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She Might Have Loved

“Do you know what you just did?!?” Indeed I did, I knew exactly what I had just done. Cursed myself with an unforgiveable event and thinking about it now I still feel pain and guilt. I guess it will only make sense if I start straight at the beginning. You’ll understand soon. It won’t be completely simple or make much sense as to why I feel such emptiness now. But in time maybe you’ll understand.
Today is Friday and where this story begins is Thursday morning 5 am.
“Brooke! Get your stupid self out of bed and get downstairs!” That’s my mother, she hates me, and in fact I’m not really sure why she had me. “Brooke! Do you hear me!? Don’t make me smack you.”
“Yes, sorry mom my alarm didn’t go off at the right time.” I’m not even sure why, I have it at the same time every day.
“I know, you shouldn’t need an alarm your 12 you should be able to get up on your damn own. Spoiled little brat you think you are.” God here it comes, she sees me walking down the stairs now. Her eyes narrow at my clothes. “What are those?” I look down; yesterday dad had taken me shopping for a couple new clothes. Mom would have never done something like that for me. In fact the worst part of it all is that my dad is a step-father. Mom remarried after I was conceived my real father wanted nothing to do with me. At least that’s what my mom tells me, Jacob (that would be my step-father) says my dad died weeks before I was born. I want to believe what Jacob told me. I hate knowing another parent could hate me.
“They’re new; Jacob bought them for me when we went out yesterday.” Her look was priceless, she was pissed, and she hates giving me anything nice to claim as mine.
“For God’s sake! Jacob!” Jacob walks slowly into the hall. He meets my eyes; he knows mom’s tone when she’s mad. “What the hell is this? You’re not supposed to spoil her, she deserves nothing!”
“Sweetheart.” He puts a hand on her shoulder. “I just felt like she needed something new she only got two outfits. I’m sorry but her one outfit was getting to out grown.” Mom’s eyes soften; Jacob always knew how to calm her down. She really did love him; I guess he made up for what I couldn’t do for me. But what I like most is that Jacob doesn’t back down from her and I don’t think mom likes that but she lives with it. Jacob makes me feel stronger like I could stand up to her if I wanted.
Mom’s eyes go hard after some time though. “Fine, no more clothes though. She’s only one kid what more does she need.” With that she turns on her heel and stalks away into the kitchen. Jacob turns and meets my eyes. Still standing on the stairs halfway down them he motions for me to come down. He puts a hand on my shoulder and leans over to speak. Quietly he says “Brooke, I’m sorry to say but from now on just pack your clothes in your back pack and change at school. She can’t know I bought more than two.” I nod and hug his waist he hugs me back.
“I hate seeing her treat you this way but I can’t change anything I’m sorry Brooke.” He holds onto both my shoulders tightly.
“I know. I’m sorry Jacob.” I drop my head but he picks it up with his hand under my chin. He smiles reassuring me that it won’t always be this way. Some day she will change.
“Now, go get your stuff I’ll drive you to school. I nod and run into the living room and grab my bag and meet Jacob outside at the car. We get in the car and drive to school.
***

Normally people would explain what happens at school to a kid like me but here’s the thing, I get treated like anyone does at school. I feel protected and loved, I have friends who love and surround me. Nothing could take away from how happy I feel about school. So I guess we’ll just start at after school.
***
“See ya tomorrow Brooky!’
“Bye Mikie.” Mikie is my best friend and also my neighbor he knows everything that goes on at home. I wave bye to him from across the street and walk into my house.
“Welcome home! Go do your chores, you know the drill, stay out of my way too!” At first Mikie use to think mom was just on her period when he first heard her yell at me he soon learned that it was one long period that seemed like it would never end.
“Okay. “ I run up the stairs and drop my stuff in my room. I pick up a note of what my chores are for today. They’re never a lot, which is what my mom cuts me slack on. That and she never has hit me just verbally abused me. All I have to do today is clean her bathroom and clean my room. At the end of the note she puts: If you do a sufficient I’ll let you call Nikie. I shake my head; she never cared what Mikie’s name actually was.
I got to mom’s bathroom first but realize she’s in there. I don’t want to get in her way so I dodge her look and make it seem like I’m picking up something off the ground. She hates when it looks like I’m waiting for something. She moves out of the room and intentionally tries to knock into me just to yell but I dodge her. I’m not giving up my chance to call Mikie. I run into the bathroom and close the door and get started. Within 20 minutes I finish and run to my room close the door and clean what needs to be done. My room is already neat so I only spend 10 minutes doing anything that might need to be done. I hear a knock on my door, I know its Jacob, and mom never knocks.
“Come in.” Jacob pokes his head in and nods. He knows mom’s in one of her moods so he tells her when I get done with my chores to save me from abuse.
“Mary! Brooke finished her chores!” Mom stops at the bottom of the stairs and looks up at Jacob, I fall beside him.
“Alright, I’ll be the judge if you get to call your little friend tonight.” I nod; mom does a walkthrough of the bathroom. She makes it look like she’s really inspecting but she doesn’t care she just gives me chores so I can stay away from her. She doesn’t bother to check my room she knows that’s my space and I never really need to clean it.
“Alright, you did well. You get an hour to talk on the phone. Any longer and you’ll be grounded. Got it?”
“Yes.” She looks at me, Jacob stand behind her smiling at me.
“Dinners ready, come eat.” She grabs Jacobs hand walks down the stairs. I smile with satisfaction and go to eat.
***
Around 8 I decide to call Mikie. The phone rings twice and he picks up.
“Hello?”
“Hey Mikie.” I can sense a smile from his face.
“Oh my gosh! Brooky! Your mom’s letting you call me.”
“Yeah I don’t know why but she said if I finished my chores the way she liked I could call you.”
“That’s so great! So what are you up to??”
“Oh nothing just sitting in my room doing Mr. Terry’s homework. How about you?”
“Thinking maybe I should do that homework ha-ha. Not much just got done playing Xbox.” I roll my eyes.
“Of course you did.” We share a laugh, and then I hear someone pick up the phone and breathe into my ear.
“Get off the damn phone now!” It’s my mom and she sounds pissed.
“But, mom it’s only be 10 minutes, you said an hour.” Mikie is silent.
“I said get off and come down stairs, you stupid brat.” She hangs up and I panic, what did I do?
“Uh, Mikie?”
“Its fine, you’ll be okay. Don’t fight her just talk calmly, maybe it’ll rub off.”
“Thanks. Bye.”
“Bye.” With that I hang up the phone and run down the stairs. Mom’s sitting in the living room with a beer. She’s drunk, I can tell, her eyes are blood shot. She sees me in the open way of the living room. I look around, Jacob isn’t here. Looks like I’m doing this on my own. I take a deep breath and wait for my mom to speak. She doesn’t instead she gets up and walks toward me. My heart’s racing, does she really need to scream right in my face.
“You ungrateful brat, first your father dies then you’re born. You ruined my life.” I think to myself, well at least I know he died.
“I didn’t ruin your life, you had sex.” She breathed in deeply.
“Don’t speak to me like that, you’re stupid and ugly, at least I have good looks! How are you my daughter?”
“I’m…I’m sorry.” I can’t think of anything to say, she always over powers me.
“Shut up! You’ll never be sorry, nobody will love you, no one loves you now.” With that she brought her hand back and swung at me slapping me across the face, at first I was stunned then she did it again and my feelings changed from stunned to anger.
“How does anyone love you? You verbally abuse your only child! You don’t care about me!” She took a step back and dropped her beer, spilling it all over the floor. She didn’t expect me to fire back but she doesn’t step down, she swings again slapping me again. I turn and run for my room. I get in and lock the door. I hear her stumble up the stairs.
“I’ll deal with you tomorrow!” She screams through the door and it echoes through my room. Now I’m scarred for my life. She has never hit me. Not once, what is going on.
***
I wake up to the sun shining in my window. I look over at my clock, it reads 9 am. I’ve missed school by two hours. I get out of bed and unlock my door. I peek out and look around, no sign of mom. I hear a bang down stairs and realize she’s in the kitchen. I notice the bathroom door open and duck back into my room just to be safe.
“Brooke.” Jacob whispers, “I know what happened I’m sorry she locked me out of the house. Please forgive me.” I had never felt mad at him and I wasn’t I understood. I walk out of my room and stare at him with tears in my eyes. We walk down the stairs and into the kitchen together. Mom turns and look at me, she motions for Jacob to leave. He turns and walks back upstairs. God please no.
“We need to talk.” Suddenly a wave of anger washes over me; now she wants to talk, have a rational conversation. No, not after what she’s put me through. She takes a seat at the table and motions for me to sit. Instead I continue to stand and glare at her, she holds my stare then finally turns away.
“Talk about what? How horrible I am. How you don’t love me! How I made your life hell! News Flash you made mine worse! You’re a horrible mother and deserve nothing!” She jumps up and I back up afraid to be hit instead she stares at me motionless. She had no idea that would come out of my mouth. She moves around the table and I move towards the counter. I pick up the knife she has laying on it and hide it behind my back.
“That’s not true. I teach you how to be strong.” I moved forward.
“What you teach me is how to hate and how to be scared.” She moves closer before saying anything else. She’s now in front of my right where I want her if she strikes.
“Brooke, you need to understand, I do love you. I’m so sorry.” With that a wave of hate flew over me, I saw Jacob walk down the stairs and stare at us in the kitchen. I turn my focus back to my mom and scream.
“LIAR!!” Her face gapes open and she screams.
***
And that is how we came to the question. “Do you know what you just did.” I knew, I truly did. Jacob grabbed the phone and called 911. 10 minutes later police and an ambulance were at our door. The police take me and put me in the car. This is what I deserve, to be carried away. Maybe killing her wasn’t the right thing to do but it felt good and I felt like I had power. I saw Mikie looking out his window. A tear rolled down his cheek. I had done it, made people hate me. If I was ever able to go back to school it would be much different. I would feel no love; I would feel like a freak. I turned my head away from his gaze. I dropped it down and cried, this isn’t what I wanted. I knew that now, but I had done it. This was what would become of me, someday somebody might understand though.



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