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Her Journey to be Loved
“Please, just stop. Just leave me alone!” I begged.
“You are a fat, worthless, piece of crap. No one loves you, no one cares whether you live or die,” he replied as I lay on the cold, hard, kitchen floor. I could smell the cookies in the oven and they brought me back to my grandma’s house: a time before neglect, hurt and loneliness—a time when I thought I lived in a perfect world. I remembered feeling secure and loved, but then his foot brought me back to reality.
He kicked me in the face again and again, screaming curse words. I tried to cover my head, but he had already done a lot of damage. Then he went to my back. “Stupid! Slut! Worthless!” he screamed every time he stomped on it. I could taste the salt of my tears, but then I became emotionally and physically numb. After the first kick, I couldn’t feel anything… I guess it was my guardian angel’s way of protecting me—if I even had one.
After a while, all was silent and I just laid there motionless with tears dried on my face and blood pouring from my nose. His words started running through my head, each one another slap in the face. There was a time when I would have believed what he was saying; a time when instead of a slap in the face it was a deep cut on my arm, but now I knew the truth. I knew that there was a person who cared, and who wanted to be with me. This person is the reason I got up and struggled to my room. His name was Simon.
Eleven months before this “accident,” I had gone on an all expenses, paid trip to Australia with some of the students and teachers from my school. The best part was landing in Brisbane, knowing that I finally made it. I was finally free from my abusive stepfather, my neglectful mother, and all the stress of school for three weeks! For once in my life, I didn't have worries, nor did I have to fear for my life. It was like breathing fresh air instead of a smoky one for the first time in years. It really was like a dream come true.
Each day included a new adventure and trying something new. Everything was so beautiful and foreign. The clothes were different, the accents were cute, and the food was magnificent. This amazing place was where we met.
“Rose, get in, the water’s great!” my friend Christine said to me. We were at the beach and because it was summer in America, it was winter here.
“No, it’s not; you’re shivering, your lips are blue, and your nose is pink!” I replied. Then out of nowhere someone shoved me into the dark, cold trench. Each foot I fell, felt like twenty and every second was an hour. It was as if I was being swallowed by winter. After what felt like days, I finally emerged from the cold ocean and could breathe again.
“Get. Me. Out!” I wailed. I hated being cold. An arm reached out for my hand and before I could see the body it belonged to, I was snatched up.
“Sorry,” he said, “You Right?” He was beautiful; not drop dead or anything but cute in a nerdy way. His eyes were bluer than the ocean I had just been in, and his teeth were whiter than the puffy clouds above us. He was wearing the most attractive white button up I had ever seen! I didn’t want him to let go of my arm.
“This is Simon,” my friend Duke said to me, “I met him at that fencing tournament.”
“G’day,” he said, in the sexiest accent known to mankind.
“Hello,” I said with a stupid grin on my face. Hello? That’s it? That’s all you can say to your Prince Charming? God you are stupid… I thought to myself.
“I’m Rose,” I quickly said again.
“You look like one as well,” he said thoughtfully.
“Thanks…” I could feel my cheeks flushing.
“And now you’re turning the color of one.”
I laughed at his comment, and quickly fell in love. At first, I wished that I had brushed my frizzy brown hair, and wished that I had done some more exercises so my legs didn’t look so huge, but then he stared into my eyes and said, “Rose, you have the most beautiful brown eyes I have ever seen,” and I was at ease.
We sat together on the shore and talked for hours through the night. He told me about his life, and then I found myself telling him all about mine. I was sad that this was my last night here in Australia, and disappointed that I had to meet this awesome guy on the last day. It was a nice farewell however, with the touch of his lips upon mine.
The next day, we all left early in the morning and boarded the plane to go back home. These three weeks were truly the best of my life. On the flight back home I was recapping all of the memories: meeting my prince charming, going south and skiing down beautiful mountains, going to the Sydney Opera House—and just experiencing life! With all of this though, I did miss America along with my house and family. This all changed however, the moment I landed.
When I got home, it was like a tornado had ripped through the place. Our house was a mess, my sister was filthy, and everyone was screaming. Dishes were piled up, there was an unbearable odor coming from the over flowing trash can, and a dead spider was smashed into the carpet.
How did I ever miss this? I wondered.
Over the weeks, I slowly fell into a deep depression. I wanted to go back to Australia with people who were nice, who didn’t scream and pointed out the good instead of the bad. I didn’t want to be here in this hell hole… but unfortunately I had been in dream land and this was the real world. Days went by and things were getting worse and worse. My mother stayed out later each night, spent more time in her room, and isolated me more and more. When I tried to ask her if I could go somewhere, she made an excuse why I couldn’t. That didn’t stop me though, I still tried.
“Mom… can I go to Christine’s house this weekend? Everyone is going to go to Coney Island for her birthday and then spend the night. It would be a lot of fun.” I said earnestly.
“No,” she said without taking a breath.
“Please Mom? I have been really good. I did all of the laundry and cleaned the bathrooms.”
“No, I need you to watch your sister.”
“Why? You have the day off, and I miss my friends.”
“You don’t deserve it,” she responded.
“Yes I do! I do more than you! All you do is lay on the couch and watch TV! Why?” I protested.
“Because you’re a spoiled brat and don’t appreciate anything. You got to go to freakin’ Australia while I watched your bratty little sister. You should be kissing my feet for letting you do that. I need to go out with my friends and get away from you before I go crazy.”
“That’s not fair! I earned that trip, and you didn’t have to pay squat. I try to be nice to you but you scream at me, and so do your boyfriends. You let them hit me and hit on me. Then you go and marry some loser and let him treat me like crap. This is so stupid!” I cried as I ran to my room. I thought about what had happened and regretted some of the things I had said, but not everything. I knew that she wasn’t just going to go out, but that she was going to go get drunk and sell herself for money so that she could buy some more crack. I wondered more and more why I was meant to be here. What was my purpose? I hated not having anyone, knowing that no one wanted me.
You know the saying “All you need is love?” Well what happens if love doesn’t exist?
One night when my mom was “working,” my step father Rick was watching my sister Kiley, and I. He left ten minutes after my mom did and said that he was going to get milk for dinner. After about two hours, I gave up and cooked what we had. I fed my sister, bathed her and put her in bed. Five hours later, he showed up—without the milk.
“Where’s your freakin’ mother?” He yelled.
“I don’t know… work?”
“DON’T GIVE ME THE ATTITUDE, YOU FAT BASTARD! SHE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE HERE TWO HOURS AGO! I BET SHES PROBABLY SCREWING SOME MAN AS WE SPEAK. I BET YOU’LL TAKE AFTER HER, WON’T YOU? YOU’RE SUCH A SLUT LIKE YOUR MOTHER, YOU SHOULD BE TAUGHT WHOSE BOSS…”
It was then I smelled the alcohol, and it was then when I discovered the beer bottle in his hand—right before it met my face. It came wooshing towards my neck and as it shattered, broken pieces of glass flew everywhere.
“LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO, YOU WRETCHED CHILD!” Then, with the remainder of the bottle, he hit me again and this time it hurt even more as the sharp, broken edge cut deep into my neck. I fell to the floor and coddled my head. My neck was throbbing so violently, I felt like I was going to throw up.
“DON’T MESS WITH ME… NEXT TIME I’LL KILL YOU!” He said, watching my pain.
I looked up at him for a brief second, and his black hair was a sweaty mess and his pupils were so dilated that it made his eyes look black, rather than hazel. When he went downstairs, I just sat on the ground rocking back and forth.
Why me, Go? Why me? What did I do to deserve this? I thought crying softly. This “accident” deepened my depression even more, but then I received one email that changed my life.
Hey Rose! I know that we live far apart…but I’d like to try and make it work out. I have never liked someone as much as you and I have never fallen in love as fast as I did with you. So what do you say?
Ps. I am glad I helped you out of the water… I really care about you.
Of course I emailed him back. It was such a great surprise; I didn’t think we were ever going to talk again! – But we did every day. We talked about how life was going, and learned even more about each other. I always looked forward to getting that one email from him every day. It was nice having someone out there who was nice and noticed me. He was the reason I lived day to day. I was so glad, when he said he was going to visit the U.S.
“Sarah, can we leave now? His flight lands in five minutes,” I said.
“Yeah, calm down. It takes a while for the plane to taxi,” she replied.
“I know; I just don’t want to be late! It’s been so long since I’ve seen him!”
“Okay, turn off the TV and get shoes for your sister.”
As I was turning off the television, I noticed something horrible. A crashed plane was being shown in New York City, American Airlines flight number 11. The plane was in flames and barely anything could be seen because of the smoke. I ran to my room and checked my email...
…I can’t wait to see you as well! My flight is with American Airlines, flight #11…
I couldn’t breathe…this couldn’t be happening. I ran back into the living room and sat there watching Channel 9. I watched thousands of people crying, replays of what had happened, and the scrolling of names of the deceased.
“Rose, we can’t go while the TV is on. I thought you wanted to…” She stopped in mid-sentence as she caught a look at the screen. “Oh Rose, tell me that wasn’t…I’m so sorry!” We both just sat on the couch watching for hours; the whole world seemed as if it were in mourning. My little sister was asking what was wrong, but I couldn’t find the words to tell her. My aunt asked me if I was okay, and I just nodded lifelessly, so she left. Then, I went to my room where I saw an email:
My Dearest Rose,
I cannot believe how far we have come this past year. I am glad God gave me you, and I am glad that in just a few hours I will be seeing you. I cannot wait to hear your laugh, kiss your lips, and keep you safe… and even though I am only 17, and you are 16, I know I am in love. I knew this when I first laid eyes on you. When you told me your story, and begged me not to leave you, it just made me want to be there for you that much more. I cannot believe that someone would treat you that way; you deserve so much more. You deserve to feel loved, to be told how great you are, and deserve to live… and I hope I can show you that while I am there. You mean the world to me. You are prettier than a rose, but sweeter than a lily.
I love you and can’t wait to see you
Tears ran down my face, and every word I read was another stab in my heart. I waited for my guardian angel to numb me, to stop my pain…but she didn’t. I wanted someone to hit me, to stomp on me, because that would be heaven compared to this. How could Simon do this to me? He promised me he would never hurt me, but he did. This was my last message from him, my last reason to be here. He was the only one who cared; the only one that shined through my thunder. I covered my face with my hands, cried, and breathed hard, as if there was no air. “Please, God, please, bring him back!” I sobbed aloud. Then Rick came in.
“What the Hell are you crying about?”
“Please, Rick, not now…”
“I heard your boyfriend died; what a shame. I guess he couldn’t stand you either.” He blurted out.
“Shut up!” I yelled back.
“Shut up? Really?!” He screamed. Then he rushed into my room, over to me, and pushed me off of my chair. He kneeled down next to me and grabbed my arms in each hand. Then, he got on top of me and whispered into my ear, “Don’t scream, or I promise I will kill you.”
I could smell his breath in my face and I felt like I was going to be sick. I had finally reached a new level of hell. He held my hands with one hand and pulled my pants off with the other, and then he raped me, over and over again. When he was done, he kissed me on the cheek and then said into my ear, “Now, go kill yourself, slut, and be with your boyfriend. At least now you’re not a virgin,” and then he left.
I stumbled over to my closet and got a razor off of the top shelf. I gently touched it to my arm and then slid it down again and again. Each cut became deeper and deeper until finally I couldn’t focus on it. I fell down to the floor, lying in my own blood. Then, with my last bit of strength I had, I went to the computer and finished this story I have been telling. Please don’t think of me as weak, but as child who just wanted to be loved.
I use to go to school with this exquisite girl, but I was too shy to ask her out. When I finally had the courage to ask her to Homecoming, she wasn’t anywhere to be seen. Days and days went by until, finally, I asked the teacher where she was. She told me that she was moving, but that if I went to her house after school she might still be there, so that’s what I did. I drove my bike to the address the office had given me, but got a little nervous because of where I was: The Projects. A notice was on the door that said in bold letters, EVICTION, and all of their things were outside in the hallway…I felt really bad for her. Then, I saw the brand new laptop and really wanted it. The landlord noticed me and said to take what I wanted. He said he had already sold the valuable things for rent money, but left everything else for them. I asked him why he didn’t sell this laptop and he said he knew that it belonged to the young girl who lived there, and he didn’t want to sell anything of hers because it didn’t seem right, especially because of what had happened to her. He left without saying anything more and I wondered what he meant. I took the laptop home, and that is where I found the story saved in her documents with the title, Her Journey to Be Loved.