I slammed my hand on my alarm, already out of my bed and throwing clothes on in a hurry. Sleeping in does wonders with adrenaline rushes. “Luce!” Mom yelled from outside my bedroom door, in a voice that sounded piss-inducing terrifying. I swung open the door, in mid-brush of my hair when she started to scream. Now, I have seen bat-shit crazy. But, damn, this was BAT-SHIT CRAZY. Her eyes started to bulge, as she ranted to me how I never took care of her or the house and how everything was shitty and how it was al my fault. “You stupid bitch,” she sneered, stepping into my room and closing the door. “You think you can live off of us like some f*ed-up leech, but you got another thing comin’.” I had never been scared around my parents, hell, I had never been scared of anyone. But, right now, I was f*in’ terrified of what my mom was. The person she had become was not the stay at home mom that used to bake us cookies every Sunday, she wasn’t the woman who would cradle us to sleep when the monsters wouldn’t go away. Mom turned into this evil bitch of a lady that blamed her daughter for her spiral out of control. I hunkered back from her, shrinking into a tiny ball into the corner of my room as my mom ranted on about how I ruined her life. The first slap was easy, painful but not an unbearable her-hand-to-my-cheek casualty. The second slap was hard, even more so than the punches that I had endured from dad after Chance’s funeral, the ones that left me suffocating on my own air. And the third slap may have been the worst; unendurable was the perfect description for it. The thing about slaps is; is that they not only pack the punch of physical pain, but they hurt just as much mentally. Especially, when you see your mom coming at you with hatred in her eyes that only you could have put there. And, especially, when you realize that the hatred was something you could have never controlled. The third had ended her rant; the only sound coming from her was heavy breathing and my own ragged chest heaving as I struggled to breath. She gently stepped out of my room, but I didn’t dare move until I heard them stop down the foyer, a sure sign she had gone to her bed. Moving my body wasn’t bad; it was just the memories of her weighed down on me enough to make climbing my damn mountain completely and utterly stand still. I sat down in front of my mirror, appraising my face and praying that I looked good enough to go to school. Apart from my eyes being puffy and my cheek a little red, I didn’t have any flashing signs on my body that said ABUSED TEEN HERE. Quietly and stealthily, I made my way down the stairs and into my car. I winced as I turned the key in the ignition and it made this awful grinding noise. Surprisingly, it didn’t make wake up the whole f*in’ town. To get to school I make a total of three turns, one at a stop sign and the other two at a stoplight. I guess that’s what made me mad as I saw a black chevrolet barreling towards my piece of shit. I had been stopped at a stop sign, I looked both ways, but I honestly must have dismissed the other car as if it were a mirage. The impact was hurtling, my car careened to the left side of the road and was hit again by an upcoming car. I was being tossed back and forth like a rag doll, a puppet on strings as some unknown force held my life in their hands. The tears started before I could stop them, before I could convince myself to be brave. This is what happens to those who dare climb their mountain again. They get tossed into something death-worthy and harrowing. They get tossed into something not nearly as scarring as their memories but equally as damaging. The radio kept blaring music I must have subconsciously put on when I pulled out of the driveway, the voice of the newscaster seemed eerie compared to the bang and shift of my collision. I slumped forward into my seat, my seatbelt holding me back as the air bag smacked me in the face. I didn’t move. I didn’t need to. Or, for that matter, didn’t want to. I was falling of the edge. I was falling off that oh-so-tempting cliff. And know one was there to catch me.