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September 7th, 2008
My name is Morgan Locky. My teacher, Miss Gregory, told my 4th grade class to write down all of our thoughts and feelings in a journal. So I guess I should just start with the basics. Like I said, I'm Morgan, and I live in Sunnydale, Pennsylvania, where "the sun never sets." My mother passed away last year from a strong bout of pneumonia. Don't bother feeling bad for me, it really only makes things worse.
My father has a rage problem. It's not his fault though, and I still love him. He loved my mother very much, she was his whole life. When she passed away, he couldn't handle his pain, so he turned to alcohol. Sometimes he hurts me. And that's ok. I know he doesn't mean to. On a good day, when I wake up for breakfast, he smiles at me with his crooked smile. He has a dimple on one side of his half shaven face. His brown hair has grayed rapidly since the events last year. He looks nice when he smiles. It's my only evidence that he still loves me. And I love him.
October 11th, 2008
Today I was told to write about what I see. I look out my window and see birds flying away from their nests. I'm not a bird, I don't fly away. I don't leave my room very often, to protect myself from my daddy's violent outbursts. I see the leaves falling silently from the trees, whispering crazy dreams and thoughts for next year's spring. "Grow higher, stronger, more beautiful next year!" they proclaim. I want to be like those trees. I want to feel stronger and more beautiful. When I look in the mirror, all I see is my mother. All my dad sees when he looks at me is my mother, too. He can stand looking at me because he can't face the haunting past. I have her flaming red hair, her green eyes, her pale skin, her small features. My mother was the most radiant woman in the world, but when I see my reflection, all I think of is memories. Memories of her famous macaroni and cheese, that I would rush home from school to
devour. Memories of her laugh, that infectious laugh. The whole entire world laughed when my mom simply let out a giggle. My favorite memory of her, however, was when she played the piano.
Her fingers graced the ivory keys like a well oiled machine. They flowed with such accuracy and precision. She perfected her work, and she began to teach me. I miss playing the piano, especially with her. Dust has collected on its once luminescent wood cover. It's too difficult to play piano now, but maybe someday I'll go back to it. Maybe someday I'll play again with her accuracy and precision, and she'll smile and laugh with me, and the whole world will laugh too.
November 27th, 2008
It's Thanksgiving today, a day when I have to be thankful. I guess I'm thankful for a lot of things. I'm thankful for my teacher, Mrs. Gregory, and my nice bedroom. I'm thankful that my daddy didn't hit me today, since I already have a bruised arm from a couple days ago. I'm thankful that he didn't drink today, and even though he's hung-over from the night before, he smiled his crooked smile at me this morning. And that's really all I ask for from him. Even with his bloodshot eyes, his disheveled hair, and his grease stained shirt, for that moment, he was the kindest man I have ever known. That's what I'm thankful for.
December 15th, 2008
I don't have friends anymore. I guess I really never had that many friends, I'm not the outgoing type, but now I don't have any. None of the girls at school will even look at me, after what happened at the sleepover I had.
Last week, I invited Connie Watson, Melissa Hagerty, and Mary Alice Cranberry to spend the night at my house painting nails, playing silly games, and staying up too late for our own good. Last year, my mother organized all of the festivities, but this year I had to rough it by myself. I arranged the sleeping bags in perfect order, I placed the chips and cookies that I bought at the supermarket in colorful bowls, and I organized my favorite movies into a never ending pile. The girls arrived, and we were having a great time.
At midnight, when we were all getting sleepy, our eyes drooping from the exhaustingly fun day, I heard a noise coming from outside my house. While my guests were fluffing their pillows and brushing their teeth, I scurried to the window. I will never forget the sight that I laid my eyes upon. Red flames engulfed my shed, wood crackling and the fire roaring like a deafening freight train. My dad stood their in ecstasy, as if he had just won the lottery. I tore outside to witness the spectacle. My father, upon hearing my arrival, turned with a grin and shouted, "Not so brave now, huh Dr. Bower?" Dr. Bower was my mother's doctor. My daddy was so drunk that he thought the shed was the hospital where he was treating my mother. In his brain, he was saving my mother from the apparent mistreatment of her illness.
My friends eventually came outside, along with screams that deafened the otherwise peaceful night. I begged them through chocked sobs to not tell anyone. They couldn't take my daddy away from me. That's all I had left. They reluctantly agreed, but ever since that terrible night, all I have received from them is pushes and shoves when getting our coats to go on the school bus. No one will ever understand my daddy like I do, he can't help himself. It's his disease. But I guess my "friends" think it's contagious.
February 28th, 2009
I haven't written in my journal for a long time. My daddy has been getting worse. My parents' anniversary was on Valentine's Day, and he beat me extra hard that day.
I walked outside my room to get my backpack that was resting on the kitchen counter. Leaving my room was a mistake in itself. Beer bottles scattered the living and dining rooms, while old newspapers and TV dinner trays littered the floor. As I reached for my backpack, I knocked over my daddy's last bottle of beer in his 24-pack. That didn't make him very happy. The last thing I remember is his striking me in the face, my body soaring to the hard tile floor. When I woke up, I was on my bed in my room. My clothes still reeked from the smell of stale beer. My face burned with the intensity of the sun in the summertime. When I glanced at my face in the mirror, I became saddened. Not because my daddy hit me, I know why he did. But because my injured face reminded me of my mother's face, only this time in pain so great that it was inconceivable. Warm tears trickled down my cheeks as I looked at my mother's reflection, her last days before she left me.
It was sad to see my daddy cry. I have never seen him cry before, at least when he was sober. I didn't like seeing anyone cry, I wish I could've told them to stop. It was nice to see everyone who cared about me, though. I never usually received attention like that. It was cold and lonely in that casket, six feet under. But my casket was pretty, with angels gracefully sitting on the top, lined in gold. I was in a pretty dress of purple, my favorite color. Ten is too young of an age to die. I haven't embraced life yet, taken it in for all it's worth. Everything happens for a reason. My daddy pushed my frail body too hard one night, it collapsing as I was thrown down the stairs. I know he's sorry, and I forgive him. I always have, and I always will love him. And he loves me, just like he said to me at my casket. I haven't heard him say those words in a long time, and even though I always knew they were true, it was nice to hear them.
When my daddy was drunk, I became an object, a symbol. A symbol of my mother's illness, her pain, grief, and sorrow. That's why my daddy beat me, not because he didn't love me, but because he wanted to hurt those things that hurt my mother so badly. I wasn't his daughter when he was drunk, I was a body that encompassed all the things that killed my mother. But I'm not hurting anymore. I escaped my daddy's rage, unfortunately in this way. But I still forgive him. I guess I should thank him, really. I'm in a much better place now. Although my sun did set in Sunnydale, I can play the piano now. I can grace the ivory keys like a well oiled machine. I can laugh, and my mother can laugh, and one day my daddy will too. I'm a bird leaving it's nest now, soaring wherever I feel. But for now, I'll just play the piano, giggling with my mother.