"Alessa!" a roar echoed from the living room. "Get your fucking ass out here, now."
The yelling that boomed from the living room was none other than my dad, and judging by the tone of his voice, it was one of two things. I either messed something of his up again, or I'd done something wrong. It didn't take a genius to figure out which one it was. That tone in his voice was one I was used to, either from yelling at me whenever I screwed something up or hearing him scream at my mom over the money she wasted on her drugs. At some point growing up, it stopped sending that chill down my spine. I kept my mouth shut and nodded, no longer in fear of his daily screaming.
A gargantuan breath of air escaped my lips as I opened the door and left my room, hesitantly plodding through the dark the hallway provided. The darkness disappeared all too quickly as the light of the living room returned my sight, and with that sight, I saw my dad standing by the closed door waiting for me. With clenched fists and furrowed brows, my dad stood still while I took my time approaching him, readying myself for what I knew was going to come. Bracing for impact was all I was able to do for myself.
Taking a huge stride forward, my dad took hold of me by my hair and ripped me to the door stride for stride with him. The next thing I knew, the door was being torn open and I was thrown onto the small patio, where Shawn and his parents were standing on the same concrete path I'd fallen on earlier that afternoon. I did the only thing I was sure I should've done, and that thing was standing still without saying a word unless I was spoken to, but that wasn't right either. In the silence I'd created, a palm smashed into my back and sent me even further towards Shawn's parents.
"Well?" my dad asked.
His mom took a look at me, pausing, before letting her eyes return to my dad. "You see, Shawn came home covered in blood and holding his wrist earlier today. He said your daughter did this to his hand and wrist, while a friend of hers decided to beat him up after she'd hit him with the skateboard." My eyes fell to down Shawn, where I immediately noticed not only the several bandages that covered his face, but the cast that encased his left arm all the way up to his elbow. "Shawn told me that he accidentally touched your daughter's butt when he was only trying to scare her, but I wanted to make sure that was the full story before I call our lawyers."
My eyes shared a glance with Matty's apartment for a quarter of a second before I blasted a glare at Shawn. He was lying, and I could've told the truth, but that truth came at the cost of dragging Matty into something that was my fault, something he shouldn't have been involved with to begin with. The problem with not telling the truth was that I could already feel how angry my dad was, and if this ended up being completely my fault, I was scared of what would happen to me. For the first time in years, I was scared of what he was going to do to me.
An open palm swatted the crown of my skull. "Fuckin' speak up."
In the back of my mind, I repeatedly apologized to Matty as my drying, chapped lips began to part. "That's not what happened at all. Shawn forced his hand down my pants and in between my legs." I lifted my left hand and let it encase the elbow of my right arm. "I reacted before I thought about what I was doing, and I just used what was in my hands. I'm sorry, I really didn't mean to hurt him that badly."
"What about your friend?" She asked, turning back to Shawn.
"He was only defending me. Shawn said that he figured if he showed a poor girl like me attention and gave me money, that I'd suck his. . .you know. He hit him before he could finish the whole sentence, so I don't know what he was going to say after for sure, but I'm pretty sure it was that." I took a step forward. "I'll do anything. J-Just leave everyone else out of this, please."
His mom turned her head, appearing to glare at him before she turned around. "If you're telling the truth, then I'm sorry for what my son did to you. If you're not, my lawyers will be dropping by soon."
After what felt like a millennium spent standing across from Shawn's family, I was forced to watch them get in their car and drive away like nothing ever happened, while I was forced to live through what was going to come next. It was all already written on the wall, this wasn't going to end okay for me, but they were allowed to prance back off into their little, sheltered life of money and silver spoons. Beginning to turn back to my dad, I wasn't even allowed to make a full turn before I was torn back by my hair and thrown through the door as he slammed it shut behind him.
I was faced with a daunting glare as he made another stride toward me, carrying a pair of hollow eyes with him. Those weren't the eyes of a person, they were the eyes of a drunk running away from everything wrong with him, just like how my mom looked when she got high off of whatever she scavenged by getting on her knees. But there was one line that separated a junkie and an alcoholic, and that line was their actions. Junkies, more than not, either became full of energy or found themselves in the lull that was their own little world. Alcoholics got aggressive, especially when it came to the liquor my dad loved to get thrashed on.
Before I knew it, I was lodged in between him and the wall.
"Are you fucking stupid?" his alcohol-laden breath roared through my nostrils like a jet engine as he shoved me into the wall. "Do you realize what you almost caused, you worthless fuck?"
Without even realizing it, I'd found myself cowering beneath him. "I-I'm sorry."
"That shit's not going to cut it!" his fast smashed through the wall, just to the right of my ear. "You might've just cost us money we don't fucking have, you dumbfuck. How are we supposed to pay for those kinds of hospital bills?"
I always thought I had seen the worst of my dad when he was yelling and throwing my mom around like a ragdoll, but I'd never actually faced it myself. For so many years, I thought being yelled at was the same thing he did to her, but I was just then realizing how wrong I really was and how scary he truly could have been. Even knowing that, what could I do? I was a tiny, underweight teenage girl that was struggling to hit three digits on a scale, and that was on a good day. The most I could do for myself was stand there and hope he did nothing, but my mouth thought otherwise.
A virtual whisper fell from faintly parted lips. "So, it's okay for me to be felt up by some guy I barely even know as long as it doesn't cost you any money?"
The next thing I knew, his calloused palm curved, tightening around my throat - and clamping down. "What was that?"
"You heard me, or do you think raping women is okay since you do it to mom every night?" I clawed at the hand around my throat. "You're just a piece of shit, you've always been one."
Right as those words left my mouth, everything went black. There were no stars or a flash of white light, everything just went dark, completely blank. My world went pitch black, like the nights I spent in my bed, struggling to sleep through the winter's cold as I buried myself beneath the covers to contain any kind of heat. As everything seemed to fade, I think there was a small part of me that hoped he killed me. Deep down, there was a piece of my mind that hoped he choked me to death, or beat me down so hard I'd never wake up again.
The reality of the matter was that I wanted to die, regardless if I wanted to admit it or not. Telling myself that it was "deep down" was nothing more than me trying to normalize my feelings, and even if I didn't understand that at the time, that was exactly what it was. I couldn't call myself suicidal, because I didn't want to kill myself. Even saying I wanted to die was loose in it's meaning. I wanted to vanish from this place, I simply just wanted to will myself out of existence, but the only way to actually make that happen was to die.
Opening my eyes, I was greeted with the sight of my face resting against the wooden floors of the kitchen and the damn near murderous pain that beamed it's way through my entire jaw. I cautiously pushed myself off of the ground and let my eyes survey the dead silence around me, but as my eyes circled the kitchen, something fell from the corner of my mouth and right onto the top of my hand. Sitting atop my hand, my eyes were met with the circular, burgundy splatter on the back of my palm just as a second drop fell.
That second drop went wholly unnoticed as I caught the small pool of burgundy right next to my hand. Ushering my forearm to my mouth as quickly as I could manage, I wiped it along the length of my mouth and pulled it away. That red streak only confirmed what I'd gathered. I was bleeding, and it didn't take me long to align the pain with the blood falling from my mouth. I could only gather that he hit me, and hard, at least once. Him hitting me was the only thing that explained both the pain and the blood.
If that was the case, then I was gone, simply done. I was okay dealing with those cold nights that I spent without a dinner in my system. I was okay as I could be with being poor and being yelled at for every little thing I did wrong. Maybe I dealt with it by keeping that that small hope that someday everything would magically get better, that he would magically stop drinking and my mom would stop filling herself up with poison, that maybe I would have a slightly realistic chance at experiencing a normal life with some resemblance to a real family. That was all it ever was. Hope, and everyone knows what that is.
If I was worthless, then what was the point of staying in this hell?
I pushed myself up and onto my feet, where my eyes happened upon my backpack. If that hadn't been a sign, then I really wasn't sure what was. Extending my arm, I lifted the black backpack from the table and brought it to my chest, where I unzipped it. As if it were some final disrespect to my parents, I turned the backpack upside down and gazed upon the contents falling free. Broken pencils, pieces of erasers, and loose sheets of borrowed paper fell from the opening, showering the "dining room" in donated school supplies.
With my backpack emptied of everything I'd never need again, I spun around and stormed off into the room I shouldn't have left to begin with. Busting through my door, the first place I headed to was the small dresser next to my "bed" and tugged it opened, ripping out several pairs of jeans and underwear before a black rectangle caught my eye in the bottom right corner of the drawer. That rectangle was the iPod Matty had given me a little over a year ago with the skateboard I took everywhere with me. I took the music player out of the drawer and set it on top of the dresser as I knelt down, tearing open the drawer that held what few shirts I had.
After stuffing my clothes into my backpack, I found my other pair of shoes sitting just in front of the dresser's left leg and decided to stuff those in in case I needed them. As I started to guide the zipper around the top of the backpack, a moist droplet landed on my blood-smeared forearm, but what fell from my face wasn't blood. It was translucent, clearer than a fresh pane of glass. It was the lone tear that signaled the opening of a metaphorical dam, leaving me crouched over as a rainstorm was created from my eyes.
"I'm sorry."ns 188.8.131.52da2