Confessions Of A Broken Child

March 22, 2010
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"Uh-oh, Jane. Daddy's mad again. I want you to go downstairs and clean the living room." she tells me in a quiet voice. Obviously trying to be brave but not fooling my 12 year-old mind.

"Okay Mom, do you want me to stay with you?" I ask courageously.

"No, Of course not. I will be fine. Just finish up downstairs and I will see you later. I love you" she says quickly and runs upstairs to try and calm down my pitiful, angry drunken excuse for a father.

"I love you too. Be careful." I say even though I know she cannot hear me.

I trudge downstairs and get to work. This happens way too much. Dad needs to learn to control himself. He had changed so drastically. I reminisce about the days when he was loving, caring and as sweet as apple pie as I picked up 3 broken lamps, 2 shattered mirrors, and 21 beer cans. The makings of my father. Seconds after I finish sweeping shattered glass and broken light bulbs I heard a crash.
I run upstairs not knowing what had just happened. I slowly creep down the hallway and hear my Dad slurring in the background. As I walk into my parent's bedroom I see my mother on the floor. Again. Before I can react to my surroundings My dad picked my up by my shirt collar and threw me across the room slurring so badly I cannot understand a word he is saying. My body throbs in pain but that does not matter to him. He starts kicking me. I curl up in a ball and fake unconsciousness until he gets his satisfaction and leaves to house. I get up slowly although my body is screaming to rest. I walk towards my mother. She has a bloody gash above her eyebrow. I run to the bathroom to get a cool, wet washcloth. I walk with difficulty towards her and kneel to her side to apply pressure on her open wound with the washcloth. Her eyes suddenly flutter open and she wakes slowly and smiles a weak smile and mouths "Thank you" and drifts back off into a unfit slumber. After I am done dressing the wound I gently wake her and bring her to her bed. I know she is safe now that Dad is gone. I feel my mind is at ease. I leave for the kitchen and look for something to eat. As I roam through the pantry and the refrigerator I think about the night. It was fairly routine. Dad had too much to drink and became angry then hurt Mom and left to go drink even more. At least he will not be back for another two nights because he is passed out at somebody Else's house or on the side of the road unconscious. I find a box of Kraft Macaroni&Cheese. As I prepare the makeshift dinner I think about the past couple years. We manage as well as possible. At least we are well clothed and well fed. Hearts broken but it could be worse, right?
The next day I walk to school getting the same dirty looks as I get any other day. What is wrong with me? Just because my Dad is a drunk and me and Mom are having to deal with it ourselves and get hurt in the process does not mean that I deserve these death stares. I am just a normal kid who is having a bad childhood. That should not label me as a bad person. I am a good person, I have just had bad things happen to me. Mommy always tells me that "You are not judged by the problems you have, only by the way you deal with them shows your true character."
I arrive at school just as the bell rings. I run to my classroom to find that attendance has already started. I make it to my desk just as she calls my name.
The day progresses slowly. After lunch the Principal walks into my classroom and to my dismay she calls me into the hallway. I walk slowly out in the hallway while the teacher briefly talks to my teacher. He is coming to talk to me because my arm has a bruise on it the size of a baseball. I stand in the hallway feeling annoyed. This happens way to much. Then the Principal walks into the hallway with a fake smile and pulls up a chair for both of us.

"Jane, it is time to be honest. This is a safe place." He says, his expression paining me.


"What are you talking about Sir?" I lie. I know what he is talking about.

"Your parents, Has your Mom been angry at you lately?" he asks quizzically.

"No, of course not. My Mother and I get along great!" Which was the truth. We really do. We have always had a great relationship.

"Well, your teacher and I are concerned about you. Last week you came to school with a black eye." He states.

"There is a reason for that black eye. I fell off my bike and hit my eye off a rock. It is not a big deal Sir. May I go back to class?" I ask trying to get out of this awkward conversation.

"Jane the week before that you came to school with a gash on your leg as well as one on your forehead. What are the odds of that?" He challenges. I am not going to lose this. I cannot after what my dad said three years ago. He said that if I ever told anybody that he even laid a hand on me he would kill my mother, make me watch and then kill me. I am not going to let that happen.

"You won, I admit it. I am a klutz. I have been hiding it since third grade but obviously not well enough judging from what I just heard." I deceived smartly. I smile and ask if I can return to the classroom. He contemplated this for a moment and lets me return. As I walked back to the classroom, I thought about how I have gotten very good at this. I should be do well at it since it does happen almost every other week so I do get a lot of practice. Though today he seemed more serious and even more concerned then usual. It is nice of him to care, but I am a big girl and can handle this by myself. I am almost a teenager after all.

The rest of the day progresses slowly. I walk home from school just like any other day. As I arrived home Mom was hustling around the house cleaning. Just making sure that Dad has nothing to complain about. I run my backpack upstairs to my room and put my laundry away neatly. I go downstairs and help Mom with the dishes and laundry. There is not very much to do since it is just Mom and I. The silence between us is heavy so I decided to break it.

"How was your day Mom?" I ask quietly.

"Oh like every other day. I cleaned, and cleaned, and cleaned. Oh and I went grocery shopping!" Mom said laughing at her own joke.

I giggle happily at the fact that she is actually laughing. These moments do not come often anymore so I enjoy it intently. We finish the dishes as I talk about my dad. I do not say anything about the meeting I had with the Principal, Which I figure was best since she has enough stress and does not need anymore.
A couple hours later, I hear a slam as I am reading my book. Dad is home. This is not going to be good. I brace myself for the worst as I walk to what I feel like is my doom. Downstairs Dad was sitting in the recliner nursing a beer. He looks over to me.

"Hey runt, what are you doing?" he asks rudely.

"Nothing Father, About to go cook a nice meal." I say trying my very best to be respectful.

"Right away Father." I sat and run to the refrigerator. He was not even drunk yet and he was already angry. I can tell right now that tonight is not going to be good night. I handed him the alcohol and walk quickly to the kitchen. I help Mom prepare the lobster, my Dad's favorite meal and I set the table. During supper he babbled on about how the bar is going to be foreclosed on. I eat, washed dishes, and put them away quickly. I go upstairs and climb into bed although I do not sleep.

*CRASH*

I jolt out of bed. I walk towards my parents bedroom and peek into it. The window has been broken and the lamp was straight through it. Suddenly my Father flings open the door and hit me with something. I did not feel a thing. I fall, hard.

I wake feeling dizzy but too glad to be alive to notice. I look around the dark room. I stand up with great difficulty and fumble around the room until I find the light switch. The room illuminates and I see the mess that Dad caused. Broken bedpost, shattered windows, the dressers are knocked over and knocked over, and the bathroom door is off the hinges. I start picking up shards of glass from the windows, but suddenly I drop the glass and run out the door. I search high and low for Mom. She is nowhere to be found. I look all through the first floor and then graduate to the second. I search the bathroom, my bedroom, the spare bedrooms and then my parent's bedroom again. I search throughout their bedroom and master bathroom. I look toward the window, my head starts pounding and my heart starts racing. It cannot be. He would not have, would he? I look out the window and to my great relief I see that the plant is on the ground instead of my Mother. I am so caught up in finding that she was not thrown through the window that I forget that I still have not found my Mother yet. I begin hollering her name. I hear a faint crash downstairs. I followed it an find her in the pantry almost unconscious. I helped her to her room and made her take some Aspirin before she goes to sleep. When I am done helping her. I go to bed. I did not even bother putting on pajamas. I am too tired and stressed to be worrying about little petty things like that.

The next day I woke up, get dressed and walk to school. I do not care if I am late today. I march into the main office and straight through to the Principal's office.

"Sir, I need to talk to you about something important?" I ask timidly. I know that I needed to do this for the sake and safety of my mother and for myself. I am done with my Father and his issues. He will not win this fight.





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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

Mr. Welch said...
Apr. 5, 2010 at 2:42 pm
Congratulations on your first on line publication Kristen.  You have made tremendous progress academically this year.
 
summertime4814 said...
Apr. 5, 2010 at 8:59 am
This was soo good, i loved the ending of it. I thought that there were some parts that could be fixed but overall, the story was touching and i loved it. Good job(:
 
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