Hard Knocks Life

November 21, 2009
Christina Downten is what is called the “new threat” to all of the pretty girls at school. She has the total package. Body, looks, and brains. And being a junior in high school only adds more fuel to the fire. The only problem is that she doesn’t see it in herself. Growing up in Fayette, a very small town in Utah, she never really had any chances to experience the life of a teenager. And if you knew what all she’s been through, you wouldn’t wonder why. This is her struggle.

Hard Knocks life doesn’t even begin to explain my life. I’ve been through more than words can describe; which is probably why I’m so insecure with myself and my body. When I was four years old, my parents got a divorce. Yea, you might say that I was a little to young to understand what was going on, but I was old enough to understand that her dad was no longer going to be in my life. Except on the weekends. Those were the designated placeholders as the best days of my life. As four or five years passed by, I got older and wiser. One problem………………………..my mom did also. A well-rounded, independent woman my mom was. Elaine Saulsteen (maiden name), figured out that loneliness wasn’t the way to live so she went out on a search for someone that she said can “tame” this wild animal. Didn’t fully understand what that meant at the time but I do understands now. Elaine’s search ended within a few months after she found a man named Carl Brody. His name sends a merger of heat and chill through my body. Very tall, scruffy, male chauvinistic, and if you looked deep enough behind the lies and through his conniving eyes, you could see a snake. No one took the time to observe and pry out how much of a sneaky, sly, dirty, evil, and lying snake he truly was. Everyone just saw a man that would keep my mom out of their hair for maybe a year or months (I hoped). Carl and Elaine hit it off pretty quick, wouldn’t say love at first site but I would say they rushed it at some points in the so called relationship. It was kind of like my mother, you know her, the independent one, turned into a 24 hour, 7 days a week attendant robot to this man. How can you just let a man you’ve known less than a year come into your home and become master and commander? Till’ this day, I fail to comprehend. For example, my mother went on a trip down to New Jersey for a family reunion the summer of my eighth birthday. We were gone for about a week and it was just a relaxed, laid back and fun kind of week. But then it ended and we had to go home. Well, when we got home to lovely Carl guess what my mom was greeted with? “Jeeeeeeeeeez, did your flight come in late or sumin’? I thought you were gonna be home by nine o’clock, it’s eleven! Anyways, so I’m starving. Why don’t you go look in the kitchen and find something to cook up for papa? Find something good too.” I was soooooooo astonished that I didn’t have any words. All I could do was walk away. And of course, like the robot she is, Ms. Independent Elaine followed direct orders. It was a nice meal too, steak and gravy. Although my mom listened and followed everything Carl said, she knew better than to ask me to behave myself or listen to him as if he was my father. She knew my connection with my father and Carl would never in dreams, not even nightmares be able to almost fulfill that spot. He just WASN’T my father. Saying father and his name in a sentence just makes me cringe. But there’s nothing I can do if my mom is happy. When I reached the age of nine, I’d learned to live and ignore Carl and his attendance. Until that one Summer day, July 1st, 2001 everything went immoral. Being the dead beat that he is, Carl had no job this particular Summer so he just slouched around my moms house all day everyday, 24/7. And me, well I was out of school and was super awesometastically keyed up to have freedom (even though I didn’t know what to do with it at that age). Until I found out Carl was going to be at the house all day everyday 24/7, my summer couldn’t have been going any better. As accustomed to my daily non-tolerance of Carl, I didn’t speak unless spoken to and I didn’t make eye contact with that conniving excuse of a real man. As I was walking across the living area to the kitchen Carl says “You look nice in those jeans today Christi, really nice”. Hadn’t I told my mom to let Carl know that if he can’t call me Christina, don’t call me at all? Pretty sure I did. Besides, Christi is the nickname my father came up with. My biological father and only people who I cared about could call me by that given name. Carl definitely wasn’t one of them. Well, I kind f disregarded that comment because I figured it was just Carl being Carl. But then I noticed that every time I walked in front of him or in clear eyesight, it was as if a hawk was watching me. A hungry, lusting hawk.





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