Just as I had predicted, home was a complete and utter hell with loads of gasoline dumped on top of it. Let’s start at the beginning where I was walking home from school, or tried to walk home.
“It’s raining outside, Marley. Are you sure you want to walk home?” Kimora asked worriedly. I didn’t account for the fact that it was raining today when I got dressed this morning, which was dumb on my part. It would’ve done me good to just have checked the weather, but I wasn’t thinking.
“Yeah. I don’t want to get in trouble,” I mumbled. My parents didn’t care if it was raining, sleeting, hailing, or snowing because me walking home was more important than my well being.
“Even if you do, we won’t want you to walk in the rain,” Sadia said.
“You know how my parents are. They’ll have my head if they see you guys dropping me off,” I murmured.
“And our parents will have ours if we let you walk,” Kimora added.
“Especially my mom. She doesn’t want you to walk out in the rain either,” Sadia told me.
“Well I can’t get in the car with you guys,” I replied. Sadia and Kimora sighed loudly. They knew how my parents were and they knew that my parents wouldn’t let up on them banning me from getting a ride to school. Because of this, I’ve gotten sick one too many times, but they don’t care at all. They just blame me getting sick when the weather is like this on my weight. I bet you that they’ll blame me and my weight like they always do.
“Marley, we’re just trying to prevent you from getting sick,” Sadia said.
“I know, but if I get in the car with you guys and my parents end up catching me, then I won’t hear the end of it,” I murmured.
“As much as I know you don’t want me to say this, but think about Kyle and what he would say. I’m sure he wouldn’t want you walking home in this weather,” Kimora replied. She was right. Kyle wouldn’t want me walking home in the rain and he’d be pissed if he found out, but he’s not here right now and he can’t really do anything.
“I know he wouldn’t like it, but I’m just trying to follow my parents rules. Don’t you understand?” I looked at them both. Deep frowns formed on their faces as they looked at me.
“How about I take her home?” We heard from behind us. We turned around to see Xander standing there. Why is he always popping up when I don’t need him to? Didn’t he take the hint to leave me alone at lunch?
“That’s not needed, Xander,” I said.
“By the looks of the weather, it kind of is needed,” He replied.
“It’s not needed by me,” I snapped, “I’ll walk home. It doesn’t matter to me.”
“It matters to me, Marley,” He replied, “And it matters to your friends as well.”
I knew it mattered to my friends, but it was better for me not to take a ride home. The almost, sickening sinking feeling that I was feeling right now was not making me feel any better about what was to await me at home.
“Look. I’ll be alright getting home. I’ve walked home in worse weather,” I sighed.
“Starting today, you aren’t,” Xander said. Why can’t he just understand that I don’t want to ride with him? Why does he insist on making my life difficult for me?
“No-” Xander picked me up into his arms.
“She’ll see you guys later,” He told Kimora and Sadia. This two traitors looked at us with amusement on their faces. I began protesting and yelling obscenities at Xander who simply carried me outside to his car, which wasn’t too far from the door. He placed me into his car and buckled my seatbelt before closing the door and jogging to his side. He started the car and I tried to get out, but he had placed a child lock on the car. Begrudgingly, I sat back in the seat with my arms crossed and a scowl on my face.
“Just tell me where your house is and I’ll drop you off there,” He said. I decided to tell him the address of my neighbor’s house so he could drop me off there, which would allow me to walk home without my parents ever knowing that I received a ride from him. We pulled up at my neighbor’s house and he stopped the car.
“So this is your house?” He asked.
“Yeah,” I answered. Silence filled the air between us as we sat there until he started to laugh. A confused look formed on my face as he laughed. It was kind of weird that he was just laughing randomly.
“What’s so funny?” I questioned.
“You’re a bad liar,” He answered. How did he even know?
“How did you know?” I looked at him in surprise.
“You just told me,” He answered, “Plus I knew this wasn’t your house anyways. It’s my friend Kieth’s house.”
Well this is embarrassing. He’s not making me feel any less embarrassed right now with his seemingly never ending laughter.
“Are you going to keep lying to me or are you going to tell me your address? We can sit just sit here all day if you don’t want to give it to me,” He said. Ugh. Staying in this car with him was not what I wanted nor is telling him where I live, but I needed to go home and face the hell that was waiting for me as soon as I got there.
After contemplating my choices for some time, I sighed and told him the directions to my house. He drove off from the home we were at and to mine, which was around the corner. The rain had started to come down hard and I began to regret wearing what I was wearing. A frown formed on my face at the thought of getting my hair wet after I had spent all night twisting it for today.
Xander pulled up at my house and he had taken the child lock off of the door.
“Wait here,” He said. He grabbed an umbrella from the back and got out. He jogged to my side and opened the door with the umbrella leaning towards the hood of the car. I stepped out slowly with my bag and he held the umbrella over my head as I got out. He closed the car door and walked with me all the way to my front door. The sinking feeling that I felt in my stomach had now come back with each step I took and the closer I got to the door, the more fearful I became. My hands began to shake, but I couldn’t let him see that so I shoved them deep into the pockets of my jacket.
“Thanks....I guess,” I mumbled.
“No problem, Marley. I didn’t want to see you walk out in this weather. You’d get sick that way,” He murmured.
“Like I said before, I’m used to it,” I replied.
“Well don’t because from now on when the weather gets bad, don’t hesitate to ask me for a ride,” He said.
“You don’t have to do that, Xander. I’m perfectly capable of walking,” I frowned.
“And I’m perfectly capable of driving you to school when I feel like it,” He countered. Why does he choose to make things difficult for me? Why? He doesn’t even realize that just be me allowing him to drive me home has landed me in some deep shit right now with my parents. The sinking feeling in my stomach was becoming worse by the seconds.
“Why won’t you just leave me alone?” I sighed in exasperation.
“I’ve already told you before, Marley. I want us to be friends,” He replied.
“Well friends understand when their other friends don’t want them to drive them to school,” I said.
“So you consider us friends?” He grinned stupidly.
“No, you idiot. That’s not the point,” I muttered in irritation.
“That’s the point to me,” He joked.
“You’re so annoying,” I rolled my eyes.
“Thanks, babe,” He winked at me. My cheeks heated up at the sound of him calling me ‘babe’. It was so nice to hear him say that, even though I knew that someone like him wouldn’t go for a girl like me. Him calling me babe made the butterflies in my stomach flutter.
“I’ll see you later,” I said.
“You too,” He nodded, “If you need another ride home, then don’t hesitate to ask.”
“Don’t worry. I won’t,” I replied unlocking my front door.
“You sure about that?” He asked.
“I’m positive. This is a one time thing, Xander. I don’t need you driving me home when I am perfectly capable of walking home myself,” I replied.
“It wouldn’t have sat well with me to have you just walk home, especially when it’s raining. I am sure you would’ve been soaked by now and possibly sick by tomorrow,” He explained. He was right. I would’ve caught a cold by tomorrow had I walked home, but at least I wouldn’t have been in as much trouble as I am now. At least I would’ve gotten yelled for just dripping water onto the carpet by my parents.
“Thank you for your concern, but I don’t need it, Xander. The sooner you realize that, the better,” I mumbled.
“I’ll see you at school, Xander,” I walked inside the house and closed the door behind me. He sighed to himself before walking away to his car. I watched him get him in and drive off before heading upstairs to my room. My phone started ringing and I answered it knowing full well who it was.
“Hey, Kyle,” I greeted.
“Are you okay? Kimora told me everything that happened on the phone,” He worriedly asked. I didn’t really want to think about what occurred earlier and no matter how much I tried not to, the words Valerie said to me crept into my mind each and every second of the day. Not to mention that my classmates tormenting me and telling me to kill myself echoes throughout my mind.
“No,” I sniffed as the vivid memories came back, “I’m not fine.”
There was no point in lying to Kyle because he knew when I was lying and he would get upset if I did. It’s not like lying would work in the first place because I have always told him everything, well everything except what our own parents are doing to me behind closed doors.
“Marley, don’t listen to Valerie. She doesn’t know what the fuck she’s talking about,” He softly said. As much as I want to believe him, I can’t. What Valerie said was believable to me. It made me actually think that I was an actual mistake that my parents just decided to keep.
“What if.....what if.....what if she’s right.....” I stammered.
“She’s not right because you are not a mistake,” He replied, “Don’t believe a damn thing she says because you are wanted and you are loved by me, our aunt, and grandmother.”
“But not our parents, Kyle. They hate me. They have always hated me and it’s....it’s....it’s hard not to believe that they don’t want me or even love me at all,” I sobbed.
“Marley,” He softly said.
“Valerie is right. I’m just a burden on this family. I’m pathetic and I should just kill myself,” I cried.
“Marley, don’t ever let me fucking hear you say that ever again. Don’t you ever fucking say that shit again!” He spat.
“Listen to me, Marley Lisa Simmons. I don’t ever want to fucking hear you say shit like that ever again. It’s the worst thing you can ever tell someone, especially those who care about you. You have so much more to live for and I don’t want to have to go through losing you,” He explained, “You’re my sister and I love you, but I don’t ever want to hear you talk like that again. Am I understood?”
“Y-Yes,” I stuttered.
“Good. If you’re feeling down, just know that you can talk to me or Aunt Lisa or our grandmother or Kimora and Sadia. You’re not alone, Marley,” He told me, “Just remember that we’re all one call away if you need to talk.”
“Okay,” I softly said.
“As for Valerie, Aunt Lisa and grandma are going to deal with her ass for now. I’ll deal with her ass when I get back home,” He replied.
“Kyle, please don’t do that. It’s fine,” I protested.
“It’s fine? Hell nah it’s not fine, Marley. She had no right to say some shit as horrible as that to your face. She knows fucking better and yet her ass decided to do that,” He snapped.
“Marley, I’m not brushing this shit under the rug nor am I going to pretend that it never even happened because that’s not how I am. I’d do the same thing to you if the tables were turned, but they’re not. Valerie is on my shit list right now and she’s about to feel my fucking wrath,” He spat venomously. There was no point in trying to convince him now to just drop it. When he’s pissed, he’s pissed.
“Now call Aunt Lisa and talk to her. She’s really worried about you now,” He informed me.
“Okay,” I sniffed. We both talked a little more before I called Aunt Lisa.
“Marley, Kyle told me everything and I’m mad at that little girl. She had no right to say that shit to you at all nor did she have the right to embarrass you like that and have those fuckers at your school say that to you. Your grandmother and I are on our way over there now to talk to that little girl,” She said.
“O-oh okay,” I replied.
“Other than that little girl who’s about to get an ass whooping for me, how are you? Are you okay?” She asked.
“Not really,” I answered.
“I’m pissed that, that little girl even had the nerve to say some shit like that to you without any hesitation or care about your damn feelings,” My aunt said.
“That’s right. Since that little girl don’t know how to act or talk to people, then we’ll show her what happens when she doesn’t,” My grandmother said in the background.
“And ya stupid ass parents probably going to sweep that shit under the rug,” My Aunt huffed.
“O-oh Okay,” I replied.
“We’re pulling up now, Marley. So we’ll see you when we get inside,” My aunt said.
“Alright,” I responded. She hung up the phone and I simply waited for them to come up to the house. Was it too much to ask that my parents didn’t find some way to turn this on me? Was it too much to ask that my parents didn’t punish me even worse than before? Thankfully, they didn’t yell at me when I got home and I was very grateful that they weren’t waiting at the door for, but at the same time it worried me because who knows how they’ll react once Valerie finishes telling them some made up story she had cooked up with her minions.
The doorbell rings, saving me from my grim thoughts. To prepare myself for what it is to during my aunt and grandmother’s visit and what is to come afterwards. I took in a few deep breaths, then headed downstairs to face the music. When I got down there, everyone was sitting on the couches waiting for me. My parents had on neutral faces, but their eyes told a different story that made me almost flinch in their presence. Keyword is almost. My aunt and grandmother were both upset with frowns on their faces and my aunt had a leather belt in her ready to whoop Valerie’s ass.
As for Valerie, her face looked different than before. This time she had cuts on her face, a black eye, a busted lip, and a couple of bruises here and there. Had my aunt and grandmother not been there, I’m sure she would’ve gotten me into some major trouble with our parents for something I didn’t do. How do I know? This is something she’s done many times before and she’s admitted it to me many times before. Just to get me into even more trouble, she would ask one of her friends to help bruises her face and all these other things, then pin it on me. Is it crazy? Yes, but that’s just how she’s done it since we were children. She would always hurt herself or get someone else to do it just to get me into trouble and it works because our parents have never ever trusted me at all. They’ve always taken her word or the word of others over mine and punished me unfairly for it.
“Mom, what a pleasant surprise. What are you doing here?” My mother inquired.
“Well it seems that we have a major issue on our hands,” My grandmother answered.
“What kind of issue?” My mother asked feigning concern.
“You don’t know?” My aunt narrowed her eyes at Valerie who didn’t dare to look her in the eye. She could tell that she was in some deep shit with her right now.
“No. What is this about?” My father asked looking at her.
“Well it seems that one of your daughters felt the need to tell their own sister that they were a ‘mistake’, ‘that they were a burden’, and ‘that they should just kill themselves’ while also allowing their peers to join in and further humiliate that sister,” My grandmother replied. Each word she repeated that Valerie had let slip form her lips intentionally was like venom. It made Valerie flinch with each word because she knew that our grandmother meant business.
“Was it Marley? You know she’s always treating Valerie horribly,” My mother said. Even when the evidence is right in front of them countless times, they’ll still let their distaste for me show and blame me in more ways than one knowing full well that Valerie has said and done some foul things to me, but they’ll never believe me. They won’t believe me. They have never believed me.
“No, Quinton. It was Valerie who decided to say some bullshit like that to her own sister and it was Valerie who allowed their classmates to say some foul shit to Marley like that,” My aunt snapped. My aunt has never liked my dad at all. In fact, she despised him and always let him know that she did. My dad also hated my aunt as well because of her genuine love for me that he doesn’t believe I deserve because of my weight. Hell, he hates my grandmother for it too because he knows that they’ll protect me at all costs.
“Oh that’s just not possible. Valerie is a sweet girl and she would never say something like that to Marley. Are you sure that Marley didn’t just lie to you to save face?” My dad asked. My aunt simply glared at him.
“You are so full of shit, Quantum. You sit here and blame Marley for shit that Valerie said when there were witnesses there?” My aunt spat.
“If you’re talking about those girls Marley hangs with, then your witnesses aren’t all that reliable. Those girls are a bad influence on Marley. Just look at Valerie’s face,” My Mom replied.
“Marley couldn’t have done that,” My grandmother said.
“Yes she did. Valerie told us what Marley did and she said that all those things you think she said were said to her by Marley,” My dad told them. My aunt let out a humorless chuckle and then looked over at Valerie with a glare.
“Little girl, what do you have to say for yourself?” My aunt inquired.
“Auntie, it was....it was all M-Marley....she and her.....her friends cornered m-me in the bathroom when I....when I was on my way to c-class....a-and....they....they j-jumped m-me,” Valerie burst out into rehearsed tears that made my mother pull her into a comforting hug that I, of all people, needed the most, but would never get.
“Lil’ girl, stand up,” My grandmother ordered, “And come here.”
“W-why?” Valerie asked. There was a hint of fear in her eyes at the sound of our grandmother’s command. My parents glared at me for a split second then turned back to my aunt and grandmother with concerned expressions.
“Why does she need to stand up?” My mother asked.
“Valerie, you better stand up now and come over here,” My aunt demanded. Hesitantly, Valerie stood up and walked towards them.
“Marley, get me a paper towel and wet it,” My aunt said. Silently, I nodded and walked to the kitchen past my parents. I did as my aunt said and headed back to the living room to give it to her. She stood up and started wiping Valerie’s face. Once she was done, she turned Valerie around to show my parents her non-bruised and uncut face.
“You really just sat up here and lied to me, your grandmother, and your parents,” My aunt said. Valerie looked really scared now. I had forgotten to mention that if she didn’t want to hurt her face or have others do it, then she would use make up to make it look real. My aunt and grandmother have caught her one too many times doing this, and so has Kyle.
“Valerie! Why would you do that?” My mother faked surprised.
“Because her lil’ ass thought she could put one over on us. This lil’ girl does this shit every single fucking time and you just fall for it like a couple of dummies. Marley ain’t hit that girl because she isn’t like that at all. In fact, Marley has never physically fought anyone a day in her life. You’d know that if you weren’t so far up this little girl’s ass,” My aunt snapped.
“Hold on a minute. We are just as angry as you are, but there’s no need to insult us,” My dad snapped.
“Give me the belt, Lisa,” My grandmother said.
“Don’t hit my child,” My mother exclaimed.
“You weren’t about to do it anyway,” My aunt said as she handed her the belt. My grandmother started whooping Valerie right in front of me and my parents did nothing because my aunt and grandmother have told them one too many times before that if they intervene when they’re whooping us, then they’ll get whooped too and if they take legal action, then they will make their lives hell. My parents pretty much backed down when it came to them and said nothing.
Valerie jumped around and cried as the belt struck her. I almost, and I mean almost, felt bad for her, but I don’t. When my grandmother finished, Valerie’s face was red and tear stained.
“The next time you fix your lips to lie to any of us and make up some damn stories, every time you sit down you’ll remember how this damn strip of leather felt across your ass,” My grandmother said, “Am I understood?”
“Y-Yes, m-ma’am,” Valerie stammered.
“Since I know you won’t be sorry, don’t even bother apologizing to Marley. In fact, the next time we get a call saying you said something foul to her, you’ll be wishing you never opened your damn mouth,” My aunt hissed. Valerie silently nodded.
“That’s all we came over here for. we’ll take our leave,” My aunt said. Her and my grandmother had me walk them outside to their car. I was glad to do that because the tension in the room was too much for me, especially the glared my parents and Valerie were burning into the back of my head. I knew that once they pulled off, all hell would break loose.
“You just remember to call us when she pulls some shit like that again. We’ll set her ass straight,” My aunt said.
“Mhm,” My grandmother agreed, “She didn’t have no right to say that to you and she definitely had no right to sit there and lie on you either.”
“That’s right. I bet she’ll think before she does some shit like that again,” My aunt replied. They really had some wishful thinking after they punish Valerie because I knew that she would just repeat the same cycle again with or without their knowledge.
“Hopefully,” I murmured.
“I know you’ve had a long day so go inside and relax,” My aunt said.
“Okay. I will,” I smiled faintly. They both hugged and kissed me before getting into the car. My aunt pulled out of the driveway and into the street. She gave me a small wave and soon they were gone. The horrible feeling I was feeling had come back now as I walked back towards the house.
Once the front door was locked, a thin cord had struck me. I let out a loud cry as the extension cord continued to hit me repeatedly on the back of my legs. My knees buckled as I held onto the door. Hot tears stung my eyes and ran down my cheeks. My body jerked with every hit and I tried to cover myself, but that left my hands just as vulnerable. The punishment I received felt never ending and it hurt to the point of where it was painful for me to even try and get up.
When it was over, I was a complete sobbing mess that felt pain each time I moved.
“The next time your fat ass calls them again, you’ll wish you hadn’t,” My father seethed. He walked away to the kitchen with my mother in tow. Valerie laughed at me and my pain the entire as I laid, then walked over to kick my legs. It took everything in me to not let out a scream that sounded like a wounded animal.
“See what I mean? You’re pathetic, you fat bitch,” She sneered. She kicked me twice in my stomach before heading upstairs. I laid there for a while before using all of my strength to crawl up the stairs. My journey up them was filled with sobs tears. If I were to die right now, then I would welcome death like an old friend.