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The clap of my fellow students broke me out of the trance I was in, making my heart thud. Stevie sat beside me, and I ran my finger over my paper one last time.

"Alessia," Mr. Ryan, my creative writing teacher, called, "why don't you share what you have written for the activity?" He nodded, encouraging me to stand from my seat at the back of the room.

I rolled my eyes at my best friend, Stevie, and she snickered, knowing how much I'd dreaded this moment. I stood up from my chair, my legs squealing against the tile, the noise making my skin crawl as my face heated, hating speaking in front of my classmates.

"My name is Alessia, which means defender or "to help" in Italian. Does it represent me as a person? Yes. I like volunteering at the animal shelter, where I help treat and care for all pets. Who is Alessia? I am someone that loves to paint, read -"

"-such a nerd."

I ignored Christian and his remark, but my heart twisted. I hate public speaking, and this is why.

"I am someone that likes nature, going for hikes, and the ocean," I said, reading off the page, "this is what my name means to me. It represents the things I like and do. Who I am as a person is a reflection of my name. Thank you."

Mr. Ryan clapped along with Stevie. "Excellent. Connor, you're next." I collapsed back into my chair, but Christian swiped at the legs on my chair, kicking it out from under me as I sat. I plummeted to the tiled flooring.

He and my other classmates snickered.


I stepped into the house, weary of its silence. Where were my mother and father? They're usually home by now, two bottles of beer. They liked to say they had a hard day at work; what're a few beers to calm the nerves?

Except it always continued at a few beers. Two turned to three, then six, then eight, and so and so on until both were wasted and mean.


I quickly glanced around the kitchen, seeing nothing out of place since I cleaned one of my chores this morning. God forbid if the house isn't spotless when they come home. Michael, my father, doesn't like it when he repeats himself.

I dropped my backpack at the end of the staircase and headed into the kitchen for a snack. Mmm, ice cream. Chocolate chip mint is my favourite. At least my mother bought it for me. She must have been feeling nice when she did the grocery shopping. I don't usually get what I want, but I figured she'd been less ... grouchy than usual the past week, so I shot my shot.

I licked the spoon I used to scoop out the ice cream and put the carton back into the freezer. I ran up to my room, dragging my backpack with me, but didn't quite get halfway up the stairs when keys jingled outside and the sound of the door unlocked.

Michael, my father, stepped in. His electric green eyes met mine, lip curling into a frown. "How was your day?" He asked, dropping his briefcase on the floor. "Did you safe any ice cream for me?"

"Y-yes, in the freezer," I stuttered. Damn, why did I stutter? I nodded and remembered that he hated nonverbal answers.

He chuckled. "Good. Go on, finish your homework. See you for dinner." I scrambled up the steps and into my bedroom, closing the wooden door behind me.

I locked it, just to be safe, heart thudding from the interaction. Downstairs, the pop of a beer can opening filled me with dread.


I stayed in my bedroom until late, hoping and praying. A little after 11 pm, I began to have a little hope and wish he wouldn't come up tonight. Hoping he wouldn't appear, but that hope disintegrated as I heard his dress shoes on the stairs echoing off the walls.

They stopped outside my bedroom door. The door jiggled as my father tried to enter. A few seconds passed, and I heard the door click as it unlocked. "What did I say about locking your door?" He snarled, busting in and dropping the key on the floor. I shuddered and gripped my blankets in my fists, eyes wide with anticipation. "Lay down, you dumb bitch. Trying to hide from me? You'll never be able to hide from me."

He stumbled over, slamming the door shut behind him and unbuckled his belt. "Lay down," he repeated, throwing his belt to the ground.

"No, please," I cried, shaking my head. "Please don't do this."

I could smell the alcohol on him as he reached the foot of my bed, my heart pounding, my skin sweaty. I didn't want this, I didn't want this, I didn't want this.

"Don't make this harder, Alessia," Michael stated, green eyes raking over my body. He licked his lips. "Lay down and spread your legs, sweetheart."

I did as I was told because the consequences of not listening were worse.

Half an hour later, I scrubbed my skin until it was raw, the hot water trickling down my back burning, but I felt it as a reminder that I was still there.

I'm still here.

And yet, I wished I wasn't.

I closed my eyes, trying to forget it, but no matter what I tried, what he did to me haunted me, even when I was awake.

"Don't scream," he warned, grabbing a fist full of my hair. He pushed into me roughly, breathing heavily, before slapping my face. I bit my tongue, a metallic taste seeping into my mouth.

He slapped me again and again and again. "You are worthless, you bitch," he seethed, grabbing my hair and slamming my head into the bedpost. I let out a whimper, and it pissed him off.

"Please stop, dad," I begged, but he didn't, and soon, I had blood dripping down my mouth. "Please, no more."

Michael stood up and watched me. "Remember, say anything about this to your mom, to anyone. I will kill you."

He turned and stumbled out of my bedroom.

I hated myself. I hated myself for letting him do that to me. After he left, I vomited over the floor. A nasty taste filled my mouth. Disgusted, I hurried into the bathroom before vomiting again, reaching the toilet.

When the contents of my stomach were emptied, I cleaned up the mess on the carpet. It would leave a stain and likely a nasty smell, but I'd grab a spray in the morning to erase the stench. For now, all I wanted to do was fall asleep and forget.


Thank you for reading.

Please comment and vote.

New update will come as I write it lol

- Charlie 🧡

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