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Still Looking Down

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The last time I heard “Above and Below” by The Bravery, I was at Dead Dog’s Cliff and mesmerized by the rocks waiting for me at the bottom. They call it Dead Dog’s Cliff because around thirty years ago some psycho dog-napped dozens of dogs from our tiny town of Hinder, North Dakota. And eventually, the police found all of the dogs. At the bottom of the cliff in garbage bags. Wait no, it was recycling bags, which I still find ironic, though I guarantee you the owners of those dogs got new mutts days later. That is probably what the man was trying to prove. That life is replaced. Maybe that’s what I am trying to prove. If I do what I came here to do, how do I know my parents won’t go out and buy a new, better baby? Probably one of those little Asian babies that are so popular these days. But I suppose I don’t know. There we go, there is one reason I am here: not knowing. But there are many other reasons. Most of them are tiny paper cuts. Though, one typical day made them all add up to an immense gash in my flesh. In my will to live.



I spend about ninety nine percent of my time at home, in my bedroom. In reality, it is just a big closet with a bed and a 12 X 12 inch TV on the floor. But pretend is better than reality. The other one percent of my life at home is spent in the kitchen. A girl’s got to eat. Sometimes I just grab the Chang’s Chinese left over box and chow down. My mom loves Chinese, so we always have a mammoth supply.

“It seems I always get cravings for cashew chicken when I’m drunk.”

When she’s drunk. That’s about ninety nine percent of her life. The other one percent: mixing fruity drinks so that she can get drunk.

Everyday she lounges on the leather love seat and watches her “stories,”

I learned long ago to never interrupt mother’s stories. I was a typical six year old, annoying and naïve. Mom was what she considers tipsy and in the middle of watching the season finale of “The Young and the Restless.” If I remember correctly, it was the one where Christian miraculously awoke from a three year coma. Anyways, all I wanted was a glass of apple juice. I pulled on her shirt sleeve and asked politely if she could pour me a glass. As typically happens, she ignored me. So, I asked again. Her eyes stayed glued to the fuzzy screen. And again. She swatted at my hand tugging her silk night gown. And one more time. Her black glare moved from the screen, to pierce my eyes.

“Shut the f**k up Cassidy!” She took a giant swat at my face. A hand print lingered on my cheek for at least an hour.

I leave my mom alone for the most part now.



I Brushed the curls out of my starless night hair, ran the thick pencil over my eyelids, and had the typical fight with the mirror. I was preparing for another battle that is Hinder Public High School.

I have to leave my house at 7:00 to make it to school by 7:40 when it starts. I walk every single day. Rain, snow, tornado, my mom doesn’t care. As long as I make it there in one piece (which might not happen in the case of a tornado) they are happy. I walk those blocks with heavy strides. You would think it gets easier walking two miles to school everyday, but it doesn’t.

School puts me to sleep. I spend most of it day dreaming. That day, though, I was planning. My friend Melanie was throwing this huge party, to celebrate her parents’ weekend trip to Las Vegas. She constructed these obnoxious invitations that explode glitter when you open them, they scream “THE BEST PARTY HINDER HAS EVER SEEN!” in gold stencil letters. So, when the bell rang and everyone went running through the door, they were all running to get home so they could get dressed for the party.

My plan was to go to Melanie’s right away. She likes to dress me up. I had no say in anything when it came to Melanie and my style.

“Put that on! You’re gonna look hot!” A violet dress fly at my face.

“Psh. I thought I always looked hot.” I clearly joked.

I put on the dress and Melanie took no extra time in putting more makeup on me, curling my already curly hair, and finding the perfect shoes. About three hours later we were what Melanie calls “fabuloso.” About another hour later, the door bell began to ring.

I lost count of people after thirty two. The reason being the two blueberry vodka- fruit punch contraptions. I could barely see, yet count.

I stumbled around and mingled with a few people here and there. A little greeting smile to him, a quick Hey, how are you to her. I was getting a little too dizzy and overwhelmed with all of the people trying to talk to me. I took a seat on the couch next to this couple that had been tongue wresting all night. I am still convinced the girl had four eyes. My two eyes were closing as I was finishing my third drink. All the sounds started to disappear, along with all my sight. As I was drifting in and out of consciousness, my whole body started to shake as someone tried to wake me.

“Hey! Cassidy, are you ok?” It was this boy from my physics class, Adam.

“Uh yeah, I’m all good. No worries.”

He handed me some water and continued to ask if I was ok for the next ten minutes. I think after the twentieth time of me saying I was fine he understood and insisted we go up to Melanie’s parent’s bedroom to get away from the noise.

He held my hand as he led me up the cedar staircase. The bedroom was pitch black. I could barely see my fingers in front of me. Still griping his palm for support, he led me to the bed.

“Are you sure you’re ok Hun?

“Yes.”

At the final reassurance he let go of my hand and slid his sweaty fingers to my thigh.

“I’m glad.” he whispered, all of a sudden right at my ear.

His dry, crinkly lips found there way through the dark to my neck. His hand moved more up my thigh, under my dress. The other hand, on my shoulder, pushed me back on the bed. I closed my eyes and let him keep going. But his hand got too high and discomfort ran through my body. I hit his hand away but he didn’t stop. I tried to get up but his hand pushed me down harder. I screamed but his lips covered up mine. I kicked, thrashed, mumbled yells. He didn’t stop. I did the only thing I could to get free. I opened my mouth and took one giant bite down onto his no longer satisfied lip. He immediately flew up and yelled in pain.

The silk sheets helped slide me off the bed as he pushed me. I ended up on my hands and knees, crawling my way to the door. I had no idea where the door was but, some how, after running into a few scattered objects, I found it.

I jumped to my feet and stumbled down the stairs. Sweat was running down my face as I pushed through the crowd, trying to find Melanie. My hands were in front of me, shoving anything and everyone out of my way.

Just as I was approaching the kitchen, I saw Melanie. Flirting with some blond boy.

“Melanie!”

She turned her head my way. Her eyes got big and I think she mouthed the word “go away” as her hand did one wave toward the door.

Did she miss the panic in my face? The tears streaming down my face?

I tripped over my foot trying to leave, to go anywhere but here. Unfortunately, I found myself falling straight into a six foot, two ton girl properly names Agnes.

“What the hell?” She started to shove me back against the wall. “You spilled my drink all over my shirt!”

“I’m sorry. I just…I mean…I have to go.”

I started to run away again when I felt a fire sensation on my scalp, my hair was tugged by Agnes with a Miller Lite stain on her shirt. I fell to the ground as a hand over powered my face.



I must have passed out because the next thing I knew, I was in my mom’s Jeep. My mom’s eyes never left the windshield.

“Cassidy, who do you think I am? Your special driver? I don’t have the time to be doing this you know that! Next time you decide to get drunk and beaten up, have your friends call someone else.”

“Sorry.” Yeah, sorry for interrupting your fourth apple martini. I would do anything to drink my own body weight in cheap vodka just so I could get these memories out of my head.


“Mom, I think I almost got raped.”


Her eyes remained straight ahead, but I think I saw her pupils roll.

“God, Cassidy, you have to get over your need for attention. It’s pathetic.”

Tears started to fall down my cheeks and she pulled into our driveway. I walked straight to my bedroom and let the tears keep coming. It only took me an hour to make the decision.

I walked out of my room, grabbed my mom’s car keys, and got on Simmer Street. The only road that leads straight to Dead Dog’s Cliff.

Everything bad that has ever happened to me rushed up to my frontal lobe and forced out tears. Every time my mom hit me, every single “You’re a worthless mistake.” I can’t think of one person to stay on Earth for. For a while Melanie was the only one who gave me hope. Tonight she ruined that by simply not caring enough to stop her flirting to help with an obvious crisis. I have encountered one too many people tonight that have proved everything I’ve always thought; people are simply born heartless. And I have no more tolerance for these evils. I would love to tell myself that everything will be ok eventually but we all know that is an excuse. It’s just a way to make fake hope. There is no longer hope for me.

I pull the car over to the side of the street and walked over to the ledge. The car door still open with the music blasting, I stand here now, still looking down. There isn’t much left for me to say. I wish I could tell everyone that it isn’t their fault, but that would be lying. I don’t want to waste any more seconds here. I’ll be with the dogs soon.

Time is running out and standing still. I'll leave today cause there's nothing left to keep me here. I'll fade away, I'll turn my back and disappear.

A sudden gasp of relief releases from my lips as I see the rocks, the freedom, get closer and closer



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hottemp97 said...
Jun. 17, 2010 at 8:20 pm

omg i luz this

ur awesome

 
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