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Avery sat up on the edge of the bed and looked around the empty room. He’d successfully stood with the help of a nurse and had even walked a few steps before getting too tired. He told his doctor that he had complete control of his bladder and the feeling in his lower regions had begun to come back so he could tell when he had to go. After much argument back and forth, his doctor finally allowed the nursing staff to remove the catheter.
Avery was never so happy with anything in his entire life. It just felt too weird having a tube stuck up his dick.
He glanced over at the IV machine to his right. That was the next thing that had to go. He couldn’t stand being tied down by tubes and wires. He’d figured out on his own how to put the side rail down though he figured he’d catch some flack for that later, but he didn’t care. It felt good to sit up without having to ask for help. He felt free.
Avery had never wanted out of a place as badly as he wanted out of that hospital. At one point he’d even considered just walking out on his own. Three obstacles stood in his way of that plan though. The first being Rick. There was no way that Rick was going to just stand by and let him leave. The second obstacle was the fact that he still couldn’t walk long distances on his own yet. It wasn’t really that he couldn’t do it, but more that he was still too weak to hold himself up. His legs worked fine and his resolve was as strong as ever, it was his energy that was depleted.
The third problem he faced was more of an inconvenience than an actual obstacle. He didn’t have any clothes. The clothes he’d had on when he was brought in were taken by the police for evidence and as far as Avery was concerned, they could keep them. Even if they gave them back eventually, Avery figured he’d probably just throw them out, or burn them. Currently he was wearing one of the hospital gowns that had been provided for him.
Rick had brought in various things to make Avery more comfortable such as a few paper back books, Avery’s journal and a pen. He’d brought in a puzzle book and even a chess set, but what he failed to bring in were clothes. Avery didn’t even have a pair of underwear which he found slightly awkward. He was never really one to just let everything hang out and it felt strange to just let his balls slap the insides of his thighs when he was used to having everything packed tightly into a pair of trunks which were basically just boy shorts. Trucks were the only thing that Avery could find that were made for men, and were still kind of sexy.
Leaving the hospital in just one of their flimsy gowns was definitely out of the question. The last thing he wanted was to walk through the hospital with his ass hanging out. That is, if he’d even be able to walk through the hospital to begin with. His luck, he’d make it half way down the corridor and fall on his face with the gown around his head and his ass sticking up for everyone to see. He was sure they’d get a good laugh at that but he was in no mood to be the nights entertainment.
Still, he couldn’t just lay around in that bed all day and wait for someone to come and liberate him. Besides that he had an agenda. There was something he was itching to do since he’d woken up which both the nursing staff and his friends had vehemently refused to allow. He wanted to see himself. Avery had not looked in a mirror since waking up in the hospital and though he had a pretty good idea of what he must have looked like, he still wanted to see for himself.
The others were only trying to spare him more pain, he understood that, but what they didn’t understand was that he needed to do this. He needed to face himself in the mirror and face the truth of what had happened, what Mikey had done. There was no way that he could explain to Hanson, or anyone else, what had happened that night until he could look himself in the mirror and let the reality of the situation sink in. Till now, it had all seemed like a bad dream. The events of the night were fuzzy, bits and pieces of it came to him and then were gone again just as quickly as they had come.
There was still a lot that he didn’t remember, or understand, because for the most part he’d blocked it out. But it was time now to go back. It was time to remember. He had to face the pain, and then he had to own it. He wasn’t going to sit there and allow his fear and anger to control him anymore. He couldn’t give Mikey that kind of power over him, not now. When he finally faced Mikey, he had to be strong, and he had to be unwavering. He had to show Mikey that there was nothing in this world that he could do to Avery that would ever destroy him, had had to show him that he wasn’t some weak and helpless little kid.
Avery was fierce, determined, and he was going to fight back every step of the way. Mikey made one hell of a mistake when he came after Avery because Avery was going to make him pay for what he did. He was going to walk into that court room with his head held high and he would tell the judge, the jury, whoever; he would tell them everything illegal bahis and he would make sure that the next time Mikey walked the streets as a free man, he would be too old and feeble to hurt anyone else.
Avery took a deep breath then pushed himself up from the bed. He was still a bit unsteady and he felt a twinge of pain rush through his chest and down his back. His ribs hurt terribly. Just moving made them ache, even breathing was difficult at times. He felt like a newborn kitten struggling to stand up for the first time. His legs wobbled and his hands were shaking but still he grasped the IV stand and pulled it over to him, leaning on it some for support. The wheels of the stand glided gracefully across the floor. For that, he was grateful. H didn’t really think that he would have been able to carry it on his own, not in the condition that he was in.
The floor was cold against his bare feet. It sent a little chill through his body but it wasn’t bad enough to make him turn around and go back to bed. He carefully moved from the bed to the sink which was just a few feet away, bracing himself against the counter to keep from falling over. Once he’d reached the sink he stood there a few moments looking down into the white porcelain fixture, his heart pounding in his chest as he gathered the courage he needed to look up. Once he had calmed his nerves a bit he slowly raised his head and looked into the mirror before him.
He allowed a moment for his eyes to focus before he took in the whole of what he was seeing. The person looking back at him seemed a stranger to him. The black circles under his eyes, the red and swollen tissue around them, and the bruises along his cheeks and mouth formed a terrifying visage that he found hard to believe was the same man that once stood up on a stage and sang like an angel, inspiring desire and excitement in others. In his eyes, he was hideous now.
His hair was a choppy mess of different lengths that stood up all over his head. It might not have look quite so bad if it wasn’t caked with dried blood. Still, the loss of his long and silky black hair was quite a shock to him. Ever since his mother had mentioned the short hair he’d been determined to see exactly what she was talking about. It didn’t make him look masculine and he didn’t look nice. He looked like a deranged mental patient. There was a cut over his lip and another above his right eye that he prayed to God wouldn’t leave a scar. He couldn’t stand the thought that his face might be marred forever.
He wasn’t really so concerned about his looks, but besides his voice, his looks were all he had. How could he ever take the stage again looking like Frankenstein’s monster? It was all too much for him to deal with. At this point he was wondering how Rick even managed to keep coming back, why he hadn’t left him by now. Avery wasn’t Avery anymore, he wasn’t the man that Rick had fallen in love with, he was some bruised and broken creature that was too disgusted even to look at his own face in the mirror. If he’d been home, he would have broken every mirror in the apartment and hidden himself away in his room like the Hunchback of Notre dame.
He could see his entire future just crumbling away into nothingness. “Damn you Michael!” He hissed through clenched teeth. “What did I ever do to deserve this?”
Avery lowered his head, not bearing to look at his face anymore, and started to sob softly. He ran a hand through his hair, grasping a chunk of it and holding it tight in his fist.
“You didn’t do anything to deserve this.” Rick had walked into the room and came up behind Avery. He gently touched his shoulder then leaned forward and kissed the top of his head.
“I’m hideous.” Avery sobbed.
“The bruises will heal in time Ave, and your hair will grow back.”
“But in the mean time, how can you even stand to look at me? I’m a monster!”
Rick frowned. “Turn around and look at me Avery.”
Rick sighed and squeezed Avery’s shoulder tighter. “Please? Please look at me.”
Slowly, Avery reluctantly turned around so that he was facing Rick though he couldn’t bring himself to raise his face to look at him.
“It’s unbecoming to sulk.” Rick smiled. He slipped his finger beneath Avery’s chin and lifted his head up so that they were each looking into the others eyes. “When I look at you Avery, I only see the man I fell in love with, nothing more. I don’t care what you look like, or how long your hair is. To me, you’re beautiful, even now when you’re at the lowest point in your life you’re still beautiful to me.”
“How can I…”
“Shh.” Rick kissed the side of his face. “I didn’t fall in love with you because of the way you look. I fell in love with you because of who you are. If looks were all that mattered to me then this thing I feel for you wouldn’t be love. I’m here Avery, and I’m not going anywhere. Not unless you tell me to leave and never come back and even then I’d spend a lifetime trying to make you change your mind.
You…you mean everything to me. When we illegal bahis siteleri couldn’t find you, when I thought that you might be…well, I wanted to die. I can’t live without you, hell I can’t even breathe without you. I wish I could kill Mikey for what he did to you but I know that would only cause more pain, and I don’t want to spend the rest of my life in prison because that would mean I couldn’t hold you at night, or kiss you in the morning and I want to be able to do that Avery. I want to wake up next to you every morning until the day I die.”
Avery leaned his head against Ricks chest and wrapped his arms around him. “I love you so much.” He whispered. “I’ve just been so scared that after everything that’s happened, you wouldn’t want me anymore.”
“That will never happen.” Rick put his arms around Avery and pulled the boy closer against him. “If anything, I want you even more now because I had a taste of what my life would be like without you in it and to be honest, it sucks.”
Avery smiled and closed his eyes. “I love you so much.” He whispered.
“I love you too, babe.” Rick helped Avery back to the bed then once there, he scooped him up in his arms, cradling him like a baby and gently lowered him into the bed. “Never forget that I love you okay? Promise me that you’ll never forget that.”
“I promise.” Avery told him. “Never forget how much I love you either.”
“Never.” Rick smiled then leaned down and kissed Avery gently on the lips.
“Umm…” Avery hummed. “I’ve really missed that.”
Rick grinned. “Me too baby, me too.”
“I had forgotten to lock the door.” Avery recalled as he sat there, trying to remember everything that had happened. He was seated in an armchair beside the window in his room. Rick was sitting on the bed beside him, listening intently, and ready to jump to Avery’s aide should he need him. Hanson was sitting in a folding chair across from Avery. He had a digital recorder and a legal pad on the bed side tray in front of him that he was using as a desk.
“Just take your time.” Hanson told him. “Tell me everything that you remember. Every detail, no matter how small.”
Avery nodded. “I was in my room, getting ready for bed when the door flew open. At first I had no idea what was going on. I jumped and got scared but when I saw Mikey standing there I became angry. I just couldn’t believe that he was actually in my room. That’s when I remembered about the front door. Rick’s always telling me to remember to lock it but I-I just never thought that anything like this would ever happen.”
He stopped for a moment and took a deep breath as he ran his fingers through his short hair. This was harder than he’d originally thought. Reliving that night was hard. All the emotions he’d felt then suddenly came crashing back over him. He realized then that he was shaking and he was close to tears. He tried to smile as he looked up at Rick. “Man, I really wish I could smoke in here.”
“I know baby.” Rick smiled half-heartedly. He was worried about Avery. He still thought that it was too soon for Avery to be doing this but Avery was determined to get it done and over with and when he set his mind to something there was no way to deter him.
Avery reached out and took Rick’s hand in his. Rick squeezed it tight. Avery continued. “I yelled at him when he came in.” Avery said. “I told him to leave, I yelled at him and told him to get the hell out of my place. I even threatened him if he didn’t, but Mikey only laughed at me. He was talking crazy, saying that Rick and I betrayed him, that we’d been sleeping together while I was still with Mikey. He said that we brain washed Trash and stole his band from him. I told him that none of that was true, that he’d been the one who betrayed me. That only pissed him off more.”
“For the record, you’re talking about Michael Doogan, correct?” Hanson asked him.
Avery nodded. “That’s right. It was Michael Doogan that broke into my apartment and assaulted me. I thought he was going to kill me so I fought back. I grabbed my baseball bat and swung it at him. I don’t remember if I actually hit him or not but I think I did. Anyway, he took the bat away from me and struck me in the head with it.”
Avery touched the cut above his right eye and flinched. He remembered the end of the bat hitting him there. He remembered the pain he felt. It felt as if his head would explode at any moment. He remembered the blood running down over his eye and past his lips. “I fell. I remember that. I fell and then Mikey came at me. I kicked him in the balls and was able to get away from him. I grabbed the bat again and went to the kitchen to get my phone off the charger but Mikey followed me.”
“He followed you into the kitchen, correct?”
Avery nodded. “Yeah, that’s where he cornered me. He wouldn’t let me leave and so I swung the bat again. I missed him and hit the wall but I think he fell when he ducked the bat. It’s kinda hazy but I’m pretty sure that’s canlı bahis siteleri what happened. I tried to get past him and he grabbed me, pulling me to the floor. That’s when he beat me and I lost consciousness. I don’t really know what happened after that because when I came around again we were outside.”
“Tell me about that.” Hanson instructed. “Your phone was found up by Molly’s Creek so we know that’s where he took you. We did a walk through of the field near where we found the phone and found patches of blood scattered around.”
“I didn’t know that’s where we were.” Avery confessed. “I knew I was outside and I knew it was someplace remote because there were no houses around and it was really quiet. I didn’t hear cars or the sounds you’d hear if you were in a populated area. That was where the worst of it happened though. That’s where I thought for sure that I was going to die.”
“I know it’s difficult for you son, but it’s important that you tell me everything you can remember. Take your time, think about it, and just tell me what happened to the best of your knowledge.”
“Okay.” Avery sucked in a deep breath and tried to focus his mind on that night. He looked over at Rick and Rick gave him a reassuring yet sympathetic smile. He squeezed his hand again just to let him know that he wasn’t going anywhere.
Avery closed his eyes, exhaled, and let his mind drift back to that horrible night. A tear slipped down his cheek as the pain and fear he’d felt came back to him, crashing over him like a tidal wave, knocking the very air out of his lungs. His mind stretched out, pulling deep buried memories to the surface. He tried to recall every sound, every word spoken to him, everything that he’d felt or suffered. Suddenly his eyes opened and his face became a mask of panic.
He looked from Rick and then to Hanson. His heart was pounding in his chest. He remembered what had happened now. It was so clear in his mind. Mikey was standing in front of him. He was angry and he was yelling at Avery. Someone was holding him up. He remembered the voice. (“Stand up you little whore!”) It wasn’t Mikey who’d said it though. Avery gasped. “He wasn’t alone.” He whispered.
Rick narrowed his eyes. “What? What do you mean?”
“He wasn’t alone.” Avery said again. “He was when he came to the apartment but not in the field. There someone else there with him, helping him. No, there were two guys there with him. I remember them holding me up by my arms. I couldn’t stand on my own and they were holding me up so Mikey could hit me.”
Hanson leaned forward and looked Avery dead in the eyes. “Are you saying that there were three men who beat you?”
Avery nodded to him. “Yeah, there were three of them. I remember three distinct voices. The other two must have been waiting in the field or possibly outside the apartment but they were definitely in the field when Mikey took me there.”
“Do you remember their names?” Hanson asked him.
Avery thought for a moment then shook his head. “I don’t think he ever said their names. If he did, I didn’t hear it.”
“Okay.” Hanson nodded. “Start with when you first woke up. You said the two men were holding you up. What happened after that?”
Avery thought back to when he first opened his eyes. The first time that he realized that he was no longer in his apartment he was laying on the ground. He felt a sharp pain in his side and he suddenly realized that someone was standing over him, kicking him.
(“Oh that’s just pathetic!”) He remembered the man saying to him. (“What a weakling! How can you even call yourself a man?”)
(“S…sorry.”) Avery had whimpered. He was scared and confused. He didn’t know why but he felt the need to do as he was told. Maybe he was too scared that if he didn’t do as they told him they would hurt him more so he tried his hardest to push himself up but he was just too weak.
(“Aw, he’s sorry.”) The man had laughed and mocked him. (“Did you hear that Donnie, he’s sorry?”)
(“Yeah he’s gonna be sorry.”) The one named Donnie had laughed.
(“Alright, that’s enough screwing around. Don, Frankie, you get over here and lift him up, one under each arm. Hold him up good and don’t let him fall.”) That was Mikey’s voice telling the others what to do.
They were just his underlings. Mikey was the one who had orchestrated the entire thing, Avery knew that without a doubt. He was the only one with an axe to grind, Avery had no idea who the other two even were but now, at least, he did have a name.
“I remember.” Avery said, looking at Hanson. “Mikey did say their names. I’d forgotten until I really thought about it. It was right after I’d started to come to. He called one of them Frankie and the other one Don.”
“Frankie and Don?” Hanson wrote the names down on his legal pad.
“Yeah.” Avery confirmed. “I remember him calling them by name. I don’t know who they are or what they’re last names are, but I do remember what they sounded like. One in particular. He had a real deep, husky voice. The other one was laughing and making jokes. He even sounded a little high maybe, but it was the one with a deep voice that really scared me. He sounded cruel and dangerous. He was enjoying what was happening, like it was some kind of sick sport.”
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