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Congratulations, You Suck
I hate sitting on my bed, pen in hand, and have zero clue what to write about. Every time I don’t need anything to actually write about, thoughts take over my brain and practically send me into an euphoric craze. The times I actually need something to write about, nothing comes to mind.
I tap my pen on the paper, click it open and closed, bite the tip, and listen to the ticking of my brain on override. The sight of blank paper, inkless sheets, annoys me.
I have about one week left. It’s not as if writing a story about myself should be hard. I’ve had enough events in my life to be able to write a novel.
Let’s go Destinee, write anything. I’m clueless. My eyes wander around the room. Flower wallpaper, a Celtics poster, my mirror… I had no problem writing poetry around my mirror in five seconds flat. My fingers graze over the blue wood and hit the picture. I freeze. The pin of an angel my little brother gave me for my eighteenth birthday covers the picture entirely, except for my mom. I look at her every morning when I get ready for school. It reminds me that I’m beautiful, that she was beautiful, and beauty doesn’t stop a person’s life from being breathlessly taken away. I move the pin. He stares at me. His hazel eyes stare into mine. I haven’t moved the pin in months, haven’t looked into those hazel eyes since January, and last time I did, they were angry, bloodshot, and empathetic to my tears. I don’t miss him at all.
My pen hits the paper and ink hits the blue lines:
Whatever happened to the times when the biggest worry was a scraped knee and a band-aid nowhere to be found?
Thoughts pour into my mind and words fill the pages of white lined paper. Thanks dad, you’re finally good for something…
It’s five in the morning and Fox 25 News is very lucky that East Bridgewater is on the school cancellation list, especially considering the amount of snow on the ground. The piles against the windows, two feet at least, are ridiculous.
The house is empty, lightless, and silent except for the flashing lights on the television and the breaking news story of… something. I’m barely paying attention; I rub my eyes, hit the power button, and drag my feet up the carpeted steps.
My door creaks open and I walk to my bed, engulfed in darkness swallowing my every movement. I lay in my bed and grab my phone, plugged into the charger next to my bed, and slide it open.
Tap the screen. Contacts. Tap the letter “D”. Scroll down. Scroll down. Tap the name “dad.” Quickly type the words “school cancelled.” Tap send, slide my phone shut, and close my eyes. Light blinds me, and I reach to grab my phone and flip it over. Message Send. My eyes shut. I’m not expecting any kind of a reply.
My face slams against the sailboat wallpaper, strong hands shoving my fragile twelve-year-old body. The walls are cold, despite the musky summer air sifting through the screen. My skin is burning and iron blood stains my bottom lip.
He puts his hand over my mouth, my trembling lips, to mask any screams. His other hand grasps a bundle of blonde curls and my face whips to the wall. My body becomes tense and tears well up in the corners of my eyes. His hand, a closed fist, swings through the musk and hits the side of my face. My eyes wince when contact occurs. My pulse pounds hard and I scream from the sudden flash of pain. The scream is muffled.
I open my eyes, body shaking, and watch his back and he walks out of the room I turn to look in the mirror: reddened eyes and nose, bloody lip, and a purpley black bruise beginning to appear under my eye. I run my fingers over the color and sigh.
I slide down the wall and sit on the floor. His bedroom door closes on his and his drunken girlfriend’s laughter. I lay my head on my forearms, and a tear drip down my leg.
He never ever turned around to ask if I was alright, to see how I was doing. Good night dad…
I shove the blankets off, they fall to the carpeted floor, and I reach for my phone. Fully charger, one voicemail, one missed call. I dial my number and hit the speaker button. “You have one new voicemail.” I hit one, and listen to the message.
“Destinee, its me dad. You have three hours to get your s*** out or I’m calling the cops and getting your ass arrested for being in my house. I’m sick of this and I’m sick of you. So get everything out and go. I don’t care where the hell you go. I don’t care what happens, just get out, and go ruin someone else’s life.” Click.
My heart races and I text my best friend. “Dad wants me out of the house. Three hours.” Twenty seconds later, one new message. “Pack everything. We’ll be there at noon.”
I hadn’t touched the black and white keys in months. February 1st to be exact. The night before (I knew there was going to be a snow day) and I wrote a song until two or so in the morning. Those keys kept me in place, kept me true to myself when all was lost. That was months ago.
I sit on the edge of my bed, reaching for my keyboard under Margaret’s bed. She’s at work so I’m by myself, drowning in thoughts.
I pull the cord from under the bed. It drags my keyboard with it. It stretches out on the foot of my bed, the cord plugged into a cream-colored outlet. Switch it from off to on. Glide my fingers over the white keys. A C-Chord. The volume is on low but it soothes a mind stranded in confusion.
I reach for a pen and a notebook. I’m nervous; I haven’t done this in months. It almost feels brand new, like a silent still pond with no ripples; I just have to throw a pebble in. Just write about what you feel. Breathe in slowly. Close your eyes. Let your mind waltz around a ballroom floor. Let your body fall into a flow of notes and drift away into a musical heaven…
I sit, legs crossed, wrists arched, fingers dancing from key to key. Time ticks and hours pass. 6:17 P.M., two hours later, I have three songs complete. I lean against the wall, fingers flipping through pages, reading each title. “Me versus you” “Listen to the Silence” “All I wanted.” Feelings haven’t vanished, but they are slowly beginning to hide behind bigger importances. He’s not the main focus, the biggest concern; he hasn’t called in months. I can’t even remember what his voice sounds like.
It’s the last Friday before senior year is over. The sun shines on my fingers intertwined with his. The blue blanket lays out over sand, and the ocean touches the tips of my toes and tickles my feet. We don’t say much, just look into each other’s blue eyes and smile. The boat goes past us and creates waves in the sparkling ocean. He wraps his arm around my shoulders and pulls me closer. I lay my head on his shoulder. His hand runs over my hair and I smile, letting words slip from my lips in an almost silent whisper, “I love you.” He smiles and we both look out into the horizon, watching the water shimmer under the sunlight. I hold his hand tighter. Finally, after years, it’s nice to feel the love and to not be scared that somebody will hurt me. He must have read my thoughts because he kisses my cheek and tells me he’ll never hurt me. It’s a far fetched promise, but I nod and smile, reaching for my phone vibrating in the pocket of my bag.
My eyes scan over the words, and my face flushes with instant anger. I stand and throw my head in my hands, breathing fiercely to calm my emotions rushing through my body. Jeremy stands and reaches for my hand. I shoot it back to my side. He looks at me, puzzlement playing in his eyes, and my face softens. I sit down, grabbing his arm as my legs hit the sand, and pull him down to sit next to me.
“What exactly is wrong…”
I look at him, breaking eye contact and fiddling my thumbs around in circles. He stares at me and asks again. “What’s wrong hun, what happened?”
“ I never told you about when I was younger, did I?” My voice is soft and he shakes his head.
“Besides the fact that your dad was rude to you and your parents divorced, no not really.” He reaches for my hands and looks at me. I sigh and look out into the water.
“My biological mom died when I was little. I guess I never really knew her.” I pause and he breathes out. I can feel him staring at me but I don’t break eye contact with the horizon. “She gave me up when I was little so I guess it wasn’t much to fret over. I mean it hurts, but there’s not really anything to cry over anymore. I push it all away.”
“That’s why your write?” I smile and nod my head.
“Exactly babe. It helps me get it out. Anyways, she died when I was nine. I remember the cops coming over and I had no idea what was going on. I mean who would?”
“You didn’t know her at all?”
“Nope. The closest I’ve gotten to her is pictures. Anyways, when she died, my dad got meaner. Started the whole hitting thing, made me feel like I was always the bad guy, blamed me for her death…”
“You were nine years old. You didn’t even have any idea what was going on, right?”
“Yeah, but that doesn’t really matter when you’re him. It never has…” I close my eyes and try to filter him out of my head. I open my eyes and Jeremy is staring at me, lips in a straight line, eyes hopelessly wandering into mine.
“So what happened with your phone?” My lip trembles and I shake my head to shake any pain trying to creep its way into affecting my life.
“He’s taking advantage of her death.”
“What do you mean?” I swear the ocean stopped moving and the world stopped spinning. I swallow nerves and anger and focus on facts.
“He’s getting checks from her benefits from the social security office, and signing my name on them, and he’s keeping the money for himself and his…. Needs.”
“Shocker…” He rolls his eyes and grabs my hand. “I’m sorry babe.”
“It’s been happening for years. He’s been stealing money for me… I can’t even apply to college because I don’t have my damn social security card and what was he keeping it for? To steal money because she died!” My voice is raising and he rubs my back. “I’m sorry it just makes me so angry.”
“I know hun, I know.”
“I hate him. How dare he…” I paused and rest my head on his shoulder, closing my eyes. His fingers catch the first tear that falls from my eye.
“Its gonna be ok, I promise you. He’ll get what he deserves. A**holes never win.” I wrap my arms around him and kiss his cheek.
“For being there.”
“You thank me like it’s a chore and it’s not. I love you. Talk to me about anything.” I smile and look at the sand under my feet. “Don’t let your dad ruin your night. He’s too far away to have any affect on you, on us. Just push him out of your mind,” he picks up my hair and pushes it to my back. “and be the strong girl I know you can be.”
The photo album is pink. It holds pictures of my family, well… my blood family. I don’t really know any of them. It has many pictures of her. My mom. My biological mom. She has auburn hair, blue eyes. Her face is rounded, but heart shaped. Curly hair. Skinny. Beautiful.
It’s Easter morning, you can tell because of the Easter decorations on the walls, and he holds her. He wraps his arm around her. Is it just me or is there a frown on her face? She looks like me. Well, I guess, I look like her. I look in the mirror and stare into my own eyes.
For years, he told me he loved her. Told me the same stories, every single time. How her loved her from the moment he saw her, and he would do anything for her. That her death was an accident but it would make us all stronger. He implied “us” as a family. That we would always be a family. That we could get through ANYTHING. That he would not give up on me, because I was his little girl and his first daughter.
What makes me so horrible that I can’t have him stay there for me? What makes me unworthy? Am I not good enough? Do I not fit criteria of a perfect daughter? I try my best. I mean I don’t get good grades all the time, but I work my hardest. I don’t have a job, but I look for one all the time. I don’t drive, but I’m scared and I wanted him to teach me. I get in trouble and I make mistakes every day, but I promise that I’ll learn from them any I’ll never make them again.
Why was I always second best to everybody else? What if I transform myself to be beautiful, smart, and funny? Would he love me? What if I listened to him and just kept my mouth shut? Would that have taken the pain away? Made him hit me less? Made him love me?
I wouldn’t feel so alone growing up. I wouldn’t cry when he was gone for weeks and I barely got a phone call. His girlfriends were always pretty, but I’m his daughter. I promised him that I would try. I cried, begging him to give me another chance. Maybe I just didn’t deserve a chance. Maybe this really is all my fault. All I wanted was for him to care about me. I would have transformed into anything to be ok in his eyes.
A tear drops onto the marble sink and I scream into the mirror, I scream at myself. My cheeks turn red and my head begins to pound. I breathe heavy and am unable to control any tears. They pour onto the sink and I let them fall, one by one. I’m tired of stopping them and I’m tired of holding them back.
My fingers trail along the wall and I reach my notebook underneath my pillowcase. I grab my pen, sit on my bed, and open to a blank sheet. A blank slate. A completely new beginning.
May 22, 2011
I’m upset. But I know its ok now. That I’m gonna be ok. Life sucks. Let’s just put it like that.. It has potential to tear you down and make you feel like nothing. So I guess, in a way, my dad is a way of life. A sick way, but a way in fact. He’s hurt me for the final time.
I know I have to stop caring about him and everything that he’s put me through. I’m stronger without him. I guess, in a very odd way, I am happy that everything that has happened with him happened I am so much stronger now that I thought I could ever be. I can handle anything that is thrown at me and I can walk with my head held high. I didn’t lose anything…
It does hurt, what happened in my life, but its more of a learning experience than anything. It’s about time that I become somebody that I have potential to be instead of being brought down to my lowest point. Because that is all he is good for; a low life who brings down everyone to his pathetic personal level of a bare existence. I’m much stronger than that…
I smile and close the notebook, my mind fully aware that he has pulled me down for the last time. I push the notebook under my pillow again, and lean over to grab the picture of the two of them on my mirror. I reach for a pair of scissors in the bag of pens and crayons in my arts and crafts bag and carefully cut out the beautiful part, and throw the dirt into the trash. I smile and walk outside, holding my head high, and never looking back.
I click my pen closed and place the lined paper into my folder. I breathe out slowly. It has been an adventure. I have never gathered so many thoughts and expressed everything is such little lines of paper. My story is done. A new chapter beginning and a new story to write. Let’s start it positive, shall we?
I open my binder to a new tab, and reach for the blank application. I run my fingers over the college name. Franklin Pierce College Application.
There’s no way you are bringing me down and ruing my plans I’ve had for life. I’m going to college and I am going to be able to express myself to everybody through writing. Good luck bringing me down dad.
You ruined your own life, now step out of mine.