"Irritated by me? Then live like me. Think you can walk in my shoes? Look at me now, I’m your complex, bitch"
Oil splatters on my cheeks, red marks from irritated skin forming haphazard freckles upon their apples and as much as it hurts I can't keep my eyes from the meat sizzling at the pan's center. I don't know how to cook. There are burns upon the insides of my palms from a thousand different tries and I know that if I look away the meat will turn to crusted black scraps again.
And I swear to god I noticed the fire alarm going off before my father wrapped his arms around me, sweeping me off of my feet and cradling me against his chest. He might be angry- its hard to tell with that big red cherry sat at the tip of his nose and those eyes that wrinkle when he smiles too big.
My first breaths were taken on an alabaster couch, stained with my mother's blood in some studio apartment in some posh city. Dad doesn't like to talk about my mother, nor about how I killed her. They were both sixteen, alone and scared and left without help the five minutes she took to holding me. I don't remember it but Dad says she never looked happier.
As much as I call bullshit on the story of my dying mother not blaming the child that quite literally tore her apart- I can appreciate the sentiment. My father has always protected me from unpleasant truths with lies that sting all the more. He tries, so I cannot be angry with him. Not when he's become such an anxious man, arms still locked around me as he goes about cleaning whatever mess I had made.
"Big guy, come on now." His voice is shaking, eyes anywhere but upon me once our embrace ends and I am left cold and alone on the foot of his bed. "You can't just set the kitchen on fire at 3am, not on nights when I have work in the morning."
But my father always has work in the morning. Always dressed in a suit with whatever tie I had decided to buy for him whatever fathers day happened to have come last. It's far too easy to forget things like times and dates, whens and wheres and whos and hows. There are more important things to do than to worry about whatever happened before. Before was before, after all.
"I was hungry." Arms crossed, pout placed upon my lips in a way that I know he cannot stand- its easy to get my way with father. "Maybe you could make me some instead~" He jumps when I hug him, fingers running through tangled hair and catching gently on knots easily a week old.
"Anything for you, Achilles." He smiles and kisses the top of my head.
So we had bacon and eggs at 4am, it was always like that.
Until it wasn't. Until my father's touch became a thing of memory and no matter when I snuck into his office he was buried within papers and rich businessmen. He had the time for me, I would often catch him sitting in his room and staring at nothing- pen tracing meaningless lines upon blank paper, but he simply chose to spend it elsewhere. To push me away.
So I cried when he finally threw me out. I don't think I ever cried before and I don't know if I'll ever cry again. Smiles were bandaids, forced across my wounds before anyone managed to catch sight of them. But I cried the first night, alone. I kept crying when the little boy came- with the stitches across his mouth and the eyes made from frosted marbles. I cried and begged him to call my dad. To bring him back.
I didn't want to live without him and instead I never saw with him again. He left me alone when I was thirteen, stranded in an apartment across the capitol with a stranger that could offer me no more than icy stares.
Dad always loved avox, I could talk to them by the time I was five- able to read their hands as well as a human's tongue. They would stay in our house sometime- small and scared and father would always dote upon them. Especially the little ones with the sewn mouths- the children he filtered in and out of my room for years on end. It's why I wasn't surprised to find one in the sanctuary he had handcrafted for me.
A sanctuary that left me absolutely fucking miserable. I was foolish to think that I was any different from them. That my father cared any more for me than the avox he treated as people and objects all the same. Pretending he knew what was best for us all when really he was only doing what was best for him.
I got groceries every week. Delivered right to my doorstep and filled to the brim with my favorite sweets and treats. That changed over time, but the groceries never did. My father didn't take the time to get to know the man his son grew into- by himself. Raised by his own hands and that of a small thing with sewn lips.
My father didn't think avox were any different than people, but he thought himself above them all. A millionaire businessman with a railroad buried so far underground that he pissed off the people already living there. I didn't know that until later, when I turned seventeen and they handed me his will and testament- for my eyes only.
It was murder, everyone knows it was. Poison through his veins and a casket buried under the guise of natural causes. They didn't let me see his body for that very reason and so the last words I said to my father were angry and cruel and spit with confusion. I hate you, why are you doing this to me?
My father was a good man. He really was. Dedicated to freeing slaves and willing to throw his family under the bus for the sake of those that cannot help themselves. Most of the Capitol's underground is filled with hatred, with greed and money and my father was an angel. Creating a network that would long survive him and me and even the children I will never have.
In deciding to carry this burden by himself, he damned his son too. Perhaps I should have been named Atlas and not Achilles, as his death placed the weight of the world upon my shoulders. Damned be the consequences he shouted, transferring millions of dollars into my bank account and destroying the freedom he had been so intent upon crafting for me.
What happened to protecting his son? Instead he leaves me with a tattered letter, stained with his tears and nothing else because in the end he was alone. Without me, without mom, without the avox he saved to keep him company. I hope he was at least happy, in the end.
Because I'm not.
I've no one but Thesis and part of me wonders if that is the way father wanted it. Perhaps he thought if my only companion was a man who could not speak it would hurt less when I had to let them go, give them away as my father had me.
And Thesis is cold, in eyes and lips, even his touches were that of a fawn's for the longest time. I haven't any idea what they did to my Thesis before he came to me, no matter how many times I ask I am met with nothing but more questions. It doesn't matter. All of six months after I had moved in, my heart had somehow found its way into his grasp. Cold and scared, but beautiful. Like a rabbit caught in winter's first snow.
I was damned from the moment I was born. Meant to break as many hearts as he.
And I guess it starts with the only man I have ever loved.