Tuesday, 9 June 2015

4.1 - I Just Want You to Know Who I am ....

I slowly drift out of an enjoyable deep sleep, because I am being woken up by Atlas and his roaming hand, which is even more enjoyable.  As I open my eyes slowly, he is hovering over me with a huge grin on his face. 

"Morning Cinderella."  he smirks at me

He did not even give me a chance to speak, he starts to kiss me and our hands, mouths and bodies do all the rest of the talking.  We are just about to start making some noise when we are interrupted, and annoyingly have to stop what we are doing.   Neither of us are too amused as we lie now side by side, totally frustrated, completely wound up sexually, and there is not a damn thing we can do about it, without giving ourselves away. 

I glanced at the clock on the wall and am amused to see it is only 6.15am, yet there is an almighty racket going on outside Atlas's bedroom door. 

Atlas puts her arm around me as we lie on the bed, quietly staring up at the ceiling, while we wait for our bodies to cool down, as we listen to the commotion going on, out on the landing right outside Atlas's bedroom door.

"Here we go!!  You don't get the luxury of lie ins or over sleeping in this house."  Atlas mumbles quietly  "Granite is everyone's alarm clock!" 

It sounds like there is a herd of elephants trampling up and down the stairs, along with the playful bickering that is going on over who is using the bathroom straight opposite.  The old man, whoever he is, is irritating them, by taking a bath in the downstairs bathroom.  Bay and Forrest are moaning that they should get to use the bathroom first, because they are going to work.

Forrest, Bay and Slates voices, surprisingly I recognized straight away, but the fourth voice I do not know, so I presumed it belongs to Granite, Forrest's husband, who I have heard quite a lot about, but have never seen or met.  It helps that I keep hearing the name Gran branded about especially by Forrest.

I am finding it very hard not to laugh, especially at Granite who seems to have a lot to say for himself, most of it funny.  He seems to be mischievously playing everyone up, especially Forrest who he is trying to get in the shower with him, and what he is saying is cracking me up so much at one point, Atlas had to put one of the pillows over my face to stifle my laughter.  

I feel happy, relaxed and comfortable being here, but at the same time I can't help but feel a little sad.  This house is in stark contrast to my own so called 'family home', which I can never remember being a happy place, not like this house.  Here all you can hear is happy laughter, all my ears are ever greeted with at 'home' is screaming and shouting because all anyone ever does in that house is fight and argue, and it has never been any other way.

Atlas's bedroom door bangs quite violently suddenly, as it starts to shake with the vibration of the hit, which makes both me and Atlas nearly jump out of our skin.  I hear a lot of giggling going on outside the door.

"Come on Maps!! Wakey Wakey rise and shine!!"  Granite shouts as he bangs on the door again, probably with his fist.  "Get that cute ass of yours out of your pit before I come in and rape it!!" 

"Go away Gran, it is way too early for your shit!!"  Atlas shouts in reply as he sits up on the bed and stares at the door.

"I'm coming in, don't say I didn't warn you!!"  Granite says loudly laughing then rattles the door handle as he tries to open the door.  "Eye Up!!  Atlas has locked his door ... Hey Maps, are you talking to your hand again?"  

I can hear hysterical laughing out on the landing so I am guessing they are all still out there, it is killing me not to laugh with them.  Atlas has already told me it is a laugh a minute living in this house, especially with Granite because he is a joker apparently and never stops winding everyone up and playing pranks.

"Get lost Gran!!  You berry hole!!"

"Our little drama queen is downstairs waiting for you, he needs a shower.  You haven't got time to be pulling one off"  he laughs loudly  "If you ask Mace nicely, while you are scrubbing his back, you never know your luck, he might just help you out and loan you his hand!!"

"Grow up Gran!!"  Atlas mumbles as the door handle rattles again.  I glance up at Atlas because I am surprised by what Granite has just said about him scrubbing Mace's back in the shower, and see an expression of annoyance flash across Atlas's face for a moment.

"Come on Atlas open up, you know I hate talking to doors!!"  he starts howling  "What are you doing in there?  Tell me you finally got laid ... are you hiding someone in your room, you don't usually lock your door!!"

"Get lost Gran!  I am not in the mood for your childish hyperactive rubbish this morning!!  Go and wind somebody else up!!"

"Actually Gran, I think you might have just hit the nail on the head."  I hear Bay laughing  "Hey Atlas ... have you got your spicy dirty secret in there with you again?"  Atlas slaps his head and throws himself back on the bed.  "I am sure I heard a racket coming from your room last night!!"

"Thanks Bay!!  Just tell everyone why don't you!!"  I hear Bay laughing again as Atlas shouts at him.  "Remind me never to trust you again blabber mouth!!"

"Chill out!!  I don't have to tell them WHO do I!!  But Atlas, there really is no need for your secret to hide from us!!  I think you know we will keep stum!!"  he laughs  "Hey sweet cheeks, phone me, we need to talk and you have been avoiding me lately and I want to know why!!"

Now it is my turn to throw myself back on the bed.  I know that was aimed at me and I can't believe he just called me sweet cheeks.  This has Atlas frowning at me.  

"Sweet cheeks?"  Atlas continues to frown at me.

"I don't know why he called me that, it is actually what I used to call him because of all the blushing he used to do."  I whisper as I smile at him and he laughs quietly.

We just lie there again listening and giggling at the new commotion now going on out on the landing, Bay sounds like he is getting mobbed for answers.   Who is using the bathroom suddenly seems to be forgotten as Forrest, Slate, and especially Granite are badgering Bay trying to find out who Atlas has hiding in his room. 

Atlas rolls towards me and starts to kiss me.  We try to ignore them, but it is very hard when Granite starts performing again, rattling the door handle and shouting amongst other things that he is going to throw a party because Atlas has finally pulled his head from up his ass and got himself laid.  I have to break the kiss because he has made me laugh.  Atlas starts grinning at me.

"You know Bay is right, you can let them see you, they will keep it a secret, they will understand more than most remember!!  You are one of us after all."  Atlas smiles at me  "They all hate Sunny, who has given them all stick for being gay, me and Slate have both copped it for being bi!!"  he runs his hand over the bruises on my stomach  "You know they will be on your side, and it will make our life a hell of a lot easier if we don't have to sneak about in this house until you come out into the open!"  he smiles at me

"Come on Maps!!  Now you know I'm staying here until I find out who is stupid enough to finally let you get laid."  Granite is howling outside the door  "Why are you hiding whoever, and how spicy is this dirty secret of yours I wander!!??"

"Atlas just tell me you have not got Coral or Straw in there!!"  Slate snaps as he bangs on the door.  "Bay you can't drop hints like that then back off and not tell us!!" 

This makes both me and Atlas laugh, especially him mentioning my sister.  Bay has made this situation worse, he could have kept his mouth shut and I could have sneaked out after they had left the house without them knowing, now he has them all wound up with wanting to know who is in here.  I am actually surprised that Slate did not pick up on the 'sweet cheeks' hint that he dropped, if Slate thought about it, he would know who is in here with Atlas.  

We lie there giggling as they start to debate over what sex I am.  They are convinced I am female because there are no other gay men in this town that they know to.  That is what they think!! 

"I've told you I am saying NOTHING!!"  Bay starts to really laugh.  "But don't worry, it is neither of the bikes.  Oh berry!!  You Slate are going to be as shocked as hell when you do see who it is!!"

"You know we might be stuck in here permanently naked like you mentioned last night!!"  Atlas rolls his eyes at me  "Some prince I am turning out to be, trapped in my own tower on day one."  Atlas starts laughing  "Don't be surprised Cinderella, if Granite doesn't come at that door with a screw driver either."

"Come on Maps ... you don't hide people unless there is a reason!!"  Granite bangs on the door again.   "Who's Wife, Mother or Sister are you shagging?" 

"I hope you realize that this, and especially Granites antics, is what you have to look forward too if everything goes pear shaped with your Dad next week, at your coming out party, and you have to move in here."  Atlas laughs at me  "I seriously think you should show them your skirt wifey!!"

"Oh what the hell!!"  I laugh at him as I jump off the bed and pull Atlas off with me.  I am very curious to see how Bay and Slate have grown up and what this mad husband of Forrest's is like up close.  "They best had keep this quiet!!"

"They will!!"  he smiles at me  "Trust me!"

I move over to the door and turn the lock then hold my breath before I open the door.  The four of them are in a huddle on the landing badgering Bay to spill.  I walk out into the hallway and just stand there as they suddenly go quiet and all turn to stare at me.  

All eyes are now on me and suddenly I remember something which hits me hard and I can feel the blood draining out of my system as I start to feel self conscious and wish I had put more clothes on.  How stupid have I been to come out here without covering my legs!!  So wrapped up in the moment of being happy, I had totally forgotten about it for a short while.  Thankfully they all just stand there staring at my face, I bet their first surprise is that I am not female, and of course Slate and Forrest don't have a clue that I am gay.
Bayleaf starts grinning then laughing at me.  He hugs me as I grin and laugh back at him.  It is hard to take him in, I am surprised by all the muscles and how beefed up he is, when he used to be such a skinny kid, he looks like he works out as much, if not more than I do.  His eyes are still bright and piercing and he is also a lot cuter than I remember him being. 

Slate, who has not really changed all that much, only in height, frowns at me, I am not sure if he does recognizes me at first, either that or he can not take it in, me and here in this situation.  I laugh and say 'sweet cheeks' to him, suddenly he reacts, his eyes almost pop out of his head and his mouth drops open, then he digs Bay in the side, who just laughs at him.

Forrest, does not seem to have changed one bit, he actually does not look like he has aged a day since I last saw him, but obviously he has.  I wander for a moment if he would actually recognize me, I was a teenager the last time he would have seen me.  He is staring wide eyed at me then he starts chuckling, which turns into quite loud laughter. 

Granite surprises me, he has a damn cute face, which makes me do a double take, he looks nothing like I imagined he would.  So this is Slates real Dad, I can actually see it, Slate is very much like him, but Granite is better looking somehow.  He is just standing there checking me out and looking me up and down, like a proper gay bitch.  I hope it is because he does not have the slightest idea about who I am.  I also hope he is not looking too carefully!!  Atlas joins me and puts his arm round me.

"Satisfied now!!"  Atlas laughs at them  "Meet my not so dirty secret, but more a closet one, and as you can see, he is nobody's wife!!"  they start laughing  "Thanks Bay by the way, big mouth!!"

"What the hell Saffy!!  Since when!! Slate breaks the ice.  He amuses me, he is seriously shocked.  "Mate what are you playing at!!  You are straight!!"

"I've never been straight mate!!"  I laugh at him  "I'm as gay as they come!!" 

"Oh fudge!!  This is so damn hysterical!!  he cracks up 

"I could say the same about you Slate!! I never expected you to start batting for the other side as you were the only one out of the three of us who actually enjoyed kissing Coral!!"  he laughs at me

"She's probably the reason why all three of us have jumped ship!!"  Slate mumbles which makes everyone else laugh except for himself.

"Bay I see you got your man finally!!"  I grin at him for a moment before I frown at him  "Have you seriously never told Slate about us?"

"No mate - besides your old man knowing, I've only ever told Storm and Tapestry the full story, and me and Atlas spoke about it after I saw you sneaking out of here last week, because you had already told him about us."  he smirks at me then rolls his eyes at Slate who is now frowning at him, and not in a nice way.   

"He was here last week?"  Slate is shocked 

"Oops, that has probably now just dropped me into heaps of trouble, for keeping secrets, especially with it being you."  Bay mumbles as he looks sheepishly at Slate

"You knew that Saffy is gay, and that he was here shagging Atlas last week and you did not think to tell me about it!!"  Slate stares at Bay wide eyed 

"I'm Sorry!!  Saff is still in the closet ... obviously because of his old man, the less people that knew the better, me and Tap have always kept his secret closely guarded!!" 

"How the hell did Tapesty get to know when I didn't!?  I thought the three of us were tight, now I see you two had secrets I was not privy too!!"  Slate frowns at me then Bay  "And what is this US all about ... You and him seriously?! ... Have you slept with him?!  Please tell me you haven't!!??"   Slate suddenly looks angry.

"Yeah ... we have."   Bay mumbles sheepishly as his cheeks starting burning, which amuses me but it does not impress Slate very much   

"Where the hell was I Bayleaf?!"  he snaps

"Chill out Slate not since we were fourteen!!"  I tell him to calm him down, I think he might be thinking that it has been recently.  "Slate, you were far too busy mooning over Juni to even see what me and Bay were getting up to right under your nose on the sly!  What did you think me and Bay were doing when we kept skipping school together."  I laugh at him as he starts scowling at me.  

"Great!!  This is all I needed!!  I am paranoid enough because of what that bitch did to me ...."  Slate snaps 

"Slate seriously don't sweat!!  There is nothing to be paranoid about!!"  

I cut his words off because I think I know exactly what he might be about to say.  He is not going to trust me and Bay anywhere near each other from now on!!  I guess I can understand that after what Coral and Gravel did to him. 

"That is easy for you to say!!"  he snaps at me  "Now I know how Forrest feels having Mace in the house!!"

"Me and Bay were never anything serious and we were over when I moved to Sugar Falls.  I have got no designs on your boyfriend and neither of us plan on a repeat performance.  I am more than happy with Atlas and Bay has always been way too hung up on you, even when we were kids!!  I was only ever make do for him because you were playing straight mate!!"  I smile at him  "I'm seriously happy that it worked out for you guys!!"

"We were both making do Slate!!  Saffy was also hung up a straight guy too, unfortunately he did not get lucky like I did, his guy is as straight as!!"  Bay laughs quietly as does Atlas because he knows who Bay is talking about.  "Just like me and Storm, we were sticking together thinking we could not have who we wanted, as well as thinking we were the only gays in the village, so why not.  It was not like we were in love or anything we were just ... " 

"Experimenting and exploring our sexuality together."  I finish the sentence off for Bay when he becomes stuck looking for the right words.

Slate stares between the two of us suspiciously a few times before he pulls Bay to one side and they start muttering to each other.  I am amused that Slate looks angry with Bay at first, he obviously thinks I am now a threat to him and their relationship, which I am most definitely not!!  It is taking me a while to get my head around seeing them together as a couple.  I think I can already tell who wears the trousers in their relationship, Slate. 

I see Slate look at me wide eyed a few times, then he starts to crack up and have hysterics, I imagine I know exactly what story Bay has just told him.

Granite is making me feel really uncomfortable as he is continuously staring at me with an odd expression on his face, and I can not help but stare back, wandering why he is looking at me like he is.  At first I thought he was being a slag, now I think maybe he is just worried now like Slate and suddenly thinks that I am a threat to Bay and Slates relationship.  Either that, or he has noticed what I hope none of them see!!

"Well this is a very big turn up for the books Saffron!!"  Forrest starts laughing  "I always thought you were straight, you definitely kept this very quiet!!  I am going to ask the same question as Slate - since when?!"

"Since always!!"  I laugh at him  "I was forced to keep it a secret, it still is a secret, you know what my old man is like, my brothers and sisters still don't have a clue!!"  I roll my eyes at him as he starts laughing quietly   "To split me and Bay up and to stop anyone finding out I am gay are the real reasons why my parents sent me away, not for the bullshit reason he sold and is still selling everyone."

"Are you going back to Sugar Falls or is your stay in Sugar Valley permanent?"  Forrest smiles at me.

"No, I am hopefully going to Berry Shores with Atlas after the trial, or Cherry Hill if things don't work out with us.  I am done with this town and Sugar Falls, I can't hack the coded world, Dad should never have dumped me out there with my yellow Grandparents!!"

"Well is someone going to introduce us?  I am at a disadvantage here as you all seem to know him and I have never seen this guy before."  Granite suddenly mumbles as he smiles at me.

"Well I don't think I have met you before, but I feel like I have, because you look vaguely familiar to me."  Granite continues to mumble as he frowns at me. 

"Sorry, Granite, this is Saffron Shine, he went to school with Slate and Bay, the three of them used to knock about together, a bit like the three musketeers they were."  Forrest laughs  "He looks a lot like his Dad, that is probably why he seems familiar to you."

"Please tell me you just said SHINE!!"  he is staring at me wide eyed  "Please tell me you are related to the yellow homophobic berry hole!!"  he starts laughing

"Yes I'm afraid so,  Sunny is my old man!!"  I mumble quietly. 

"I'm sorry!!  I guess I should not be bad mouthing your old man to your face!"  he starts to look a little awkward and embarrassed  "However, I am not going to deny I will continue to badmouth the twat when I think you are not listening!!"

"Bad mouth away, don't stop on my account!!  I'll probably help you, I hate the guy!! There is nothing that you can say that I probably have not thought or said myself!!"  This totally cracks Granite up, he is doubled over and having hysterics.

"Oh Berry!!  YOU have seriously just made my day!!"  he can hardly speak for laughing  "Wait till I see that opinionated sanctimonious jerk again!!  Laying into us for being gay when all along he has been hiding his gay son in the wardrobe!!"  Granite continues to laugh.

"Saffron, if you don't mind me saying."  Granite mumbles quietly when he has calmed his amusement down.  "I could not help but notice all the bruises around your abdomen ... I'm a doctor and I'm concerned that some of those bruises look pretty nasty."

"Oh, those, they are nothing!"  

I try to laugh it off, now I am embarrassed as well as definitely wishing that I had put more clothes on!!  I realize the bruises are probably the reason why he was checking me out so intensely.  How do I stand here and tell them my Dad still tries to beat me even though I am an adult.  I am usually wearing clothes so nobody gets to see them and in the commotion earlier I forgot about them.

"They don't look like nothing to me!"  Granite frowns at me

"Nor me!"  Forrest mumbles  "Especially as there are so many!"

"There is a lot of random bruising there and that large one looks pretty nasty, there could possibly be some internal bleeding going on there."  I frown down at me bruises  "How and when did you do them and how hard a blow was it?  Is there constant pain behind that bruise, or is it only painful to the touch?"

"It is just painful to the touch."  I mumble  "I forget they are there most of the time.  It was just a stupid scrap, a few silly digs, that's all."

"Saff you seriously need to tell him the truth!!"  Atlas mumbles and I just stare at him and shake my head, irritated that he has said anything.  We have talked about this and he said he would not force me!! "He's a doctor, he is not stupid, I think he can see all those bruises haven't come from a few digs and have been done at different times!!"   

"I said I would let it out when I am ready Atlas!!"   I frown at him.

"Saff please!!  These are the best people and the best place to do it!!  They will understand more than most!!"  he smiles at me as he takes a hold of my hand and I shake my head  "Please Saff, you will feel better once it's out and I can't just stand here while you cover for that twisted berry hole and say nothing!!"  I just pout at him  "If you can't do it, I can always do it for you if you prefer!!"  

I just close my eyes. After a few moments I nod my head, telling him to do it and grit my teeth, knowing what is about to come out of his mouth.  What choice has he left me, but I guess he is right, it has to come out eventually and these are probably the best people to let it out to, being gay themselves, if don't understand then nobody will!!

"Last week he had bruises all over his chest and stomach.  It's not just a few digs.  Since the age of fourteen it has been years of constant beatings and bruises, even broken ribs.  He has been suffering years of physical and mental abuse off the yellow berry hole because he doesn't like the fact that Saffron is gay!!"  Atlas tuts    "He's probably in for another beating when he gets home, for being out all night and practicing his gay filth as the berry hole calls it.  So don't be surprised if he has even more bruises tomorrow!!!"

"Make me sound pathetic, why don't you Maps!!"  I frown at Atlas then laugh sarcastically  "I do fight back now, it's not like he beats me anymore!!  He forgets himself sometimes and we end up having punch ups, which he does always start, but he comes off a lot worse than I do these days.  Hence the split lip he's been walking around with all week."

"Please DON'T start defending and making excuses for him  Saff!!  Even if he is your Dad it still does not give him the right, he should not be constantly hitting you at all and especially not just because you are gay and it does not suit him!!"  Atlas pulls a face at me  "Only an ignorant narrow minded cretin would try to beat being gay out of anyone!!  That's twisted!!  And you seriously need to understand that nobody will think that this is your fault, nobody will laugh at you or think any less of you because you have nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about!!"  he smiles at me  "HE is the one that should not be sleeping at night, not you!!  The more you keep hiding it or trying to cover it up, you are helping that twisted berry hole to get away with it, you are giving him the rope to carry it on!!  He needs to be stopped!!

Atlas almost starts to choke as he glances at me for a moment before he points to my legs and tells Granite to take a good look at the scars on my legs.  Here we go!!  All I can keep thinking at first is, please don't notice ... please don't notice.  I stand cringing with my eyes closed, because I think that this is the thing that I want to keep hidden most, and what I would have had trouble admitting and telling anyone.

"Then we get to the self harming and what the berry hole mentally drove Saffron to do to himself having to suffer his physical and mental abuse alone.  His Mother and Grandparents knew about the abuse the berry hole was dishing out to Saffron and the sick berry holes turned a blind eye to it and just let it carry on!!"

Atlas is now genuinely upset which stops me from being angry with him for forcing the issue and leaving me with no choice but to let him give away my deepest darkest secret, one that only he knows.  

All four of them are now standing silently staring at my legs, in painful disbelief.   I just want a large hole to open up in the floor to swallow me whole, because like Atlas said, I am ashamed and embarrassed that they now know what he does to me and what I have done to myself.

 "Hell Saff!!"  Slate mumbles  "Mate!!  You should have told me and Bay what was going on, we were your best mates, you know we would have helped you!!  Is that why you just totally ditched us when you went to Sugar Falls?"

"I didn't have a choice.  He smashed up my phone when he took me to Sugar Falls so I couldn't contact anyone, especially Bay and my brothers and sisters.  He didn't want anyone to know I am gay."

The scars on my legs are pretty bad in places, and it is not like they are easily missed, there are so many.  I have always told people who have questioned me about the scars in the past that I was climbing and fell through a glass roof when I was a child, of course that is far from the truth!!  Not even Sulfur knew the truth, nobody but me and my razor blade knew what I was doing to myself, and Atlas is the only person that I have ever been able to admitted it too. 

I struggled emotionally when my parents first sent me to Sugar Falls and tore me away from my life, family and friends.  I hated being separated from them, especially my brothers and sister and being dumped with Grandparents that I had only ever seen a few times during my life up until then.  Grandparents who were not very amused with their eight Grandchildren because of us being mixed berry's.  What I hated more were Dads twice weekly visits, which were hours, sometimes whole days of beatings and mental abuse.  I felt very alone, worthless and unloved.

For a while, in the early years, my Dad used to make me totally hate myself and especially for being gay.   I believed I deserved what was happening to me, all of this was my own fault.  I started to fall for the crap that he was preaching and trying to brainwash me with, but of course I am gay and there wasn't a damn thing I could do to change it, even if I wanted to.  I shut myself off, became numb, and the only time I could feel anything was the pain that I felt when he hit me.  So I went into self destruct mode and started inflict pain on myself, because the pain was the only thing that felt real.  I was slashing up my legs using a razor blade, it almost became an addiction, and in an odd way it was the only time that I was happy or felt in control of my life.

The self harming went on for years until I met Butter at college, who helped me mentally more than he even realized and showed me it was perfectly okay to be me and gay and that my Dad was talking a total load of crap!!  His family were very accepting of him being gay.  I never told Butter the truth, I always had excuses for the new cuts that appeared on my legs, but I think deep down he knew.  The cuts became less and less until I managed to stop completely, probably because I was a lot happier in my mind.

Butter moved away with his parents because his Father was relocated with his job.  Him leaving and moving away nearly destroyed me and I think I would have started to hurt myself again regularly, but I found a better way to do it, I replaced the blade with the gym.  I found another way to continue to hurt myself that did not leave tell tale scars.  

I am not an athletic person, and if truth be told I hate any form of physical exercise.  I don't enjoy doing it one little bit, so I have to force myself, which is part of the pain, and I started working out and pushing my body painfully beyond it's capabilities, until I was in totally agony from over doing it.  Not only did it give me a way to feel pain and vent out my anger and frustration but it helped me to build myself up so that I could fight back.  The physical blows that Dad delivered did not hurt so much and I could hit back and hurt him as much as he was hurting me.

"Atlas is right Saffron!!  Hiding it lets him off the hook and he needs to be stopped, and not just for your sake!!  I have a self destruction friend too, mine is alcohol so I understand how hard this is for you to live with, and how easily you can be drawn back into it.Granite is staring down at my ankles as he speaks.  I think he knows, he is far from stupid!!  He looks up at my face then and smiles  "You do not have to tell everyone or even anyone else about the self harming if it upsets you, and we can keep this between ourselves and it never needs to leave this room, if it makes you feel more comfortable.  However, you can not hide his abuse from your brothers and sister, for their children's sake"  Granite smiles at me again  "They need to be warned!!  It only takes one of them to be gay, and the berry hole could do to them what he has done to you!!"   

"Saffron you shouldn't feel embarrassed or ashamed."  Forrest says as soon as Granite has stops talking.  "You were just a kid, you should never have had to suffer his sick twisted abuse, then or now!!  I'm just sorry you have had to go through it at all!!"  Forrest starts to look upset, which surprises me.  "You should have told one of us, someone close who would have stopped it!!  I definitely would have done!!  Mango too, he would never have stood back and let that carry on if he had known!!"

"I was too scared to tell anyone ..."  I mumble   "I never knew how anyone would take it, especially me being gay, and I worried it would have dragged Bay into it and he would end up getting the same too.  We were scared at the time, we expected Alpine to take Bay being gay, even worse than my Dad did!!"

"Hell Saff!!  Don't make me feel guilty for you keeping your mouth shut!!"  Bay mumbles  "I would rather you grassed me up than you having to go through that!!"

"Don't stress Bay, I was too ashamed to tell anyone anyway, and because my Mother and Grandparents were turning a blind eye to what he was doing, I didn't think anyone would be bothered or even care about me and what I was going through."

"You need to pack your bags and get out of there.  That man has taken being homophobic way too far and it is never going to stop while you are living under his roof!!"  Forrest smiles at me  "You can move in here until you get yourself sorted out!  I doubt Atlas will mind you sharing his bed, seeing as you already have been on the sly!"   

Forrest laughs as he smirks at Atlas then raises an eyebrow at him, Atlas just sticks his tongue out at Forrest then they both start laughing.

"I've got half a mind to go and find that slimy yellow berry hole and knock his head off!!  It is about time he got some of his own abuse back, we've all had to take it off him in one way or another!!"  Granite snaps angrily suddenly  "I have only been back in town five minutes and I've already had a few serious run in's with the twat, accusing me and Forrest of corrupting the town and running a 'house of sin', a brothel for faggots he called it!!"  he laughs sarcastically  "If it was not for Mango stepping in and taking the punch for me, he probably would have faded me!  The berry hole actually swung for me, while I was still recovering in the hospital, when I had him over pedaling his anti gay crap at Slate and Bay!!  Now I see why he seems to have it in for Bay in particular!!"  Granite snaps, I can see he is starting to get angry and worked up.  "It won't be just his ears that are left stinging, by the time I've finished with him!!"

"No Gran!!"  Forrest snaps at him  "You will just be stooping to his level if you go hitting him and do I really need to remind you about your liver and kidney!!  You promised Bay's parent's you would take good care of Cin's liver!!"  he tuts at Granite and I see Granites face drop, like he is automatically backing down. "You can't afford to go fighting with the berry hole if you are going to get blows to the stomach like Saffron has obviously had!!"

"You can't go saying anything to him either, well not just yet anyway!!"  Atlas buts in which has Granite frowns at him.  "You telling Sunny that you know Saffron is gay, it will just have him laying into Saffy even more.  Sunny is making Saff keep it a secret in Sugar Valley remember, he is not in the closet by choise!!"

"Yeah Atlas is right!!  He is terrified of my brothers and sisters finding out especially, not only because they will see just how much of a lying berry hole he is making out I am straight, but because he thinks I am going to tempt them and corrupt them into my filth!!

"We have all been accused of that mate!!  I bet you wouldn't know, Bay corrupted Storm and Slate according to the berry hole!?"  Granite starts laughing sarcastically which turns into hysterics  "I swear the twat actually believes that being gay is contagious and Slate has caught it because he has to live here with us!!!!"

"Wait until Crimson finds out what Sunny has been up to and what he drove Saffy to do to himself.  I doubt he will take it lightly, hopefully he will arrest the berry hole!!"  Atlas laughs  "We will get our day with that twat!!  Saffron just needs to have his day first and it is already planned for next week!!"  

Our conversation had gone on for a lot longer than any of us realized.  I go back into the bedroom when Forrest and Bay started to run around like headless chickens because they were getting late for work.  Atlas says that he needs the toilet, but as I am closing the bedroom door I notice Granite pull him to one side and starts talking to him quietly.

Well I never expected any of that when I stepped out of the bedroom to show myself.

I throw myself on the bed and I find myself suddenly starting to get upset.  In some strange way, even though I am embarrassed about my secrets being out, I think Atlas has actually done me a favour forcing the issue.  I feel a great sense of relief suddenly, like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.   It is now finally out in the open, and I don't have to hide or carry it around with me anymore, and the way that they all reacted to it totally surprised me ... they seem to understand which I never expected.

I have always felt very weak and pathetic, for letting my Dad physically and mentally abuse me like he did and still tries to do.  So weak and pathetic I hated myself enough to hurt myself, like I was punishing myself, not only for what he was doing and saying, but for being gay which was the cause of it happening.  I always thought that if anyone found out, especially about the self harming, that I would be laughed at and ridiculed for it, they would blame me and even say it was my own fault.  I never expected sympathy!!

After closing the door, Atlas walks over to the bed just in time to see all the tears that were stinging and welling up in my eyes start to overflow.  He sees the tears starting to roll quickly down my face, and dives onto the bed and puts his arms round me.

Atlas just stares down at me and tries to wipe the tears off my face and kisses me before he says anything.

"Saff ... how long has it been ... since you last cut yourself?"  Atlas asks quietly and awkwardly.  

I just stare back at Atlas quietly for a moment.  I think I already know why he is asking me this question.  I just knew I would not get away with it!!  Granites beady eyes probably clocked it straight away.  He was staring right at my ankles when he said - he understands how easily you can be drawn back into it.  He saw it but had the decency not to bring it up in front of everyone, which I am very thankful for!!   I think I would seriously have curled up with embarrassment and shame if I had had to stand and admit the final part to everyone. 

"Granite ... he noticed didn't he?"  I mumble quietly as I try to look away, I now can't even make eye contact with him.  "He's a doctor, I guessed he might."

"Yeah ... he thinks ... some of those cuts are fairly fresh, the one's by your ankles ... he thinks you might still be doing it."  he mumbles quietly again almost like he is a little scared to talk about this subject, in case it upsets me any more.  I just close my eyes.

"They are."  I whisper quietly without looking at him  "I am."

"Oh Saff!!  You said you stopped doing it years ago."  he frowns at me 

"I ... I did stop!!"  I stare at him  "I started again when he ... dragged me back here!"

I start to crack up.

Atlas just holds me while I cry myself out.

Song = Iris - Goo Goo Dolls


  1. The more I learn about Sunny the more I really really do not like him. He's worse then Lime IMO because he puts on this appearance of being a loving caring father when all the time he's mentally and physically abusing his own kids. No wonder his kids are messed up. He doesn't have to like the fact his son is gay but it doesn't give him the right to beat him up for it. I'm glad Saffron finally told someone even though it was Atlas forcing him into it. Now hopefully he'll be able to get the help he needs and get away from Sunny. Hmm Sunny needs some pay back coming to him....

    1. Yeah Sunny's true colours are slowly starting to appear. :/