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12 years ago


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12 years ago I did something that’s been hanging around in my mind over the years, tucked down inside of me like a lucky charm that I don’t want to lose. I am reminded of it everyday. Do I regret it? Yes. But at the time, it seemed like it was the only thing I could have done to retaliate. When a child is abused, they will do anything to stop the pain.
“Shhh!” I would whisper to myself as a sense of comfort. I heard footsteps coming up the stairs. Don’t move. I would think to myself while staring through the blinds of the small wooden closet. The door swings open, the smell of alcohol fills my nostrils like toxic gas. My eyes start watering, not because of the putrid smell but because of what happened next. Because of what always happened next. This went on for quite some time before my mother left. When she was gone there was no protection.. . He was a monster. A terrible sickness I couldn’t get rid of. Or could I? An idea sparked in my head, like a match in a dark room. The thought of ending the madness was overwhelming. The idea grew bigger in my head, it spread like a wildfire, like gasoline on an open flame. “That’s it!” I yelled out loud to myself. I ran to the window and looked, bug eyed, through the dirty glass. I imagined myself running into the shed and picking up one of the 20ish gas cans my father owned. I close my eyes hard and the memory fades out of my mind. As I awake from my daze, I remember that my stop is coming up. I pull the dark red chain making a jingling noise alerting the driver that someone must get off. Though I wasn’t home yet, I wanted to walk and think. As I arose from the warm, sticky bus seat I stumble into the isle and walked tiredly off the bus. I walked to the front of the bus and jumped out, anxious to leave the thoughts that just crossed my mind on the old, smelly, city bus. I began walking down the alley and the flashback starts once again. There I was, looking up at the mountain of dented red gas cans I can't help but wonder the effects of my actions. Will I continue to be attacked? Was about the only thing I could think of... Would destroying the house somehow make his anger stop? The thoughts subside as I start toward the cans. The room was dark and reeked of gas that was probably stolen by my so called father. So i Started grabbing the cans and lifting them one by one to see which cans were empty and which were full. Separating them into two different categories, the tower of empty cans seemed twice as tall as the full cans. I lifted two gas cans and started into the house. Passing by the kitchen I can't help but notice the green glowing clock on the stove which read 4:34. "Perfect." I said as maliciously as an eleven year old could. He'll be home just in time to see the fireworks. As I carefully walked down the stairs, I began planning precisely where I wanted to let the gruesome fuel spill out into this dungeon of a basement. The dryer? The washing machine? No. I was going to pour it straight onto the floor. In the middle of the room. I Set both cans down and ran back up the stairs, through the living room, into the kitchen and out the back door into the shed. Grabbing two more gas cans, I ran downstairs and put them neatly in a row next to the washing machine. repeating these steps until there was only 2 more cans of gas remaining i lifted and bolted outside getting a little ahead of myself I started to loose my footing on the sand and gravel coated steps. I bit it hard and went knee first into a gravel covered stone. I jumped up and started screaming. Thinking of all the pain I've ever been in, i could only relate this pain to things my father has done to me before. I will never forget what happened next. I fueled my pain into anger and ran inside leaving the gas cans on the ground. Though the door, up the stairs and into my fathers room. I looked for anything and everything he held dear to him. Looking high and low, I found the pocketknife that his great grandfather gave to him when he was just a little boy, his cell phone that he must have forgot to take to work, and the small, heavy, black safe he stored safely under his bed. Gathering all these things in my arms, I sprinted down the stairs. Blood dripping from my knee, I skipped at least 3 stairs at a time I was running so fast. I arrived into the basement and slammed all my fathers valuables onto the cold, dead bug covered ground. Picking up one can of gasoline, I began dousing his favorite things in gas, sort of the way he doused himself with alcohol and then beat my mother and I. As the amount of liquids in the can lowered, I threw the can aside and picked up the next can. One by one I began pouring the gas onto the floor. The final can must be poured carefully. I began walking backwards while leaving a trail up the stairs. Once I reached the top, I threw down the gas can and turned to grab a chair to reach the matches on top of the refrigerator. After I found them I jumped down from the chair and stood at the top of the stairs. I pressed the match against the sulfur covered strike-box and began to examine the job I had done. Though it was hard to believe, a ten year old did this himself. I look back and can't believe how corrupt and demented of a little kid I used to be. It was his fault though... He did this to me I thought to myself. One last thought crossed my mind before I burned my house to the ground and it was a thought I had overlooked a lot as a child. I though of all the good times I had with my dad. The first time we played catch, the time he took me to the carnival, and my greatest memory of my dad was a family picnic we went on when I was just three years old. I don't remember it, but we had pictures. Everyone was so happy. But the happiness that once radiated from my father was now nothing but pure evil and hatred. I lit the match and held it out in front of me. I slowly released my grip on the small wooden stick, and closed the door. That's the last thing I remember before I ran outside and never looked back. As I approached my home from my long cold walk home from the bus stop, I put my key into the door in front of me and walked inside. I set down my coat and hat, then walked into my bedroom. I picked up a picture of my dad, held it close to me, and started to cry.




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