Angel

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Mama always said I was a pretty girl. On days when the sun didn’t shine and I wasn’t feeling right, she would know just what to do. We would make a batch of cookies and watch movies. The Wizard of Oz was always a favorite. The brightness of the characters and the message that you can always go back home made me feel safe even at an age when I didn’t fully understand what it meant. Years later when I decided I didn’t need a home, I would always remember the adventures of Dorothy and remember that I can always make new friends in life. In some ways, my time with my mother was like a drug to me. It comforted me when there was no one else to.

That is until Daddy left and Mama started drinking. She would go on days-long binges where she became violent and would tell me awful things. She would say that it was my fault that Daddy left and that I was a disappointment. A few times she even hit me. I quickly learned to read her moods and look for signs of her drinking. If I knew she was on a bender, I would avoid her entirely until she passed out or went out to a bar. I imagine this is where she found Steve.

Steve was a tall man with eyes so dark they burned like embers. When he first came around he was so nice to me. He would bring me small gifts; buffalo nickels, shiny hair pieces. He always had a smile for me and would pat me on the head every time he saw me. When Steve and Mama got married a few months later, it was a beautiful, small ceremony. I wore a lovely pink dress. Mama always said I was a pretty girl.
But not long after the wedding, Steve showed up at my door one night. I could see the shadow of his feet through the bottom of the door before he even opened it. He then quietly entered; I could see his entire silhouette slightly faded into the darkness, like a shadow. He then closed the door and approached the bed. He told me that if I remained quiet, everything would be ok.
He molested me for about 6 years before I told my mother what he was doing. She never believed me. In the last 3 years or so, her drinking had picked up to a near daily event and her and Steve fought a lot. I never knew when I was safe in the house and when I wasn’t. When I was about 12 I ran away from home. I no longer could take the constant abuse, alcohol and void where the ghosts of better days wandered. It was either leave or die. I thought I chose to leave and survive, little did I know that I would soon be dead on the inside from selling my body.





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