*** WARNING: This chapter deals with themes of alcoholism, abuse, and suicide. Please refrain from reading if you find these themes triggering or offensive.***
What do you see? A house? A home? A place where memories are made… and people feel loved? If one would walk by in the sunshine, they may be deceived into believing such… But at night…
This place is the bane of my existence. Constant shouting, abuse, and raging emotions. I see no home here. Just a place… nothing more.
Tonight is an ordinary day, much like any other. I’m on my way home from a late study session with friends. Not even at the steps yet, and I can already hear the screams.
Those are the people who call themselves my parents. My mother, Lian, met my father, Damien, in high school. They were young lovers and married at an early age.
My father is in debt; our house is due for foreclosure any day now. He is distant and if you asked, I wouldn’t even be able to tell you what his job is, assuming he still has one. Other than the constant fights he has with my mother, I hardly see him.
My mother is no better; she is a heavy drinker and leaves every night to go out with friends, sometimes she doesn’t even return for days at a time.
I try to avoid them as best I can, which is easier than you would think. They hardly acknowledge my presence; you’d have thought I’m someone they just found off the street. They tend to only call me to ask for favors or do chores.
“Why don’t you ask that girl of yours to magically spring us some money then.” my father shouts… if I should even call him that.
I ignore their arguing, as usual, and make my way to my room as quietly as possible.
After I click the door shut silently, I go to my window, the same thing I do every night, and imagine how my life could be if I just ran away. I doubt I would be missed… by them at least. But my friends and my studies are the only things keeping me here. When the time comes and I reach the age of legal adulthood I’m going to purchase the first train ticket out of here.
I go to my dresser and pull out a nightgown I got as a gift from a friend, the rest of my clothes are old hand-me-downs and ripped scraps of fabric that shouldn’t even be considered clothes.
No one in my school knows of my living situation, not even my closest friends. This is not the type of information one would like to go around advertising. If our house does get taken, will we have to live on the streets? There’s no way I would be able to hide if it gets to that point.
Our town is small; every little secret you could possibly have – if discovered – will spread like wildfire. I’m not going to lie… I’ve thought of some pretty dark thoughts to try and end my misery, but then I remember: Life may not be wrapped in a bow, but it is a gift, and taking that will do no good. One of these days I just hope that things will change…
“I don’t even know what to do with you anymore.” Lian says. “Ha. You?!! I’m the one at a loss for words. Maybe if you stopped your constant drinking, we’d have a little extra dough lying around.” Damien replied. “And your no –good brat of a child is no better. What’s she bringing to the table?” “I don’t know, why don’t you go ask her.” Lian says sarcastically. “I will.” Damien retorts, 100% serious.
As the sound of his footsteps draw nearer, I quickly pretend to be asleep. Having done this thousands of times, I’ve mastered the technique. Even though I know I’ll be able to deceive him, my heart pounds whenever either of them comes near; maybe it’s because I am afraid they are going to take their frustrations out on me… physically… though they haven’t done that in a while.
The door slams open and the light flicks on. Though my eyes are shut, I can feel my father’s stare boring into me with a sting. Luckily, he buys it, and he switches the light off with a grunt and storms out as angrily as he entered.
I release a soft sigh at his exit… looks like I was safe… for tonight.
Sleep rarely comes to me and the night drags on torturously. I wish the pieces of my life weren’t so broken… I wish someone could help fix me…
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