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Some people say that you can feel happiness, and I can vouch that it is true; you feel it tingling in the tips of your toes and fingers. But just like you can feel happiness, you can also feel sadness. It hits you like a wave of dark piercing water, smashing against you as if trying to break your bones and crumble you down into nothing. Sadness is the worst kind of pain, worse than falling out of a tree or scraping your knee on the ground. It tears you down until there is nothing left. All of this would not be happening to me if I was supposed to be happy. He would not hurt me like me does unless I deserved every second of it.
“August come downstairs!” I hear my mom shout from the kitchen.
“Okay one second!” I shout back at my mom.
I put the last finishing touches on my makeup, grab my backpack, and head downstairs. I run into the kitchen and look at my mom. She glances up at me with a look of sorrow and despair. It looked as though she did not sleep at all last night since Paul and I had our fight.
“I am so sorry August.” she says to me.
“Doesn’t seem like it”. I snap back at her.
“You know there’s nothing I can do August.”
I roll my eyes and walk out the door to school.
Walking to school really helps me clear my mind. As soon as I am out the door into the fresh April air all my worries seem to disappear. It is about a mile and a half walk to school everyday so I give myself around a half an hour to get there since I usually like to take my time. My walk to school every day is probably what keeps me sane. I reach the school and walk to my first period class and look forward to seeing my best friend Michelle.
“Hey August what are you doing after school? Want to go to the library with me?” Michelle Walker said to me. Michelle is my best friend. She has been since the beginning of freshman year in high school. Now in the middle of senior year, she was still right by my side.
I walked into my english class and sat down in my seat nearer to the back. The teacher walked to the front and started his lesson on conjunctions or something like that, but before he even got to his second sentence I was face down asleep on my desk.
“Mom i’m home!” I yell as i walk through the door.
“There’s lasagna in the fridge” she says as she walks downstairs.
“How was school, sweetheart?”
My mom was about to say something else but i grabbed my backpack off the counter and ran upstairs to my room. I lie down on my bed and fall asleep. Twenty minutes later i was waken up by Paul standing by me holding a piece of paper.
“Why are you missing two assignments in english?”
I look up to him and shrug my shoulders.
“Well I do not care how long they take, get the stupid ass assignments done.” Paul shouted at me.
I laid curled up in my bed purposely not making eye contact.
Paul takes his hand and shoves my chest back against the wall.
“Next time look at me when I talk to you.”
He let go of me, stormed out of my room, and slammed the door behind him. I do not understand, out of all people in the world why did I have to be stuck with him. By the time I get up to do my assignments my cheeks are stained with tears and I was weak in the legs. I just wanted to go to bed and wake up when this nightmare was over. I sit down at my desk and stare silently at the clock ticking on the wall. A quarter past midnight. I walk to the bathroom and start taking off the tear streaked makeup all over the face. But the more I wiped the more I cried. With every wipe the black and yellow bruises appeared all over my face, chest, neck, and arms.That deep feeling of sadness swept all over my body causing me to drop to the floor, sobbing. I heard my phone buzz from the counter. I slowly get up and read the text message from my mom. It said :I’m so sorry sweetie.” The anger starts to build up inside of me. I ran downstairs and screamed,
“You would not let it happen if you were sorry!”
And i ran out the door running to the only place I felt safe.
Michelle opened her door to me sobbing and out of breath. Without hesitating even a second she grabbed me and wrapped her arms around me to give me a hug and pulled me inside.
“August what the hell happened?”
“It it was Paul again,” I said still crying into her shoulder.
“What did he do this time?”
“I never finished my assignment and he got mad and shoved me” I say between sobs.
Michelle sighed and hugged me tighter.
“Let’s go to my room.”
I stood up straight and followed Michelle into her room. I collapsed onto her bed and curled up to the side of her.
August, do not worry, in a couple weeks you will be eighteen and you can move out and get away from him. Soon it will all be okay.
Michelle was still talking when i fell asleep.
Michele's mom woke me up with a cup of coffee and the breakfast of champions. There were hashbrowns, pancakes, eggs, and sausage all dribbled in a light brown syrup. My stomach growled and i realized i hadn't eaten since I got home from school yesterday. I wolfed down the food and laid back enjoying the peace and quiet of my best friends home. I wish that my life could be as easy as hers. Michelle was always so happy and bright, her mom loved her, and her dad would give anything to make her happy. My phone buzzed from my bag on the ground. I stood up and walked over to it and grabbed my phone. I have seven missed calls from my dad and twelve calls and twenty messages from my mom. I swallowed the rest of my orange juice and walked downstairs. I thanked Michele's mom for letting me stay the night and for having me over so late. Then I texted Michelle (who was at school) and thanked her for letting me stay over then i started the walk back to my house two miles away.
I walked through the door to my mom and stepdad sitting sitting on the couch as if they had been waiting for me. I felt the tension and anger rise as i did not say a word and walked up the stairs to my room. About twenty minutes later i hear a soft knock on my door.
“Sweetheart can I come in?” my mom whispers from the other side of the door.
“No, I do not want to talk to anybody right now.”
“August we need to talk about it.”
“No mom, actually you just need to find a better husband.”
Obviously I had offended her because I heard her storm down the stairs and slam the garage door shut. I figured she had driven away because not even two minutes later I heard Paul coming up the stairs. In that moment I felt my stomach jump into my throat. I started shaking as I heard him walk down the hallway to my room. He reached the outside of my door and called out once,
“August you open the damn door right now.”
I sunk back further into my bed and I closed my eyes preparing for the worst.
“Okay you chose.”
Suddenly the door hinges start splintering and cracking as Paul used all his force to get into my room. I grabbed my phone and started trying to call Michelle but by the time I had gotten up and ran across my room to my bag Paul was in my room.
“Why do you think you have the right to whatever you want August?”
I started breathing a lot heavier and stepped back towards my wall.
“You think you can just leave? You think you can just walk out of MY house and not tell either your mom or me where you are going? Let me tell you something August, one day you will be out of the house experiencing life on your own and you will miss us. You will miss all we did for you. You will understand how caring and loving we were to you.
Paul took a step towards me. I looked up at him and look another step back.
“Consequences are a part of living August.” Paul hissed as he took another step towards me.
By now i was completely against the wall and I could not move anywhere. I felt trapped. I started reaching for my phone in my back pocket but as soon as Paul saw what I was trying to do he took one last big step towards me and pinned his hand around my arm, slamming it into the wall. I started shaking as I tried to pull away. Everything that happened next was a blur. The hands and punches while I screamed for help. I felt helpless pinned up against that wall. The next thing I know I’m on the ground kicking and yelling trying to move across the floor trying to reach my phone across the room to maybe get the chance to call for help. I happened to break my way out of his arms and I ran and crawled across the room. I grabbed my phone and started unlocking it when I felt a sharp blow to my head and everything went black.
I woke up with a giant headache surrounded in white. My heart felt like it was pounding out of my chest and ready to burst. I sat up suddenly and started jerking against the tubes that were attached to my body. As soon as I sat up an alarm went off above my head and three different nurses rushed into the room. One of them pinned me down and the other stood there in complete awe.
“What are you looking at” I say obviously confused.
“We just cannot believe that you woke up.” the younger petite nurse said.
“You have been in a coma for about three weeks now. Your vitals were not stabilizing very well, but here you are.” The older man said.
My head started spinning. I had missed my eighteenth birthday, where were my parents, what day was it, where was I? I had so many questions that I needed to be answered.
I probably started looking very sick because the petite little nurse called someone on her work pager. The next thirty seconds passed and a man with a full beard walked into the room with a bag of fluid.
“Hello August. My name is Dr. Muntz, I have been your doctor for the three weeks you have been hospitalized. I am very glad you decided to fight and wake back up into this world. Your mom is very worried about you.”
“Is my mom here right now?”
“Sadly, no. You are at the state hospital. After the incident with your stepdad the state came and removed you from your home and moved you here since you were still underage. Since you were admitted to this hospital while you were still seventeen you will be permitted to stay and recover.”
“What is going to happen?”
“Your step dad is currently being tried for child abuse and attempt of murder in the court of New York. Your mom is there with him. When you are released you will only be allowed to visit your mom once a month for starters. The state does not want you to go full blown back into the family situation before they are done investigating.”
I felt a wave of relief and happiness set over me. It was so overwhelming the heart monitor started beeping.
“Thank you Dr. Muntz.” I said quietly.
“No do not thank me August. Thank your mom. She came home to the fight and she called the police on her husband, she loves and cares for you a lot. But i can tell this is a lot to take in right now. Get your rest and we will talk when you wake up.”
I laid back in my bed and set my head back against the pillow and let out a sigh of relief. For once in my life I could close my eyes without being scared of waking up.