“Daddy let you out for once, you bad, bad boy? Or did you tie bed sheets together and climb out the window of your home prison?” Blake’s best friend Lyle teased after Blake had just arrived at the Loughlin farm, where Lyle was throwing a party.
Blake grinned and play-punched his best friend into his side, then chuckled when he became distracted.
“Kiss me where the sun don’t shine, as my grandpa always says, Lyle. Speaking of, look at that sunshine lighting up this shack. Wow, she must be new, never seen her around here before.” Blake whistled through his teeth, quietly enough that only he and Lyle could hear it, as he watched a blonde girl in a bright blue dress enter the barn, headed towards them, smiling. Blake’s heart began to flutter, and there was a certain warmth to his cheeks now.
“And you are not gonna see her like THAT ever, that is Hailey, you moron, so hands and all other body parts off her if you want to keep them, you freak. She is off limits, and I will only tell you once. Copy?” there was a warning in Lyle’s eyes.
“THAT is your little sister?! That is little Hailey?” Blake’s eyes grew wide. He knew Lyle’s entire family, they had been friends since the boys were about 11, Hailey was younger than both of them. But that girl did NOT look like Hailey. Not the way he remembered her.
“Growth spurt. Guess that exchange year in England did her well. She just got back two days ago. Also, down boy.” Lyle told him.
They stopped talking as Hailey was approaching.
“Hi Blake. It’s been forever.” Hailey smiled sweetly at Blake.
“Blake was just leaving.” Lyle said.
“No I wasn’t. Hi Hailey!” Blake was irritated by his best friend trying to get rid of him so obviously and also nervous. How come he had never noticed how pretty Hailey was?
“Bye Blake!” Lyle nudged his friend hard, for a moment Blake struggled to keep his balance.
“Dude, what the f… unk.” Blake protested, catching himself from cursing.
“Funk? Did that shaking fry your mothermoard?” Lyle teased laughing.
“I do not want to curse in front of the … lady.” Blake said.
Lyle burst into loud laughter, making Hailey roll her eyes.
“Sorry, he was raised on a farm. Literally. My dad is like that too, as you know. I think it was … charming. Most boys aren’t gentlemen.” She told Blake smiling.
“Char—hahaha—-ming….” Lyle whimpered in between laugh attacks.
“Ugh.” Hailey made and left, Blake followed her, while Lyle had to share his amusement with some of the others.
“Wow, you … look so different. So England, huh?” Blake told her.
“Yup. It was great, but also glad to be back home. Mom and dad say I grew up. Maybe I did. Lyle definitely didn’t. So immature. Was he always like that? I really don’t know how you can stand him. Always thought a big brother is supposed to protect you and all, not just live to annoy you.” Hailey sighed.
“I have an even more annoying younger brother at home, so to me he seems like a breath of fresh air. At least he is closer to my age …” Blake smiled.
“Ugh, here comes the monster and my cue to leave. Great catching up, Blake. Hope to see you around. Enjoy Lyle’s newest girlfriend, Stephanie. I cannot stand being in the same ZIP code with her, but you will probably like her. Most boys seem to. Don’t be a stranger.”
Hailey hurried off and Lyle’s supposed new girlfriend arrived. At school Lyle had told him some cryptic hints about a special girl, but he didn’t mention she was already his new girlfriend this fast. He knew Lyle had been drooling over her, but still.
“Hello there.” she cooed and Blake forced a smile, understanding why Hailey wouldn’t like her.
She was the type of girl Blake didn’t like either.
Right away she was a bit too close, too smiley, too touchy-feely.
But she was Lyle’s girl so Blake tried to be as friendly as he could to not cause trouble.
Her third sentence ever to Blake was the question if he had a girlfriend.
Not his problem.
He had a party to enjoy.
Lyle turned 16 and Blake’s dad had let him off the hook for the party.
So, party time.
Later that night Blake wandered off, looking for some peace and quiet, like he always did after being in company for a while, and just sat down on a bench away from the barn where the others still partied, when Stephanie appeared.
Smiling she just sat on his lap began kissing on him.
Disgusted, Blake tried to stop her, careful but firm, holding her by the wrists. A struggle ensued, she made her intentions clear.
“Stop it! Get off of me! You’re nasty!” Blake just stood straight up, which ended up sending her to the floor.
He ran off, stopping in some darker corner, trying to get his bearings about him. What the hell was that?!
Hailey had been right not to like her.
What a …
Lyle would hear about that for sure. He deserved a better girl by his side. Bros before hos anyway, right?
Once he calmed down enough, Blake went to find Lyle, but Lyle was already waiting for him.
Blake suspected he realized his girlfriend was not what she seemed to be, by the way he came storming towards him, but as he reached him, Lyle yelled at Blake without warning
“You piece of shit!”
“What the …. what is wrong with you?” Blake couldn’t understand why Lyle suddenly had his wires crossed.
“Wrong with ME? You got some nerve! Couldn’t get my little sister so you went for my girlfriend?! And you call yourself my friend? We are through, you a-hole! If I ever see you around my home, my sister or Stephanie again I will beat you till you don’t move anymore! You better keep looking over your shoulder from now on, you bastard! You are lucky she managed to get away from you before you could finish what you started! Had you gone through with it, I would be ripping your thing off and stuffing it down your throat now, you failure! Come to think of it, it may make us all feel better if I did anyway!” Lyle pulled back a Blake who was trying to leave.
When none of the boys at the party interfered, Blake’s cousin Ally, always tough and self-confident enough for ten, got in between and pulled Lyle with her.“That’s enough now. You’ve flaunted that testosterone, time to turn that brain back on, Lyle.”
“You got it all wrong …” Blake mumbled.
“Get off the farm and never come back here ever again, you filthy pig!” Lyle yelled.
While Blake just ran to the bus stop to get home, completely confused by what just happened.
Frustrated and afraid Blake sat hunched over on a chair. His father’s disgusted glares cut deep. Even deeper that nobody believed him.
A lot had transpired quickly since Lyle’s party.
Stephanie had given herself bruises and scratches and claimed Blake had tried to rape her.
Everybody believed her.
Nobody believed Blake.
In a panicked and juvenile minded attempt to fix this mess, Blake climbed out his bedroom window that same night and went to Stephanie’s house to persuade her to tell the truth and not ruin his life over some rejection. Her parents called the police.
Blake spent the rest of the night in jail.
By the next morning, when his father picked him up, the school had been informed and expelled him.
And now here he was, in the hallway at home, his father pacing.
“Dad, please, I didn’t do that. I swear it, she came on to ME! I never touched her. I swear it on my life! I would NEVER!”
“Even if that is true, you have broken curfew when you were already grounded and at that party you drank goddamn alcohol again and you probably smoked again. Promise after promise – broken. I believed you every time because I wanted to so badly. Whatever happened to that girl is on me and I just cannot take those lies anymore.”
“Dad, I swear I will never touch any of that again, including girls, but you have to believe me. I would never rape anyone! Please …”
“Then explain to me why she looks like she was in a bar brawl? That poor girl is one big bruise! And why did you sneak to her house after all that we went through? What did you think that would look like?! And to tell you the truth, we all are too familiar with your temper and short fuse. You have been aggressive with me, with your mother, other boys in school … I have no trouble envisioning you under the influence of who knows what, maybe her rejecting you .. yeah .. I can actually imagine my own son as a rapist. I wish I couldn’t. But all that does leave a very bitter aftertaste with me, and the insecurity is killing me.”
“Dad…” Blake sobbed at the realization that this was a battle lost.
“Because of that, and your complete lack of any significant improvement, your careless behavior and utter disregard for everyone else affected – and now this, I have no other choice than one I don’t want to make, but I see no other way anymore. I tried. God knows I tried and tried. But I need to think of Blythe and Elias now. In the past 3 years you have gotten into more trouble than I can even recall. At barely 15 years of age, a child still, you drink alcohol, you smoke, you probably have done drugs, you sneak out at night, you stay out all night, you stole from stores several times, you got into fights in and outside of school, you pranked neighbors and teachers, you even keyed a car costing me a pretty penny as well as when you set fire to the old man’s shed who called the police after you kids were loud in the park behind his house all night. All that humiliation, all the worry, the heartbreak. And I haven’t even mentioned your behavior towards Blythe. She is a saint for putting up with it. She probably would until one day you leave and not come back, one way or another, but I can’t. I am done!”
“Dad, what are you saying?”
“I am saying that I spoke to your uncle Nick to get info about that military boarding school his parents sent him too. They are willing to take you, even in the middle of the school year.”
“Dad – no! Pleeeeeease no! Please!”
“The only other alternatives I found, after speaking to CPA for help with you, are a special foster home with people well trained to handle complicated kids with behavioral issues or a form of supervised living facility with other troubled teens and trained supervisors. I have till Thursday to make the choice between the three options, drop off is Friday for either, so you can acclimate over the weekend and get started with the program come Monday.”
“You are sending me away? Dad? NO! Please, one more chance! One last chance! Please, don’t do this!”
“Stop this! Get up off the floor. I told you, I am at the end of my rope. I got nothing left to give. Three solid years of this are too much. Clearly, you have issues, clearly, you do not want to be here, you do not want to talk to either me or a therapist, ANY therapist, not like there are any left that would even accept you as a patient since your rep precedes you.”
“What about mom? Can’t she take me?”
“I did talk to her about the three options for you to get her input and Carson immediately declined you staying with them before it was even brought up. I have to agree with him. Your mother would never be able to handle you. No. Besides, they have no room anyway.”
“What about grandpa? He would take me, I know he would, and he is big and strong, since you all seem to think I am some brutal rapist monster now…”
“I am sure he would, but I will not allow it. He has made things worse with his anti-authoritarian ways of raising you. I blame his interference and him putting all these rock star ideas in your head for your recent decline. You’re already acting like you were in a rock band. I am exhausted, this discussion is over. You will go to your room, I put a new lock on the windows, and I will lock you in. I cannot believe I am saying this to my own son. Anyway, you have your own bathroom so it shouldn’t be a problem. I will get you for meal times. You can pack, they all allow one bag of clothing, a few pictures and personal hygiene items.”
“My guitar .. I can take that, right?”
“No. Just clothing, personal hygiene and photos.”
Blake was too shocked at everything to protest.
Like in a trance he stumbled up to his room and in the dark sat down, trying to wrap his head around all he had just learned.
Send away into the unknown for something he didn’t do, and without his beloved guitar?
He felt numb.
Like a terrible, terrifying nightmare he would wake up from screaming, sweaty and breathing hard.
No such luck.
After his own father locked him in, he tried to get the locks off the window, but couldn’t.
The rest of the night Blake spent thinking, reminiscing, sometimes crying, awaiting his impending fate.
A floor below, his father wasn’t in any better shape. Unusual for Ethan, he sat there in the dark living room with a stiff drink.
His eyes were wet as he reminisced of the early years with his son, his firstborn. Blake used to be his everything. And vice versa. They were always together. Inseparable.
Somehow, somewhere something broke inside of his son and they have been drifting further and further apart. The more Ethan tried to stop it, the more he tried to hold on, the worse it escalated.
For the longest time Ethan tried to make excuses for Blake, mostly to himself. He blamed raging hormones, temper. But when rape came into play, he couldn’t find excuses anymore.
When the police had come to the door that night, Blythe was there when he found out what had happened. Her facial expression then showed him that all her old wounds about her own rape had been reopened by his very own teen son.
That was when he knew he had lost the battles and the war. Maybe he failed his son, trying to raise him on his own, while also trying to run a busy company. Maybe he was to blame, but either way, Blake could not stay here any longer. Making Blythe stay under the same roof with a potential rapist with known anger issues was a recipe for the next failed marriage. He could not put Elias through everything Blake had to go through and risk two broken children souls on his conscience.
Maybe growing up elsewhere was the key to helping him. Maybe that was what he needed.
If not, Ethan didn’t know what would be. Clearly, the boy was miserable at home, or he would never be so rebellious.
“I miss my son … you have been gone for such a long time, even though your body is still here. Maybe we can all heal now. And maybe, just maybe, one day you will come back to me. The Blake who loved me, like I always loved you and always will. My baby boy, my entire pride and joy.” Ethan mumbled into the darkness as a single tear fell.
This marks the end of Generation 5.
The Cameron Legacy will continue with our Generation 6 heir,