Kira's story

August 8, 2008
Kira woke with a start, her heart and mind racing as she tried desperately to shut out the images now floating through her mind. "It's just a dream. Just a damn dream."She muttered, feeling around for the cord to her lamp. Finding it, she let a little bit of light flood the room.
Her hand plummeted cautiously under her pillow, pulling out a small pill box. She sat up, pushing a piece of tangled black hair behind her ear. She pulled her glasses off her night stand and sat them upon her freckled nose, framing her emerald eyes. She placed the pill box on her lap, and flipped open the lid. Pushing aside Tylenol and benadryl, moving a piece of wax paper off the bottom, she pulled out a blade.
The blade was rusty, but still extremely sharp. Kira played with the blade for a moment, eyeing its edges, letting the light dance across its metal. She then turned her eyes to her arms, scarred but healed, with no trace of new injuries. She sighed and closed her eyes. "Just a damn dream."She whispered. She slid the blade back into its box and went to put it back under her pillow. She hesitated, and with one final sigh, she tossed it into her waste basket. She turned off her light, glancing at her clock. 3:09 am. She was finally on the way to healing. She closed her eyes, and fell into a restful sleep.

Kira groaned and rolled over, glancing at her clock. She didn't want to get up. Not today. It had been a long tiring day, yesterday, and she wasn't ready to live it again
She reached under her pillow and cursed, her hand touching nothing. What madness was this? When she needed it the most, she no longer had it. She sighed, and sat up slowly, grimacing from the pain in her bruised body. It could be a bad day, but she wouldn't let it. She could beat it. Kira was strong. She knew how to manage, even when she no longer wanted to.
Kira stood slowly, stretching her aching legs and wish she had not throw the Tylenol away too. Her body stung, but she had felt worse. Her eyes gazed toward her shut doorway, knowing that they would be awake soon. She grumbled under her breath, and slowly managed to get dress. Yet another day.

Kira grimanced, glaring at the woman sitting across from her. "Kira, how did you get these bruises?" The woman asked. Kira merely shrugged. "I fell down." was all she said. "You fell on your face dear? That must have took talent."The woman sighed. Kira hesitated, her eyes blank. "I fell. It's no big deal. I just fell down some stairs is all."
"You tend to fall alot dear.Are you sure nothing is wrong?" "Of course not. I just fell, honest."She glared at the woman, her nosy guidance counselor. "Alright Kira. Go then.Go back to class."

Kira shrugged, and walked away.But not to class. She headed into an empty bathroom, and leaned against the sink. Of course she fell, she always fell. Over and over, against the hard wood floors. She had help falling, but she could never tell. Her sister depended on her, so she must remind silent.

She sighed, and reached in her backpack, her fingers feeling for her spare. Her spare blade, the one in the sewing tin. She found it, and withdrew it, removing it from it's container in a mere second. She hesitated, her eyes traveling down the nice, shiny blade. And she sighed.

She knew better.She could get caught but it wasn't that likely. She wanted to stop.But she needed it, more than she didn't. Kira glanced around, to make sure she was alone, and slowly twirled the blade in her fingers, watching the light hit the metal.

She didn't need it.Not really.But could she stop? Maybe. She knew the road was hard, but she might be able to. She let a small sigh escape her lips as she put the blade away. She glanced into a mirrior, and caught sight of her self. She was a sight for sure .No wonder she had gotten called out of class again. Half of her face was covered in a large purple bruise and there was a bruise just visible on her wrist, half hidden by her long black shirt. Another day maybe, she might just tell the truth. But for now, she would just stay strong.

Kira slowly got off the bus, and headed toward the shabby little house that was her home. Her eyes gazed around the neighborhood, full of shabby little houses and playing kids. It was one of the poorer parts of town, and it certainly had seen better days. But it was home, and that was all that mattered.

Kira hesitated at the front door, fiddling with her key. There was no cars in the driveway, but that didn't mean anything. Sometimes they caught taxis home. Finally she gave in, and opened the door, slipping into the darkness. She grimaced when she heard crying, and headed toward one of the back rooms. Her sister was laying in her crib, crying again. They had forgotten to take her to daycare. And to feed her, again. Kira sighed, picking up the child, and hugging her.

She carried the child into the kitchen, setting her down on the table, and gazed at her youngest sister. The little one had no bruises, but was dirty and so underfed. She sighed, and opened the fridge, searching for food for the child. She gave the little one a bottle, and then a bath, before getting her changed and taking her into her room.

Kira set up the playpen and set the child and some toys in there, before turning to her homework. But she froze when the front door opened and listened to the deadly silence. She heard the small, soft steps, and sighed in relief. Another girl, about eight, quietly opened Kira's door and crawled onto her bed. Kira hugged the younger girl, and sighed . She surveyed the girl in the poor light, taking in her bruises. "I got called out of class Kira. This lady asked me questions. I told her what you told me to."The girl muttered, turning her eyes to the baby. "They didn't hurt Ella did they?"She whispered. "No. But they forgot to feed her again. I may start taking her to daycare or to school with me. Maya, we can't keep living this lie."Kira sighed, brushing the hair out of Maya's face. Both girls looked like Kira, except for the scars. They didn't have her scars, and she didn't want to them to ever get those scars.

"We can't. We can't tell Kira. They would separate us."Maya whispered softly. "I know they might. But Maya they started hitting you now. When it was just me, it was fine. But what if they hit Ella? What if he starts messing with you, Maya? I want you two to be safe."Kira whispered back. Maya opened her mouth, but fell silent when the front door slammed open. Kira automatically picked Ella up, and set her on the bed, before shutting her door. "Maybe they will forget we're here."Maya whispered. Kira merely shook her head. They never forgot, and they never would.


"Maya stay here. Hold Ella."Kira whispered, walking softly toward the door.Maya instantly started to follow."Maya stay! I can handle this. Stay."Kira ordered quietly, before opening the door, slipping out, and sticking a key in her lock. She locked Maya and Ella into her room, before heading toward the shouting.

Kira slid into her bed, moving Ella away from the edge, and wrapping an arm around the sleeping Maya. She would wake Maya up later, and make sure both kids were fed. But not until after he left. Their mother had already left. Hopefully neither would come back until the next afternoon, and the little ones would be safe until then.

Kira never told, never told anyone what was happening. Even Maya only knew what she saw. But she couldn't tell. Someone had to take care of Maya and Ella. Though she knew that one day, they might go to far, and then she wouldn't be here at all. But telling wasn't an option. What was she going to tell?

That she was abused? It wasn't abuse. That she was threatened? But wasn't everyone. That she wanted to hurt herself? Then she was crazy, because hurting herself was insane. She wanted to die sometimes and she had tried. But she never succeeded, because of her sisters. If she died Maya would become his toy, and their punching bag, and she didn't want that to happen. She only had two options.

To tell the truth or keep silent. In four years she could leave, take Ella and Maya and leave. But they had tried to kill Ella, once, and Maya was getting beaten too often now. Four years was so long. She just didn't want to make that call. Maya would never forgive her, but she would never forgive herself if something happened to her sisters.

Kira didn't know what to do. She needed to cut so badly, but she couldn't. Her sisters were there, and she just...she didn't need it. She needed her sisters to be safe. She didn't know if she was strong enough. But she would keep them safe. As long as she was alive.

Kira walked into her guidance counselor's office, with Ella balanced on her hip. "Kira, this is a surprise. What brings you back so soon?"The woman asked, taking in the sight of the little baby. Kira sat down in silence, still debating why she had come. "I need help."She whispered softly. "What's wrong dear?"

"I'm scared they'll hurt Ella or Maya. I'm not always there to protect them. They got to Maya before I could protect her. She's safe now, at school, but I just...I want my sisters to be safe."Kira muttered, brushing her hair out of her eyes. "And I keep wanting to cut myself. But I can't because of my sisters. They need me .But I don't know if I can stay strong for so long."

"Kira, you know you can tell me anything dear. They have been hitting you, haven't they? And Maya? But cutting dear, it's not where you need to be now. We need you to stay safe now. We need to get you and your sisters out of there Kira."The woman replied softly, taking Ella, and bouncing the little girl, who giggled. "Do you have any relatives dear?"

Kira hesitated, thinking. "I have an Aunt, but I never met her. Her and my parents got in a fight a few years back. She had DSS investigate them." "Maybe she could take the three of you. But we need to get you out of there. Alright?" The woman replied gently. Kira merely nodded, her eyes distant.

"Kira, I need you to tell me everything ok?" Her guidance counselor, Julie, said softly, watching the girl. Kira merely nodded, not looking at her. Ella was on the floor, playing with the doll Kira brought fror her. "They hit you and Maya right?" Kira nodded again. "They just hit you? Never anything else?" Julie asked softly. "They beat me and Maya, yes. They burnt Maya a few times."Kira shrugged. "They tried to kill Ella, and they don't feed either of them." "There's something you're not telling me, isn't there?"

"Please, don't."Kira whispered, looking away from her. "Is Ella their child, or your's dear?" "Ella is their child."Kira muttered. "But that doesn't answer my other question Kira. You have to tell me the truth dear, if I am to help you and your sisters." Julie replied gently. "This was a mistake."Kira muttered, standing quickly. "Sit down Kira. It's okay, it really will be. Just talk to me, please." The woman sighed, picking up Ella. "I'm not allowed to tell."Kira whispered. "You weren't allowed to tell, but no one can hurt you here dear."

"I was just...his play toy. It's no big deal."Kira muttered. "But it is, to you it is a big deal. He raped you?" Kira nodded. "Once?" "No."She muttered, looking away. "Four years. For four years." "And you never told?" "I couldn't. I had to protect Maya and then Ella. But now, now their in danger." Kira whispered. "They won't be in danger for much longer dear. Thank you for trusting me .Go to class. I have to make a few phone calls."Julie replied softly, handing over Ella. Kira took the younger girl, and left, sighing.

"Kira this is your Aunt Linda. She's going to fight for custody of you and your sisters."Julie remarked later that afternoon. Kira merely glanced at the woman sitting across from her. "I've been trying to get custody for years, but there was no proof that they were abused."The woman remarked, watching Kira. Kira held Ella tightly to her, and sighed. "Maya will be happy."She muttered. "And why is that dear?" "We'll all be together."Kira whispered. "You will also be safe. Your aunt is a teacher at a university nearby, so you can go to school here.It is in the next town though, and your parents won't no where you are.You'll go with your aunt tonight."Julie explained quietly. Kira merely nodded, staring blankly off into the distance

A few months later, Kira sat in another office, her therapist's office. "Your aunt is nice to you though, isn't she?" The woman asked quietly. "She is nice .She hasn't hit us once, not even when Maya caught the kitchen on fire."Kira grinned. "You seem so much happier since they first sent you to me." "I am happier. I'm free from my parents and my aunt is very kind to us. She takes good care of us, and I don't have to worry about my sisters being in danger." She shrugged. "And the cutting?" The woman asked. Kira held up her clean, but scarred, arms. "Two months free .I don't need it anymore. I still want it. But I have no reason to need pain anymore. I can control who hurts me now, so I don't need to." "I'm glad child. You seem to be healing." " I am healing. I will always remember, but I'm healing. IT's slow and painful .But I can get there."Kira replied with a shrug, glancing out the window. "My aunts here."She added. "Alright then. Same time, same place?" The woman asked. Kira nodded, and walked out, holding her head high and feeling safe for the first time in a long time.

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