Against the Wall

By , Sandy, UT
It was cold outside; worse than cold, it was freezing. I was only ten years old and it was my birthday. I couldn’t remember a better birthday. That was a joke. It was really the worst day of my life. My parents had died just the week before and I was staying with my next door neighbor, Henry, until my aunt got home from Europe. I had always thought that Henry was mean, but I guess the social security people thought that he was a pretty nice person .When I was younger he would go around the neighborhood shooting birds. I thought it was awful that he was killing such beautiful creatures. They’re my favorite animal, and now I’m staying with the bird-killer, all by myself
My parents used to always fight; mostly about stupid things, like why the hamster was out of the cage or why the door had been left unlocked. They always blamed each other but it was always my fault. I liked to see them fight - I’m not sure why but I did. Now I wish I had never done anything to make them mad at each other. Even though I rarely saw them (they were always at work), I never thought of my life without my parents. Now I have to live without them. They were fighting just before they left. They told me that they would be home soon; they were just going for a drive to calm down and talk, but they never did come back. The police said it was quick, painless, when they got hit I mean. I used to think that my parents hated each other from the beginning of time, but once, a long time ago, they had loved each other. They met at a dance in high school and started dating; after they graduated they got married in a courthouse.
I have never really believed in love. I don’t think that I do to this day. Even though I am married and have two boys and one girl: triplets. I was not excited to hear I was pregnant, but they are the only people that I have come close to loving. Anyways back to the story. Henry, like I said before, was mean. He wouldn’t buy any food, let alone make dinner, and his house was an absolute pigsty: garbage and mold were everywhere. He spent all his money on beer. He wasn’t the brightest tool in the shed either. About three days had passed and I was done with Henry and his gross house. I decided to leave, but Henry thought different. He thought that if I left he wouldn’t get his money from the government.
I started walking to the door when a huge hand came down and threw me against the wall. I screamed as loud as I could then that big, nasty hand came down across my face five more times; with all his force Henry was beating me. I couldn’t believe it. I was getting beaten up by an old drunken man!
In school we have had assemblies about what we should do if we were being abused. I never thought it would happen to me so I didn’t pay much attention, but there was one thing I did remember my teacher telling me: GET HELP! The door was only about ten feet away I thought that if I ran fast enough I could get away from Henry forever. I ran: ten feet, five feet, three feet, almost there almost there I kept telling myself, two feet, blackout. I guess I was wrong.
I remember waking up in a dark, small space; about the size of a walk-in closet. There was a little light coming in from around the edges of the door. All I could hear was the wind; it chilled me to the bone. I thought for sure I would die there, freezing and alone. But I didn’t give up all hope. I was trying to unlock the door when all of a sudden it opened. There was a kind looking woman I hadn’t seen since I was three - my aunt, Sam. I had never felt so happy to see a family member in my entire life. She gave a small sign, grabbed my arms, looked at me for a minute or so, and then did something I never thought she would do - she knelt down and gave me a big hug.
Later that night Sam told me what had happened to Henry. Another neighbor hadn’t seen me from a few days and was worried; then when she heard my scream she called the police. When Sam had gotten off the airplane the police where standing there waiting for her. She wondered what she had done. They drove her to my temporary home. The door was kicked in and police cars were up and down the street. They said they had found Henry with a beer bottle in one hand and a key in another. Sam took the key and went through the whole house looking for me. When she didn’t find me she went outside, she heard a funny noise out back. She put the key in the keyhole of a small shed and twisted it and there I was: bruises on both sides of my face, freezing to death, tried, and hungry.
The police said that they had been looking for Jacob Q. Fran, also known as Henry. I was not the first victim of Jacob. He has abused many young girls throughout the US. He has been a cocaine addict since he was ten and needed the money. He had been on the run for over twenty years. I couldn’t believe that I had stayed with him. My worst day turned into one of my best, when I learned that Jacob had been sent to prison for life.
You might be wondering why I am telling you this, but to be honest, I don’t know myself. I guess I just wanted someone to know what had happened to me when I was ten. And to tell you I am not alone, there are more than a million children abused each year in the United States.
Since that day I have graduated from high school and college with a degree in social work. I am now working to help other abused girls get over all the fear they have inside, so they can have a normal life. I wanted to make a difference in the world and now, step-by-step, I am.





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