Weeping Willow

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Chapter Eleven - Brave

I heard my father stumble to the door, his keys jangling about as he attempted to unlock the front door. I tensed up and looked at my door, my father was a mean drunk. He always had been. I contemplated climbing out my window and running away, but with no money and nowhere to run too I walked to my bed and lay down instead. The front door slammed shut which caused me to jump. I kept my eyes closed and tried to force myself to fall asleep.

My attempts to avoid the inevitable confrontation were all in vain. My father opened my door, the light spilling in from the hallway and catching my eyes, causing me to squint. He let out a scoff and then pounded his fist against the light switch so hard it shattered.

“Look at you. You fucking lazy shit.” he slurred. “No life shit. It’s barely 8… lazing in bed like a slob. Just like your mother.”“Dad.” I whispered. “You’re drunk.”

“No shit, sherlock.” He hiccuped. “And you’re a fucking genius ain’t ya. Think your better than me.” he stepped into the room which caused me to tense even more, causing my anxiety to go into overdrive.

“Dad. I don’t feel comfortable around you when you’re like this.” I tried to say as I calmly sat up.

“I don’t give a fuck.” he yelled. “You’re just like your mother. Always complaining. Stealing…”

I felt my face furrow. Stealing? He smirked at my confusion and stepped closer, he was still a few feet away from me, but I could smell the distinct aroma of rum fill my room. It almost made me dry retch. Now I wasn’t just stuck in a room with my horrible drunk father, I was stuck in a room with my memories of that wretched party.

“Yes. you dumb cow. She cleaned me out.” He chuckled, I looked up. Though he was laughing there was anything but amusement in his face. His eyes were dark and his brow was taut and angry. “And she left me with you. A reminder... “

His words stung like a thousand bees. She’d left him? I had begged her too, so on some level I was happy, I was thankful… but she had left me behind. She had abandoned me. I tried not to show how affected I was, but I knew he could see right through me. His smirk stayed, strengthened as he took another step closer. I didn’t know what he was going to do, where this was headed and I didn’t want to find out. I needed to get out of here. I stood up and removed my gaze from him and focused on the door. I just needed to get out those doors, he was drunk there was no way he could catch me.

“Good. I’m glad she left.” I yelled as I pushed him and attempted to get passed.

I almost did it. I had shocked him enough to almost knock him off his feet, he stumbled back and I beelined for the door. But my hair, high in a ponytail gave him the leverage he needed and before I knew it, I was yanked back, hard until I lay on the floor.

The first blow hit me deep, winding me so hard that I could barely breath. I felt as though I was drowning, but there was no surface to swim too. I expected him to stop, expected that even he had standards. Never had I been more wrong. The blows kept coming, in my face, my stomach, my legs. He said things I could no longer understand, because my body had begun to focus on survival. I pulled myself into the fetal position and lay there praying for the end.

I didn’t realize he had gone at first, because my body continued to throb and ache even though there was no one hurting me anymore. I tried to sit up, but the exertion was too much and everything went black.

I don’t know how long I had been out for, all I knew as I came too, was that I needed to get out. My eyes felt tight and sore, my mouth was fat, and I could taste blood. I knew I looked a mess. I forced myself up and stared at the door of my room. I couldn’t just walk out, instead I climbed onto my bed and opened my window as quietly as I could. I climbed out window and down the trellis, even though everything ached and throbbed so hard I felt like I was going to pass out again.

Once my feet hit the ground I didn’t have time for second guessing myself. I needed to run and not look back. With each step I took my head grew more and more light. I knew that eventually my body was going to give out. There was a playground, in the next block. I just needed to get there, hide there. I’d be safe until I recovered enough to figure out what to do.

I kept moving, unwilling to look back, afraid of what I might see. Eventually I made it to the gates of the playground. They were closed, but not locked so I opened one slightly and slipped through the gap.The moment I was on the grass, by the rose bushes my body gave out and I collapsed into a ball on the ground. My breath burned my lungs to the very bottom, until it felt like they were being incinerated inside of me.

I closed my eyes, I needed to rest. I needed to regroup.

My ‘sleep’ was dreamless, I woke with a start, gasping and sitting upright before remembering what had happened. It was still dark, but I could see the beginning of morning light starting to show as the sky slowly started to lighten. I was wet with the morning dew, my clothes almost soaked. Instantly my body recognised the cold, and I started to shiver. I fumbled with the pockets of my jeans, searching for my phone. I found it eventually and almost fainted with relief that it had battery life.

There were only a couple of numbers on my phone. Home, Stefanies, Stefanie’s parents, my fathers… and now G’s.

I didn’t want to call the cops, the sirens would rouse my father. I couldn’t take the risk that he would find me, before they got to me. There were only two possible people I could call. Stefanies parents or a person who’d never met me. After all they’d lost, I couldn’t call her parents. I couldn’t put them through the trauma.

I knew calling G would end our illusion of some kind of epic story. He’d find me, battered and bruised and that would be the end. There was no coming back from the trainwreck that was my life. He’d run, and I wouldn’t blame him.

I hit call and lay back down on the sodden grass. It rang and rang, I hadn’t looked at the time, I knew it was early. I was about to hang up when a voice sleepily spoke to me.

“Hello?”

“G” I whispered, my voice barely there and croaky.

“S…” he whispered. “Are you okay?”

There was something about his voice. A familiarity I couldn’t put my finger on. I recognised it, but in my almost dazed state I couldn’t put a face to it.

“I need help.” I rasped.

“What happened.”

“My dad. He….” I closed my eyes, as tears slipped out, stinging the small grazes and cuts on my face. “He hurt me.”

“Where are you.” No longer did G sound sleepy, he sounded concerned. I could hear movement. He was running. My head grew light and I knew that I was going to lose consciousness again. “Where are you?”

“A park. Flowers. Roses.” I managed to mumble.

“Down the road from your house?” He exclaimed.

My house? How’d he know where I lived?

“Yeah.” I replied, unable to question him because the stamina just wasn’t there.

“I’ll be there soon Willow.” he called out. “Stay with me okay, keep talking to me on the phone.”

I’ll be there soon Willow…

I’ll be there soon Willow

I’ll be there soon Willow.

Before I passed out, his words sounded in my head. G knew me, G knew who I was.

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