Love and Family

“Jackson where are you?” Tori said as she wandered through the hallway.  She opens the closet door and says “Guess you’re not in the closet. Are you … under the table. Nope. Behind the blinds…. nope. You must be close, it’s like I can feel you watching me.” “BOO! Did I scare you mommy?” Asked Jackson as he came out from behind the couch with lacy underwear on his head. “Where did you get this?” “It was under the couch. You look sad mommy, did I do something wrong?” “You didn’t, but your father did.”

 “Hi Mr and Mrs Stephens, please take a seat.  How are you today?” 

“Horrible.” Tori responds “Evidently he still doesn’t respect me since he’s still cheating but now he’s doing it in our house.” “Mike is that true?” Dr.James asks. “ Look Doc, I know I’ve been messing up but I swear I’m done this time. The last girl I was with, the one I brought into the house, taught me my lesson.” “Sooo you being married isn’t what stopped you. A woman doing you wrong is what stopped you?” Tori asked, clearly irritated. “That’s not what I meant, she was too invested, it’s like she wanted to be my wife or something and now I realize that what I’m doing is wrong.” “You’re just realizing that now! We’ve been in counseling for months. You have changed, the man I married was sensitive to my feelings. You aren’t him.” “Baby look at me, I’m that man, same dark black wavy hair, same thick beard, same ocean blue eyes you love. I’m the same man. I‘ve been struggling lately, but I still love you and I am ready to commit to this marriage.” Dr.James’ phone rings. “That’s good Mike, Tori I really do think he is coming around and that you should talk some more, sadly I am going to have to cut this session short because I have to go.” They all get up. Mike exits first to get the car started, then Tori walks through the door but something wet catches her hand. James grabs her hand and says “If you ever want to talk privately I am available. Oh and tell  Jackson I said “Hi” when he gets home from school.” “Thank you Doc.” 

 “I really do mean it Tori. I am committed to us now.” “That girl must have had you really scared.” Tori says. “No, she was just weird but I’m serious. I promise I won’t hurt you anymore. I love you.” Tori stares out the window silently. Then she asks “What’s your girlfriends name?”  “What, who cares?” “Dammit, just tell me her name Mike.” “Fine, Chelsey.” “That’s a stupid name. What is she in her twenties?” “Late twenties but yea.”  “That explains why she was invested. She was ready to settle down, it’s dumb of her  to think she could do that with a married man but I get it.” Tori says to Mike and herself.

“You order something?” Mike asks Tori as they arrive at their front door.  “No.” A note on the box reads “you’re a liar and a cheater.” Tori peers over Mike’s shoulder, reads it, and laughs “I guess I’m not the only one who knows, it’s probably from Chelsey.” They open the door and realize the power is out. The sun is setting so there is still some light shining through. “Did you pay the bill?” “Of course Tori. I’ll check the panel downstairs.” Tori opens the closet to put her coat away and notices black bumps in the darkness. “Must be mold.” She thinks to herself. She clicks the light on and screams. A note reads “BOO, did I scare you mommy?” Half of Jackson’s face is red, his blood vessels showing and a small piece of his skin still hanging on although it’s dripping with blood while the other half has been burned and charred. Tori backs away slowly and trips over the box Mike brought in. Tears flood her face from the pain in her heart  and fear in her head but she opens it in hopes of finding out who did this. She sees the rest of Jackson’s face, peeled off, and immediately shuts the box. She grabs her phone and calls 911 just as Mike comes back upstairs. He stares at her in the dark with his piercing blue eyes, although they don’t have the glimmer they usually do and asks “What’s wrong love?” Tori stutters, she can’t even form a sentence. She falls to her knees and says “your crazy girlfriend. She-she ki-” Tori looks up at Mike whose beard is missing. She jumps back and uses her phone’s flashlight. She screams and gets up to run to the door. Dr. James blocks the door and says “I know I don’t have the beard yet but I can grow it out. I changed my hair for you. I even put in blue contacts. “You- You did this?” “Yes, but only so we can be together, last week I remember how you said Jackson was stressing you out and Mike wasn’t treating you right but I will, and I know I’m not your type but I can get ther-.” You could never be him, stay away from me!” Tori runs toward the back door but suddenly loses consciousness. She wakes up in her basement with a massive headache and is tied to a chair. Mike’s faceless body lay on the ground. She screams for help. A child with half of Jackson’s face  glued on to his walks into the basement and says “She’s awake daddy.” “Thanks Jackson, I wanted to show you how we can have a perfect life. A life with no cheating and no annoying children. This Jackson listens and-” “That’s not Jackson.” Tori whimpers while she stares at the floor. “Well it is now, and we can finally be a family.”  Tori looks up and notices Mike’s face perfectly sewn onto the face of Dr. James.

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