But For Luck...
By Maquis Leader
Rated: R for language
Author’s notes: Set at the end of Monsters. And you thought Bosco wasn’t a deep thinker.
We’re a lot alike – Davis and me. You may not think so, but we are. He’s me, only with a little luck.
Yeah, I know I told you I don’t believe in luck, and I don’t. ‘Cos I sure as hell don’t have any. But Davis, he’s got some luck. Or karma or whatever the fuck you wanna call it. All I know is some people have it and some don’t. I don’t and he does. But that doesn’t make us that different.
You see, he’s me – or me like I coulda been under better circumstances. And I’m him – if he’d gotten dealt the shit hand I did. He’s got a mom that loves him – same as my ma loves me – and sisters that think the sun rises and sets on him. Mikey thought that about me, once upon a time – before he got the rug jerked out from under him.
Now Davis' old man died, and that’s where his luck comes in. Davis is just now findin’ out his old man wasn’t as pure as he thought he was. But while he was growing up – the man was gold. Good cop, good father – died in the line like a real American hero. Davis didn’t watch the truth come out and see his old man turn to brass.
He got lucky – his dad died and left him that perfect image forever. Even now – findin’ out that his dad was dirty and that everybody knew it, and findin’ out that there was a whole other family his dad was supporting – it hasn’t really changed Davis. Don’t get me wrong, he’s fucked up over it – but he’ll shake it off and go on. Still be that happy, sweet, nice guy that everybody loves to be around.
Nobody wants to be around me. Which is fine by me. I’m a jackass for a reason, you know. When people get close, they can hurt you. I’d rather be alone than let someone cut my heart into pieces. If you care you hurt – so I don’t wanna care. Everybody thinks I’m a heartless bastard and that’s just how I like it.
See, I didn’t get lucky – my old man’s still alive. I got to see him beatin' the shit out of my ma and her takin’ it and making it all her fault. She was always the one telling me and Mikey that it was her fault, that she made Pop angry and made him do it.
For a long time, we didn’t see it. Ma was always bruised up but she’d say she fell or somethin’. Hell, for a long time I thought I had the clumsiest mother in the world. Always walkin’ into doors or tripping or falling – I can’t remember a time when she didn’t have a split lip or black eye.
Then my ma got fed up when Pop started hitting me. Not the ass bustings that I probably deserved from time to time – but slapping me in the face or punching me in the stomach for stuff I didn’t realize I’d done. Or worse, for stickin’ up for some kid at school that everybody was pickin’ on.
I’d thought that’d make him proud, but after he took me outta the principal’s office – he threw me against the car and slapped me until my nose started bleeding and my ears were ringin’ – hell, I probably had a concussion. When we got home, Ma took one look at me, and she knew I hadn’t gotten those bruises in a fight with kids at school. But she didn’t say nothing and I didn’t say nothing ‘cos Pop had told me he’d take the belt to me if I did.
Then Pop screwed up. Ma mighta turned a blind eye to what she didn’t see – but she wasn’t about to watch it happen. Pop came inside – madder than hell ‘cos I’d gotten blood all over the backseat – like I’d had a choice? When he grabbed me by my hair and started slapping me – Ma just came unglued. She jumped on him and started whalin’ on him. He threw her off and went after her.
Me and Mikey hid in our room – scared outta our minds by what we were hearing. Crashing and banging and cussing. We figured they were killing each other. Then it got quiet. Real quiet. I was trying to figure out what to do when Ma came in. Her dress was ripped and her face was all beat up, but she was the best thing we’d ever seen.
She washed me up and told me that Pop wouldn’t hurt me anymore. I believed her, too. Shows how stupid I was.
Right after that, Ma threw Pop out. Changed the locks. Only, moron that I am, I used to let him in the house. Hey, I was a kid and I just wanted my parents together – what the fuck did I know? Look at these kids that parents abuse and murder – the kids still love them through it all. I mean, as a kid, what the fuck else do you have besides your parents?
There was no more hiding it, and nobody tried anymore. Pop would go to Ma’s room and they’d fight and he’d beat the hell out of her before he’d leave. After I got older – I figured out he'd probably raped her. Crazy thing about it all – Ma never called the cops. She never tried to put the son of a bitch in jail or nothin’. It was always her fault somehow.
Sometimes Pop would hang around for hours and they’d scream and fight. Me and Mikey found us a place to hide. We had our fort where we’d sit and watch the ships and pretend we were gonna get away some day. Only we didn’t know we never would. We didn’t know yet that we didn't get any luck when they handed it out.
Pop quit comin’ around finally. Maybe he got bored, or he got a new woman to slap around, I dunno. But things were good for awhile. Then Mikey screwed up. He fell into drugs face first. I never did figure how a guy so smart could be so fucking stupid. Probably ‘cos he was hanging around Pop too much – still thinkin’ that bastard loved him. I’d finally figured out that we were nothin’ to the old man – but Mikey? He never got it.
Even after Pop turned Mikey in for the reward money – Mikey still loved the old man. I only wish Mann had killed Pop instead of Mikey. Guess he knew that wouldn’t hurt me none? Mann did his research, you gotta say that much. If he was looking for the few soft spots I’ve got – he scored with killin’ Mikey. And hurtin' Ma.
Ma’s upstairs now, maybe dying, and all I can think of is how she hung onto the old man – like she still needed him. I’m right there – and I love her – and she turns to him. He beat her – he beat me – he turned Mikey in for money – and she’s still actin’ like he’s the only man on earth.
When she wakes up – and she’s a tough old broad, so I got no doubts she’ll wake up – I’m telling her that I’m through with her. As long as she wants my father around – then I’m not her son anymore. See? I am a heartless bastard – my parents taught me well.
So really, me and Davis are a lot alike. You may not think so, but we are. He’s me only with a little luck. I learned the lessons that Davis never had to. Love your pop, and he’ll hurt you. Love your ma, and she’ll lie to you. Love your brother, and he’ll rip your heart out. The lesson is – love nobody, and you’ll never get hurt. Davis ain't learned it yet – with his luck he never will.
Davis is over there being Mr. Optimistic. Why shouldn’t he be? The lesson he learned was that letting people get close to you was a good thing. Now he goes through women like I do, like they’re disposable, but somehow he gets more out of it. He makes a connection that I don’t let happen. I’m up and gone before they wake up. Let a woman get attached, and she’ll hurt you. His luck has held up in that department, too. Bastard could probably roll in a pile of shit and still come out smellin’ like a rose.
Faith is saying somethin’. I know it’s probably something comforting – only I don’t want comfort. Still, I listen. She’s the only one I listen to these days. The only one that can still put the screws to me. I should’ve cut her out of my heart a long time ago – only I can’t. Over the years she’s burrowed so deep under my skin – there’s no getting her out. Lucky for me – Faith never hurts me unless I deserve it. And I deserve it quite a bit. Hell, I got her shot – and she still took me back. Forgave me for being a stupid shit – forgave me for falling for Cruz and turning my back on her. She even forgave me for needing her so damn much.
No matter how much I don’t need anybody else – I need Faith. If I wasn’t such a heartless bastard – and scared I’ll just fuck it up like I do everything else – I’d tell her how I feel about her. Fred’s ditched her – now there’s a heartless bastard – and maybe we could – what’s she sayin'?
What the hell’s with the masks? Are those machine guns those jagoffs have?
Please, God – gimme just a little luck this one time!