Our Escape This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

August 10, 2011
I was five years old, sitting on the old brown couch with my blankie and old dog Bruzer by my side. The room was dark because we’d lost power again. I had no idea my life was about to change.

I had a weak immune system and was always sick; that night was no exception. I sat with my knees pressed against my chest, rocking back and forth, battling a high fever. The strong smell of alcohol filled the house. The beast that called himself my father was drunk again, and he and my mom were fighting about something. Her voice was very shaky and frightened. I heard my name and knew they were fighting about me.

My older sister came to comfort me, while our brother, who was more like a father to me, tried to get the beast away from my mother. My father was screaming at my sister to stay away from me; when I was sick, he wouldn’t let anyone go near me. That frightened my mother.

I lost consciousness, and when I came to, I saw my mother, brother and sister packing everything they could get a hold of. I walked around trying to figure out what had happened. The beast had passed out on the kitchen floor. My mother told me we only had a few minutes; Joe, her friend, would be there soon to pick us up. I still didn’t know what was going on.

I heard a soft knock on the door. My brother held my hand as we walked to the car and climbed in with our belongings. I looked outside and saw everything familiar disappear in the distance. My mother thanked Joe the whole ride. I wanted to know what was going on, but I was too scared to ask. Everything was going by in slow motion. I wanted to cry, but I couldn’t. Finally I heard Joe say, “Well, here it is. Good luck with your new life.” My mother said thank you over and over. We got out of the car; my brother and sister held my hands. I heard my mother ask, “Is this the shelter for battered women and children?” It was, and a tall lady brought us to our room. It was small and dull with a bunk bed, one big bed and two small dressers.

We left most of our possessions and all the bad times behind that night to start anew. I have learned it is never too late to start over. My mother struggled for several years, but she came out a hero. She is in a health management position now and my brother is in college. He still acts likes a father to me. My sister is starting her own family and as for me, I’m trying to do my best in high school. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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