Trevor Fiction: Trust


It was the sound of Mitchell walking back and forth that alerted Sonya. Either the boy was sick, which she doubted, or he was up to something — probably with Trevor.

He’d left his bedroom door open slightly, so before announcing herself, she peeked inside.

“Ow! You fuckhead, let me do it myself!” Trevor’s anger was familiar, but his voice was funny. Off, somehow.

“So here,” Mitchell said. “Do it yourself and then don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Fuckhead.”

Sonya took a step closer to the door before announcing herself. She could see the edge of Trevor in Mitchell’s mirror, and what she saw made her choke on her breath.

“Who’s that?” Mitchell asked as she coughed.

“It’s your mother, Mitchell. May I come in?”


“I think she knows,” Trevor said. He sounded stuffed up, nasal, and definitely defensive, yet at the same time, resigned. “Better let her in.”

“C’mon in, Ma,” Mitchell sighed.

Trevor didn’t move from in front of the mirror. He dabbed at a cut on the corner of his eye with a washcloth. A matching cut stretched from the corner of his mouth, heading back toward his cheek. His face was badly swollen, his eyes already blackening.

Sonya wished Patterson were home to help with this. They’d known this moment was coming when they’d have to confront Trevor about the constant bruises the boy sported, the frequent cuts, the perpetual black eyes. They’d agreed on how to handle things, but that didn’t mean Sonya wanted to do it herself. This was Patterson’s strength.

She sat down on the edge of Mitchell’s bed and folded her hands in her lap.

“What?” Mitchell muttered at her, sullen again.

Sonya shook her head and waited.


“Relax, M. She’s waiting for the right time,” Trevor said. It sounded like it was supposed to be a sneer, but it also sounded like Trevor had a few teeth knocked loose. Not to mention that stuffed-up nose aspect; between that and the eyes, Sonya was willing to bet that nose was out-and-out broken.

“I’m evaluating how you are. Is there more?”

Trevor glared at her but didn’t say anything. He turned like he was going to walk out of the room, maybe to hang the washcloth up in the bathroom, but he didn’t leave. “How long before you call the cops?”

“Did Mitchell do this to you?”

The cut side of Trevor’s mouth curled up in a pained smile as Mitchell began to protest. “Chill,” Trevor told him. “Your mom’s actually got a sense of humor.”

“Well?” Sonya asked. “Did he?”


“No,” Trevor said.

“Then there’s no need for me to call the police, is there?”

“You’d turn your own kid in?” Mitchell’s yelp conveyed his sense of betrayal, but Sonya ignored him. He should have known better than to believe she’d turn something like that over to the police. Patterson would never stand for it.

“Good,” Trevor said and gave a satisfied nod. “Cops’re a waste of time.”

“Sometimes,” Sonya said.

Trevor eyed her, expecting more, but she continued waiting.

“Protective services, then? You know, someone tried that once already. They came out, talked to Jenny, and decided to leave as soon as Hank came home. Left us four there, but Jeremy snuck out somehow and got away, the loser.”

“What made him such a loser?” Sonya asked.

“He should have stuck up for us. He’s the oldest. Instead, it was all on me. Eliza said it was okay, but HJ let me know it wasn’t.” He looked out the window for a long minute. “I suck as bad as Jeremy. I should be there now, cleaning up.”

“At least you’re trying,” Sonya said. “You don’t suck for trying.”

“No? I only suck for letting it happen? For not being able to protect them? Why the fuck is it my job anyway? I thought I was just a kid. I thought I was supposed to ride the bus to school and eat cafeteria lunches and do my fucking homework. Why the fuck am I the bad guy because I can’t stand being there? Because I don’t fucking want to be part of it anymore? I’ve had enough. Why can’t someone make it stop already?”

Sonya closed her eyes. Patterson had been right; the boy’s behavior and attitudes were all tied into a need to escape. To be part of a family.

She opened her eyes and tried to sort through what to say, but Trevor was giving her that uneasy look again. “So what’re you going to do?” he asked. “You can’t keep quiet about something like this. Fine, upstanding people like you–” his sneer returned — “you’ve got to get involved, don’tcha? Can’t sleep at night with that bleeding heart of yours, but your idea of getting involved means meddling, not fixing shit. So let’s hear it. Who you gonna go squeal to?”

Mitchell shifted his weight.

“No one,” Sonya said gently. “You forget who this bleeding heart is married to. You’ve got a safe haven here — a very safe haven — as long as you need it. Perhaps a measure of protection, too, but that is between you and Patterson. I suggest you don’t insult him — or me again.”

Trevor kept watching Sonya as he began to fidget, picking at folds of the washcloth as it sat on Mitchell’s dresser. “This smells,” he said at last.

“Trev…” Mitchell said.

“At some point in your life, Trevor, you will have to trust someone who wants to help you. I know you’re only fifteen, but Patterson and I believe you’re capable of making that sort of choice now if you’d like.”

Sonya didn’t expect Trevor to do much more than nod, but instead, he caught and held her eye, then slowly lifted his t-shirt and turned around so she could see the bruises there, too.



  1. gautami tripathy

    February 21, 2009 11:33 pm

    Trust has to start somewhere. I really liked it.

  2. Thomma Lyn

    February 22, 2009 12:39 am

    Wow. This one gave me shivers, and my heart goes out to young Trevor. And to the Voss family, who took Trevor in and taught him what it is to be cared about, to be part of a family in which people love and look out for each other.

  3. Alice Audrey

    February 22, 2009 12:52 am

    Your Trev and my Gene are a lot alike.

  4. Cindi

    February 22, 2009 1:40 am

    I have tears in my eyes, Susan. I feel so much for Trevor at 15.

  5. Robin

    February 22, 2009 3:24 am

    Very powerful Susan. Really powerful.

  6. missalister

    February 22, 2009 4:35 pm

    I love those boys. This was so good, so enjoyable, as all your characters and writing always are. When I stop by to visit, seems like from blue moon to blue moon, it’s satisfaction guaranteed : )

  7. Mom

    February 22, 2009 11:32 pm

    Wow! That was very powerful.

  8. Cory

    February 23, 2009 12:44 am

    Great piece. Trev’s show of trust at the end was almost enough to make me cry.

  9. julia

    February 24, 2009 8:50 pm

    This is really moving, Susan. I didn’t expect Trevor to do that at the end, either. To say my heart aches for him is putting it mildly. I love characters who rip my heart out and squeeze until I say ‘Give!’

  10. Toni

    February 24, 2009 9:32 pm

    Great one Susan! Wow!!!

  11. Petlula

    February 25, 2009 2:21 pm

    I need to keep up. What happened before this? This is very good… engaging!

  12. Brenda

    February 26, 2009 7:42 am

    What a sad and yet hopeful scene. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Shelley Munro

    February 26, 2009 3:37 pm

    Wow, Trevor is a wonderful character. I wanted to hug him, which is probably not a good idea. Great writing, wonderful scene, Susan.

  14. Bethanie

    March 5, 2009 8:55 pm

    Susan, this brought tears to my eyes. You are a master, my dear.

    Bethanie’s last blog post..How Come…

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