Gabriel opened his eyes, seeing the room through the blur that remained from his alcohol-induced slumber.
The grey light of dawn seeped into the room through the drapes at the window, showing the worn layer of dirt and misuse that had filled his life for years now.
He closed his eyes again and threw an arm over his face, as much to block out the memory of those years as the light that grew brighter with each passing second.
He groaned, a low rumble that rose up from his soul and pierced his heart.
As the light grew, he opened his eyes again and ran them around the room; wincing at the litter and dust that filled the small room.
Litter and dirt of a different kind had filled his life, his heart, his soul; much worse than that which covered every flat surface of the worn hotel room that he had called home for too many years now.
He forced himself to sit up and swing his feet off the bed to the floor. The motion brought forth a wave of nausea that had him swallowing repeatedly.
He cradled his pounding head in his hands and closed his eyes, trying to block out the light that was insisting on getting into the room.
As he sat there, waiting for the world to right itself, he tried to remember the events of the night before.
Oh, yes ….
The man in the three piece suit that had shown up on the doorstep, insisting on a conversation about the money Gabe had borrowed weeks before and was unable to pay back. The threats against the family that he had walked away from when he was barely into his teens.
He reached up to rub the back of his neck as his childhood years swept through his mind.
All the rules, all the restrictions. How did they ever think he would put up with that for any longer than necessary?
He had felt smothered by the closeness of his family, angered at the love that kept forgiving all his bad deeds.
Even when he had maliciously and calculatedly stolen his parents’ savings to set out on his own, they had still forgiven him.
He shook his head. He had thought them the epitome of naive stupidity at that point and told them so.
The pain at that memory was almost too much to bear. How he had hurt them!
He had been waging a war with himself for weeks now; part of him feeling as if he should do something to make amends before it was too late.
How could he go back when he had made such a mess of his life? How could he expect them to forgive him when he had all but spit in their faces?
His shoulders slumped.
The slamming of the door against the wall made him nearly fall off the bed.
His head shot up just in time to meet the impact of a fisted hand into his nose. Pain exploded as he reeled back onto the bed before rolling to the floor. He lay there, gasping, tasting blood on his lips.
Hands gripped his shoulders and dragged him around to where booted feet could connect with his midsection. There was nothing he could do to protect himself.
Pain was tearing through him too quickly, sapping his body of any strength.
He didn’t know how long the beating went on, he had slipped into unconsciousness, oblivious of the pounding and breaking his body was enduring.
Darkness and peace ….
He could hear voices talking to him, calling to him.
Gabriel opened his eyes and tried to look around the room.
Pain nearly split him in two and took him back under.
His dad would have told him to pray to God for help, but Gabriel had walked away from his parents’ God when he had walked away from them; and asking God for help was the last thing he would have thought of doing.
** Next Friday … part 2 **
Part 2 can be found here.
Part 3 can be found here.
Part 4 can be found here.
© Drusilla Mott and https://drusillamott.wordpress.com, 2012