thirteen: soul

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That's it, I snapped. I fucking snapped.

"How dare you speak to your mother like that!" Dad bellowed, suddenly making an appearance in the kitchen. His tall figure was looming over me, his dark eyes were ablaze with anger, his nostrils flaring, showing off his gritted teeth, like a giant ready to squish a tiny human with its huge feet.

The hairs at the back of my neck were beginning to stand up, my hands and feet becoming cold and numb again, but this time, I didn't look away from his antagonizing stare; instead, I looked up at him with disdainful eyes.

"Alexa," Mom said in a scolding tone as she put herself between Dad and I. This kind of thing wasn't new to me; of course, being the loving and faithful wife to her husband, she'd intervene and reprimand me and choose his side, no matter what bullshit he's done to our family.

She never stood up for me or herself or any of my sisters; she always, always chose to stand up and fight for him.

No wonder my sisters never had the time to come back home. They probably grew tired of the drama and decided to never step foot inside this house again.

"Don't fight us on this," she crooned softly, as if I was some sort of rabid animal that she was trying to tame. "I know how hard this is for you right now, but trust me, in the future, you'll thank us for steering you in the right direction."

"Bullshit!" I shouted, not caring whether or not the neighbors heard me. "Why can't you just accept me for who I am, Mom? Why?"

"That bitch taught you to speak to us like that, didn't she?" Dad snarled, taking a step forward. Mom turned around, held him by the shoulders and rubbed circles on them, still taking his side, still trying to calm him down.

"She has nothing to do with this," I said, narrowing my eyes at him. "I am who I am, Mom, Dad. I can't just change who I am just like that!"

"Yes, you can!" Mom cried, her green eyes sad and desperate. "My God, Alexa, do you want your soul to be eternally damned? Because I don't! That's why your father and I are doing whatever we can to save you!"

"She's just using you, you fucking idiot!" Dad bellowed, struggling to get out of Mom's grip on him, he was probably itching to pin me against the wall and bang my head until I bled. "You fucked up piece of shit-"

"Harold, stop!" I saw my mother's nails dig into my father's skin as she tried to restrain him, the way he glowered at me like I was a vermin that he was ready to shoot, it instantly gave me chills. Fuck.

"We're only doing this to save your soul," Mom reasoned out, the desperate look in her eyes never faltered. Her eyes were half-desperate and half-mad; I didn't even recognize the petite woman yelling at my face. "It's for the best, Alexa. We only want what's best for you, sweetie. Being a...being different, being's wrong, I'm telling you. You can't-"

"If that's the case, then to hell with my soul!" I yelled back. "Mom, what's so fucking wrong with being different, huh? I'm still me! I'm still your daughter, nothing's changed! Oh, for shit's sake, why can't you just accept me for who I am? Do I need to drop on my knees and beg for your acceptance? Do I-"

I was immediately cut off when I felt myself being slammed against the concrete wall. "You bitch, how dare you speak to us like that," Dad's hot breath fanned over my face as he snarled at me, his grip on my shoulders getting tighter and tighter, his nails furiously digging into my skin.

"Harold!" Mom cried frantically, looking at me, then at Dad, then back at me again with wide, bewildered eyes, but she only stood there, in the sidelines as always, her hands covering her mouth.

"I love her," I said through gritted teeth as I looked at him square in the eye, finally standing my ground. "And I love myself, I love who I really am. I'm happy with the choices I made, Mom, Dad. And there's nothing you can do about it."

"And what, you think your so-called love will conquer all those who are against it and save your soul?" Dad said, mocking me, his big eyes throwing daggers into my direction as he continued to stare down at me like a hungry wolf ready to devour its prey. He snorted. "Hah, that's fucking bullshit, Alexa."

"I don't care," I spat bitterly, still staring up at him. "I'll be who I want to be and love who I want to love. I'm leaving."

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