Without Love

May 13, 2010
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Three in ten children grow up without a father. I , Amelia, never thought I would be apart of a statistic. My family was throughly middle class, we were the kind of family who went to church on Sunday’s, who held dinner parties on special days, and who baked batches of cookies for our neighbors. My father had a good paying job and was the main source of income. He was my also favorite person in the world, he was the one I looked up to.

Then the summer I turned seven came. Things began getting tough for us, business wasn’t good that summer. There were no more dinner parties or baked cookies. My father started drinking; three or four cups when he came home from work. One day I asked him why did he drink and he said “Cause it makes me forget my worries.” I was young and had never tried alcohol so I asked him if it tasted good because he drank so much. He replied. “It’s not about the taste. For me, it’s about drinking to get drunk.” I didn’t know what it felt like or even what it meant to get drunk so I nodded my head like I understood.

Fall came and things didn’t get any better, but they didn’t get any worse either. It was the winter that changed my life. We had no heat that winter, no warmth in our house, at night we would sleep with four blankets each. I wanted things to be like the way they used to, it wasn’t a change that I enjoyed. But it wasn’t me or my mom who took it the hardest. It was my father. He began drinking more and more. He became angry and hostile when he drank, started hitting my mother. She always had bruises, and a tear stained face. We didn’t go out anymore, mother was too afraid of what people would say and father was too ashamed. But I prayed to God every night. My father had went from the person I loved the most to the person I hated the most.

By February I had bruises on me too , just like mother. I would cry into my mother’s shoulder. Sometimes I would ask her why? And she would say “ I don’t know, I really don’t know. But I know it’s not us, we ain’t doing nothing wrong. We just gotta be strong.” And we were, we were the strongest people I knew in my seven years. In the middle of March my parents got into a the biggest fight they have ever been in. It was also the bloodiest. Fists were raised, screams were barely heard, items were broken, and a gunshot was fired. I saw the whole thing, heard every word spoken as I hid behind the couch, too afraid to get hurt. After I heard the gunshot I peeked a little more from behind the couch to see who it had hurt. The bullet went through the ceiling, and fortunately not through anybody. Suddenly I was pulled by my hair out from behind the couch by my father. He looked dirty, like he hadn’t showered in days. Our eyes me, his look was hard and angry but for a second it became soft and sad. Just for a second. Then he yelled “ What do think your doing behind there you worthless piece of junk! Huh?” when I didn’t answer he kicked me, harder and harder as he called me names, as his words slurred.

He left the house after that, took a few things and left. Alcohol and driving never went together though. Two days later we got a knock on our door. “Hello ma’am. I’m Jeff Warren. Unfortunately I come here bearing terrible news. This morning your husband was found dead in his car. It seems as though he was under the influence. Car crash. Im so sorry about your lose Mrs. Robinson. If there’s anything I can do..” My mother shook her head unshed tears in her eyes “No that’s fine, is that all?” and it was.

We held a funeral, family and friends, crying for him for my father. I couldn’t help but wonder if they would cry if they knew the truth, knew what happened behind closed doors. If they knew how much of a monster he was, would they cry? That was why I was confused because how could you cry over someone who had hurt you so much. Still after the funeral I cried, I cried my heart out, for myself, for mother, for father.

I thought things would get better though, now that no one could hurt my mother and me. It was summer again, a time a relaxation. But my mother couldn’t relax because we didn’t have anymore money. We had to sell our furniture, our stuff, my mother had to get a job at a diner. We moved out of our house, into an apartment. Every thing we owned fit into one single car, a car that we eventually ended up selling

A whole year went by. By then mother and me were so broke we had to go into a shelter. More years came and went. My grades suffered, I failed class after class. I didn’t have any friends. I became angry and people whispered that I had mental issues. Maybe I did, maybe I didn’t, I didn’t stick around to find out though. I dropped out of high school my freshmen year. For a few months of my life I became just like my father, an alcoholic. It was then in those few months I realized what a mess I made of my life. I cried and then decided to kill myself, and I was successful. I became someone I never thought I would be. And in the end I was a walking statistic, 1 in 3 females under the age of 18 are abused, 3,971 teenagers commit suicide, and 3 in 10 children grow up without a father.

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