Editor’s Note: This is the fourth of a five part series. Look for part five Jan. 19.

Silence hung in the air above us and I could tell I had to go on. “This was my step-father, Aaron Elliot. I curse my mother for inviting him into our family. You see, the other night we were all eating supper. Aaron had come home from work and my mother wanted to surprise him with a warm meal. She figured he had a hard day at work and would appreciate it. But Aaron wasn’t a very nice guy. Sometimes I wonder why my mother stayed with him. She probably loved him in some way, but love can only go so far; after that I believe her fear set in. Anyways, that night when we were all sitting around the table, Aaron freaked out on my mom and threw her up against a wall by her neck. Normally, when watching this I didn’t dare to say a word for fear of him hurting me, too. My mother always said not to worry or tell anyone because he will change, he’s just dealing with a lot of stress. I didn’t believe her lies I hated how she always covered up bad things by trying to bring out the positive in everything. There was nothing positive in this. That night something snapped, I was fed up and enraged.”

“Every night after supper Aaron would go into the living room and sit in his ugly brown chair that was so important to him. I remember sitting in his chair once and getting back handed to the face for it. That night when he was bending down to change the channel on the television, I crept into the room very quietly and slipped some sleeping pills into his glass of whiskey. When he finally passed out, I dragged him to the back of my truck and brought him to the lake. I was now face to face with the man I despised most, the man who beat my mother and me for no reason. That’s when I just let go. I began beating him until my fists were raw and bleeding and tears had clouded my vision. I don’t know how long I sat and cried, but at some point I overheard someone coming up the trail to the water’s edge. I tried covering the body as best I could with several leaves but before I could finish, I glanced up to find you walking towards my location. I freaked out and ran away as fast as I could praying you would not find the body and I could come back the next day to finish what I had started. But you, Peter, knew my secret. You found out something you should not have known. I’m the only thing my mother has left and I’ll be damned if you take me away from her. I swear to God, if you tell anyone about this, you’ll end up just like Aaron. Do you got that?”

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