George stood over June’s body, looking down. He was still angry, and still wanted to hurt her but the kid had gone and called the police; it was time to leave if he ever intended to get out. The evening darkness would hide their escape. It would be hard to get Geoffrey to go, but there really was no choice was there? Already Geoffrey was holding his head and rocking back and forth, like he had done as a child. Now there’s a blast from the past, thought George. There was a time when Geoffrey had been very familiar with that position.
He remembered the first time he had rescued Geoffrey. George had already been in there a while when she threw Geoffrey in the closet – kicking and screaming and crying uncontrollably. He screamed until he was hoarse and then just sat on the floor, holding his head and rocking. Back and forth. Back and forth. George had waited until Geoffrey was quiet before speaking to him.
“Hey,” he whispered.
Geoffrey heard the voice in the pitch dark and startled, tried to scream. His voice, dry and scratched from yelling wouldn’t do any more than squeak. He froze, trying to hold his breath so that he could hear.
“I said, hey.” George whispered. “What‘s the matter with you?”
Geoffrey heard him again. It was George. He was mean and Geoffrey didn’t like him much, but you can‘t pick your own brother. Geoffrey started sniffling again but the bigger boy cut him off. “Oh no you don’t, if you start screaming again she’ll come back and we‘ll get another beating.”
Geoffrey squeezed out a few more tears and wiped his nose on the back of his hand.
“What?” He asked.
“What do you mean, what?” Asked George.
“What do you want?” Geoffrey asked, voice scratchy.
“I don’t want anything.” George said angrily. “All I said was hey.”
Geoffrey thought about that for a moment.
“Hey,” he said.
“What?” Said George.
“Oh shut up stupid!” George said back. Geoffrey sat up a little straighter.
“Am not!” Geoffrey raised his voice. George needed to calm him down or they would never get out of here.
“Okay okay, I’m sorry, okay?” George said. “You’re not stupid.”
With all of their back and forth they almost missed the lock turning. Both boys froze, eyes open wide as they stared at the door. For several minutes nothing happened. Geoffrey trembled and finally reached for the door knob.
“No. She’s waiting for us to come out,” George whispered. They listened intently and could hear nothing but the Skipper yelling at Gilligan at the top of his lungs from the living room.
“We gotta go. If she thinks we fell asleep she’ll lock the door back and we gotta spend the night in here.” Geoffrey said. He had been there before too. He had awakened to the pitch dark, in absolute terror. She had not let him out until the morning. “What if she’s out there, waiting?” he asked, scared.
“Well, normal for you.” George sneered. ” Act like you were just hanging up your coat and you’re glad to see her.”
“What are you going to do?” Geoffrey asked.
“I’m going to stay in here,” George replied, pushing Geoffrey out the door.
Geoffrey stepped out, closing the door quietly behind him. He raised his eyes, looking left and right. Mama was not there. In his stocking feet he slipped behind the couch in the living room, her great body reclined on it, head resting on a throw pillow. She was asleep. Geoffrey stood and watched her, trembling. He loved her. He hated it when she acted that way. He only wanted to please her.
George now squatted in front of Geoffrey, snapping his fingers.
“Okay man, we gotta go.”
Geoffrey rocked on, oblivious.
“Geoffrey. We have to leave. The police are going to come and lock you up man. They’re gonna think you did it.” That caught Geoffrey’s attention.
“I didn’t do it George, I gotta tell them!” But George pushed Geoffrey against the wall.
“You ain’t gonna tell them nothing, cause they aren’t going to believe some whiney baby little boy who can’t even talk on the phone right!” He grabbed Geoffrey by the collar and dragged him to the back door. Geoffrey stumbled going down the steps, but he gained control and righted himself, managing to get back to the car without falling.
“Drive!” George instructed. “Now!” Geoffrey looked at the house as he backed out, and the mailbox with his last name on it, “Addison.“ Somehow he knew it was the last time he would ever see it. He turned slowly out of the driveway and stopped in the road. George slammed the car into drive, then pushed his hand down on Geoffrey’s knee, jamming his foot against the gas pedal. Holding on crazily, Geoffrey barely turned the wheel in time to avoid knocking down the trash cans by the road. They peeled out of the gravel driveway, peppering the mailbox with gravel and sand.
“Don’t put the lights on yet.” George instructed. They reached the end of the road and turned north, while a mile back, at the southern entrance to the road George could see several police cars running hard, lights flashing and sirens screaming.
“Keep going Geoffrey, don‘t use the brakes.”
“Where are we going George?” Geoffrey asked.
“I’ll know when we get there, okay?” George didn’t like being questioned. He kept looking behind them, and finally, satisfied that they weren’t being followed, instructed Geoffrey to get on the highway. They headed north.