fourteen: heal

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And with that, I shook off my father's hands around me with as much force as I could, still giving him my most hateful stare. If he thought he could lay his hands on me like he did to my mother, then he's fucking insane.

"No, you can't," Mom's voice shook as I heard her follow me out of the kitchen. She started to sniffle. "Look, your dad didn't mean to manhandle you like that, sweetie. Have some patience with him, please. He's still trying to-"

"He still has fucking problems, Mom," I cut her off as I made my way up the stairs and into my room. I bit my lower lip to stop myself from raising my voice at her too much-she was a few harsh sentences away from a break down.

I still couldn't believe she continued to defend him after all he's said and done to me!

"That's why he's trying, Alexa," she finally sobbed. We were almost to my room, but I stopped short when I heard my mother crying. Crying about my stupid father, again. "He's trying to change. For you, for us. And-"

"That still doesn't give him the right to lay his hand on either of us, Mom! I'm not stupid; I've seen your bruises and I don't-"

Mom's eyes widened as she gasped. She cried even more.

"They're already healing," she whispered in between her sobs, her shoulders heaving, her hands hiding her face, and it broke my heart seeing her like this; but then again, I also felt sorry for her because no matter how hard I tried to pull her out of the quicksand, she would always find a way to come close to it, and eventually, she'd fall into it again, several inches deeper than before.

When she looked up at me, her eyes were brimming with tears, and they had that same haunted and desperate look in her eyes. I shivered. "I'm healing, too, Alexa, and so is your father. Give him some time, sweetie. Have some faith in him, please."

My hands turned cold again. I wanted to tell her that I've given him time, that I've given him lost of chances already, that I've tried, like really tried, but every time I'd be nothing but polite and nice and accommodating, his ugly horns would show up and he'd yell hurtful slurs at me, complain about every little thing that I did wrong in my life, and whenever he'd insult Claire, I did what I could to ignore it, but it eventually took a toll on me and it got to the point where I just couldn't take it anymore.

I couldn't pretend to be happy when I was downright miserable on the inside. The torture was getting unbearable and I couldn't handle any of it anymore.

"I'm sorry, Mom," I told her, turning my back on her and opening the door to my room. "I need time to heal, too," I muttered mostly to myself, and when I closed the door, I leaned against it, gasped, and felt my tears stream down my face.


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