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I was five when my mother landed on the floor as the result of my father’s fist smashing her in the face. She started to yell and pleaded with him to stop, but that just seemed to anger him even more, as he started to kick her using so much force she was coughing up blood.
“Please Steven don’t hurt the baby!” she cried as she clutched her stomach, trying to shield my little baby brother or sister from harm.
“I didn’t want that damn baby in the first place. Maybe I should just get rid of it myself,” he sneered as he lifted up his foot.
Not standing to see him beat my mother I screamed, “Daddy stop it!” with all my might.
He swiftly turned around his face as red as the blood coming down my mothers mouth, “Arianna get your ass up them stairs before I drag you up there myself!”
Again he turned towards my mother as he lifted up his foot. Without hesitation I jumped on his back, and repeatedly hit him in the face with my tiny fist.
“Arianna no!” my mother sighed, but it was too late. Steven reached around his shoulders grabbing me by the neck. He looked me straight in the eyes and squeezed my neck so hard I could feel myself staring to get dizzy. I will never forget looking into his emotionless eyes. Eyes that my mother used to say I had.
“You’re killing her! Please… don’t do this.” my mom pleaded.
Realizing she was right, he loosened his grip, and threw me against the stairs.
“Get up there!”
I could feel the blood running down my back from the rusty nails that stuck out of our old stairs. Ignoring the piercing pain that throbbed on my side, I looked at my mother one last time before running up the stairs. I was scared to leave her alone, but I knew too well that if I didn’t go now, I would get hurt even worse. Seeming to sense my hesitation, she simply nodded once reassuring me that it would be ok. Though I didn’t believe her one bit, I ran up to my room, closed the door, and headed straight towards the bed to drown out the screams that were soon to come with my pillow.
After my mother’s so called “punishment” for leaving a fork in the sink, she came into my room. Usually I would help her get cleaned up, then we would both fall asleep on my bed wrapped up in each others arms. But today was different, instead of my mom coming into my open arms; she just sat on my bed staring blankly at the wall.
“Mamma?” I whispered.
But she just stared at the wall not saying a word. Her face was bruised, and there was blood coming from her mouth and nose, but she didn’t seem to care. I looked her in the eyes, but didn’t see any sign that my mamma was in their somewhere. She was just an empty shell sitting on my bed, staring at my chipped green wall. I went to sleep thinking that maybe she just needed some time to come to. But in the middle of the night, I felt her get up and head towards her room. I listened as she went back and forth bringing things from her room to mine. As curiosity crept over me, I rolled over and saw that she had an old suitcase lying open on the floor, all her clothes thrown inside.
“Mamma where are we going?” I asked.
She jumped at the sound of my voice, but turned to me with a half smile on her face. I happily returned the smile thinking that she had snapped out of her trance. She opened her mouth to say something, but hesitated before she spoke.
“I’m leaving sweetie, but I promise I’ll come back and get you.”
“You’re leaving me here by myself?”
“Yea honeybunch, but hey don’t cry. It’s only going to be until mommy finds us a nice place to live in, and maybe your mamma might even find a job.”
“You have to pinky promise you’ll come back for me?”
She smiled and answered, “Fine, I pinky promise that I’ll come back. Now go back to sleep.”
I noticed the strain in her voice as she said that, but I ignored it and lay back down. I trusted her; I knew she wouldn’t leave me with him. I soon drifted off to sleep after I heard my mom safely jump out of my bedroom window.