Louise This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   The constant click of her heels echoed upon the cold, wet tar. Her long, flowing dress flapped in the breezed behind her. Her face had a look of anguish as she scuttled home to be on time for dinner. I'm going to be late, she thought, as she crossed the busy street. A young girl of nearly 14, her pale blue eyes showed years of wear and worry. Even at 14, her features showed signs of fading. Dodging puddles here and there, dashing up toward her doorstep, she turned around abruptly, her pale blue eyes flooding with fear as she heard the familiar, stern voice call, "Louise."

"You're late," her father scolded. A husky man of 45, his features alone were enough to drive fear into a young child's frightened mind. "Damn you! Why can't you ever do as I tell you! Just who do you think you are? You're in BIG trouble young lady!" A short, high pitched cry was heard as the sound of a SLAP! cracked across the young girl's face.

She didn't need any clues; it's the same today as every other. Embarrassment, fear, and wondering if it will ever end are the same thoughts today as always..She could smell the familiar scent of alcohol the minute he approached her; his angry voice, his slow drawn out speech were a living hell. Maybe he doesn't realize what he does, she thought, as she went to her room in shame. No, if he cared, he'd try to help himself. If he cared, he'd realize what he does. I f he cared, he'd realize the needs of his daughte. But no ...alcohol always comes out on top.

She heard the door slam and the start-up of the family car. "Oh, God," she mouthed. The screeching of tires echoed through her ears and the smell of burning rubber permeated the stale air of her room. This is it, she thought. He's really going this time. Would he come back? Would he want to? Does he care? Does it matter? Day in, day out. The same old thing. Angry voices, slaps, slamming doors, and the ever-familiar smell of alcohol. Nightmare on Washington Street. Maybe having no father is better than having a lousy one. Then again, was he ever a father? Was he there for life's troubles? Did he care? No.

The tears came slowly at first, running down her cheek like herself running away from her problem. Streaking her cheek with glistening droplets, gushing tears poured out all her fears into the world.

The sound of a car pulled up in the driveway beneath her window, and an aggravated slam of the door could be heard from anywhere in the house.

He's back ... n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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