“It wasn’t me!” I shouted. I clenched my hands into tight fists. Why wouldn’t he understand? I almost gave in to the overwhelming urge to give him a solid punch in the face. The front room seemed to disappear. All I could see was Dad’s angry face. “Don’t you dare raise your voice at me young man!” Dad barked. He was breathing hard. We were standing so close that I could see the fine hairs on his face. I stared defiantly into his dark eyes and smiled at him. A muscle twitched in his jaw. “Please, I beg you both, stop it! All this shouting and fighting is getting us nowhere,” Mum pleaded, “Stop now before one of you says something you’re going to regret later.” She tried to step between us but we were not moving. Tears streamed down her cheeks but I paid no notice. I was absolutely furious. “I’m going to ask you one more time, and this time I want the truth.” He said quietly but you could hear the barely suppressed rage in his voice. “Are you, or are you not, taking drugs? And how about cigarettes? Do you smoke them?” His voice rose with each question. “I. Am. Not. On. Drugs.” I enunciated slowly. From the corner of my eye, I saw Mum sink down into the sofa, sobbing. One part of my mind was taking in everything around me and feeling guilty. The other, more dominant, half was consumed with rage. “Why don’t I believe you?” Dad sighed. He looked disappointed. I saw red. My dad was disappointed in me for something I hadn’t done. The injustice of it all overtook me and I spoke without thinking. “You know what? I don’t give two hoots whether you believe me or not.” I yelled belligerently. “You can go jump a cliff for all I care right now.” I sneered at him. “That is it. Get out of my house right now!” he shouted, raising his hand threateningly. He was actually shaking. “Don’t have a heart attack, I’m leaving anyway.” I curled my lip in contempt. “Why would I want to stay with you anyway?” I threw him a dirty look over my shoulder as I stormed to the door. “No please! Don’t...” my mum cried loudly. “Frank?” she turned to my dad, gripping his arm tightly. He remained silent, not looking at her. “Nick?” Mum turned to me, her face stricken. “I’m sorry, Mum...” I said quietly as I opened the front door. “I’ll be back for my stuff tomorrow.” I told them calmly before I stepped outside. I was calm now. The anger had subsided, leaving me feeling hollow. The door swung shut behind me, the sound ringing with finality.
The wind ruffled my hair as I raced down the street on my motorcycle. God, I love riding my motorbike. The freedom and the power were breath-taking. The night was like a blanket around me, keeping me warm and safe. “There’s nothing like you baby.” I crooned to my bike as I patted it fondly. It was a Ducati 748. It took me months to convince my parents to buy it for me. Dad had wanted to get me a Honda Civic He had said it was the ideal car for me. I scoffed at the memory. It made me think about Dad, again so I focused on my motorbike instead. A baby brother to the 916/996 series, the Ducati shares the same beautiful bodywork, trellis frame and top notch suspension as the big V-Twin Duke. But the smaller 748cc engine gives this bike a unique feel; a rev-happy hunger for speed and twisty corners which I prefer over the faster 916/996. That is its appeal for me. The 748 is still about 90 bhp in a fiendishly precise chassis; a road scalpel, a corner cutting instrument. Once out of town, the riding position begins to make sense, the suspension feels like it’s working properly. The engine noise alerts cyclists and dog walkers on the roads to get the hell out of the way as a complete lunatic, me, is approaching at high speed. I had explained that all to my dad when I was buying it. He had been impressed. I tightened my hold on the handlebars as the memories assaulted me. Dad. Why does he have to be so stubborn? It all came rushing back. The arguments, Rachel begging for help, and the tension...
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