7 Days to Live

March 16, 2009
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Tears flood my eyes as he rummages the house looking for something; his prize jewel, the names he usually calls me by. As he hollers my name and taunts ‘Come out you ‘fraidy cat', I can taste his foul drunk breath right above me as I lay under the bed. My pale-white face drips the sweat and tears that feel like falling. Hopefully they find refuge on the cold hardwood floor that is now damp. I know I haven’t. It is just a simple floor that can’t feel when it is broken or cry when something penetrates it. I can. If someone saw me right now, they’d probably mistaken me for a pregnant lady giving birth, at least at first sight.

My scars yelp for help as my loose t-shirt touches my raw back. I can feel the unhealed cuts split again on my shoulder blades as I hunch over to grab the ends of my hair off the floor and put them behind my ears to see. It is still blurry from my water-logged eyes. Hopefully in my father’s anger, he won’t pull out his belt again and call his friends to tag along. They are sick men. Where is my mother when I need her; she should’ve taken me with her when she left my father. I still haven’t figured out why she didn’t. But for now, I sit here afraid to even breathe. Thanks Mom, thanks a lot.

Will God hear my prayer today, I can only hope. There is only one of him in sense and billions of us. WOW! - My odds are great!

My father yells his head off when he finds me and it is my entire fault. His boots squeaked across the faded wood floors. His rhythm was so uneven; I thought it could’ve been two people. I took a slow deep breath and shut my eyelids from the excruciating pain. Apparently those scars haven’t healed either. My chest felt like it was on fire but I couldn’t roll off of it because of the sores on my back. He heard me gasp under the bead. His angry eyes and mocking voice made his thrashing hands on me the worst I’ve felt in years. Even when my face was bruised, scarred and bleeding, he kept going and going. What did I do to him to deserve this?

When people have battle scars, they are honored and thanked but no one cares for mine. All they say is, ‘ You look different today Annie.’ WOW! - I would’ve never guessed. Does no one care for Annie Herrera? Does my mom even care? I don’t even want to know the answers to my questions for they will bring me more pain then my father can.

He comes, he hurts me, he leaves the rest of me to suffer. That’s the routine he’s made for the last seven years of my life. Since I was ten; that’s very shocking. Why have I put up with this for so long? Today’s different though; I can feel it inside as I lay here bleeding, crying and blacking in and out. All of my open cuts scream for refuge just like me except mine won’t come out my parched throat. I try to concentrate on the background noise to give me something to do to stop thinking about my pain. It was silent for what seemed like f-o-r-e-v-e-r until maybe midnight (the moon was in the middle of the sky through my open window). It was then I heard music from heaven; a police siren accompanied with the ambulance. I’m surprised the neighbors weren’t mad. With the slamming of the front door everything in my life changed. I blacked out when I heard footsteps jogging up the stairs for the fourth time that hour according to my clock. I remember waking up in a very bland car with many medicines and a blaring siren. People kept saying it’s going to be OK. Finally God heard my prayer. All I could muster out was, “Thank you Lord for saving my life.” Everything else is a blur. Beeping machines, the blaring siren keep making noise that I try to drone out. I wasn’t until I got to the hospital when I found the light I’ve been waiting for. My mom is pacing in the lobby, crying. Will she finally be there for me, and care for me for the first time?

Beep, beep, beep, my heart rate is seventy-four. Tick, tock, tick, tock; I’ve been here twelve hours, only seven days to go. I thought life couldn’t get any worse for me from what I’ve lived through these past years; I was wrong. I’ve got internal bleeding in my liver, a collapsed lung, and to top it off, CANCER. I’m terminal and have seven days to live. Maybe I’ve escaped death, my father and a life of scars and bruises but this overwhelming. Life goes on but I need a little push to; I need somebody to lean, a rock to act as my chair. Hopefully it has all four legs. Maybe even five or six. Maybe one day I’ll look back at this and know it was worth it while I sit in heaven but only time will tell, and time will always be sixty seconds to a minute. As I sit here taking my last breaths though, I hope these seven days of my life will leave footprints in someone else’s heart and know I made a difference in this world where being strong is key and never giving up is the golden rule. At least it was for me.

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This article has 17 comments. Post your own now!

KnitsandPurls said...
Aug. 23, 2012 at 6:42 pm
Yeah, like everybody else has been saying... A beautful piece, emotions snd thoughts pictured succinctly and yet entirely accurately. However, unrealistic. :)
Apeggy said...
Oct. 20, 2011 at 11:09 am
This is alot like a story i wrote a few weeks back, de jah vu? Great story
Healing_Angel This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 20, 2011 at 1:11 am
Great detail, but unclear at times, such as why did her mum leave her there? Didn't she know her husband was abusive? The ambulance suddeny appearing is unrealistc as if she was really in that much pain, she wouldn't have neen able to call them. I agree about the diagnosis's too. They don't seem realistic.  
inksplatters21 said...
Apr. 27, 2011 at 7:05 am
I really like this, and you do a fantastic job of putting yourself in her position.  Details, such as the floorboard, makes it seem very real.  The only thing I wonder about it the end--tbat's a LOT of diagnoseses.  Anyways though, this almost brought me to tears, and I'm really sorry about your friend.
LiveInTheMoment said...
Mar. 14, 2011 at 6:35 pm
This was a really moving piece. LOVED IT! 8) great job, hope to hear more from you.
reenay_95 said...
Jan. 7, 2011 at 4:32 pm
i really liked that, but you could be more clear about how the police/ambulance got to her house.
mimirocks124 said...
Nov. 24, 2010 at 3:14 pm
this was a very emotional piece. it was heartrending. but beautifully written. i like the style
mtayy123 said...
Nov. 1, 2010 at 4:59 pm
ok that tottally made me wantr to cry no one in this world should feel like that every uhh. i loved it though
hi!!! said...
Sept. 14, 2010 at 10:52 am
this story was very well written... it was very realistic... i could see the pictures in my head when my teacher and i were reading it..... it was very good but also very sad!!! keep writing!!!
Babylufin said...
Jul. 26, 2010 at 9:58 pm

You could have drug it out more, not so scrunched at the end, but I thought it was very good! Very touching, and truthful. Keep it up.

Please comment on my work? I need some critique! :D

The Silent Scream said...
Jul. 14, 2010 at 4:38 pm
*nods* That has so much truth in it. I love ho you added God into this peice of... beautful work. You have so much talent.
Seren said...
Mar. 26, 2010 at 8:24 pm
Oh my god such a sad story I loved the describing of her pain and suffering I felt the connection. The ending was very beautiful, but it sort of jumped from one thing to the next. Still keep writing:)
joycieboycie said...
Dec. 7, 2009 at 1:34 pm
That was a very touching story! It was very sad, but in many ways, very realistic. You have talent my buddy.
patricia said...
Dec. 6, 2009 at 12:23 pm
This was really moving and very sad. The ending seemed a little disjointed though. Maybe you should try writing a little more so that it doesn't skip between topics too fast? It's a great story.
BriarRose This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 23, 2009 at 2:59 pm
Wow, i could really see the picture you painted with words; it is very well written
Katie W. said...
Apr. 19, 2009 at 2:27 pm
this was great!!!!
ACooke said...
Apr. 7, 2009 at 8:12 pm
this is an amazing piece. i found it because i was looking for mine under 'annie' but i found yours. the title really got me and once i was reading i couldn't stop amazing job. it really does make you feel like your there, hiding under the bed with her. i felt her pain and it made me remember one of my favorite books. nice job
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