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Inhale, Exhale This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

By , Amery, WI
She paused for a moment. Her heart was pounding. She blocked out every noise from her brain except the sound of his heavy footsteps coming nearer. Slowly, she turned the corner into an alleyway on the opposite side of the street from a trashy tattoo place. Her bare feet lightly tip-toed on the cold, wet cement covered in glass pieces, probably from broken beer bottles. Even though the night was warm, her body shook with fear and anticipation.

The end of the alley was approaching. It was pitch black, except for the light from an almost burnt out street lamp that flickered in the night. She arrived at the end of the tall, poorly constructed, brick wall alley that her fragile, pale, boney body glided so easily through. She knew he was somewhere, but she didn’t know where. She peeked her head out at the opening of the alley, just enough to get a good look at her surroundings. Looked left. Then right. Left again and right again. At that very instant, as she sprinted across the road, a gun fired in her direction. The shot missed her, but he continued to fire towards her. The more he missed the more upset he got with himself, causing the bullets to be more off target with every shot. She fled as fast as she could. She sprinted so quickly away it felt as if her feet weren’t even colliding with the ground anymore.

The sound of the gunshots deeply echoed into the night sky. The few drunk strangers on the street thought nothing of it. As if it was normal to be firing guns in a city. But, she knew this was coming. Without hesitation, she dove into a hidden alley a few blocks away from the previous one. It seems alleyways were the only safe place. The opening was slightly covered with what looked to be dying pine trees. This gave her a moment to sit and rest. She looked around to make sure the coast was clear to breathe again. She checked her body to make sure she wasn’t struck by a bullet, and adrenaline took over her mind, but she was not hit, thankfully.

The stars were out, but the city seemed to have a foggy haze of pollution covering it. It lingered with an aroma of cheap liquor and dirty water.

“Inhale, exhale,” she spoke softly to herself, “Emily, relax. No one is going to find you here. Just breathe.”

She sat on the dirty cement ground of the alleyway with her back against the wall. It seems as though that is what her life turned into -- being up against the wall. She examined the bottoms of her feet; they were bloody. Glass shards had penetrated the callused, dirty, bare feet in the midst of her dash to safety. It was about 3:45 in the morning. She carefully cleared the broken pieces of cement, the glass shards, and the random rocks to create the most comfortable bed she could on the ground. She laid on the ground. Arms straight down by her side, legs laid out flat against the ground, laying perfectly still on her back. Her long, dark brown hair was tangled up in a knotted mess behind her head, trying to imitate the purpose of a pillow. As the 4 o’clock bell rang from a barely functioning church down the street, she slowly dozed off, not knowing what might come of tomorrow.

The morning came. Everything was dark besides the blinding sunrise shining into her face through a window. Her eyes slowly opened. Confusion and panic filled her body and her face drained the normal caucasian color into a blue green tint when she realized she wasn’t sleeping in the alleyway anymore, but laying in an unfamiliar apartment. Her stomach twisted and churned into one big cluster of organs. She screamed. What else could she do? Suddenly, the sound of the heavy footsteps she heard the night before creaked against the rotting wooden floor behind her. As she turned around ready to attack whoever may be lurking behind her, a strong man pressed a dirty white rag over her mouth and nose. Chloroform. His right arm pressed the tainted rag against her face and his left tightly squeezed her body for no possible way to escape. She started off strong, as if she would be able to escape the grip of what seemed like a boa constrictor’s. As her legs and arms fiercely kicked, swung, and struggled to become free, every part of her body started to become heavy. As he forced the rag onto her face, with every inhale and exhale of panic her eyelids became heavy, like someone was gently pushing them closed for bed. Her arms and legs seemed to weigh 100 pounds heavier and they slowly sank towards the ground like an anchor sinks down to the bottom of an ocean. Her neck became more and more weak, eventually unable to hold up her head. The only thing that she could process through her brain, “Don’t fall asleep. Don’t let him win. You’ve come this far. Don’t let him win, again.”

She woke up again, the second time in about 2 hours. This time she knew better than to scream. She took slow, calm breathes. In through her nose and out through her mouth. This time when she woke, she wasn’t just sprawled on the floor; she was tied up to a cheap lawn chair, rope was wrapped around her waist, legs, and arms in addition to some silver duct tape. Last night, she thought she had escaped from him. But, she was sorely mistaken.

His name was Steve. The ex husband of her mother, and her very own father. After the divorce, because of alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and a few other types of abuse, a restraining order was put into play. He didn’t like that idea very much. His body filled with rage and exploded like the irruption of a volcano. He went crazy when he found out his own daughter and wife wanted him out of their lives. He constantly threatened her mother that he was going to turn her into social services and receive their daughter, Emily, under his full custody. As an ex wife of this particular man, she knew he was quite the lazy one. He could talk the talk, but never seemed to walk the walk. So, when Steve’s ex wife ignored his threats, he decided to use his influence against Emily. Everything seemed to be working out to his advantage, but, his plan wasn’t foolproof.

Suddenly, someone started pounding on the door. It was so poorly made it looked as though the person doing the pounding could break right through it. Steve sprang out of a bedroom and raced across the old apartment to look through the peep hole. He whirled around in a harsh manner. His greasy, light brown hair fell on top of his wet, wrinkled, and scar-filled face. His lips looked chapped and extra red compared to the very white skin stretched over his bones. The pounding on the door became louder. He seemed frantic. He scurried around the room and gathered a backpack, the extra rope, the roll of duct tape, all the towels and rags that were accompanied by chloroform. The pounding got louder and more insistent. He ran into the kitchen and grabbed a bottle of Jack Daniels and started to chug.

Her heart was racing. This whole time she was focusing on her horrible father’s reactions to the sudden pounding, she forgot to react herself. Maybe it was better that she wasn’t focusing on herself because when she did, she started to panic. Started to scream. The chair she was so tightly tied too shook, and fell over onto the ground. At last, the door was busted open. As she laid on the floor tied to a chair, what she saw walk through that doorway was the best thing she had ever seen in her entire life. The police. Three policemen stormed in and automatically handcuffed her dad, Steve. Another policeman stormed in with a dog and started searching the place. The dog sniffed out his backpack and the police confiscated it....

.....As I watched the policemen burst into the dirty apartment I was being held captive in, the strangest things were rushing through my mind. I had so many questions I wanted to be answered. I also had a few odd emotions and concerns. I was grateful. I was so very grateful that the time I spent captured was so short. I could have been like those girls who are kidnapped for months without a trace and eventually found dead. I wondered how the police knew where I was. It had only been a few days ago that I ran away from home.

Also, I think there is something wrong with me. I feel that a 15 year old girl should be more taken back and emotionally damaged watching her own father getting beaten and handcuffed by the cops. I felt nothing. I didn’t flinch when they struck him as he was failing at an attempt to escape. There has to be something wrong with me.

Another policeman came in, untied and untaped me. Thankfully. My fingers felt completely numb like there was still some left over chloroform in my veins. My hair was caught up in a duct tape mess. The officer didn’t realize how much it hurt, and just ripped it off. I tried to hide my facial expression from him, for he was the reason I am alive and being rescued. Two officers helped escort me out of the apartment and two other officers walked my dad out--handcuffed of course. I watched my dad get shoved into a cop car from out of town and taken away. That was the last time I ever saw him.

I was driven to a town a few hours away, where my mom lives. This town was constructed in a much better environment than that shady city my father lived in. There, I waited with a few officers in a small room just for us. It had a couch with two confortable reclining chairs, a small water fountain, probably to keep people calm, and pillows. Lots and lots of pillows. They handed me some candy and comfort food, as if that was going to help me feel any better. But, at least they were trying. Finally, my mom walked into the room and burst into tears at the sight of me. Her eyes swelled up instantly, and she could barely choke some air to her lungs. I honestly couldn’t tell if they were tears of joy or sadness. She asked me why I ran away from her in the first place, she thought it was because she was a bad mother. I couldn’t let her live the rest of her life thinking I would leave because of her. So, as much as I didn’t want too, I told her the truth. I told her how my dad threatened to kill her unless I left her and came with him. I figured I could go with him for a while and eventually runaway. Maybe even call the police and get him taken care of myself. But, I didn’t know how insane he had gotten because of the divorce and restraining order. I told her how I had spent the night running away from him as he fired a gun towards me. I told her everything. And she couldn’t help but cry and repeatedly tell me how much she loves me. I love her too.
My last thoughts before leaving the police station were where they took my father. A prison some place far away? The local jail where I could visit him? I don’t know why I wanted to know where he was going. I mean, even though he was the worst man on the face of this planet, he was still my father. I couldn’t just let that go.



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Lil Wayne's baby <3 said...
May 9, 2013 at 12:29 am
Wow, this is so inspiring! Keep going strong no matter what! Love like you've never been abused! <3 <3
 
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