The Bullet List (The Saving Bailey Trilogy, #1)

The Bullet List (The Saving Bailey Trilogy, #1) by Nikki Roman Read Free Book Online

Book: The Bullet List (The Saving Bailey Trilogy, #1) by Nikki Roman Read Free Book Online
Authors: Nikki Roman
aren’t just a skeleton, wrapped in a casing of skin. Jack had feelings; he had a little girl like me, and a wife and two boys. Dad didn’t care to know this while he repeatedly pulled back his fist like a slingshot, slamming it again and again into Jack’s head.
    Apart from a few random grunts of protests, and obscenities passed between them, the fight was silent. The punching stopped and the world seemed to be holding its breath right along with me.
    Jack lay lifeless, his head resting on a speed bump, underneath the orange glow of a lamp-post. My dad walked over to me and bent down on one knee. He was covered in blood, his shirt tattered and tears running down his face. He plopped me on to his lap and whispered, “I killed him.”
    I didn’t understand the full impact of his words, I was just happy he was alive.
    “It was an accident,” he sobbed. “I did it for you angel cake. I did it for you.”
    Mom says I could never have been able to remember the incident in such vivid detail; she believes I made up the conversation between Dad and I. I wish it was make-believe . Sometimes I press my hands firmly against my temples trying to extinguish the memory, but it won’t leave me.

Chapter 6

    I lift up a potted plant outside the apartment door and retrieve the key. I unlock the door and step inside cautiously, a quick scan of the apartment suggests that Mom isn’t home. First thing I do is throw open the cabinets to see if she has kept her promise. Sure enough, the bottles are gone.
    I go to the bathroom to inspect the damage done by the school day. I pull my shirt over my head and prod a long bruise below my ribcage. I am wincing in pain, and trying to bend to see if my ribs are broken, when Mom walks in the doorway.
    “Where the hell did you come from?” I ask.
    “I just got home from work, didn’t you hear me come in the door?” she says.
    “No…” I say. Work? In the early afternoon? I can smell the alcohol on her breath when she speaks.
    Mom runs her hand over my bruise.
    “A girl kicked me in the stomach,” I say.
    “You told the principal right? Your teacher? Or somebody?” Mom asks. I get another whiff of musty liquor, and cigarette veiled breath. I think about calling her out for drinking, and not being at work, but I still feel bad for the trouble I caused yesterday.
    “Mhm,” I say.
    “You’re lying,” she says.
    “I’m too scared to, she would kill me if I told someone,” I say.
    “That’s serious, Bailey. She could have really hurt you, and she may have,” Mom says, taking a severe tone with me.
    I pull my shirt back on. “I’m alright Mom, just a little cat fight. You know how teenage girls are,” I say. Then to change to topic I say, “Enough about me. Yesterday was your birthday and I didn’t even tell you happy birthday. I was downright awful.” And in a quieter voice I say, “I ruined it. I’m sorry.”
    She squints at me like she is focusing a camera. “ I ruined it with my sour attitude,” she says. “I drank a bottle of vodka when I could have spent the night with my beautiful daughter, and then I proceeded to strike you down for reprimanding my reckless drinking. You didn’t ruin my birthday.” She smiles, though it seems out of place on her weary face.
    I open my mouth to say something but she cuts me off. “I’m sorry about last night, maybe we can just forget about it and move on,” she says.
    You mean forget about it the same way you forgot I saw my father kill a man at the tender age of five? Move on, as in sweep it under the doormat, but never deal with it properly?
    I smile a fake smile, and say, “Yeah let’s do that.”
    “Great, I’m going to cook spaghetti for dinner, I hope you are hungry,” she says cheerfully.
    Once Mom has left me alone, I close the bathroom door with my foot, and take a good long look into the mirror. What is it that makes everyone hate me? I ask myself, searching for the answer in my reflection. Is it my dark, misty

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