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Getting Stronger

No one but Areana and I know about the little door in the big oak tree by the pond in the park. We had been going there for two years now, it was our only escape. Our house, the place that should have been safe, was far from it. We used to be a happy family, before mom started to travel so much, and dad was hitting the bars almost every single night, and when he wasn’t, he was ill-tempered, and it was best for Areana and I to steer clear of him. The monster. We lived in a pretty little house, on the outside, but no one ever looked inside, no one ever, even once wondered about what went on in that pretty yellow house.

Areana was my little sister, my life, my reason for living. I can recall the day she was born, the good old days, when things were happy. I remember soon after that mom would just lay in bed for hours a day, she didn’t want to eat, brush her teeth, do anything. Everytime I would ask her to play with me, she would claim she was very tired. Daddy delt with it for two months. He would come home early from work, play with me and my new baby sister. On special days he didn’t even go to work, and we didn’t have to go to our school. Soon though, after the peaceful two months, daddy started to get angry. He started to yell at us more, would go into moms room for hours trying to convince her to come out, but always unsuccesful. That’s when the drinking began, the horror began.

If you asked me to remember the scariest moment Ive ever experienced, there are a few that would come to my mind. But there was one that really stood out to me. The very first time daddy hit me. He came home extremely drunk one night, now seeing him in this state had become routine, but this was different. I had never seen him so wasted before. It was such a shock to me, I could not believe this was the man who just a short while ago, would give his life for my sister and I. All I knew at the moment, was that I wouldn’t let him lay a hand on Areana, so I stepped infront of him and took the blow instead.
School was just a place I went to, in order to escape ‘home’. I was good at school, I got all A’s, but I didn’t really try as hard as some oher students. I just completely immersed myself in my work, and didnnt socialize. I wasn’t there to make friends, I was there because I was legally obligated to. One day, I was called down to the office, I didn’t know what to think, I never really got in trouble and I knew that I hadnt done anything worthy of getting in trouble in the past few weeks. I walked down slowly, admiring each tile in the floor, running my fingers along the wall. Eventually I got to the office and as soon as I walked inside, some blonde lady told me “Pricipal Perri wold like to see you.”
I walked into his office wordlessly, and as soon as he saw me he greeted me with a big smile, and told me to have a seat, which I proceeded to do. He talked to me about how I liked school, and my hobbies, and what I wanted to be when I grow up. I found it a little weird for a principal to call me out of class to talk about these things, but honestly it was more anyone bothered to find out about me in such a long time I didn’t mind it. Although, when he started to ask me more about my life at home I started to share as little as I could. All of a sudden then he said “ Audrey, I know whats been going on at your house, we’ve gotten reports from other parents.” I was so shocked, but I tried to play dumb and act like I didn’t know what he was talking about, but the act was a failed one man show unfortunately. I ended up telling him everything, I tried to sugar-coat it, but the effort was useless. He called down to my classroom , and asked a student to bring up all my belongings, then he called my sisters school and told me she would be meeting us here in a short while.
Eventually she showed up with a child protective services officer . She was dressed in a womens business suit, had little pearl earrings, and her hair was tied back in a tight bun. Areana and I, went in her car, and principal Perri took his car, we were headed “home.” As soon as we got there I looked inside, I already knew what was waiting for them in there, mom in bed, I could see the curtains in her room drawn. I knew as soon as they knocked on the red door, my dad would wake up for the first time since 3 am, he would have a horrible hangover and be extremely angry when he opened the oor, and sure eb=nough that’s what happened. Before I knew it , my dad opened the door , what I predicted came true, and the police invaded my house, they put my dad in handcuffs, brought him to the back of the police car.
They got my mom out of her room and brought her to another car waiting to take her to the hospital. My whole world was spinning out of control I could barely comprehehnd what was going on, then I looked down at Areana, who was tearing up and holding on to her stuffed animal. I kneeled down and hugged her, and she hugged me back, and I knew we would make it through anything together. This was not the end of our story together.





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