Chapter 5

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       I crawl into a corner and lean my forehead against the wall.  Blood stains the spot where my forehead rests.  I feel my muscles tighten as footsteps approach me.

      "If you ever dare wander off without my permission again I will kill you." My father shouts at me as I cower in the corner.  His shadow looms over me as I shake in fear.  Putting his arms on the wall above me, he kicks me like a sack of potatoes.

       "Dad please..." I cry out in pain, "enough." 

       Sweat beads upon his forehead and he breathes heavily.  The anger in his eyes fades and gives way to confusion.  I know he won't remember what he's done later and will blame my poor mother.

      He stumbles backwards and walks away as if lost.  When his figure disappears into another room, I force myself onto my feet.  I cannot stop from trembling. 

        I drag myself to my room as I try to ignore the sharp pain in my side, collapsing when I get to the mattress laid out upon the floor.

              My room is hardly my room at all.  It's filled with my fathers alcohol bottles and unwanted broken furniture he finds in other people's garbages. 

          The once white, grey peeling walls are covered in writing that others had written there before we moved in. 

      It's no surprise, and my parents never have any intention of painting over it, so I add my own scribblings to it.  Destined for death, Get out while you can, and Pain is all you will know are the few appropriate inscriptions written here.  The rest are mostly profanities.

      My mattress where I sleep is simply a mattress without sheets or blankets.  Such luxuries do not exist in my home.   Blood and tears stain my uncovered mattress, the only things that cover the surface.

       I curl up into a ball on the mattress and shake with sobs.  I'm just an object, just a tool.  I'm hardly even human.  A dog gets treated better than I.

        More tears would be shed for the death of an animal than there would be for me.  Only tears cried on my part are from my own.  Too often have I laid here and cried.  Too often.

       Contemplation of what my fate will be with the gang only makes me sob harder.  Why me?  I try muffling my crying by burying my face in the mattress. 

     Apparently they could still be heard.  I do not hear when footsteps come near the side of my bed.  My sixth sense gives me a sense of uneasiness, and I realize there's someone standing above me. 

       Automatically I'm frozen.  He's back, he's gonna kill me!  A hand touches my bare, bruised back and I choke back a sob. 

     "Don't...don't hurt me..." I whisper, my voice full of pain.

      The sound of crying causes me to look up.  "Mom..?"  

       My mother sits beside me covering her face.  "Matty forgive me for bringing you into this world."

       I sit up and tears stream down my face as she continues, "I wish I could take away your pain, but I know I would die trying.  Your father, he...."

     At her words a figure appears in the doorway and I look at my mother and her eyes show naked fear.  I touch her hand ever so slightly.  I won't let him touch her again.

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