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Bent And Broken

Before
I stare at the hard wood floor through one eye, because the other one was swollen.
I grab a hold of the bed beside me, and lift my fragile body from the bottom of the floor.
I hear my father stalking up the steps, burping away his drunken binge, and washing away love with the drink in left hand.
I don’t have to look at him, because I know his daily routine.
I wipe the blood from my mouth with the back of my hand, and stubble to the door.
I can hear my father, start humming a song, the song he sings as he strokes me cheek, the songs he sings as he pushes himself to love me like he loved me my mother, the song he sings as he leaves the room after he beats me, the song his sings when he began to do this…all of this.
I push my ear up to the door, and find that my father has dozed off into dreams.
I rush over to the desk, and grab a hold of that tightly, trying not to fall on my head.
I peel a piece of paper from my journal and write:

Dear Dad,
I would have never done this. I was your little girl, that’s why I let you do what you do. I would do anything for you, but, now I can’t take it anymore. I left today because I figured that leaving was the best thing for me. And you say that you always want the best for me, at least that’s what you say… I’m not telling you were I am going because you would never want to get off your ass and come find me. You say that you love me, but, I don’t think that really matters, does it? Well, to you it doesn’t. I wish you would understand what pain you have brought me. Please, don’t try to find me, by the time you read this letter, I may be across the state line.
Goodbye,
Blake
I fold the paper, and set it on the desk under the lamp.
I grab my jacket, and bag, and stare at the four blank walls that surround me.
It reminds me of my messed up head.
One wall in the shadow of the night, kind of like my mind, filled with years of verbal, sexual, and physical abuse from my jackass of a father, the second wall, in the dim light of my lamp on the cherry oak desk, like my faded soul that has fallen deeper from my mother’s death, and my father…the third wall pierced with windows, like the escape of happiness that all these years have brought me. The fourth wall, covered in posters and pictures, like the cover up faces that I pry on and off every day.
I sigh, and walk toward the desk, stare at the note, and situate it neatly on my pillow.
Quick as possible, I walk toward the window, and peel it open.
Before venturing off into the world of unknown, I stare at the white house that I was born and raised in.
Plain and fragile, like I.
I start running, feet pounding on the sidewalk, my heart beating as fast as the blood would rush.
It scared me knowing that someone could easily snatch me right now, but, it calmed me, listening to the beat of my feet rushing away.
I look back one last time, and I swear I see someone waving.
I stop and peer closer.
“Mom?”
No. It’s only my imagination.
After
“Ow.” I whisper as I bump my head in the fogginess of my waking.
“Where am I?” I rub the desperate sleep away from my eyes, and see a metal toilet before me.
I start to stand, but, fall once more.

I find myself with hand on bare stomach, index finger poking lightly in my belly button.
I stare down in disbelief, the alien tattoo that I had printed there, is swimming in its familiar place. My fingers trace over the string like tube that ties the alien to my belly button, and then I lightly outline the baby’s body, feeling the small bump that forms beneath it.
I feel a sudden erg to puke and pass out again.
I grab a hold of the bathroom stall door, and fly back onto my butt.
“Blake, Blake?! Are you okay?!” I can hear Cindy, my boss, clomping toward me.
“Yeah,Yeah.” I guess she could see my auburn tumble weed of hair.
“Oh, Okay.” She unlocks the stalls doors and grabs at my head before it could bash on the floor.
“Don’t you think that you should go home?” She says as she rubs my forehead, as if I was one of her foster children.
“No.” I sit up urgently and slap her hand away.
“Blake,” I start to stand. “Don’t you think that you should stay home, get some rest, you should really-“
“No! No means no Dad!” I scream.
Cindy slides back toward the wall.
I peer around, and rush out of the bathroom.
What was that? Did I just yell at one of my bosses? More importantly, did I call her Dad?
Ugh. I need to get all of this off my mind.
I look at the clock on the wall and see that it is 5:56, still my break.
Wow, I was only out for fourteen minutes, it felt like forever.
I think of possible ways to calm these nerves and find myself heading toward the bar.
I sit and rest my head in my arms as a familiar face paces quickly to my spot at the empty bar.
“Hey, Blake. What can I get you?” I find Aly scrubbing at tiny spots left on the beer mugs.
“Uh, no.” I say into the counter.
I could see her shrug. “Alright.” Then, she continues to serve a man continuous mugs of amber alcohol.
I peer at him, stare at the tired eyes looking back at me. They are grey with a hint of blue, they look just like…just like my-my father’s eyes.
“Uh, I uh changed my mind. How about some...I don’t know. Something to drink to pass the time I am wasting away here.”
She reaches under the counter and pulls out a green bottle, smiles and twits the top. “I saw you chugging on a couple of these the other night.”
I nod, and begin to down the drink as if it would save my life.
When I set the drink down, she stares at me with bugged eyes.
“Blake, do you need to talk about something?” She fumbles to keep her mind focused on the mugs that she is supposed to be drying.
“No. No. Nothing special,” I put my lips to the empty bottle. “Other than I called Cindy my father’s name.”
“What? I’m sorry, what was that?” She laughs a little not knowing what just went on moments ago.
“It’s not funny.”
“I wasn’t laughing.” We peer at each other, and she finally gives up and smiles at me.
“It’s still not anything to smile over.” I grab the fountain from her hand.
“So,” She stands in the same position, without the cup or the magical fountain.
“I called Cindy ‘Dad’.” I say softly.
“Dad?” She giggles. “How is that so bad?”
I sigh, and get up from the padded seat. “I have work to do, tell me when you’re done here.” I circle my finger around the wooden counter top.
“Alright, Captain.”
I give a sly smile and stumble over the ever so terrified, Cindy.
I stare down at the granite floor, and untie my apron.
I do not meet her eyes when I place the green-colored cloth into her hands.
She begins to say something, and I can tell she is tripping over her words inside of her head, trying to find the right consonant and vowels to form a sentence.
“Oh, Blake.” She scratches her head. “I think you need to see a doctor. You were in the bathroom for a couple of hours. Lucy had to take over your tables, and today is Friday. It is a busy night. I’m giving you an absence for approximately…” She ponders. “Three weeks over so.”
Three weeks? It wasn’t that bad. Oh, who am I kidding myself, I shouldn’t be passing out at work. I should go, maybe even pay a visit to that bastard who calls me his daughter. Yet, I still call him my Dad. Oh, Jesus, what has become of me? I am this terrible monster that hides in your dreams or something. Yeah, of course, a creepy, scaly, four-headed monster. Get a hold of yourself!
I blink out my delusional thought, and whip my hair back away from my forehead.
“Blake, do you need me to drive you to a hospital?”
I’m so startled I almost smash Cindy. “Oh, gosh no. I’m perfectly fine. I can drive myself home.”
Later
I open the door, and shiver off the snowy weather outside.
My black leather jacket is removed and placed on a hook in the doorway.
The telephone rings in the distance, and for once, I don’t run to get it.
Instead I bring water to a boil and make some pasta with alfredo sauce and sliced chicken breast.
I gather all the pages of my notebook from old, and sit down in front of the fire, with a blanket draped around my legs, my dinner in near reach.
Day 1
Dear Random Page of Binder Paper,
I can’t stand this anymore, but, I don’t have the guts to tell him to stop.
I can’t wait until I’m eighteen, and I’m out of this joint.
Oh, how I would kill to be out of here any day.
I looked in the mirror today.
I mean, I really looked.
Every detail, I scribbled down.
Pale, blotchy skin.
Faded eyes.
Oily, and tattered hair.
Never.
When Mom was here, that would never, ever happen.
I can’t believe she just up and left us like that.
Well, I have to go make supper or else he will whip me again.
I don’t want that.

Day 6
Okay, I can’t not hide this anymore.
My father rapes me.
He touches me in all the wrong ways.
At first when he first started doing that, I cried.
Cried like I did when I was a baby, or on my first day of kindergarten.
And he slapped me, and told me to straighten up and listen to him.
“You love me don’t you.”
They teach us all this stuff in school, when someone, anyone, touches you there, you have to tell someone.
Who can I tell?
I can’t tell anyone.
I miss you Mom.
God, I miss you.
This may sound gross but, did he ever do that to you?
You know, touch you in that ‘special’ way?
Oh, Lord.
He’s coming up the stairs.
I have to go before he finds me with this journal.
Bye.

Day 108
Found out something heart-breaking today.
I’m pregnant.
Yep.
I’m pregnant with my son and my brother.
No other man has ever had sex with me.
Not ever.
Do you believe me?
Because no one else does.
I walked by Mrs. Ellis today and she called me a “dirty whore”.
A dirty whore?
Since when?
I bet you, he is telling everyone that I have been having freaky sex and that “some dude” got me pregnant.
If anyone would open up their eyes, they would see the truth.
Not everyone can have 20/20 vision.
I just wish he would let me go.
Let me go.
Let me go.
That’s all I whisper to him when he is yelling at me, pining me to the bed, or hitting my head against the refrigerator shelf.
Of course the alcohol is taking over his brain, and he can barely hear me screaming for help.
Help me.
Help.
Please, someone help me.
Apparently, everyone is deaf.
Deaf and blind.
That’s my block.
Ronnie came and sat with me on the porch yesterday, she was telling me about her boyfriend, when she noticed that my face was swollen.
“Blake? Are you alright?!”
I couldn’t talk since last Tuesday.
I tried, so bad. I tried. I really did.
I just shook my head, and she stared at me and began to cry.
She was raspy, but I could hear her.
“I hear you calling out every night. For someone to help you. And, I know I should, but, Betty Lou won’t let me come over here. She told me you needed your punishment for being a trashy whore. You’re not a trashy whore. I’m a bigger whore than you are. I’m so sorry, Blake. I’m so sorry, Blake.”
And the next day, Ronnie and her mom moved out of the house, and soon enough, everyone else in hearing distance moved too.
I feel alone.
No one is ready, brave enough to call anyone.
To tell anyone.
Or am I the chicken?
No. No. No.
I refuse to be called a chicken.
I’m packing my bags and leaving one day.
One day.



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