“God Rue! Can’t you ever do anything? You just sit on your lazy butt and read or play some stupid instrument!”

“Dad! I do everything you ask me to, right now I’m doing homework.” I could feel the tears swelling in my eyes.

“Uh. Now you’re going to cry,” his face becoming more and more red the longer he yelled, “just because I asked you to clean up the apartment!”

“Come on dad, it isn’t like that! You have no idea what it’s like to be me! To always have your father yelling at you, telling you you’re stupid and ignorant!” He stood up very quickly and then at the same pace, he walked towards me.

“You…” Then bam, he smacked me in the face. Before I could cry, I ran upstairs to my room. Slamming my door shut, I locket it. In the same second, the tears spilled over. I could hear my dad shouting about how much he hated me and wished he had a different daughter. Hearing this only made the tears come harder and faster. He doesn’t understand. I’ve only ever done what he wants, and I’ve only ever wanted him to care about me. He just doesn’t love me.

John

Watching him yell those hateful things was more than I could bear. Then, when he… when he hit her! When he hit her, I had to hold in everything. I wanted to scream, I wanted to make him feel sorry for what he had done. I wanted to hurt him. Seeing him be so horrible made me wonder why she of all people got stuck with a dad like that.

I followed her upstairs to her room. She slammed the door shut on me and I wanted to feel the pain, but didn’t, I couldn’t. I walked through her door and sat down on her bed. I stared at the ground until I heard a sob escape her lips. I watched her cry, she was breaking my heart. She crawled into a ball and whimpered a little more. I put my arms around her, trying to hold her. I wanted her to feel me, and I wanted to feel her. But as always, she couldn’t, and neither could I.

Rue

The annoying sound of my alarm clock wakes me from my slumber. Grumbling, I reach out to my alarm clock and turn it off. Then I put my hands to my eyes and let out a long sigh of anger. My eyes had swollen from all the crying. Now I’ll have to put ice on them to get the swelling to go down.

Putting on my usual uniform, brushed my teeth, iced my eyes and packed my bag. I headed downstairs and I released the air of breath I didn’t realize I had been holding in. He’s still asleep. I thought. He can’t yell at me now. The memories from last night flooded my mind and the world got blurry. As I wiped my eyes, I went to the kitchen and pored myself a bowl of granola. Scraping the last bit of granola and headed out to my bus stop.

As I stood there all alone, only, I didn’t feel alone though. I had an odd feeling that someone else was with me, looking over me. But when I turned around, no one was there… But the weirdest thing was I had never felt safer than right then, right there. The sound of the bus approaching woke me from my thoughts, and I really wasn’t alone anymore.

My bus is just as crowded and noisy as it always is. There, on the bus I sit by myself and either stare out the window or read. Today I wanted to look outside. I like how it was cold in the pitch mornings, then warmer as the sun rises. I like how spring is near, but it’s not always hot.

“Yo, Rue! Over here!” I looked up to see no other than James Johnson waving at me.

“Hi James.” I didn’t even bother to wave.

“Mind if I sit with you Rue?”

“Umm sure…” James is a very kind guy, but there is something… wrong inside him. If you make him made, something really clicks inside him. He gets made and aggressive. He has had a “crush” on me since the fourth grade. He tried to ask me out in the sixth grade, but I said no. He was so angry and embarrassed that he punched the seat on the bus and his fist went straight through the seat! I’ve never really felt safe with him ever since.

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