Wednesday, February 6, 2008

"You Don't Know Cut"

Start: You Don't Know Me (Page 13, Copyright 2001), by David Klass
End: Cut (Page 13, Copyright 2000), by Patricia McCormick
he story between them: by Michael Rigg

"Go ahead and cry," the man who is not my father said. "You make me sick."

So I cried, because making him sick seemed to be the only way I could harm him, and, frankly, because I couldn't stop myself. it hurts to cry like that when you don't want to do it, in front of someone you hate.

Every tear burns. I closed my eyes tight to stave off his image, to burn him away, but I couldn't.

I couldn't move, not move from that spot. My arms pinned to my sides because I couldn't raise them for fear of his touch, my shoulders shook with each sob making my chest bounce.

I could feel his eyes on them. He was relishing hurting a teenage girl and he was relishing the fantasy playing out in his sick little mind. That made me hate him more and more.

"Now go to your room," he shouted when he'd soaked it all in. I didn't wait for my next breath. I turned and bolted up the stairs, slamming the door behind me.

Once safe inside my sanctuary, I pulled my desk chair to the door and tucked its back under the knob. It fit perfectly. A worn crescent of bare wood echoed all the times I had done that before. It was all to bar myself away from Tyrannosaurus Ron, my mother's newest mistake. All to shut him out. I only wished once -- just once -- she would come home early from work and catch him touching himself and panting outside my room, beyond the barred door. Or, better yet, moments before when he made me cry and stared up and down at me licking his wolfish lips.

I had just a few options now. I could turn on my stereo and crank up Evenescence so I couldn't hear him. I could throw myself into bed and continue crying with the pillow pulled tight around my ears. I could get my softball bat out of the closet and time my assault, springing the door open and catching him with my eyes narrow with rage -- his wide with horror -- as I whacked a dent into his skull with aluminum justice long overdue. Or I could do what I always did.

I went to my dresser and flipped open my cell phone. I hit speed dial one and pressed the phone to my ear, my other hand to my free ear, and waited for Ruth to answer.

Ruth was the only friend I had in school. She knew the kinds of horrors I've been through because she's the victim of a split fam too. Only in her case it was her dad who was nice and her step-mom who was a drunk who referred to her regularly as a "Religious Little Bitch."

She understands my hate, but she has something I don't. She has tolerance and forgiveness in her heart, and a way to escape that didn't involve drugs, boys, alcohol, or anything but friendship. Anytime I feel lonely in school Ruth is always there to walk me between classes.

The truth is, I don't mind being escorted by Ruth. I sort of like listening to our sneakers squeak along the hallway and not worrying that Ruth is going to try to make me talk.

Thanks to my stepdaughter Amanda for offering me these two random novels. It's ironic that the story I bridged lent itself to the horrors of a teenage girl and an evil step dad. I am thankful to God that she has nothing like the terrors of this story to fear from me. I love my family more than life and I pray regularly for our continued familial fellowship, peace, and happiness.

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