4 the Love

4 the Love

A Story by Deanna Ballard
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Short story about child abuse

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It all happened so fast, the days that preceded this one. A few days ago I’d never have thought this reunion would be so premature.

As I lie here on the floor, my mind is playing it all back for me as though I need a recap; as though I weren’t there for it all. It’s kind of annoying to be given information that you already have access to. But that is the order of things I’ve always heard. Now I get to experience it for myself.

My cerebrum kicks in and a video plays in my mind. A few days ago, I’d been at school getting hassled by my boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend. She’d always hated me and blamed me for their breakup. I just let her hate me. There was nothing that could be done. It was almost inevitable that Jason and I end up together. He was my brother’s best friend and home away from home. Troy would crash over his house when he couldn’t stand being at home which was often.

He was my friend by default and what started out as a forced friendship turned into a mutual relationship. It also turned into a problem for my father who loathed the idea of me dating anyone. I found that out the hard way one day when he put his fist through my face and told me to stop seeing Jason; that Jason would just use me and throw me away. He was wrong. Jason loved me. The very person who tried to stop me from getting hurt was the one hurting me.

After school that day, Troy drove me a few blocks from his house so we could fool around. We never got to do much of that between going to school and curfew. It was a risk that I felt was worth it. But my Dad, I have to give it to him. He was in tuned to my every move. Not long after Troy and I had been messing around he showed up and made a scene that ended with us going home and me getting the stuffing beat out of me.

I saw my brother, Jeremy coming before it got too bad. I love my little brother. I mean, I love Troy, too, but Jeremy was…different. He had these beautiful eyes of ice. I’d never met anyone with eyes like his. Let alone a kind hearted person. He was there for me as if he were the older one. He stayed with me when our father attacked me. He took as much care of me as a ten year-old could.

It’s unfortunate that he got stuck in such a messed up family. He didn’t deserve this. He was so young and so innocent. His soul managed to stay untainted by the daily assault he watched me endure. It’s amazing. He’s amazing.

My best friend Trinity would always come over. That was another person who was in tuned to me. She could feel when something had happened and come running. She hated my father but what could she do? All she could do was be with me and calm me. She’d stay late into the night making sure he wouldn’t come back for me. She’d let me get to sleep before she slipped out.

Troy and I didn’t talk much. Our Mom died when I was twelve courtesy of my father. We were never the same after her death but Troy just seemed to shut down. He stopped looking at me, talking to me. He turned a blind eye to the goings on in our house, escaping to Jason’s and confiding in Trinity, his girlfriend.

The next morning he’d said something about bestowing his temporary protection upon me due to the beating I’d taken last night. He’d protect me until all my visible bruises had softened. It tore me up to hear him say that.

I snapped telling him that I was his baby sister and he should protect me without an invitation from my black eye, split lip and other miscellaneous scarring. I didn’t get him. I mean, I understood that I looked identical to our Mom but…shouldn’t that be an even greater reason to want to preserve my life?

Troy just walked away from me. There was nothing I could say now that he’d withdrawn back into his own mind again. He had walls that he wanted no one to scale. It was impenetrable without his willingly opening up to you.

Seeing my face, a nosey teacher pried until she realized I wasn’t giving up the goods. She sent me to the nurse who sent me home. Troy told Jason and Jason cut me off and took me to his house.

While there I tell him how I wish I could run away from all this; how I felt like it was breaking me. I just wanted to be away from him. He was killing me and I was letting him. Jason came up with a plan to run away together but I couldn’t leave Jeremy behind. My father would no doubt take it out on Jeremy and he'd do that until he was old enough to run away himself. He goes on to say we can bring Jeremy but that’s kidnap.

I didn’t say that to Jason. I just agreed and left it at that. When I got home, he was waiting for me. The school had called ahead and told him I was being sent home. That means I should have walked in the house around ten this morning instead of 3:30 like I was coming home from school. He punched me in the chest and told me that he’d had enough and that I was being home schooled from then on so he could keep an eye on me and keep me away from Jason.

I could feel tears from the surging pain in my chest, tears from the thought of actually having to run away from my own dad; someone who used to be so full of love.  He was a person who I used to love and who used to love me.     

When Jeremy came home later, I tell him the plan and even as I say the words I know how ridiculous it is. I can’t take Jeremy away. I could never leave this place. I was stuck there. It was my prison and no one, in reality, can ever escape prison. I don’t say any of that to Jeremy. I just tell him to be ready in a little bit. We were leaving that tonight.

I’m still in my room berating myself when Jeremy comes in about forty-five minutes later and tells me that Jason's outside and that he’s not coming with us. He’s talking some nonsense about keeping our father off my trail. He hopes I’ll remember him.

He'd been crying. I'd taken care of him for so long. How was I just supposed to leave now? Both our eyes swelled with tears. Only when I looked into his, they reflection...my mother.

 

"I love you, little brother.”

“Forever and ever?"

"Forever and ever."

 

The words echo in my head. His cry was silent but somehow the sound killed me. I snuck out through my bedroom window and round the house to the front where Jason sits with his lights out. But when I got to Jason’s car, I look back at the house. Jason whispers vigorously for me to get in. 

I had never wanted to go into that house more than I did at that moment.

Jeremy was looking out the window. I saw his eyes so clearly. Even as I remember it now, I can still see them clear as day.

I was questioning myself aggressively but the main question: Could I really leave my baby brother?

I didn’t have forever to decide. Besides, we could always try it again. I tell Jason that I’m staying. He sighs and drives away.

When Jason leaves, I make the stupidest mistake of my pathetic life: I go back in through the front door. When I go inside, the door slammed hard behind me. I couldn’t look at him. I couldn’t. I never kept my eyes open when he attacked me. I didn’t need to see my father hating me that much.

He grabbed hold of my arm and we went into his room where he locked the door. My heart was beating like crazy and my breath was coming quickly. I knew that he was going to kill me.

 

“You were going to run away from me with that boy.”

 

I somehow managed to make my form smaller. I was so scared out of my mind; so scared my heart hurt.

 

“Have I not done all I could for you? Have I not put a roof over your head, food in your mouth and clothes on your back?”

 

My eyes stay on the floor as I plead for my life.

 

 “Please, don’t kill me.”

 

And with that plea, the assault began. He slammed his fist into my ribcage and I crumpled to the floor, my lungs void of air. I coughed and the sight of blood flying from my mouth caused my vision to blur. A strangled scream trailed the blood coming from my mouth.

There’s a knock at his bedroom door but he warned the intruder away. He returned to me and kicked me in the very spot where he’d punched me. I just lay there on his floor knowing that I was breathing my last breaths. A sixteen year-old girl’s ribcage is no place for a construction worker’s fists or boots.

He was saying something but I could barely hear him at that point.

He looks toward his bedroom door again. When he opens it, Troy is standing there pointing a gun at him. Jeremy runs in.

He speaks words that I don’t hear but I don’t answer. I can’t find my voice.

He’s shouting. I can tell it’s strained because I can see the veins in his neck bulging out.

I could hear sirens.

I close my eyes. My cerebrum spares me anymore images. I’m glad because all it did was remind me of what brought me here to this very moment that has me remembering in the first place. My father killed my mother and he’d successfully accomplished the same of her daughter. I’d always known I was like her in many ways. Rather it was the color of my eyes, or my skin tone. Even personality wise, we were alike. I knew we were similar…I just never thought one of the things we’d end up having in common is the way we died; on his terms, on his bedroom floor by his hand.

I used to wish for this. I used to want to be rid of him so badly, I’d indulged the idea of being rid of me. I’d thought of how I’d die sitting in his chair poetically choosing how I’d meet my demise for myself. Now that I’m here at the threshold of my end…I realize how wrong I was to entertain such an inhuman injustice against myself.

I open my eyes and a woman I don’t know is leaning over me flashing a bright light in my eyes.

“Alex, can you hear me?” she asks. “If you can hear me, squeeze my hand.”

I feel fingers and gently squeeze.

“Very good, Alex. You have to stay with me. Your brothers are very worried.”

Despite my previous sudden strength, I feel my eyes close again.

“Stay with me, Alex. Squeeze my hand.”

I can’t find the power.

“Alex?” She waits. “We’re losing her.”

“Alex, can you open your eyes for me?” asks a new voice.

My eyes fly open, “Mom?”

She looks at me with eyes like mine and extends a hand out to me. I raise mine to take hers.

“Mom.” I find my smile.

My outstretched hand floats on air, reaching into the beyond while becoming a part of it, my last bit of light growing dark.

 

 

 

© 2012 Deanna Ballard


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Added on November 16, 2012
Last Updated on November 16, 2012
Tags: Child Abuse, Teenage Romance, Sibling

Author

Deanna Ballard
Deanna Ballard

Forest Park, IL, IL



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What defines me is not what I can tell you, but the things I can't. Know the things I cannot tell, and you'll find you know me I'm pretty laid back. I have a great sense of humor. I don't particula.. more..

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