The Project

January 19, 2011
When i was a little girl, i dreamed of growing up and becoming a big time artist.To be as famous as Picasso, or David, or Van Eyke. It bothered me from the time i was three years old to make the wrong decisions, to not be good enough and epically fail at life and not achieve my dreams.

I wanted to be married and have my mommy cry and tell me how much she’ll miss me, while my father gently kissed me goodbye as he gives me up to my handsome prince.

I wanted to live, and love, and be free of all trials and tribulations…

and when i was seven years old, my entire life changed. And the events that occured drastically changed me forever.

My older sister had a boyfriend, whom neither of my parents cared for, but nonetheless they wanted her to be happy. On the night he was to propose the question, we threw a small party. just us, the family. Father sent me out to get ice cream from the market only a mile or so down the old country road.

when i returned, a massacre was before my eyes. My sister’s boyfriend was a bit mad, and had killed my mother, brother, and sister, and had turned the gun on himself after badly wounding my father.

i saw my daddy laying in the corner unconscious, and i immediately called an ambulance. when the paramedics arrived, they frantically loaded him into their box car. the police took me down to the hospital to meet him there. he was the only family i had left. without him i would have nothing.

at the hospital they tried to explain what was wrong with him. why i wasn’t allowed to see him. They told me that it would be very hard for a little girl to understand, but my father had much internal bleeding in his head, and had suffer massive concussions to the head. and with that, he would live in a coma for now, for the small while that his body could take it.

they were right, it was hard to understand. but three months of getting used to my daddy being a vegetable later; he died.

i had absolutely no family. not a aunt or uncle or grandparent or cousin. and because i had no money until i was eighteen; i was put into foster care.

i hated the homes! they were all packed full of children who were in denial about their hopeless lives. i was invisible, and treated like a toddler. when my parents were alive; we would have intellectual conversations about Louis the 14th, not watch a television show about a purple dinosaur.

the invisibility only lasted so long though. i was growing up. when i was nine my foster father discovered “just how genuine i was”.

every single day till i turned ten, i was raped and beaten. One day my case holder came to pay a visit and got me out of that house.i spent the next year living in a catholic orphanage.

i found no mercy with this “god” that the priests would ramble on about. and i never saw any hope either. the nuns were cruel, the girls were caddy. and i was the outcast because i was enlighted. i could argue with every one of my schoolmasters about the subject they taught. and was punished accordingly.

one day something extremely peculuar happened. i saw a man praying to the saint of maternity, and i decided to interrogate him.

“excuse me sir, but i would like to ask, is your wife expecting?”

“no, no,” he responded, “i am not married, but i pray nearly every day for a child.”

how odd, “really, well why don’t you just marry a beautiful woman and court with her, women are made to bare.” i told him.

“well, i suppose, but small children irritate me so!… wait, were you actually quoting the taming of the shrew?” he asked.

“why yes sir,” i answered, “before my parents were killed, i read many of the works of Shakespeare, as well as many others. here they do not allow us to read anything but the bible.” i said with a disgusted look on my face.

“really? well it is in fact an honor to meet you! you seem like a good child. my name is Benjamin Greely,” he said warmly, “but you may call me Ben.”

“it is a pleasure for me to meet you also Ben. I am Jamie Stratford.” i shook his hand.

“Jamie,” he asked, “i must go, but i would much like to come here and visit you again.”

i smiled and nodded.

“well, ok then. how about next Thursday? i will be here then. goodbye Jamie!”

Ben was so kind to me. and he often reminded me of my father. And for my twelfth birthday, Ben adopted me and took me home…





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