Claiming Addison

By: Zoey Derrick


I blink back more tears. “Do you want to know why I do the things that I do for people?” He nods. “I do them because they make them happy and seeing them happy makes me happy. Is it selfish? Sure, in a way, but the person on the receiving end gets the glory, I get the reward. So buying all this stuff for me gives me the glory and it is not something I know how to handle very well. I’ve always been the girl in the shadows, the girl behind the scenes, hiding from the crowd because that is where I feel I belong. You and Kyle put me on a pedestal that I’m not ready to stand on. I don’t wear clothing that shows off my ink because it puts me on that pedestal. I keep my ink to myself because it makes me appreciate a true piece of art, not because someone else enjoys it for a while and discards it like it was nothing. Which is how I’ve lived my life-in the discard pile. Ready when someone needs me and then back into the pile I go.” I pull my hands free of his to wipe my eyes and take a shuddering breath. “You’ve got to give me time to grow, time to change a lifetime of habits, emotions and insecurities.”

“I think it’s time I told you a story,” he says as he sits on the floor in front of me. “Do you know why I play the guitar?” I shake my head. He smiles, “Not many people do. But I am going to tell you. I started when I was five. I started because if I kept busy at something, I wouldn’t get into trouble. Getting into trouble in my house meant getting your ass beat. Getting in trouble meant being put on display for the entire house to see, made fun of and paraded. It also meant a punishment far worse than any belt or wooden spoon could give you.” He reaches for the back of his shirt and begins pulling it over his head. It dawns on me now that I’ve never actually looked at Talon’s back, at least not like this.

He turns around on the floor and leans forward. Running along his spine is a series of tattoos that look like words but the design mimics that of a heart monitor reading where words flare into a triangle on one side of the invisible line and then to the other and back and forth.

It says

Take

My scars Hide them away Save me From

The

Man who

Tries to take me Away from The

Person I’m trying to Become. The man I want to be Desperate To be

Free



When you get to Free it starts over again until it melts into a flat line.





T

O





B

E





F

R





E

E

It is then that the light catches just right and I see one scarred line, then another and another, now that I know what I’m seeing they’re popping up everywhere. I break into a sob that I can no longer hold back.

“Addison,” he says, his voice is a pain filled whisper. I slide onto the floor and wrap my arms around him, gently kissing his scars. “Angel, please, stop.”

“I can’t,” I breathe.

“I was trapped by my father and my mother didn’t stop him. She simply bought me things, got me things, snuck me candy and all the things my father would never let me have. She never said I love you to me, she never hugged me or held me when I would cry.” I can hear the emotion in his voice. He’s crying. “The only way I know how to show someone affection is to buy them things, give them things. Which is why sleeping with different woman, never getting attached, was easy for me; I don’t know how to do it. I don’t know any other way.”

I squeeze him tighter, holding him to me while he cries. I’ve always known that musicians who write their own music find inspiration from life, not always the good, and many times it’s the bad, and now something about the song he wrote last night hits me. Giving, giving is all he knows how to do, so he is giving me a song. ‘Your Eyes’ certainly wasn’t written for me, but it was my favorite song. This song, his new song is a gift from him to me, his way of telling me how he feels. “I want to hear your song. The one you wrote last night.” He stiffens in my arms. “I want to sing it with you.”

“Addison, I…” He takes a breath, this time he’s calming himself. “It’s not ready.”

A small smile spreads across my lips. “It’s not ready or you’re not ready?”

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