The Moon Shined Brightly

March 9, 2008
By Anita Bwiza, Cedar Falls, IA

Chapter 1

The moon shined brightly through her window, as she lay wide-awake in her bed. She wished the moon could take away the pain of her present, past, and most likely, future. She wished she could drown in the music, the sweet sound she loved so much.

Minnie was 13 years old, and been playing the violin for 8 years. She loved to play, and she loved the feel of the strings vibrating against her skin. The sound it produced put her in a trance. She enjoyed school, but didn’t have any friends, because she was shy and quick-tempered.

Her father is an alcoholic, who often was gone all week. When he did come home, he was always angry. For the past 6 years, he had sexually abused her. No matter how many times she told him to stop, he never listened. This had caused her to be insecure, and she hated when people, especially boys, touched her.

Her mother was a drug dealer. When she didn’t get enough money, she would take her anger out on Minnie. She constantly beat Minnie with whatever she could use.

Minnie always wore covering clothes, and when people saw the scars and bruises, she often made excuses. When boys started to notice her as she grew, she would get scared. Eventually, they forgot about her.

She lived in a small apartment in Buffalo with her parents. She was not allowed to come out of her room except to eat supper and when she was going to school. She often wondered what was going on in the outside world. As she lay in her bed she thought, One day I’m going to run away to New York City, and got to Julliard School of Arts and Music. Then I will be away from this horrible life of mine.

She got out of her bed and got her violin out. She ran her thin fingers over the strings dreaming of a world of music and peace. She pluck the string, the sound echoing throughout her room. She paused to make sure no one had heard her. Then she heard the sound she dreaded most. The sound of loud footsteps. She rushed to put her instrument away, and fell under her covers, faking to be asleep.

The door slammed open and her mother stood in the doorway, wooden spoon in one hand, her face filled with rage. Minnie automatically knew that her mother had not made much money that week.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” She bellowed

“Nothing mama. Minnie whimpered.

“How many times do I have to tell you, I don’t want to hear that piece of crap in my house?”

“But I don’t get any other time to play during the day!”

“Does it look like I care? NO!

“Mama, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to!”

“Mama I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to!” she mimicked “Is that all you can ever say? You don’t understand what I have to go through>’

All the rage in Minnie built up, until she exploded, and the words came spewing out.

“Mama, you don’t understand what I go through every day. Every day, I have to hide myself from the kids at school. Every day, I have to make excuses for the scars on my body. You think I don’t understand? Put yourself in my shoes.

She knew at that moment she had said too much. But strangely enough, she did not regret it. Her mother rushed forward striking her across the face with the spoon. Minnie cried out in pain.

“What the devil do you mean ‘put yourself’ in my shoes? Why do I need to deal with a spoiled brat? You have everything you need. You’re lucky I let you play that stupid instrument of yours at school. So never, ever tell me I don’t understand!”

She strikes her across the back then on her shoulder she continues to hit her until she is satisfied, and leaves the room, closing the door behind her.

Minnie cries tears of pain and fear; she hides under her covers and tries to think of way she can get out of this. There must be some way, She thought. As she though, she drifted off to sleep.

Chapter 2

“And does anybody know what the square root of 144 is?”

Minnie was in math class. She sat in her favorite spot right next to the window. She looked out into the blue sky wondering how much longer school would last. She yearned to be free like the clouds in the sky.


“Huh? What?”

The class began to snicker. Mr. Cote, ignoring the class asked.

“Do you know the answer to my question?”

Minnie didn’t recall him asking her any question.

“What was the question?”

“You wouldn’t know would you? That’s because you’re too busy daydreaming about who knows what. Would you care to tell us what you were thinking about?”

“I don’t remember what I was thinking about, but I know it’s better than this class.”

“How interesting. Perhaps you would like to stay after school for a week to tell me your opinion on how I should run my classes. Don’t you agree?’

Minnie went pale at the thought of what her mother or father would do when she came home late.

“I can’t do that; my mom will kill me if I get home late. Literally.”

“Well, isn’t that too bad, you should off thought about that before you acted like a horse’s rear end. Now, Kerry, would you like to tell us the answer to my question?”

“The answer is 12” She turned in her seat and smirked at Minnie.

“Correct. Now Minnie, what have you learned from this?”

“That I should have better teachers?” she mumbled.

“Excuse me? I didn’t hear you clearly.”

“I said I will be your little angel next time.”

“Mr. Cote, she’s a liar. She said that she thinks she should have a better teacher.”

“Thank you Kerry, but I heard her the first time. We’ll see how she feels about two weeks of detention and a call home.”

Mr. Cote was her least favorite teacher. He knew about her conditions at home, and tended to pick on her the most of out everybody.

Kerry and Minnie used to best friends until 5th grade. They had always done everything together. From parties, to the mall, to sleepover. If one weren’t invited, the other wouldn’t go either. They were closer than PB&J’s.

In 6th grade Kerry became the most popular, trendiest, and prettiest girl in the school. Minnie was left in her shadow. They still hung out, but they both knew they grown apart. By the end of the month, Kerry had gone her way and Minnie hers. By the start of the 2nd semester, Kerry had made a habit of making fun of Minnie. Things like “hey Minnie, who’s trash did you dig through for that outfit? And “Minnie are you wearing a mask, because I can’t tell the difference. They’re both so ugly!”

Minnie would try to hold in her tears but never succeeded, which made Kerry even happier. By 8th grade, she grown used to the insults, and never cried anymore.

The bell rings for class to start, and Minnie looks around startled. She realizes 7th graders surround her. She races out of the room her face hot with embarrassment. She runs to the bathroom and turn the water on, splashing her face until she is cool again.

She looks for a place to hid, and finds the door marked janitor.


She runs to her locker, grabs her stuff, and rushes back to the bathroom. She flings open the door, hurls herself inside and locks the door behind her. She looks around her for a place to sit and relax.

After the bell rings at the end of the day, she walks to Mr. Cote’s class for her detention.

“Ah, Minnie, it’s so nice to see you here.”

“I doubt it.”

“Excuse me? Are you trying to get more detentions?”

“Look dud, let’s get this straight you hate me, I hate you. So let’s save each other some breath okay?”

Without saying another word, he sits down ignoring her for the rest of the detention.

As Minnie sits there, she wonders what would it be like to run away? She has dreamed of going to Julliard since she was a little girl. Then an idea popped into her head. That’s it! I’ll run away! She thought.
- 1hour later-

“Okay Minnie, you may go now.”

“Oh, thanks. Now my butt is going to be kicked. You knew that this would happen didn’t you? Isn’t that why you made me stay after?

Her teacher smirks and says, “What I know is none of your business. Now be on your way.”

Minnie slowly makes her way home and when she gets home the house in completely empty. That weird she thought usually someone is home at this time. She walks around the house, and finds it empty. She walks into her room, and sees her mom and dad sitting on her bed, their faces blank. Oh no. This can’t be good. Her mom stands up and walks over to her.

“Where have you been? We waited for you for 3 hours. And nothing.”

“Mom, I was only gone for one hour. And I had detention with my teacher.”

“Why did you get detention? Answer me you good for nothing!”

And with that her mom slaps her across the face. Minnie cries out in pain, and starts to sob.

“I got detention for being snappy to the teacher. That’s no reason for you to hit me!”

BAM! A fist comes crashing down on her face, and she faints.
2 hours later -

When she comes to, her father is on top of her, and she is naked. She screams bloody murder, and starts to fight back, trying to move from under him.

“Stop moving around! Join the fun honey. Hey, get this girl to stop moving already!”

Her mother pins her down for the rest of the time, and when he is done, she’s gasping for her breath from crying so hard. That night, she knows that now is her chance to leave. Tonight, I will go to New York City. No matter how long it takes.

That night, she plans for her escape. shoes, check toothbrush, check clothes, check undergarment, check. And everything else? check. She goes to her mothers room and takes $500 dollars from her secret stash. She’ll never notice anyways. She thinks.

So she goes to sleep, and stores energy for the escape that could change her life forever.

Chapter 2

Minnie wakes up early and writes a note to her parents:
Dear Mother and Father,
I know you are wondering where I went. But do not worry.
I went to a place where I will be safe from you.
Mom, I took 500 dollars, and I hate you so much

I have suffered so much from you, and I wish you the best.

Dad, I hate you too, and I have lost so much of my youth because
of what you have done to me. I wish you the best.
Again, do no worry, Iam safe and sound, and have a nice life.

As she finishes the letter, tears are pouring down her face. She picks up her backpack and violin and walks out of the house, beginning her long trip to New York City.

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