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A Place Called Home
Lashing out with a hate filled swing toward the tall, blond haired boy, the man preceded hitting and kicking the boy until he could no longer fight back. He lay on the floor limp with tears and blood covering his small, chubby face. Looking up back into the eyes of the monstrous man standing above him, he slowly tried to turn away and curl into a ball like a rolly pollie. Waiting for the moment when he would hear the feet slowly walking away and back to the upper level.
Chris had never gotten along well with his father. They were constantly arguing over anything that either one of them said. His father had never been proud or even happy that he had another son. Dalton, the oldest brother, was his favorite, and he made it very obvious. He was very athletic and also did very well in school. There had never been room in the picture for Chris, especially since his mother’s death just a few years before.
She had died of cancer. They discovered the cancer too late and there wasn’t any treatment that could be done at the current point in which they found it. The days she spent at the hospital were tough not only on her, but on the whole family. She had been the glue that held it all together, and without her there anymore no one really knew what the turnout would end up like. This news hurt Chris the most because he had always been close to his mother and could tell her anything. Without her there anymore he knew that his life might take a turn for the worst.
It all started with a slap across the face to shut him up. It had been another one of the many reoccurring disagreements that constantly came up and his father didn’t want to hear anymore. So without thinking, he did the first thing that came to mind, which was to just smack him. Silence filled the air and no one spoke for a few minutes. After standing there and trying to figure out exactly what had just occurred, he walked away silently towards his room. He tried to forget about what happened, but he couldn’t get the images out of his mind.
Minutes, hours, days, went by as usual and little occurred, except for the constant bickering between him and his father. As time passed it went from one slap to two or three then even a few kicks. All the time he was just being abused more and more and he felt there was nothing he could do to prevent it.
Eventually Chris started staying after school everyday and volunteering at different places so that he wouldn’t have to come home. He took as long as he possibly could at different places to put off returning to one place he despised over all. Dalton never stood up for him and didn’t try to help him. Sometimes he would just leave the room to get away from the situation. There was nothing that Chris could do to cease the beating, and there was nowhere he could go to get away from it.
Teachers and people would ask him what happened, how he got that mark, where that bruise came from, and all other kinds of things. Every time he just made up something and then tried to change the subject before someone could figure it out. He didn’t want any of the kids at school thinking he was weak and couldn’t stand up for himself. That would just make life even worse for him because of the taunting he would get from the other kids.
One day his teacher, Ms. Smith, asked him to step in the hall with her for a minute while the class worked on a worksheet. Obediently, he got up and followed her into the locker lined halls of the building. She asked him how he had gotten his black eye since it hadn’t been there the day before. He looked down and with a voice barely above a whisper replied that it happened when he fell down the stairs accidentally.
With a questioning look on her face she replied, “I don’t believe you. Why don’t you tell me what actually happened? What is going on?”
“I wish I could tell you ma’am,” he replied with tears starting to come to his small green eyes.
“Is there something going on at your home? Something I should know? Something that you need to let out?”
He broke down and started to cry, she walked him to an empty room and then he proceeded to tell her about all his problems. They discussed his mom dying to his dad beating him constantly every day. After their conversation ended she sent him to the office so he could cool down and to pull himself together.
The principal called child services and told them what was happening to him. They immediately took him out of the household and had the father arrested for child abuse. Chris and Dalton were sent to live with their aunt up in Colorado, and never came back to their hometown. Even today Chris still thinks about his past and wonders if he had told just one person about he was going through, that maybe he could have prevented some of it in a way. Then maybe, just maybe, things could have been different, and his life could have been easier.