Something So Profound

January 20, 2009
By Chelsea Dunmire, Macon, IL

“Something So Profound”

Charlie never seemed too out of the ordinary. A tall guy. Fair skin, green eyes, and short brown hair. He was just a sophomore in high school. Sixteen years old. Nothing wrong about him. Charlie smiled, joked, and won people over. No one knew he was falling apart inside.

When he went home, he arrived to the chorus of his screaming parents. The sounds of smashing glass and slamming doors echoed in his ears. A broken down house. One floor, no hope. When he walked in, his parents turned on him. He was nothing. Non-existent. A boy without a future. He was worthless. Charlie was on the edge of losing it. He probably would have lost it right there if it weren’t for Leah.

Leah. His “baby” sister. Five and a half years younger than Charlie. Ten years old, and the mirror image of her brother. She had pale skin, shiny green eyes, and long brown hair. Beautiful, normal, and happy. Charlie lived to love and protect her from their broken world. She was his hope. Leah was the only one that kept him hanging on as long as he did.

One day, things got worse. Charlie believed he was worthless. He believed he was crazy. Charlie began to numb his pain. He changed. Became a total wreck, and a walking disaster. Blood-shot eyes, angry words, and criminal intent. Teachers called Charlie a problem. Psychiatrists all said he was beyond their help. No medicines ever helped him. His parents never noticed. They didn’t even care. No one noticed what he had become. Except for Leah.

He never let her see the process. Charlie would shut his door, and refuse to let her in. He could hardly even remember how his little sister raised him. She would sober him up, cover for him, and help prevent hangovers he would take out on her. If he passed out, she made sure he woke up again. Life was hard, but they really did love each other. They were all they had.

Mom and dad fought more and more each day. They fought about money, bills, Charlie, and Leah. They’d throw things at each other in fits of rage. Sometimes they’d knock Charlie and Leah around. Both kids learned to hide; to never show themselves when they fought. Charlie would go numb, and Leah would just cry.

The fights made home a place of fear, not a place of love. Charlie tried to distract Leah. He’d play games with her, or try to take her for walks. That is, until he was swallowed up by his demons. On his roughest nights, Charlie tried not to scare her. He would try to keep her safe. If he hurt her, it was an accident. By then she was used to it. A black eye was proof of how much she cared.

As mom and dad fought, Leah held strong. She quit being scared. Charlie never learned. He was completely gone. He started to run away. He would be gone for days, weeks, and sometimes months at a time. Mom and dad pretended nothing was different. Leah was terrified. She cried herself to sleep every time he was gone. She was alone and scared. Where was her guardian angel now?

Charlie partied. He’d stay with friends, strangers, or on the street. Anything was better than home. His bit of money went straight to his demons. Blood-shot and out of control. He was destroyed. Charlie couldn’t take it anymore. He was done pretending. More than once he had sent Leah to her room, just so she wouldn’t see what happened next. His “loving” parents would knock out his demons. Release their anger, and scream at an innocent teen. He was far from gone.

One day, Charlie stopped taking it. He skipped school, and stayed home alone. Consumed by demons, and so full of rage. He screams at no one, takes knives to the walls, and throws anything he can find. He over turns the furniture, and walks into the bathroom. Who’s face is in the mirror looking back at him? His own. He smashes the mirror with his bare knuckle. Blood gushes from his fist. It’s everywhere.

Leah comes home from school. She cautiously approaches her house. Her home? She’s not so sure anymore. The building seems to shake. She hears screaming coming from inside. It sounds like the screams of the dead. Haunting and broken. She hesitates as she opens the door. Then she sees him. Chair held midair. Demons dancing in his blood-shot eyes. What drips from the monsters hand? Blood. Pure crimson drops plopping to the carpet below.

Leah runs to her room. It’s untouched by the monster. She grabs her baby blanket, and cowers in the back of her closet. She screams and cries her silent thoughts. Charlie completely ignores her presence. She’s not the target of his rage.

Then mom and dad come home. From the outside they see the house come alive. The way it quivers, shakes, and moans. They call the cops to come before they dare go in. As they enter, they freeze. Their Charlie seems so unrecognizable. His eyes are as red as the blood dripping from his hands. Rage is etched into his features.

No one can contain him. He goes ballistic. Charlie attacks his parents, just like they attacked him so many times before. Pain and anger engulf him. He’s gone. Sirens wail in the distance. Help comes after thirty minutes of suffering. The family is destroyed. Life is completely different. Charlie is sent away. Leah’s guardian angel is gone. Now everyone hurts. Everyone’s numb. Where has hope gone?

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This article has 2 comments.

kissin71185 said...
on Mar. 22 2009 at 2:18 am
Good story! Me and Jason liked it.

asdf123 said...
on Mar. 21 2009 at 10:17 pm
wonderful story! poweful and moving.


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