss in a bush if you’re that desperate!” Jamie shrieked, in his shrill, nasally voice. Nathan feeling - as ever - the man of action continued to beat the door rhythmically. He wasn’t about to let the scrawny little fool do himself any more damage.
“About time, gay boy” Nathan grimaced as Jamie pushed his ungrateful little self past.
He sighed, locked the door, then pulled Jamie’s sullied off-white shirt from the washing basket. Their mother would have a coronary if she saw that, have the mixed up brat shipped straight back off to that mad house. Nathan didn’t see that the place did him any good. He came back looking like death in a skin wrapper. The kid just needed to man up, not be locked away. Should have nipped it in the bud early. Mother should have noticed.
Nathan sighed. He should have noticed. Not just shrugged it off as Jamie being, well, Jamie.
Some man of the house he’d made. His father would no doubt be turning in his grave, the bastard.
Nathan punched the wall.
It didn’t take kindly to his assault. Stripping the skin off of his angry fist as a warning. Nathan cursed, wiped his knuckles on his brothers bloodied shirt, then marched off to his bedroom. Only a few more days, and he’d be off. Away from the egg shells that lay like unexploded mines, waiting scatter his limbs to the wind.
All he’d have to worry about where he was going were real bombs. And they didn’t seem half as dangerous to Nathan then.
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