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Daddy’s going to find me, he always finds me. I hear the stairs creaking as he walks up them so I push myself into the corner as hard as I can. The wall hurts my back but I just want to be small, so small he will never see me. The door-knob on my bedroom door opens with a click. I close my eyes and pray to God. I ask him to hide me from Daddy just this once. I know I‘ve been a bad girl again and need to be punished, but it hurts really bad every time. I pray to God a lot but he never seems hears me. I hope he hears me this time though because I really need his help. Daddy‘s heavy footsteps pass the closet door. My heart beats faster and I can hear the loud thumps in my ears. I try to listen harder as he walks through my room. First he looks under my bed. He doesn’t see me and I hear a loud bang, he must have thrown my bed against the wall again. Next he looks in my toy box. I don’t have any toys in the toy box because I don’t deserve them. Daddy said when I learn to be a good girl he will buy me baby dolls like he buys Tara. I listen as Daddy breaks my toy box, I hear the wood cracking.
“Summer, come out come out where ever you are!” Daddy yells.
I hear Daddy’s footsteps on the carpet; they stop out front of the closet door. I try to quiet my breathing because it’s so loud. I hope Daddy don’t hear me. My knees start to shake when Daddy moves his feet. I try to make them sit still but I’m too nervous. They like to shake whenever Daddy’s looking for me. Last time Daddy found me because my knees were shaking so much, he said he could hear them all the way downstairs. I watch the door knob turn and my tummy starts to hurt from the fear. The closet door opens. Daddy found me.
“Well there you are.” Daddy says looking down at me, with his eyebrows raised and hands on his hips, “Did you think I wouldn’t find you?”
I shake my head as fast as I can and my hands start to shake even more; I know what’s coming next. I deserve the punishment I am going to get, I’m a bad girl. Daddy told me not to touch what isn’t mine and if I touched his stuff I would be breaking the rules. I wish I could tell Daddy I’m sorry for breaking his rule but that won’t make it better, I‘ll still be a bad girl.
“Get your a** out here now!” Daddy says, pointing in front of him.
I climb over the boxes of Tara’s toys and stand in front of Daddy. I put my hands at my side and look at the ground. I’m ashamed of being a bad girl again. I promised Daddy that I would be a good girl and make him happy, but I lied to him. Daddy puts his hand back on his hips. He doesn’t say anything so I look up at his face. His lips are shut tightly and his eyebrows are pushed together, he looks mad.
“I’m sorry Daddy!” I sign with shaky hands.
Daddy’s face turns red and he raises one of his big hands. I close my eyes as Daddy’s hand gets closer to my face so he won’t slap me more than once for flinching. I feel Daddy’s hand hit my cheek so hard I fall on the ground. My cheek hurts a lot but I try not to cry in front of Daddy. I want to show Daddy I’m a big girl and not a baby who cries when I get hurt.
“And you think that makes everything all better?.. Well do you?” Daddy asks angrily.
I shake my head as fast as I can. Even though I’m sorry I’m still a bad girl. My bottom lip starts to shake and I feel tears in my eyes wanting to fall down my cheeks. I wish I didn’t touch the bottle. It was Daddy’s bottle. Daddy likes to drink whiskey after work. I just wanted to make Daddy happy and pour him a drink for when he gets home.
Daddy shakes his head slowly and grabs my arm. His big hand squeezes so tight it hurts me. I try to run to keep up with Daddy but he walks too fast and I trip, so he has to drag me. Daddy pulls me through the hallway. The carpet rubs the skin on my legs making them burn. It hurts really badly so I try to stand up but Daddy yanks my arm and makes me fall down again. He drags me into the kitchen and pulls on my arm so I‘m standing.
“What do you have to say for yourself?” Daddy asks, pointing to the broken whiskey bottle on the floor.
“I’m really really sorry Daddy! I promise to be a good girl!” I sign.
Daddy’s face gets red again and he squints his eyes. I don‘t like Daddy‘s angry face. He pushes on the back of my head and makes me fall on the broken glass. The pieces of the bottle cut my face and tummy. I try to push myself up so I won’t get cut anymore but Daddy kicks me in the side and I fall back down. Daddy bends down and rubs my nose in the mess. I close my eyes so I won’t get glass in them. It hurts really badly.
“I told you repeatedly, told you not to touch my liquor cabinet. I warned you what would happen. You can’t speak. But now you can’t hear? Is that it? Or are you just stupid?” Daddy asks, pushing my face harder into the glass.
The whiskey burns the new cuts all over my body. I try to push my head up, but Daddy is too strong. Daddy lets go of me after a long time. I lift my head and look at him. Glass falls off my cheeks and onto the floor, I feel blood running down my face. Daddy gets a funny look on his face then punches me in the side and I slide on the floor. Daddy hit the bruise he left on me last week. I roll over and hug my side to make it hurt less.
“Did I say you can get up? Did I? No. I didn’t. So keep your a** on that ground until I say you can.” Daddy says.
Daddy stands up and looks at me with his angry face. I try to lay as still as I can, I don’t want to get hit again.
“Get up.” Daddy says.
I stay on the ground. I’m not sure what Daddy wants me to do. Sometimes Daddy likes to tell me to do things so he can hit me. I don’t know if it’s one of those times.
“I said get your a** up!” Daddy yells.
Daddy steps towards me and reaches down. I don’t want him to push my face into the glass again so I flinch away. Daddy grabs my pony tail instead and pulls me to my feet. I feel pieces of my hair get pulled out and my head starts pounding. Daddy grabs my arm again and pulls me into the dining room. He gets down on his knees and grabs my cheeks. Daddy looks me in the eyes and squeezes harder making pieces of glass get pushed it. It hurts a lot, I want Daddy to let go. I try to sign “I’m sorry” but he slaps me again. My cheek stings and I feel a few tears fall down my face. I try to hold my cheek but Daddy pushes my hands away.
“Don’t cry, bad little girls need to be punished. You were really bad today. Do you remember what happened last time you were really bad?” Daddy asks.
I nod my head. I remember. Daddy gives me chores every day and he likes my chores being done on time. If they aren’t done he gets mad. I remember I didn’t finish my chores. I tried to be a good girl and get my chores done on time but I couldn’t. Daddy had to punish me. He got his big belt from the closet. He whipped me over and over again until my back and legs started bleeding. I had to lay on the floor for a long time before I could stand. Daddy made me clean up the blood when I could move. It hurt really badly for a long time.
“I’ll be back. Move a muscle and you will be in worse trouble.” Daddy says, walking up the stairs.
I stand as still as I can. I feel blood running down my face. I want to wipe it away but I don’t want Daddy to see. If he saw me move he would punish me more. Daddy comes down a few minutes later in his pajamas. He doesn’t like to get his suit dirty when he’s punishing me because his suits are expensive. Daddy walks past me and goes into the kitchen. I hear him grab a glass and a bottle of liquor, he likes to drink after I learn my lesson.
“F***!” Daddy yells.
Daddy starts hopping around. He stepped on a piece of glass. I hear Daddy throw the piece of glass on the floor and stomp out of the kitchen. My knees start to shake as his footsteps get closer to me because its all my fault. If I wouldn’t have broken the bottle Daddy wouldn’t be bleeding. Daddy doesn’t need to be hurt.
I know I need to learn my lesson but don’t want to feel the pain. I close my eyes and think of Mommy. Her pretty long brown hair, I liked to brush her pretty hair. Her pretty brown eyes, Mommy said I have her pretty brown eyes. Her pretty smile, I felt happy when Mommy smiled. I loved Mommy and Mommy loved me. I know Daddy’s yelling at me but I don’t know what he’s saying because I‘m with Mommy. Me and Mommy sit on the porch watching the pretty snowflakes fall all over the yard.
“My, my you’re a pretty girl. You’ve gotten big since I last saw you.” Mommy says petting my hair.
I like it when Mommy petted my hair.
“I know Mommy, I’m already seven years old.” I sign smiling.
“My big girl, I miss you so much.” Mommy says, giving me a hug.
“I miss you too, Mommy.” I sign, hugging her back.
I miss hugging Mommy. Mommy always gave the best hugs. I wish Daddy would hug me like Mommy did.
“Do you know how much I love you?” Mommy asks.
“To the moon and back!” I sign.
“Yes.” Mommy says smiling, “Do you know why I love the snow, Summer?”
I shake my head, Mommy never told me why she likes the snow.
“I love the snow because the angels work really hard to make every snowflake different. No snowflakes are the same. The angels make all these snowflakes and then sprinkle them all over the world to make everyone happy when it’s so cold outside.”
“Really?” I sign.
“Yes, Sweetie.” Mommy says.
“So Grandma and Grandpa are angels and making snowflakes?” I ask, looking up at the white puffy snowflakes falling from the big grey sky.
“Yes. Grandma, Grandpa, and Me.” Mommy says smiling.
Mommy has a pretty smile, I like when Mommy smiles.
“Can I be an angel? I want to make everyone happy. Especially Daddy.”
“No sweetie you can’t be an angel. You still have to grow up big and strong.”
“But I want to come with you Mommy, Daddy hurts me a lot.”
“Be my good little girl, sweetheart.” Mommy says giving me a hug, “I have to go now.”
I shake my head. I don’t want Mommy to go and leave me with Daddy. I love Daddy but I miss Mommy. I try holding onto Mommy tightly so she won‘t leave.
“Goodbye baby.” Mommy says giving me a kiss on my forehead, “Be my big, strong girl.”
Mommy gives me one more hug. I miss Mommy‘s hugs, they make me happy. Mommy walks down the steps. A big bright light swallows her and she turns invisible. I miss Mommy. I come back to Daddy, he finished punishing me. I’m laying by the basement door, I don’t know how I got all the way across the room. My body hurts all over from Daddy hitting me. It especially hurts to breath, I think Daddy broke my ribs again. I try to open my eyes. They hurt to open but I look for Daddy. I see him sitting and drinking whiskey. He stares out the window with a blank face, maybe he isn’t mad at me anymore. Daddy looks at my body and then in my eyes. He starts to cry. I wish Daddy wouldn’t cry, it makes me sad. It’s my fault. Bad little girls make their Daddy’s cry. Why do I have to be such a bad girl? I want to be a good girl like Tara and make Daddy happy. I want to give Daddy a hug and promise to be a good girl from now on. I try to move my arms but they won’t listen to me.
Daddy is talking to me but I can’t hear what he is saying, he kicked me in the head too much. I try to nod so he won’t hit me again, but my neck won’t listen either. Daddy talks for a long time before he stops. He looks at me funny then gets up and walks away. He‘s still crying. I try to keep my eyes open just in case Daddy comes back. I look out the big window, it’s snowing. I smile because I know Mommy is up in heaven making the snowflakes.
I stare out the window for a long time. Watching the snowflakes fall makes me sleepy. I know I should keep my eyes open for Daddy, but it hurts so bad. I close my eyes to make all the hurting stop. I think of the snow. I hope the pretty snowflakes make Daddy not be sad. I don’t like Daddy being sad. Mommy is up in heaven making the pretty snowflakes so Daddy will be happy. She’s the prettiest angel up in heaven. I want to be a pretty angel, just like Mommy.
For a long time I lay with my eyes closed, trying not to fall asleep. It’s hard to fight it. After a while I start to feel funny, kinda like I’m floating. I hear Mommy’s voice far away, “Come on baby, it’s time to make snowflakes.” she says. I smile. The hurting stops.