Secrets

By , rockford, MI
Everything seemed so normal that day. It was mid-summer, the birds were chirping, the sun was shining, and I felt like I was on top of the world. I was outside, but ran in for a second to get a drink, that’s when i saw my mom sitting at the kitchen table with tears of black make up streaming down her face, “mom is everything okay?” I asked with great concern.
“Sweetie come here we need to talk.” she stammered. I walked over to the table scared of what I’m about to hear. Did someone die? What’s going on? The worst thoughts came to my mind and the look on my mother’s face I could tell it was serious.
“I have some bad news that I think you should be aware of. I know this will be hard on you not having a father in your life but-“
“Wait, mom back up, what did you say I won’t have a what in my life?!”
“A father.” My mom said it with so much grief it was hard for me to sit there and listen to her I hate seeing my mom hurt like this.
“What happened to him?” I tried so hard to make it look like I cared but I just couldn’t.
“He is being sent to go fight in Iraq, I know it’s going to be hard on you but we will make it through without him for a couple of years. He’s upstairs packing right now. He leaves tonight, your father is very scared and does not want to leave us, but he cannot turn down this order. Do you want to come with us tonight to drop him off at the airport?”

I had to pretend that I actually cared about him, so I said that I would go to drop him off but I knew I wouldn’t be able to fake cry when he left for Iraq. I felt like such a bad daughter when my mom was sitting there balling when we dropped off my dad while I just sat there dry eyed. I almost had tears of joy but I couldn’t force those either. I felt so bad for my mom but yet so thankful my dad was finally gone. I couldn’t live with him for one more day, but there was no way I could ever let my mom down, so I sat there and let her cry on my shoulder, thankfully she couldn’t see my emotionless face. I had no expression I could care less if my dad left for forever. I just felt horrible of how little I cared about him. My poor mom though, it’s going to be a long couple of years with my mom grieving like this. She deserves so much better than him.
The next couple of days I stayed out of school so I could be with my mom. I was the only thing she had left and I couldn’t let her down. I couldn’t tell her how happy I was that he left, but she probably didn’t realize that I could care less that he’s gone she was way too upset to even get out of bed.

The first day I went back to school seemed so weird, no one had any idea why I was gone for four days, I just told my friends that I didn’t feel good, and they believed me. I guess I was acting really sad in science and Mrs. Brown made me stay after class. “Carly,” She called after me as I tried running out the door, “Come here for a second.” I tried to pretend I didn’t hear her but that didn’t work. I turned around slowly and walked back to her desk. “I realized that you weren’t your same bubbly self today, is everything okay?” Mrs. Brown said in her soft, calm voice. I told her I was fine, but she knew I was lying, after about five minutes of her trying to get it out of me I broke down; tears filled my eyes then raced down my face, Mrs. Brown hugged me, I knew I had to tell someone what I’ve been going through for the past year. It wasn’t going to get any better and while my dad’s gone he can’t hurt me anymore. I pulled away from Mrs. Brown and told her everything.
It all started last year I began. I got one bad grade on my report card, and had to have my parents sign it saying that they saw my grade and would work with me on getting a better grade for next semester. My mom wasn’t home so I asked my dad to sign it, I didn’t know he was drunk, he was watching TV amd he swung around with rage in his eyes and started hitting me. I had bruises for weeks, I lied to everyone, all my friends and my mom, I was too scared to tell them the truth. The day after my dad hit me I came home from school and ran into my room trying to avoid him. My dad came up to talk to me, the door flung open, I sat on my bed crawled up in a ball crying, scared he was going to hit me again, the same rage was in his eyes as the night before. “Carly” my dad hollered at me, “stop your crying and start acting like an adult.” I sat up straight begging for him not to hit me again. He just stood in my doorway leaning against the wall, the rage was still in his eyes and I have never been so scared in my life. “If you tell anyone that I hit you, you will regret it.” He turned to walk out the door the second I thought I was safe he flew back in the door and hit me harder than ever.

I told Mrs. Brown every single detail and she was very supportive. She held me close and told me that he was gone and when he came back I would never have to see him again if I wanted. She asked me one more question “Does your mother know about this?” Those words cut me, I knew I needed to tell her but I couldn’t, not now, not when she’s in this much pain from the man whose been causing me pain, I didn’t know what to do. Mrs. Brown wanted to help me so she called my mom to come to the school and I would need to tell her.
When my mom got to school I could tell she had been crying all day. I couldn’t get the guts to tell her but I did and Mrs. Brown helped. My mom was devastated and shocked. I couldn’t believe that I actually told someone. Will he beat me even more? Will he go to jail? My mom had so much sorrow in her eyes, she couldn’t stand the thought of her husband hurting their only daughter. I felt so bad that she had to find out after a year of abuse. She had to find out that all the lies I told her about the bruises were because of him. My mom wanted to get him in jail, she never wanted to see him again. Mrs. Brown contacted the police and we were set up for an appointment to discuss what will happen to him. When we arrived at the station Officer Smith came out and greeted us.
We were in his office for over an hour, the officer came up with the conclusion of him going to jail for five to ten years starting when he gets back from Iraq. He would also have to go to counseling and anger management. My mom decided on getting a divorce she felt like no matter how much counseling and all the help he would get she could never look at him the same, and neither could I.
The two years flew by and my dad was set to come back to the US tonight, I had never been so nervous to face him. He has no clue that I told anyone. The police were there to greet my dad as he got off the plane. My mom and I were back at the station so mom could file for divorce. We got all of the paperwork taken care of, all he had to do was agree to sign. He had that rage in his eyes again when he saw me. My mom shoved the paper in his face and told him she was filing for divorce. My dad knew he was wrong and with everyone standing there watching he couldn’t put up a fight, so he signed it then had the walk of shame. He passed us with his hands tied behind his back, head hung low, and tears in his eyes but there was no way I could ever forgive him, no matter how many times he apologized.
My mom and I sold our house and moved into a small ranch house in the next town over. There were just too many memories there. We are getting by day by day and making it through together. All I want to see is my mom happy, and she finally is.





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