In Those We Trust

By Elise Mottley Elise is studying a BA, majoring in writing and sociology, and she enjoys sewing including making clothes from scratch and alternation, and also enjoys socialising with friends.


“Yeah! Loner Wayne, you better run! No one here to help you now, you’ll have no one to watch your back as soon as you leave those school gates! Sleep with one eye open mate!”

Paying out kids, hurting them, putting them down, I do it to make myself feel better… make myself look tough. I do it so that they get the smallest taste of what my life is like. No one knows my parents; according to everyone at school I have none. I wish.

I’m angry, angry with them.

Wayne takes all the shit I give him! Ha…ha.

He doesn’t do anything to stop me, ever. I think that shows that the kid has guts. But not the kind of guts you need to survive with a family like mine.

I want to be like Wayne and less like me.


An open door. So welcoming. Mum’s so naïve.

She is in the kitchen.

Without taking her eye off what she’s doing,

“How was school?” she asked-part of our daily routine.

“Umm it was okay, thanks for asking Mum.”

I slide in the door and past the counter, aware of the damage from the encounter. Mum had not yet looked up at me.

Taking the plate of food from her, she looks towards my face and before I can take it from her, the plate falls, food and shattered pieces of plate go everywhere.

The shattering of the plate echoes the feelings in the room.

“Wayne! What happened to you? Where were you? Brad!! Come here quick!”

She’s a professional at worrying.

I turn to Dad, but before I can say anything to him, his eyes focus on my face.

“What happened to you Wayne?” a tone of accusation. There would be no point; dad had made up his mind.

“Mum. Dad. It’s nothing. I just came off my bike and the bike is broken, damn chain! But I’m fine, seriously.

Dad, could you take a look at the bike, tell me if it’s possible to fix or if we just take it to the dump?”

“Sit down now Wayne, I’m going to clean your face”

“No way Mum, that shit stings, I’ll just get in the shower.”

She stands there with a full bottle of Detol and a handful of cotton wool balls; it’s as if she is ready to tip the bottle on me. That’s my cue to leave; wouldn’t want her to touch my shoulder, or my ribs for that matter.

That would be hard to explain.

She would go totally mental.

That prick, Blake!


“I always have to pick you up Karen, where have you been now? What have you been doing? Do I want to know? How much longer are you going to sneak around behind my back?” scathed Dad

“I don’t sneak behind…” murmured Mum.

“Will you both just shut up? No one even cares anymore, not like we don’t know what you both get up to.” They could hear the frustration in my voice, staring at me with their beady eyes as if none of this is my business.

But it doesn’t stop him, nothing ever does…

I heard the brakes straining just to bring the car to a stop; I could smell the rubber burning off the tyres onto the tar as I screamed “STOP!”

The car jerked to a halt, with only enough time for the young male to scamper off the road like an injured mouse. Scratches down the side of his face, pushing a broken bike as its chain dragged on behind keeping up with his adjusted pace.

He glanced back at me, with a desperate look on his face, a look that suggested that he didn’t want the car to have stopped.

“Watch the damn road! You could have hurt someone! Selfish bastard!”

Time to tune out now; I know where these arguments start and where they end but the difference with this argument is that I’m not planning to be around for the finish.

I can’t handle them anymore. They put so much on my shoulders and they don’t even care. No one does.

But I’m not sure how to do it.

To die.

But that is one thing that they cannot control.

The chain is going to break…

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