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S-Laid Hanging

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It hurt so much, but I couldn't protest. I knew he'd hit me again if I asked him to stop. I could feel my bone shatter when the metal belt buckle hit my arm. I could hear Chastity sobbing in the other room. Ma was yelling at Pa and she held me close to her. The thing was, I couldn't feel anything. The pain in my arm started to feel numb, it still hurt, but faintly.
~~~Time skip~~~

I laid in bed, looking out the window and watching the raindrops hit and slide down the window. I was thinking about how I was treated my entire life. I was thinking about how my teachers treated me. I thought about how my Pa talked to me and how he acted towards me. After a while I somehow convinced myself that he didn't love me. That he thought I was a disappointment, a mistake and a disgrace. "He hates you, you're useless. He tries to help you, tries to make you lovable and tolerable, and you only push him away. You defy him." Said the voice in my head. It chanted those words over and over again until my eyes fell on the rope Uncle Micah gave me. I had an idea. It was a scary idea. But at the time I didn't see another solution. I believed that it would make my Pa happy if I was gone.... I slowly stood up from my bed, ignoring the slight pain in my arm. I grabbed a chair nearby and got closer to the rope. I tried to make the least amount of sound I possibly could, carefully cutting some of the rope and tying it somewhere in the ceiling. I grabbed the chair and stood on it, trembling as I reached over my head with my bad arm--my good arm. I hesitantly put my head through the hole, then I rethought if I really wanted to do this. I went over the reasons why I should die and why I should keep living. I figured that if I kept living, I'd get hurt more and people would treat me even more like trash. I took one last deep breath, closed my eyes, and let the chair fall from beneath me.

Chapter Text

I walked into Luke's room to apologize. I knew that what I had done was not what Jesus would had done, so all night, I had pored over the Bible, looking for an answer. I hesitated with my hand on the knob, then turned it slowly and pushed it open. The first thing I saw was an empty bed, and I thought Luke had run away. Then I looked up and realized he had done so much worse. I fell to my knees as a realized I had been such a bad father and made such bad decisions that my son had hanged himself rather than face me in the morning. I felt a sharpness behind my eyes, and felt tears roll down my face. Chastity walked in behind me and dropped her plate of food. The plate of food Luke would now never eat. She gasped and immediately started sobbing, tears of pain and , and whispered "No more riddles..." I left the room. I had to. I went down to the kitchen and told Ma what had happened, and she looked at me with fire in her eyes. "THIS IS WHY YOU DO NOT BEAT YOUR SON, NO MATTER HOW BAD OR DIFFERENT YOU THINK HE IS!" She cried at him before running up the stairs. He could hear her screaming sobs from the floor below as she mourned her only son. He heard a thump as Ma pulled the body from the light and heaved it toward the bed. He went back up to the room of his now dead son, and it looked like Luke was only sleeping.

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I woke up early so I could arrive at my sister's house. I wanted to ask Luke what he decided to chose. If he was going to come with me, or if he was going to stay with Ezekiel. When I finally arrived, I parked my truck outside of my sister's home and I already felt like something was off. I shrugged it off and went to knock on the door. I heard things falling on the other side of the door and then it was silent. I stood in front of the door for 2 minutes before it opened to reveal Pa. I immediately noticed that his eyes were red and that his hair was a mess, I found it sort of strange since I've never seen the man cry. We stood there for what felt like hours until I broke the silence with a nervous smile and said, " Good morning Ezekiel. Is Luke still home or did he go to school? I need to ask the kiddo a question." I don't know why but when I mentioned Luke, his Pa broke down sobbing and whispering "I'm sorry" s. I raised an eyebrow, waves of concern and confusion crashed unto me. My eyes widened, "is something wrong? Did someth- "
"Micah!" I heard my sister scream from upstairs. I gave Ezekiel one last glance before I rushed upstairs. And, my lord, my sweet lord, the sight that greeted me.... it was terrifying. I couldn't believe what I saw. I thought it was some sick joke Trooper was playing but when I saw my sister sobbing next to the kid, I knew it was real. I slowly walked up to the bed and tried to shake Luke awake, just in case some miracle would happen and bring the innocent boy back. There was a long moment of silence. Then I fell to my knees and cried. No, I didn't cry, I sobbed. I thought about the day before and how I should of brought Luke with me. I thought about the ways I could talk to his father to prevent this from happening. I sobbed harder when I realized he hanged himself with the lefty rope I gave to him as a gift. I can't believe it. I refused to believe that someone this young and innocent could be taken away from us.

Chapter Text

Skinny and I were pretty confused. Luke never showed up to class today and the teachers were pretty annoyed at him. I would have never though a preacher's son would skip school. We decided to go over his house and bring him some bread to see if he's sick or something. Skinny thought it was a good idea to go through a shortcut through the woods and we had some trouble finding our way out of it because that idiot got us lost. At least the trees blocked the burning sun and cooled us off a bit. I suggested we followed the river because the preacher's son lives in a house near it. It took us about 20 minutes until we found ourselves in front of the shanty house. It was so quite. "Damn, I would've expected Lukey's folk to be yellin' verse at the top of their lungs" says Skinny as he wipes away sweat from his forehead. I looked at him with a teasing grin, "Lukey?" The way Skinny's face flushed with red made me clutch my stomach from laughter. "That's so cute. When did y'all give each other nicknames" I said while arching one of my eyebrows. Skinny looked away and blushed harder, "let's just go in already". When I walked closer to the door I felt a huge wave of mourn and sadness. Before I could tell Skinny anything, he knocked on the door three times. We waited for a while. When the door opened we were greeted with the guy that interviewed Skinny a couple days back. The strange thing about him was that his eyes were red, almost as if he's been crying. Skinny went ahead and broke the silence. "Good evenin' , sir. Is Luke here?" He held up the small bag with bread in front of Micah's face. "He wasn't in school today so we brought his some bread just in case he's sick. Thought it might make him feel better." Micah didn't say anything for a long while so Skinny and I felt a bit uncomfortable. He spoke after a minute or two, "Come inside. There's something you two need to know."