The Life of Dylan Mackenzie
a fictional short story written in the style of a journal
My eyes stared down at the number that popped up on the little scale I was standing on praying that it would just jump down about one hundred pounds. A gloomy feeling washed over me as I stepped off. Whatever. I don’t care. Why should I care about a stupid number? I felt my body lift up as I got back up on that scale once more. A huge sigh of disappointment flushed over me as the numbers 273 jumped back up onto the small screen just sitting slightly above my toes. “Please go down,” I found myself whispering to the scale as if it’ll respond back.
I stepped off the scale and left the bathroom without giving it another glance. Who needs to be less than 200 pounds anyway? I still made a fantastic player on my school’s softball team; just ask any of my teammates.
“Dylan,” My mother called from downstairs, “Come get some breakfast before you head to school!” I let out a long sigh as I threw the bag I had slung over my bedroom door knob and headed down the stairs.
“Rise and shine young lady,” Mom said with a smile plastered across her face.
“Hey buttbrain.” said my crummy older brother as he ruffled up my hair, “I have a present for you.”
“If it’s another wet willy, you can keep it Jonnie.” I replied, walking up to the kitchen island, “Good morning mom.”
“No,” He chuckled as he handed over a small wrapped box with a bow on it, “Happy birthday.”
“My birthday was three months ago.. and people say you’re the smarter one.”
“Obviously I knew it wasn’t actually your birthday,” He nudged the gift towards me, “Just open it.”
Keeping a strong glare on Jonnie, I grabbed the present and studied the wrapping paper that covered the mystery item inside. Printed on the plain white paper were blue and green balloons and the word ‘celebration’ in a red color. My fingers ran across the paper as I tried to predict what could be hidden inside. A boring book? A box of chocolates? Knowing Jonnie, he could’ve just handed me an empty box and as soon as I opened it he’ll be holding a video camera up to my face as he yelled out ‘Pranked!’.
“Aren’t you going to open it up?” Mom asked. I peered up to catch her sip a bit of her morning coffee before glancing back down at the small present I held in my hands. I took one last look over at my brother, making sure he wasn’t trying to sneak out his phone, before slipping my finger into the folded tab on the edge as the corner popped upward. Using my finger, I dragged the tip down the rest of the paper only to reveal the cover of a book, with a flying baseball printed on it and the words ‘fly away with me’ written below it, laid out in front of me. It had to be the cheesiest thing I have ever seen in my life.
“It’s a.. what is this?” I asked, looking up at Jonnie who was smiling like a doofus from ear to ear.
“It’s a journal. So now you can write about your life inside of it so that those of the future will be able to see that you, Dylan Mackenzie, were not just some boring, simple human living on this boring, simple sphere.”
“That’s stupid.” I sighed. “Who on Earth would want to read about the crap that is my life, anyway?”
“I think it’s cute.” Mom responded. Of course she would.
“C’mon Dylan,” Jonnie placed his hand on my shoulder, “You can write about your softball journey so that when you’re playing the big leagues, you can look back at where you came from and see how far you’ve come.”
“Maybe I don’t want to write about softball,” I shrugged, “What if I just wanted to play ball, have fun, and let what's to come for me in the future just be a huge surprise?”
“Then don’t write about softball, Dylan. Write about something else. Just use it as your own personal, creative space.” Mom explained.
“Exactly. Nobody is putting a gun to your head and demanding that you have to write about softball and only softball.” Jonnie replied back, “Hell. You can just throw it in the back of your closet and let it collect dust if you truly didn't want to write inside it.”
I smirked back but something told me I wasn’t going to allow myself to just let this thing collect dust. “I’m sure I’ll think of something to write in here.” I stood up, “Now I have to get to school. I can’t be late.”
“You haven’t even had breakfast yet.” Mom put down her cup of coffee and went to grab me a plate of fluffy eggs and crispy bacon but I stopped her.
“I’ll just get some food at school.”
“You sure?” She asked and I let off a small nod before grabbing my backpack strap that hung over my shoulder before leaving the house. I’ll just deal with what I could write about in the journal later, but first I have to worry about getting to school without being late.
School was okay. I mean, the only thing that happens in school that I actually like is probably softball practice. Well, I do love my best friend, Maxine. I tend to just call her Max for short.. it’s always been easier. I don’t know what I would do without her. I’ve known her since 2nd grade, so it’s probably pretty accurate to say that I don’t know what I would ever do without her. It is only our junior year of high school so who knows what could happen in the future but for nine years we were basically inseparable. Even our parents couldn’t keep us apart when we were kids. So I guess I can’t say that softball is the only reason why I like school. Max is also there as well to keep me awake when all I want to do is go home, crawl into my bed, and pass out for the next five hours.
Jonnie and mom did tell me that I should write about my softball journey in this book, so I guess I owe you that much journal. I had softball practice today, as I do every Thursday after school, which is why I came home so late (coach wanted the team to stay late to get an extra warm up in before the big game on Saturday) and, as always, I didn’t suck. Coach Evans always likes to say how proud he was when I finally decided to tryout to be on the team because, here’s a shocker, I used to think I would never be good enough to make the team. It might be hard for you to understand journal because, well you’re an inanimate object, but I am kind of awkward when it comes to being out in public. I used to dread playing any form of softball games because it meant that I had to be out in front of a whole crowd of people just staring back at me but now I just embrace every part of it. I love hearing the crowd chant my teams name as we score the winning homerun or as we score a grandslam. Don’t tell Jonnie this but I kind of hope that I do make it to the big leagues one day.
What else can I say in this thing? I guess that’s really it.
I’m back. I know you’re an inanimate object but I bet even you would roll your eyes if you had them seeing me pick up this thing. I wasn’t planning on writing in this journal anymore for tonight but I just felt the need to get some thoughts out and writing them on paper in the privacy of my bedroom seemed like the best place to do it.
This story is about a young woman who was just thirty eight years of age with two beautiful children who she just wanted to give all that she possibly could. Giving birth to an attractive little boy at only seventeen years old wasn’t even the start of her pain. To understand how this woman got in the mess she was in today, you have to find out the messes she had already gotten herself into. You see, this woman had to start carrying her pain on her shoulders when she was just twelve years old, when her mother met who was soon to be the woman's stepfather. Her wicked stepfather at that. According to her mother, she met the most exceptional man she has ever met and she would do anything for him to stay with her for eternity, and by anything she meant absolutely anything. Including giving up her daughters innocence to this man simply because he thought that the mother had been "too old for his taste. He wanted someone pure.. someone new. The fact that a mother would just give up her daughter’s purity for her own selfish reasons is beyond me, but this mother did exactly that, and this young lady was the victim for those selfish acts that was to come from the brains and logic of her mother and that exceptional man. For years, she still wasn’t able to take that one night out of her mind. Even today, at thirty eight years old, she still cannot forget that one night in her twelve year old bedroom.
Flash forward to when she turned fifteen; the year the wicked stepfather finally left her mother. The year she thought that she was finally free. But of course, she was wrong. Her mother constantly blamed this young woman for being the reason that the man of her dreams had left her. For an entire year, her mother refused to acknowledge that this young lady was her daughter. For an entire year, the mother had only two daughters at the young age of eight and four. This turn of events had caused the young woman to go out and search for a job, which obviously was close to impossible considering her young age, so that she would actually be able to take care of herself since her mother refused. But finally, after a couple months of struggling to fend for herself, she managed to get her first job stocking shelves at a local convenience store. Of course that wouldn’t be the end of the suffering for this young woman. Since her mother refused to acknowledge this girl was her daughter, she would constantly charge men to sleep with her just so she can have the money to take care of the other two children in the house. But if this young woman had even tried to refuse to consent to this wicked plan her mother had conjured up, her mother would just threaten to kick her out on the streets. Now journal, I know you may ask why she didn’t just take her mother up on her offer to kick her out onto the streets.. would you agree to this at just fifteen years old? She was afraid. Terrified, even. She was trying to figure out how she could make it up to her mother so that she’ll call her daughter once again, which led to her giving in to her mother's disgusting plan every night. You see, this young lady just wanted to please her mother once again. She just needed to see her mother be proud of something that she's done once again, even if that meant having to give up every ounce of power she thought she had.
That never lasted though. By the time she was seventeen, her mother began dating this drunk who refused to allow other men come into the house to do something that he could do himself, and this was how this fine young lady met the father of her first child. Of course, she never planned for that to happen. She didn’t even like this man. He was an angry drunk who only saw her mother as a punching bag rather than an actual human being. But anytime this young woman would try and defend her mother, she became the victim- on both accounts. The man would just use her instead of her mother, while her mother would just tell her to stop meddling in her relationship like she's done "multiple times" in their past. She never was able to stop, though. She kept pushing. She kept fighting. She couldn’t just sit back and watch as her mother got beaten down. She wouldn’t allow it.
One day, when her mother was weakened to the point where she couldn’t even sit up without feeling pain from the strikes, this young woman managed to find the courage to tell this drunk what was what. She walked straight up to this man and threw a punch towards his cheek only for him to grab her wrist. His next words she remembered very vividly. ‘You shouldn’t have done that.” That was the day. He slapped her so hard that her knees buckled as she fell to the ground, only for him to drag her to the bedroom he shared with her mom. She was screaming for him to let go but he didn’t listen. Of course he wouldn’t listen. She began to beg for him to let go. She began to apologize for what she had done. But nothing was going to stop him from doing what he was planning on doing. He picked up this young lady and threw her onto the bed before he began to unbutton her jeans. This young woman started to beg and plead as she tried to fight his hands but he was much stronger than she was. He leaned over the bed to grab a shoe off the floor and held it against her head. “I’ll hit you,” he would say, “Don’t you dare test me because I will not hesitate to smack you upside your pretty little head.” That was the last thing that sweet young lady remembered from that night.
Those next nine months were exceptionally dreadful as her mother constantly called her a slut for sleeping with her man and that mean old drunk would constantly tell her how foolish it was of her to not get an abortion when she had the chance. This young woman would constantly fear for her younger sisters lives’ while also considering just walking out so that her baby boy wouldn’t be living under the same roof as the person who hated her most. But all those struggles would come to what she hoped was an end when she met what seemed like the perfect man. Now, it could’ve just been her telling herself she needed to get out being eight months pregnant at this point, but in the time being she did fully believe that she found her escape out of that house. Maybe she would’ve found the perfect man if she kept looking, but she was too busy looking for a way out to pay full attention to the men she met. This one in particular would beat her black and blue every single day for five years, only to abandon her with a five year old and a baby on the way for another woman.
Mom would always tell me that I was lucky enough that I never got to meet my father whenever I asked about him, and Jonnie was too young to remember much about who he was as a person to tell me more about him.
Why am I telling you all of this to you, journal? Well, that is simply because if you didn’t know this story, you wouldn’t understand the story that was to come.
Mom spent her whole life trying to find the perfect father for us but was never successful. Growing up, I’ve seen a variety of men; from drunks, to one nighters, to abusive pieces of shits. I never really thought much of it. Usually Jonnie always tried to lock me in his room with him whenever he thought that someone unsafe was about to walk through the front door. I’ve grown accustomed to it by the time I was three years old, but by the time I was five, I started to want to come out and meet whoever it was that mom had invited over.
I do have a clear memory of this real nice man walking into the house once. Mom seemed very drunk at the time and could barely even stand up, so this man was kind enough to help her get home. His name was Timothy, I believe, but he always used to let me call him Uncle Timmy. He loved hanging out with me; he actually preferred me over mom sometimes. He always wanted to play with me and mom did begin to get frightened after a while, although I never understood why at the time. But the one night that always stuck out the most out of any day I had ever spent with Uncle Timmy was the very last day I ever spent with him. He came into my room after having a fight with my mom and locked the door, claiming he just had to get away from my mom for a little while. He picked up a doll I had laying on the floor and held it up to me before asking, “Do you want to play house with Uncle Timmy?” I vividly remember shaking my head no. If there was one thing Jonnie taught me in the five years I've spent on Earth so far, it was to never be around any of moms boyfriends while they were pissed off. Ever. He nudged the doll out towards me again, “Please?” I tried to go off to my closet when he grabbed my arm. His monstrous grip tightened as his huge fists held onto my forearm. “I asked you to play with me you brat.” He growled. The last thing I could remember was letting off a deafening screech just as the door busted open. Everything turned black.
After I came back too, Jonnie explained to me that nothing had happened. He made a promise to always keep me safe and for that time being, I believed him.
Five years gone by in a flash. Mom kept trying. Jonnie kept protecting. Men kept going in and out. But I never got as close to a man as I once did with Uncle Timmy. The older I got, the more I started to realize why Jonnie was always so protective. The older I got, the more protective I started to get over my mother. The more I watched her bring men home, the more I hoped she would just give up. Mom put herself into so much pain just to find us the perfect life and each wrong move sent her further and further down the bottle.
By the time I was ten, I grew tired of it. Jonnie was out of the house for most of the night doing whatever it was that he did as a teenager so for the majority of this time I had to learn how to keep myself out of harm's way. It could’ve been an easy job if I wasn’t so damn stupid when I was ten years old. In my short lifetime, I’ve seen my mother open herself up to too many assholes for me to count, and by the time I was ten I was fed up. I just wanted my mom to stop doing whatever it was that she was doing, so I began being around my mother when she brought home new fellas. When a guy would go to hit her, I’d defend her. When a guy would try and take advantage of her, I’d try and pull her away. It was these actions that caused me to begin my pain and suffering but what made all of my suffering worthwhile was when I actually did manage to keep my mother safe. Yes, some guys did just continue on with the ambitions they had in the first place, but some guys didn’t want to have to deal with the extra weight of a ten year old that would be working so hard just to get him stop.
Of course I did put myself into vulnerable positions while doing this, but this story isn’t about me. The whole reason why I had to give you a backstory to my mother, journal, was because of what had happened tonight after I put you down the first time.
Now that you know how my mom tried so hard to find us a father who would take care of us without causing any harm, you should know that by the time I turned thirteen she finally found that. Almost. She found the perfect father for us, but despite the signs telling her to go for it, she still hasn’t made them official just yet. It’s been three years and although I do understand why my mom may not have done so yet, I have also been growing extremely impatient for her to finally accept this man as the one. His name is Hal and he’s probably the closest I will ever get to having a good father figure in my life.
I know what you’re thinking. What’s the big deal with this guy? He’s the only man I’ve been introduced to that never tried to hurt my mother when she doesn’t give herself up for him. He’s the one guy out of millions who always seems interested in what Jonnie and I are doing with our lives. But anytime I tried to tell mom about how he’s the one she’s been looking for all these years, she usually just laughed off the thought as she changed the subject. I guess I’ve just been a little selfish about him but I just wanted mom to see that she didn’t have to look for a new father anymore. She came home tonight with some random stranger. He was covered in tats from head to toe and stunk of cigarettes. His hair and beard was just as untrimmed and uncared for as his sense of style- he looked almost like mom just picked him up off the streets. This man barged into the house with his hand wrapped firmly around mom’s wrist. She looked as if she had been punched in the face multiple times; her focus was off and blood stained the top of her blouse. I felt something inside myself tell me to go and keep her safe. Jonnie tried to stop me but I refused to let him.
Right as I ran up and grabbed his hand off of my mother a sharp blow hit the side of my face. “Hasn’t anyone ever taught you not to grab ahold of people that you don’t even know?” A husky voice murmured out.
Without thinking, I threw a punch towards his face expecting to hit him straight in his nose, but his fist caught mine instead. His massive fist seemed to have swallowed mine in his grip as he held my arm up high. “Someone really should have taught you how to behave around strangers,” his raspy voice grumbled as his fist plunged towards my nose. My entire body hovered back as I lost my balance only to be caught by my older brother. I looked over at my mother expecting her to fight back and kick this psycho out of the house only to find her fall into his arms, leaning her head onto his shoulder, as he carried her towards her bedroom.
And that was the story of how I finally felt disappointed in my mother’s actions. Because despite anything I have seen in the past, I’ve never seen my mother just give everything up to a guy instead of stepping up to protect her two children.
For the first time in my sixteen years of life, I felt betrayal.
I guess this is it.
This was a story I wrote on my google docs a while back and although this was all I've written so far, I just decided to post this as is onto here to see if it's actually good or not by an actual audience.