[I hope they all die.]
Howard's mother cooked him a meal and sent him to school. It was walking distance from their home and Howard was used to holding her hand and going to school every day. That day, his mother picked him a fancy lunch and dropped him at the gate. He happily went inside, containing his excitement in his heart. He had stopped going to school with his neighbours' kids as he had told his mother about how unpleasant it was to be with them all the time. Instead, Henry slept during they were out and his mother could come back before he woke up in the morning.
Henry was still a toddler, just starting to speak and babble. His mother had been growing older every day and she looked older than she had a few months ago. Henry loved their father, he couldn't get enough of him, always sitting on his lap and eating dinner. Howard's father was much more silent with Henry, he wasn't beaten, and Howard didn't want his baby brother to be hit under any circumstances.
But it also hurt Howard to think that all of his father's hatred was directed towards him.
His day at school was spent in relative quietness. None of his classmates made too much fuss and he had his lunch well. As school came to a close, Howard felt a bubble of excitement flood him. He couldn't wait to tell his mother how much he had enjoyed. It was not every day that his mother prepared such a grand meal for him.
As the other parents flocked around the gate, his mother was absent. He waited for a long time but she never came. The teachers eventually took him inside and started calling the house phone so that someone would pick them up, but no one answered.
He grew tense. He knew that his mother always picked up the phone. He had seen her run to the phone at all times of the day so that no one would call them in vain, be it a telemarketer or someone from his father's side of the family.
It was almost sundown when one of their neighbours came to the rescue. They had not seen her mother get out of the home and gone to call on her. She might have forgotten that she needed to pick Howard up.
No one had answered the door. Growing more worried, the neighbour had peeked inside the house through the kitchen window to find Howard's mother lying in a pool of her own blood. Emergency services were called and the woman survived, but everyone forgot about poor Howard who waited patiently for his mother to arrive.
When Howard reached home, there were a lot of police cars in front, their lights flashing. The police went from house to house to check on what made the woman want to kill herself. Howard didn't understand why he couldn't go inside his home. Howard didn't understand why he had to sleep over at someone else's house with his younger brother Henry when his mom was right there.
Weeks passed, psychological evaluations were done. His mother returned home, a shell of herself, barely smiling, barely talking to them apart from when it was necessary. His father had stopped hitting him, but he had also stopped coming home every night. He spent most of his time out of the house or grovelling in front of his wife.
A year passed.
His mother grew stronger.
One morning he woke up to find the house empty, Henry sleeping peacefully in his bed and his mother nowhere in sight. The familiar fear from before crept into his heart.
He called his father and let him know that he couldn't find her. He stumbled home, running out of the car and entering the house in a hurry. He found a note on the dining table.
'I can't do this anymore.'
Howard didn't hear from his mother after that. She had left him in Hell all alone. Howard protected his brother from the wrath of his father. He brought up his brother while his father drank and gambled his time away. He took the beatings.
Finally, he grew to hate.
He really hated his father.
He really hated Henry.
He hoped all of them would die.
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