Daddy’s Little Girl

It was 3 a.m. and she still sat in her corner. She had been there all night, sitting alone in the darkness of her little room. Her corner comforted her. It was the only thing that was always there, just how she wanted it; quiet, simple, and solid.

She looked out across her room to the bright sliver of light seeping in from under her door and noticed the dead silence…for once, there was silence. She remained still and quiet for a moment, and then she slowly stood up, cautiously creeping her way to the door. She leaned into the door and listened carefully for any sign of life in the downstairs floor, when she heard the loud bang of the back screen door slamming shut against the broken face plate.

Her father was drunk again. She hated when her father came home drunk. She couldn’t understand how her mother could have taken him back after years of abuse and drunken rampages. But her mother was in denial. She didn’t want to accept the fact that the only man who had ever “loved” her could do any wrong in this world.

Sara scuttled quickly back to her comfort zone and pulled the dirty blanket from her bed up around her neck as though she thought it might serve as some sort of protection from the evil thing downstairs in case he decided to come up to her room to check up on what “bad things” she might be doing, which he only did when her mother was in hiding and couldn’t be found. She waited patiently, and frightened, sobbing into her bandaged wrists, rocking back and forth, praying that the bad man would just die, or that she would just disappear.

When she heard the loud thump of her father’s footstep drop heavily onto the bottom landing of the staircase at the end of the hallway, she jolted with terror. She frantically scanned her room for some means of escape; she knew there was no safehaven. This same scene was so familiar to her, but none showed any less mercy than the next. She didn’t think she could handle another night of witnessing nearly all of her possessions smashed against her walls, of more of his hateful words that ripped right through her, of the repetitive and seemingly endless beatings and mutilation from a man that used to take her to the park, carried on his shoulders, every Saturday. The man who used to read her her favorite bedtime story, no matter how much he hated hearing it, just because she was his little princess, and he loved her. That man disappeared long ago.

She heard his footsteps nearing her door and slouched even further down into the crevace created by the two, cold, hard walls behind her, pulling her tattered blanket over her head just far enough so she could still keep one eye on the doorknob. By this time she was trembling and could feel every violent beat of her heart, quickening in pace.

She closed her eyes and clenched her fists into tight balls as she heard the footsteps stop outside in the hallway, and then the quiet rattle of her locked doorknob, unable to be turned. A hot, salty tear ran down her pale cheek and the rattle became a violent banging. The door burst open, throwing splinters of rotted wood out into the room. Sara looked up with tears in her eyes and shreiked as the large man came at her, staggering. She covered her head with her already bruised arms and waited, expecting a hard blow to the head, but instead, heard the sound of glass shattering against the opposite wall. She cringed through a series of hearing; never opening her eyes to see, but hearing; crashes, bangs, screams, obsenities, and cracks. Trying to remain somewhat invisible to the drunk man, she looked toward the open door. She very tactfully eased her way to a crouching position and watched her father carefully, hoping he was too busy demolishing the things he had bought her to notice her movement. She imagined the easiest way, straight to her door, and out of the line of fire, before things worsened any further.

She made a quick dash for the door and made it just as far as the hallway, when she felt a strong hand pull forcefully on her left ankle from behind. She tumbled to the ground, landing face first and hitting her forhead on the balcony railing. She scrambled on the hallway floor, grabbing anything nearby to escape from the strong hold on her leg. She kicked hard with her other leg and pulled away quickly. Grabbing onto the railing, she started to run to the end of the hallway when she was forcefully jerked back around to face this monster. He raised his hand high above her head and struck her with a blinding force across her face. She drew back and fell into the wall behind her. Her father stood in front of her, laughing, as if he had unleashed the best of him. She just stood there, leaning partially on the wall for support, holding her face in her hands, and sobbing. She had withstood this treatment for so long, powerless against her father, and this time, she wasn’t hurt, she was empowered. Something arose in her at that moment that she had never felt before and couldn’t explain. She looked up at her father with a fire in her eyes, and the grin on his face sickened her even more. All at once, she charged at him, pushing her weight from the wall for extra force, and pinned him up against the wooden railing. He had a look in his eye she had never before seen. She thought she could sense his fear. He tried to lift his hand to her again, to push her away, but she wasn’t going to let him win this time. She couldn’t let him win. She kicked him in the shin to weaken his leg, and when his step was unsure, she took advantage of his uncoordination. She pushed his upper body with a forceful thrust and backed away slowly as his body plunged to the first floor below them.

As she felt the wall behind her, she sank down to the floor, now shaking, not realizing what she had just done. She sat there silently for an hour, or maybe more. When she had stopped trembling, and had regained partial strength, she stood up slowly and walked forward, leaning over the rail to the downstairs floor. She cringed slightly when she saw the results of the events that took place before. A feeling of nausea overcame her. She ran into the bathroom at the end of the hall and collapsed onto the floor. She could tell she’d have to deal with this nausea for quite a while, she hadn’t eaten in days and the dry heaves made it so much worse. She stood up and walked out into the hallway and down the steps, very slowly, one at a time. She wasn’t in any hurry to get downstairs.

When she had reached the hall at the end of the staircase, she stopped for a moment and took one long look at her surroundings. She knew this place would never be the same. She walked into the sitting room, the room directly below her’s, directly below the balcony. She walked to the middle of the room where she saw her father’s body lying lifeless in a twisted position, draped over the frame of a shattered, glass coffee table. She concluded that the fall had broken his neck, and he had probably died on impact, although she knew he deserved to suffer. She couldn’t bare to see his horrible face any longer, and hoped to never see it again.

She was now out to search for her mother, who was probably passed out somewhere, trying to hide from her one and only “love.” She walked into her parents bedroom. It saddened her as she looked around. The antique mirror she had bought her mother for Mother’s Day the year before had been broken and super-glued so many times that any reflection was distorted to the point of unrecognition. She glanced around the room seeing nothing but blood stains, broken pictures, borded windows, and an empty pill bottle on the dresser, next to the bathroom door. She walked over to the dresser and picked up the pill bottle, reading the label. These were once her mother’s pain-killers that she had received a week ago at Dr. Harvey’s office for her broken wrist. Emptied. She returned the bottle to the dresser and creaked open the squeaky bathroom door. What she saw at that moment would never leave her being. Her mother was fed up, as she was herself. Only, her mother had found a way out.

Sara ran over to her mother, curled up on the cold bathroom floor. She was now alone. She had no one. She looked around once more. Now she knew she’d never see this place again. Her mother had been the only one to ever believe her when she reported the things her father had done to her. Her mother had been just as scared, just as tormented, just as weak.

Standing up at the sink, Sara made herself a glass of water from the bathroom faucet. Her face had gone completely white, and her nausea had now worsened to an unbareable pain. She kneeled down, next to her mother’s body and let her head rest on the toilet seat, hoping she had the strength to vomit, to ease her abdominal pain. She fell asleep there for 2 more hours.

It was now nearly 7a.m. The bus would be coming for her soon. She put on a pair of pants that weren’t bloodstained, and slipped on a clean long-sleeved shirt, to hide her scars. She grabbed her bag and walked out the front door, not looking back once. She didn’t shut the door behind her; she thought the police might appreciate an open door when they arrived, if they arrived. She walked past the bus stop, and on down the road. She came to a convenience store about a mile down and stopped for the chance to use a payphone. She walked around to the side of the small, white building and reached into her pocket for some change. Luckily, she had not purchased lunch at school lately and had change to spare.

She placed an anonymous report to the local police department that the Smith’s were dead, Charlie in the sitting room, Debbie in the master bathroom. She hung the phone up immediately. She’d be gone by the time they got in the area. Cops always took their time, she new that all too well.

She continued walking southbound down the nearly deserted country highway, not knowing where she was headed, not caring. Not caring if she were to die, or if she were to live. She was considering suicide…after all, she had nothing left. Absolutely nothing.