Past of the Broken

July 22, 2008
Things you don’t expect to hear in a childhood: angry shouts, teardrops crashing onto the floor, racing thoughts, and slamming doors. A little girl I once knew didn’t have the perfect childhood that you see in movies or hear in fairytales; instead she had a childhood only imaginable in your worst nightmares. You think I’m kidding, but if only you knew, if only you were there… you’d see, and then after you’ve seen, you’d wish you never had.

I have to admit, that house of hers frightens me. It’s so submerged with dried tears, believed lies, broken hearts, and wasted dreams; it’s depressing. Misleadings breathe down my neck as I peer around every corner. Hauntings of the past instantly bring tears to my eyes. As soon as I take one hesitated step through that red painted door, horrific images flash before my eyes and I can’t make them go away when I clamp them shut, always being forced to remember that this was, is, and always will be her life, her past. Was it her fault? Was she really that bad of a kid? If she had been better, would life have been better? What if she never came into this world? Questions that are written in red on the walls of my mind, unanswered.

In the living room, I can’t help but be reminded of the fights and words that can’t, be repeated that occurred day and night. It seemed as if the only way people in this house knew how to communicate was through yelling and screaming. As I walk up the stairs, I see objects flying through the air that were meant to be stationary: a phone, the television remote, and sometimes an alarm clock that left a dest spot on the dresser, where it belonged. Inside the closest room, I remember a small girl laying ace down on her bed, could white pillow over her head to block out the yelling. In the next room over, I see the girl having her mother braid her hair and in the mirror, I could see all the brusies on the mother's arms and hands. Tears in my eyes, I turn away from the rooms and shut the doors, closing all those memories inside.

Finally I can’t take all of these images in my head and sprint for the backyard; there I find some happy memories with the little girl. Endless games of tag that lasted till you had to have night-vision to see clearly, jumping-off-the-swing contests that usually ended with someone being completely covered head to toe in grass stains, and all of the adventure games she played pretending to be a soccer star making the wining goal for her team, or playing a knight with her dog being the fire breathing dragon she had to save her town from. I hear laughter as her and her friends play with her puppy, running around the yard having the energetic dog chase them until it just laid down wagging it's tail, looking at the girls with those cute puppy dog eyes that you just can't say no to. This was her sanctuary, her sacred place, her stadium, her kindgom. As I lay in the soft green grass playing with ladybugs and butterflies that wondered over to many of the flowers in the garden, my mind begins to take me further into the dark past of this girl. It takes me to places that I don't like to remember, but I can't ever forget.

One of the worst years was 1998, that little girl would ask her mom if everything was okay with her and daddy. I remember how her mom would always look at her daughter, try to fake a smile hoping that she would believe it, and respond with “Yes, sweetheart. Everything’s ok, I promise.” knowing deep down, it’s a lie.

For months on end, her mom had to hide her tears behind a strong smile so that her daughter doesn’t see what’s really going on. Her daddy ends up staying out late every night until, finally, things just completely fall to pieces as if her life was one big mirror that just got dropped on a concrete floor. One night daddy comes home early and yells at mom becuase the house isn't exactally clean and spotless. Startled, the little girl sits up in bed, she listens and tries not to begin crying, but she can't hold the rivers of tears behing small eyelid dams. Sure she’s heard mommy and daddy fight before but not like this. This time they aren’t trying to keep their voices hushed. This time mommy is left crying on the floor with every part of her shaking and daddy’s gone out for a heated drive. Oh no, something definitely wasn’t right, even a little girl can see that. The girl creeps out of the quiet and peace of her room toward the light down at the end of the hallway, her heart a running cheetah. Finding her mom on the floor, she dashes over to her side. Quickly, but not effectively, her mom tries to hide her tears away but her daughter has already seen her, and she knows it’s too late…

Only months after this horrifying night, the little girl finds out that daddy’s leaving for a while and she doesn’t know when he’ll be back. Months pass and there is little or no sign of daddy anywhere but a strange man in a suit with a briefcase attached to his side keeps coming by the house. Weeks later, the girl finds out that she can only see her dad every other weekend and that pretty ring mommy used to wear on her finger is no longer there. Things are changing all around her and no one will tell her why...

I open my eyes and realized that I had dozed off. I wake up, shaking. I realize that I’m still lying in the backyard. I start to take a walk to try to forget about everything but I still can’t get that little girl out of my head and the memory keeps playing itself like a broken record…

My mind jumps to four years later, when the girl is now a pre-teen. She finds out that her mom is going to have a different last name, plus she’s going to move over seas. At ten years old, a question is presented to her that no ten year old kid should ever have to face, is she going to stay here and live with her dad, with all of her friends, or go live with her mom and step-father, where she could start completely over. Of course like any sensible kid, she chose to stay in Texas, a choice that she questions to this day…

Nights fall and days rise for many, many months in a row and unexpectedly the girl finds out that her mom is moving back to the states, just not back to San Antonio, or even Texas for that matter. Of course she’s moving back but she’s moving back to Maryland, a place miles and miles away, at the culmination in this girl’s life; when she’s undergoing the crucial changes from a girl to a woman, she has to live without a mother close to her. Why did she choose to move to a place where the closest she could be to her daughter was through a phone call or web-cam? If she’s so concerned about her daughter and her life, wouldn’t she move closer, somewhere where she would get more than just a phone call every Sunday? Questions that are written in blue on the walls of my mind, unanswered.

August 8th, 2007, fifteen years old and nine years later, to everyone’s surprise, she’s found her way through everything, all by her lonesome. Through all the shouts, through all the punches, through all the sleepless nights, she made it. She made it. Sure she has the rest of her life ahead of her, and I’m sure she’ll get through it fine, but at least she can say she got through the hardest part.

Now, my walk concludes, I have to return to the problems of my life today. The last thing that runs through my mind is that from age six to age fifteen, this little girl was ridiculed for not having a mom, well at least for not living with one; she was put down on everything that she tried to do right, and she was lied to her entire life by friends and family alike. Nine years of being an outcast and a loner because no one knew what she was going through and no one could help. Do you now regret reading this and discovering the history of one unlucky girl? There’s no way I could know this much about some random girl, right? I know all this because, well, this little girl… was me.

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