Morning Hell

I woke up to a pounding on the door. I was really tired, since I only had a couple hours sleep. Delores and her cousin kept me up all night with an all-night sex party, so being ordered out of the house seemed out of the blue. “I want you out of my house,” The voice demanded, “I’ll take you to a bus stop then good riddens!” I knew her aunt didn’t really like me; now I had the proof. Basically, I had to get my junk and get out. There was no breakfast, no shower, I just had to leave. Yes, I was frightened beyond belief.

It was dark. It was cold. It was pouring rain – I figured it was just warm enough to be rain instead of snow. I was sitting in the bus shelter on my own and was very upset, and had no clue what to do. I was extremely tired – it was just shy of 5 AM.

I found myself catching a bus, with all my junk: The #159, towards Downtown Seattle. It was 5:05 AM and all I knew was my older sister’s cell number. I knew she was somewhere in the Seattle area, but I wasn’t sure exactly where. I felt uncomfortable calling her at a strange hour, but I felt like I had no choice. The phone started ringing. “Please Jess. Please pick up,” I thought to myself, trying to hold back the tears. The phone rang again. I was frightened.

“Who would be calling me at this hour,” A sleepy voice asked. I recognized Jessica’s voice. Joy! Help at last. Jessica picked up her phone, even though it was only 5 in the morning.

“Jess: it’s your brother, Michael. I’ve been abandoned out here. I’m on a 159 heading to Seattle. My girlfriend dumped me and her aunt brought me to a bus stop.” I started sobbing, unable to hold back the tears any longer.

Jess said sleepily, “You’re bulshitting me. It is 5 in the…”

Before she could go any further, over the PA system, the driver called out “132nd Avenue SE & SE 270th Street.”

Jess, sounding like she suddenly bolted awake, said in a worried voice, “I overheard the driver calling out a stop. You’re obviously not bulshitting me. What bus are you on?”  One thing I was grateful for was that my sister recognized the sound of a bus driver calling out a cross stree from anywhere.

“The 159 and the sign was marked Seattle,” I whimpered.

“Good, that you’re on a bus. Bear with me, instructions to Renton. You are coming to my apartment, right now: you’re on the bus which will take you to the Kent Train Station. When you get to the train station, catch the 565 marked Overlake. Get off at the Renton Transit Center and wait there. I’m coming to get you. If I’m not there yet, wait at Bay 5. Your bus will be letting you off in Renton at Bay 3. I’m going to be coming from Route 105. You should be pulling into Renton at 6:00. Let me get going so I can get dressed.”

“Jess, slow down,” I sobbed.

My sister said, “Put simply, when you get to the Kent Train Station, you want the 564 or 565 marked Overlake – it doesn’t matter which, as long as it’s a 564 or 565 and it’s heading towards Overlake. You will be getting off at the Renton Transit Center, where I will be waiting. Have you eaten yet?”

“No I haven’t. No food. No shower. No nothing. I was just thrown out. Please wake Rachel up I’m just so scared right now,” I replied as I felt tears flow down my cheeks.

“I will have something for you when you get dropped off in Renton. Let me go so I can get ready and be there for you. I will keep texting you with my location, and I can track where you are based on schedules,” Jessica replied.

“Thank you so much and I will text as I move from bus to bus,” I replied as we ended our conversation.

When the 159 pulled into the train station, the driver directed me to the 565 stop and said, “Your bus should be here in about five minutes.”

I sat on the 565 and wallowed for a bit when I got a text message: “105 dropped me off at Renton Center. What bus you on, and what is the vehicle number?”

I called my sister and said, “I’m on the 565.” I gave her the vehicle number and continued, “I’m mostly hungry right now.”

“OK, are you still on the freeway, or has the bus made it to city streets yet?”

“City streets. Looks like we just past a Freddy’s Market,” I whimpered, trying to hold back the tears.

“You’re about 5 minutes away, traffic pending. Let me get going so I can you something, to tide you over until you get to my apartment,” Jessica said as we closed the conversation. I was terrified. Sure, it was just five more minutes on the bus, but I was scared because I couldn’t hear my big sister’s voice anymore. The bus made a few more turns, to the point where I just wanted to explode. I needed Jessica at my side, and I needed her right now.

The 565 dropped me off at Renton and I saw my sister sitting in her wheelchair waiting by the bus’s front door. On her chair’s table were two small cups and two Danishes. There was a decent sized line of people trying, as I was, to exit the bus. This made the process more nervewracking, and my mind was racing in a million different directions.

The driver asked, “My bus?”

Jess answered, “No thanks.” As I started hugging her tightly, she said, “No thanks. Just picking up my brother. I’m going to be catching the 105.”

She then wheeled over to the loading area for the 105 and offered me the drink and Danish. “Here, something to hold you until we get to my place. It’s not a long ride at all, but please eat quickly.”

“Quickly,” I asked, sobbing.

She explained, “Since you’re not supposed to eat or drink on the bus. That’s why I only got us small ones.”

We finished our drinks right as the bus pulled up and the driver called out, “Jessica! What are you doing up so early?”

As he got the ramp going, my sister said, “Long story short, my brother was left for dead by his girlfriend’s aunt. I’m taking him to my place.”

“Left for dead,” I asked to myself. My brain was too sleepy to make any connections, I figured.

As Jess was being secured onto the bus, she explained, “I’m going to have you set your things into my room while I make you something and I’m going to send a message to work to let them know what’s going on.”

“Thanks,” I sobbed as we sat down on the 105 and I was directly across from her as the driver secured her wheelchair to the bus.

“It’s a short ride to my place on Edmonds Ave. When we get there, I’ll show you where my room is then I’m going to make omelets with ham and cheese like Mom used to do on Sundays.”

It wasn’t too long before Jessica was ringing the bell to get off the bus. “It’s that apartment complex,” My sister said, pointing to the apartment complex across the street. “Please excuse my mess because I just bought a house in Bellevue and I’m in the process of packing. I’m slowly but surely moving. Help is coming on Saturday since I can’t lug everything onto the bus.” She called forward to the bus operator, “Wheelchair getting off, Adam.”

We entered Jessica’s apartment and she said, “Now, I need to be honest about things. I’m not mad at you at all. I was afraid this would happen and I’m kicking myself for not having you come with me yesterday, but oh well you’re here now.” After showing me her bedroom (where my sis wanted me to put my things), she continued, “She was controlling you. The family hated me. I hate to say this, but I’m glad you were kicked out.”

I started crying real badly. “Don’t cry,” Jess said as she started gathering things for cereal, “Here, have some breakfast.”

As I sat down, I whimpered, “I can’t believe this is happening.”

Jessica said, “Let me be honest. You’ll find someone who treats you well. She treated you like gutter shit. Rachel, Kristin, and I are going to spend Christmas Weekend with Dad and Cathy. I’m going to let them know you’re going to be with us too.”

Jessica wheeled over to the table with our food then pulled her cell phone out. Then she looked at the time and realized, “It’s only 6:35. They won’t be up yet. Even I’m just now usually starting to get up.”

“I’m sorry I woke you up Jess,” I sobbed.

My sister replied, “It’s ok. You needed to wake me considering your situation.”

“Thank you for not being mad at me,” I whimpered. Jessica hugged me to show she wasn’t mad.

She said, “Let me text Rachel and when she gets up and calls, I’ll explain what happened. Don’t be upset, none of this is your fault. You’re safe with me here in Renton.” The message she sent to our younger sister: “MICHAEL EMERGENCY – CALL ASAP”

Jessica had an idea, “When you’re done your breakfast, let me give you a bath. I’m sorry, but Delores was a disgusting slob and I’d be surprised if that house didn’t fail a health inspection. You don’t need her. Didn’t you find it disgusting all the cat shit on the floor? Please, be honest with me. I’m not mad at you; I was worried about you.”

I continued sobbing as Jess and I had breakfast. “You want to give me a bath,” I asked my sister.

“Yes. I’m sorry, but what she did to you. I want to get you washed. You’ll thank me later,” She said.

“Jess, I’m sorry, but I just can’t. Please. I don’t want you to…,” I started sobbing. I honestly wasn’t ready for anyone to see me down there. “I want to do this on my own,” I snapped.

“It’s ok. It’s ok,” Jess said calmly. Realizing I was exploding at my big sister, I burst into heavy tears and attempted to hug her. Jessica accepted my hug as she said, “I am right here. Rachel will be up here later. I know you’re angry, and you have every right to be.” Jess looked at me seriously and said, “I’d like to be honest with you. That morning at the Kent Train Station: I really wanted you to take the train with me to Seattle. I would’ve paid your fare and I would’ve taken you to WorldSoft with me.”

I looked at Jessica and asked, “I would’ve been welcomed where you work?”

“Yes. Given the situation. My coworkers knew I wanted you out of that situation and I was offered several rides to Kent to come get you,” Jessica replied honestly.

“This is why you sent the text message to tell me to come to WorldSoft,” I asked.

“That’s right. That was my boss on the phone as one of my coworkers was looking up the bus schedule. Remember the sandwich, drink, and chips you were offered? That was their response to you stating you haven’t eaten since breakfast,” Jessica replied, “To tell you the truth? Today, I was going to organize a trip to Kent to extract you from that Slice of Hell.”

I hugged Jessica even tighter and begged with a humiliated voice, “Please don’t leave my side for even one second.”

My sister was real quick in her shower then we got dressed. “Is there anything you’d like to do today? I can easily do any work on my Smartphone and laptop. WorldSoft knows that I need to comfort you.”

“Could I please get some sleep,” I yawned, “This is going to sound disgusting, but they kept me up all night.”

“What happened,” Jessica asked in as gentle a voice as she could.

“I remember that for a few minutes, they had me wait alone in the room where you were in, then Delores and her cousin…” I started crying.

Jessica transferred from her wheelchair to the bed, turned the radio on, and said, “Please tell me everything. Take as much time as you need.” She pulled her laptop over and plugged it in and turned it on. “I’m going to do my work from home on this laptop, so take as long as you need,” She reassured me. I decided to pull my laptop out of my bag and plugged it in as well. “A 110L? eh. How about this: remember Daddy taking us to Broil’s down in Oregon?”

“Yeah, why,” I sobbed.

Jessica answered, “There’s a Broil’s that’s a hop, skip, and a 240, 564, or 565 away on Garden Ave. It’s about a 20 minute bus ride from here. Would you like a better laptop? We can go later today after you’re rested.”

I proceeded to hug my sister very tightly and started, “They kept me up all night. They came into the room completely naked and promised me a night of wild sex. And believe me, they delivered.”

I sobbed some more and Jessica allowed me to snuggle in her arms and continued, “They kept me up all night, Delores and the cousin taking turns fucking me all night. Around 2 in the morning or so, the cousin snickered, ‘just wait until 4.’” I sobbed some more and continued, “they slept naked and had me touch both of their p… p…” I couldn’t continue as I let out a wail of a sob.

Jessica figured, “They had you put your hands on their down there parts as they went to sleep?” I grudgingly nodded yes and tried to indicate ‘in’ instead of ‘on’. I think my sister got the message. Jess spoke the truth, but it was very painful to think about it.

“Suddenly I heard a pounding at the door and found myself shoved onto the 159 at 5 AM. Then I called you and here I am,” I finished.

Jessica asked, “This is why you want me dressed right now?” I nodded yes and my sis rested at my side allowing me to snuggle in her arms. Jessica was trying her best to comfort me, but she understood I was taking this very hard.

Jessica suggested, “You can sleep here on my bed and I’ll get you up for lunch. I usually eat around 12:30, then we’re going to catch the bus to Garden Ave so you can get a new laptop.”

I begged, “Please don’t leave my side.”

My sister said, “I wasn’t going to. I can do my WorldSoft work right from this laptop and can stay at your side.” She allowed me to rest in her lap as she started doing her work. “It’s 8 now, please rest as long as you need,” She sighed.

“12:30 sounds fair,” I yawned. Jessica then gently moved my head to the pillow, pulled the blanket over me, and proceeded to do her work. As promised, she did not leave my side and it sure felt good getting a decent nap in.

The radio jingle came in, “You’re listening to KSEA-FM – Seattle, Olympia, Mt. Vernon – playing Christmas Favorites of Yesterday & Today. Up next is Cram with This Christmas followed by a listener request: Christmas, Don’t Be Late.”

When the very familiar percussive opening of well known Pop Christmas tune kicked in, I threw myself into Jessica’s arms and wailed.

“What’s wrong,” My suddenly frightened sister asked, pausing her work.

Through heavy sobs, tears, wailing, and general crying, I was able to etch out, “This is what she did to me. This is exactly what she did to me the year we ‘Hounded it to Rhode Island.”

My sister started tearing up and said, “I’m going to let WorldSoft know what’s going on and pause my work. I can’t bear to see you like this and I think you need brother/sister time with me.” Jessica then explained how she cried all the way to work when she was dropped off at the Kent Train Station, because all she could think about was the situation I was in. She also explained that WorldSoft was very understanding and how they were pleading with her to get back to Kent (and that one coworker was offering to drive her to the place to rescue me).

Jessica’s phone rang. “It’s Rachel,” She said as she put it on speakerphone. “Rachel, Delores threw Michael out, and left him for dead in Kent. I want you to know he is safely in Renton with me and you are on speaker.”

“What happened,” Rachel asked, in a frightened voice.

“Remember when I reported to you and Kristin that shithole house in Kent, as well as how snapish Delores was being to him,” Jess asked.

“Yes, that no good bitch,” Rachel spat.

“Rachel, I need you and Jess right now,” I sobbed, not holding any tears back. Jessica pulled me into as best a hug as she could.

“When I get off work at 2, I will be on the very next bus to Renton,” Rachel said.

“I think Kristin should come too,” Jessica said.

“She gets off work at 2 also. I’ll ask her to meet me at Lakewood, and we will get on the next 574,” Rachel said. I was still crying, and could sense that it was breaking both of my sisters’ hearts to hear me cry like this.

Jessica gripped me tightly as she said, “You’re safe. You’re with me. I won’t let her into my apartment. I swear as your big sister I will protect you from her.”

“I need to get to work,” Rachel said with a heavy heart (she didn’t want to get off the phone).

The conversation was over and Jessica allowed me to just curl up in her arms, realizing that I was in an uncontrollable emotional breakdown. My brain was starting to wake up and realize what was happening. I was officially single again.

12:15 rolled around and Jessica woke me up. “Ready for lunch sleepy head,” Jessica asked, trying to keep me optimistic.

“Yeah, I think so,” I mumbled.

“I’m going to make PB&J sandwiches – two for each of us – and will have chips and soda,” She said, “Does that sound good?”

“Yeah, it’s simple and effective,” I said as my sister transferred to her wheelchair.

She then led me the living room and said, “We’re going to be on the bus at 1:10 and will be at Broil’s around 1:45 or so.” She started making us lunch and it felt good not having any pressure to act in a certain way.

The 240 dropped us off way up the road from Broil’s and Jessica explained, “I’ve been lobbying to get the stop moved for ages. So we have to double back to where we were.”

We entered the Broil’s and I just couldn’t believe my eyes. The place was huge and did nothing but electronics. “Jess, I don’t want to sound rude, but how much am I allowed to spend” I asked.

“I think I can spare $3,000 or so,” She said as if it was no big deal.

I gasped, “Three grand!?” I was not used to my big sister being so generous.

That’s when we were greeted by an associate, “Good afternoon Jessica, what brings you here today?”

“My brother currently has a 110L so I’m going to get him a real gaming rig,” as we made our way to the main floor.

I never realized just how fast Jessica could go in her chair and I called out, “Jess, slow down!”

“Oh, sorry,” She said as we entered the laptop section. “Well, here we are. Now, you need a real gaming rig. I won’t settle for less that 4 GB of RAM and a 500 GB hard drive.”

I started looking at the different models and Jessica asked, “You want a Blu Ray device?”

I asked, “You can afford that?”

My sister said, “That’s no problem. Besides, it’s the new standard for movies so you might as well get one.”

An associate came over on routine and asked if we needed help. Jessica turned and he said, “Oh, good afternoon Jessica.”

Jess said, “I’m getting my brother a real gaming rig.”

“Jess, I think I found one I like, but it only it had Uber not Home Premium,” I said.

Jess said, “I can legally get you Uber from work. One of these days I’ll take you to the Museum of Computer History. There’s a WorldSoft company store inside and I can get you a license to Uber. I can also get your programming tools while we’re there. We have time before dinner if you want to go after paying for this laptop. Are you sure this is the one you want? I want you to decide without rushing.”

I thought it over and looked at some more laptops and decided, “Yes, this is the one I want.”

Jessica had the associate on the item hold counter and said, “I’m going to put this on my Broil’s account, but we still need a few more items. Michael, would you like to get some games while we’re here?”

“Yes, please,” I said.

“Alright,” Jessica said, “I’ll take you to the games area then there’s a few parts for my server I need to grab and you’re going to need a transfer cable.”

I said, “Transfer cable? I don’t mind just reinstalling everything.”

Jess said, “You’ll be thanking me later.”

Jess said, “I saw your collection and I would like to complete it for you. If there’s anything else you want, I’ll order it online. I’m willing to order it rush overnight delivery. We need to go easy since we’re going to have to lug this all day.” I looked at her with concern and my sister quickly added, “Your laptop can be carried using my wheelchair. I can press it between my body and the chair side.”

I did as Jessica asked and she felt much better and soon she was leading me to the checkout. I asked, “Are you sure there’s no time to drop this off back at the apartment?”

Jessica looked at her watch and said, “If we hurry, we might make that 564. I’m going to need you to push me and go quickly. We have about 5 minutes.”

We arrived at the bus stop and Jess said, “There’s our bus coming off of I-405. We just made it.”

Jessica showed the operator her WorldSoft ID and said, “I need to pay my brother’s bus fare. He’s going One Zone and will need a transfer.”

We got back to Jessica’s apartment, dropped off our things and were quickly back on the bus. “This time, we need either the 564 or 565. The software can fit in my backpack so no worries there.”

We were back on the bus heading up Interstate 405. The driver called out “Overlake Transit Center.” and I couldn’t believe my eyes.

“So this is where you work,” I asked in amazement.

“Yep, this is it. It’s not much but it does the job.” Of course Jessica – being used to WorldSoft campus – was being modest and she knew this was my first time seeing it.

Rachel and Kristin were waiting at the Renton Transit Center when we arrived on the bus from Redmond. “I took the bus straight from work as soon as I clocked out. What happened,” Rachel asked in a worried voice as I pulled her into the biggest hug I ever given in my life.

“The bitch left him for dead this morning. I picked him up here this morning, and he was an absolute mess,” Jessica replied as we made our way over to where the 105 would pick us up.

Rachel put her arm around me as she said, “You’re safe now. The nightmare is over.” Turning her attention to Jessica, she continued, “I brought one of my long nightshirts, like you asked.”

“Thanks Rachel,” Jess replied, “Tonight, I want everyone in my room.”

Rachel, knowing what Jessica had in mind, explained to me, “Jess, Kristin, and I feel that the last thing you need is to be alone right now. We understand you are scared beyond belief, and we will all be spending the night at your side.”

Rachel and Kristin slid their passes through the farebox as the operator secured Jessica, and I showed my transfer to him once Jess was secured. I was grateful that it was roughly a ten minute bus ride, as I felt very uncomfortable being in public right now. I was grateful that both of my sisters didn’t mind one bit that I just needed hugs, and I was glad to be back in Jessica’s apartment.

“Let me make a quick dinner,” Jess said as Rachel sat me down and pulled me into a comforting hug.

I screamed out in pain. “What’s wrong,” Rachel and Kristin both gasped.

I started crying and Jessica immediately wheeled over from the kitchen to investigate (she did not start making dinner just yet). “What happened,” Jessica asked.

I lifted the back of my shirt, and both of my sisters saw the big red mark, where Delores smacked me HARD on the upper back. “I think this settles it,” Jessica said, “Tonight: I want all of us to climb into my bed. Tonight, I don’t want you alone.”

Rachel adjusted me so that she could hug me without touching the hurting part of my back. As Jess went back to the kitchen to cook dinner, Rachel said very gently, “She hurt you. I wish you told someone, but it’s over. You’re here now, safe in Jessica’s apartment.” I was grateful that my younger sister was letting me curl into her arms and snuggle up with her.

“I’m glad I’m not having to sleep alone tonight,” I whimpered.

“I understand. Tonight, we will both be with you. If you come to my apartment in University Place, I will gladly share my bed with you, like we’ve done before in Vancouver,” Rachel replied, “You don’t need to ask. Just know that no matter where you are, here with Jess or in U.P. with me, we will share our beds, always.”

Jess wheeled over with grilled cheese, two sandwiches for each of us, along with cups of hot chocolate, and said, “I figured you would want something warm.”

“Thank you,” I whispered, still very scared.

“It’s all right. You’re safe here,” Jessica said, realizing I was still in fear for my life.

“We understand you are still scared,” Rachel added, “We are here for you.”

“Tomorrow, I want you to explore. Stay with Rachel and Kristin, and please stay in King County, since it’s supposed to snow. Tomorrow, we will all ride the bus to Redmond, then I feel you need the chance to get out and about. Stick together please, then meet me back at Overlake Transit Center when I get off work. I’m usually there around 5:30,” Jessica said.

Kristin said, “One of these days, we will take you on a regional tour by bus.”

Rachel said, “Tomorrow though, it’s supposed to snow in the afternoon and evening, so I think it is best that we all stay near Renton.”

Jessica said, “The way passes work out here, you best wait until January. Our monthly passes are good from the first of the month until the end of the month.”

I whimpered, “Fair enough.”

“Tomorrow, after I get off work, I will buy you some decent clothes,” Jessica said, “Kristin, do you mind if I use your Employee Discount?”

“That won’t be a problem, as long as I’m the one paying,” She said.

“Thanks. Now, we all need our sleep. It’s been a very rough day for all of us,” Jess said as she finished cleaning our plates.

“Everyone in my room, please,” She said as she wheeled out of the kitchen.

Kristin said to me, “Yes, I’m coming too. Jess doesn’t want you to be alone, and we will all lie at your side so you can be comforted.”

Rachel took my hand, looked me in the eye, and said, “All three of us will climb into the bed. Jess and I know how you get.” She turned her attention to Kristin, “Remember what we discussed on the bus? When he gets upset, he craves hugs.”

Kristin whispered, “That won’t be a problem. He looked like hell when he was on the Pierce bus that day.”

The three women pulled me into as big a hug as they could as I got to curl up on the bed. Tonight was destine to be a long night, but at least I wouldn’t suffer alone.  Rachel said, “Kristin, please describe what you saw on the bus.”

“I saw right through her in two seconds flat.  I only kept quiet because you and Jessica told me just how jealous she gets,” Kristin replied.

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