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Divergent: The Unknown Girl

A Selfless Act

Girl POV

Swish, slap, scream.

Swish, slap, scream.

That is all I can hear. The screams of my brother. The boy that doesn’t even know that I exist. The boy that is beaten by his father just like I am beaten by him. I hate how my father treats him, I couldn’t care less how my father treats me, I am not allowed out the house. No one sees me, I don’t have to hide and lie about my pain and scars like my brother is bound to have to do. Me though, I am not allowed out from the basement that I have lived in my whole life.

The basement was like an apartment, it has its own bathroom, kitchen, living room, and bedroom. The bathroom has a bath and a shower, the kitchen is small but has all of the essentials; fridge freezer, washing machine, cooker, microwave. The living room only has a sofa, there is no television, no books, nothing to keep me entertained, most of the time I am bored out of my mind. The bedroom is the only room with a window, the smallest and thinnest window at the top of the wall. Most of the time I just sit and watch the world go by.

No one knows about this apartment except me and him; my father, Marcus. The entrance of this place must be hidden because no one has ever asked what was down here. I always listen upstairs to see if anyone asks about a basement about my cries or screams but no one does.

I live in this basement, so that I will not be heard, so that no one will see me, that no one will ask any questions. What’s my name? I hear you all asking, I don’t have one, my father never gave me one, my mother wasn’t allowed to give me one, my father threatened her, I may have been a baby but I remember everything, the way my father beat her.

When I was three, my father murdered her, right in front of me. I remember the words he spoke to me whilst he was covered in her blood.

“You will do everything I say when I say it, or you will end up like your whore of a mother.” He spoke then walked over to the kitchen sink, washing his hands, which were covered in blood. He washed the knife that he used to stab my mother to death.

That was when we both heard the front door open, he looked at his watch. “Tobias is early from school.” He spoke, he must have seen the tiniest hope in my eyes because he chuckled, “He is not your brother, nor will he ever be, he will never know you exist, no one will know that you exist, girl. Now, take the body and dump it!” He typed a code in a blank wall and a secret door opened. “If you are not back here in half an hour, Tobias will get your beating too. Got it?”

I just nod, I grabbed my mother’s arm and pulled then above her head to drag her across the floor. I was so tired; my mother was heavy. I felt like I had been pulling her forever when I finally saw a bright light. Was this the outside? I pulled my mother along with me. I knelt beside and sobbed for a few minutes. I kissed her forehead, then pulled her to a forest, and left her there. I ran back ‘home’ I didn’t want my brother getting hurt. I made it just in time. My father tapped his foot at the door, “Look at the mess you have made!” he spoke in a scarily angry voice, but it was low and quiet, that was when I knew that Tobias was still home. My father pointed to the blood on the floor, “Clean it up now!” he spoke, then walked up the stairs and shut the door. He didn’t lock it, he never did, he assumed I wouldn’t be stupid enough to try and leave.

He was right, I was too scared to walk up those stairs. I grabbed a cloth, moved to my hands and knees and scrubbed the floor.

I am snapped back to reality when I hear the screams again. I try to ignore it, like I try to every week, but it doesn’t work. Nothing ever works, it is impossible. How can anyone ignore the sound of tortured screams? How can a father continue beating when his son is screaming in pain? Why doesn’t he believe that Tobias finishes school early on a Tuesday? I hear him say it every week, I hear his voice tremble every time he says it, and he knows what is coming. Just like I know when it is coming to me.

Our father says different words to me and my brother. To Tobias he says the famous line of ‘This is for your own good, Tobias.’ but to me he says ‘I will teach you a lesson.’ He doesn’t say that every time to me though sometimes it is different sometimes I get ‘I will make you wish you were never born.’

I hear the scream again and I cannot take it anymore, This has been going on too long, my father was going to kill my brother just like he killed my mother. I couldn’t take it any longer, I cannot lose Tobias too, What would Marcus do to me if he ever lost Tobias? He would blame me just like he blamed me for my mother’s death. Somehow I find the courage inside me to walk up the stairs silently, I carefully opened the door to the corridor.

I take a deep breath before I follow the noise, I walk upstairs, and I know that Marcus probably wouldn’t hear me, the sound of the belt kept swinging. I ended up in his room; my brothers room. I am stunned; I am not stunned because there is blood pouring from his back like I should have been. I am stunned because this was the first time I have ever seen Tobias.

I am forbidden to leave the basement. I am stunned to just standing staring at him, he was older than me, by a few years by the looks of it. His dark hair was short, his eyes were closed tight, his hands were in fists and that is when I remember why I came up here in the first place.

I was hoping Tobias was out of it, or wouldn’t see me, nor acknowledge me. My father’s raises his hand with a belt in for another whip when suddenly I find my words. “Stop it! He has had enough!” My hands are in fists just like Tobias’s but not from pain but from the anger rippling through me, I didn’t even realise I was shouting until his eyes snapped towards me. His eyes were full of surprise at first then they turn to anger.

“What the hell do you think you are doing? Get back to the basement!” he spoke angrily too, trying to scare me but some reason it didn’t work. Why wasn’t I running? Why am I not trembling in the corner trying to get away from him? I glance down at Tobias then I realise the reason. I have to be strong, though I never knew I had this sort of strength before, I never thought in a million years that I would be standing up to my father. I know I would never stand up to him for myself.

That is when I realise I have stood quiet for too long. I move to stand tall, to stand proud, I soon find my words again, “He has had enough, how would you explain your son being murdered by his father?” I gulped slightly as I saw the rage in his eyes.

“You dare speak to me that way, girl! I will do what I damn well want to my son. Now go to where you belong!” he yells with a daring and terrifying tone. He only used that when he was beyond pissed. I would normally cower the corner and beg for his forgiveness but somehow my strength was still burning strong. I stand there and watch as he raises his hand to whip my brother. He must have expected me to run away like I always do. But I will show him otherwise.

I don’t know when I decide to but I am moving the fastest I ever have. I am suddenly standing in front of my brother, the whip landing across my face instead of his back. I just hissed at the contact, I have been whipped every day since the day my mother died 8 years ago. I thought I would be immune by now but I am not. My father’s eyes flared in anger, “Move out of the way and let him accept his punishment.”

“He has accepted it! The first 5 whips were enough!” I yell back. I want to run away right now, because when I look into my father’s eye they are murderous, they are the exact same eyes that I saw when he brutally murdered my mother.

I find myself still trying to show strength and pride even though I am petrified. I have never stood up to my father before. I probably never will again. That is only because I will probably be dead.

“You have become too confident, girl. I will not let an 11-year-old girl tell me what to do! I will give you one last chance. Go back to the basement.” He spoke in a warning tone, as if to say ‘do not push me’. I felt my hands begin to tremble in fear, so I clench my hands together so he wouldn’t notice. Every ounce of my body was telling me to run and hide and never show my face again and obey everything he tells me to do. Some reason my mind doesn’t comply with what my body wants.

I just stood in front of Tobias in a protective manner. What my father done next surprised me, he put his belt back on and left the house, slamming the door behind him. I let out the breath that I didn’t know that I am holding. I look down at Tobias. I see that his back was pouring of blood, I kneel down beside him checking his pulse. It is faint but it is still there. I let a relief sigh out.

He is unconscious, well his eyes are closed. That is both good and bad for me. It is good because he will not be able to ask all of the questions that I cannot answer. I am in too much trouble as it was for standing up to my father.

The bad is obvious he is losing blood; a lot. Just like my mother. I shake away the memory that was fighting its way to the surface.

I slide my hands under his body and I pick him up as gently as I can, I make sure that I do not come in any contact with any of his flesh wounds. I carefully place him on the bed, laying him on his front. I run around the whole of upstairs opening all of the door until I found the bathroom, which happened to be the last door for me open. I rush inside pulling all the cupboard doors open, luckily I find the first aid box first time.

I run back to him and opened the first aid kit. I look at his destroyed back, I let the hatred bubble inside me. I hated my father for doing this to him. Tobias didn’t deserve this, it wasn’t his fault mother died. It was mine. Marcus reminded me of that every single day without fail. I shake my head. “Focus.” I mutter to myself, I grabbed some antiseptic liquid.

“I’m sorry for this Tobias.” I spoke softly, I know that this would hurt like mad, I also know he could hear me. How do I know? Well you can say from experience, I guess.

I take a deep breath in before I pour the antiseptic on his back, he woke up to scream, and his hands are in firsts grasping the bed sheet as he does. I hate it, now I am hurting him, he has had enough pain for today. He is probably thinking that I enjoy hurting him to. When I don’t I hate it, I have to let him know I hate this just as much as he does, I have to try comfort him.

“shh, I’m sorry, I have to. I don’t want it getting infected.” I gently lift one of his hands from his grip on the sheet and hold his hand in mine. This way he will know that I care, he needs to know that someone cares about him. I pour more antiseptic on the wounds. His piercing screams are killing me, I hate it, but I also feel that he is squeezing my hand extremely tight. I do not think he realises how strong he is because it felt like he was crushing my bones. I do not complain though, I am just glad it might be helping.

I look at the wounds, seeing that he needs stitches, I sigh deeply. I look at him, he is unconscious again, the pain must have been too much for him, and I gently slide my hand out of his. For some reason I find myself saying, “It is ok, I am not going anywhere yet, ok? I just need both of my hands to stitch your back.” Why am I talking to him? He doesn’t know me, he probably hates me for hurting him more. I feel a twist in my stomach, I hope he doesn’t hate me.

I grab the needle with one hand and pushing his wound together to stitch him up. It took around 10 minutes to stitch each and every wound. I am talking again, maybe it wasn’t to comfort him but maybe to calm myself, I could see my hands trembling as I put the needle away. “I am sorry he went too far, I don’t know why he is mad today, I couldn’t...” I stop talking as I grab a bandage, I continue to talk as I start to wrap it around and around his body.

“I just couldn’t take your pain anymore, it is torturing to hear it. I had to do something about it, I don’t care about...” I stop again as I have to gently lift him up so I could wrap it around his chest, then back. I tape the bandage in place. I watch him rest for a moment, I couldn’t help it. It is the first time I have ever met him, he probably isn’t even going to remember me, but if this was all I got with him then I am happy.

I wonder if I should finish, this will probably be the last time I see him. I decide why the hell not? I will probably die tomorrow anyways. “I don’t care about the consequences.”

I look away from him to put everything back in the first aid box. I walk to the bathroom to put it away, before washing my hands, the blood turning the water pinks. The flash of memory of my father washing my mother’s blood of his hands. I shake the memory away. It will haunt me for the rest of my life that memory, I hate it that it is memory I see when I think of my mother.

I sigh as I walk back to his room. I look at him and wonder if I should put a shirt on him, I mean I should right? It would be more comfortable wearing a shirt. I walk over to his draws and opens the first draw, which are boxers and socks, I blush deeply. Closing that draw quickly then I open the one underneath. Gray shirts where neatly folded. I pull one out.

I walk over to him, “uhh...” I start saying without realising. This is going to be harder than I thought, I have never dressed anyone else before. I very gently lift his arm into the sleeve, I do the same with his other arm, and then I move it over his head and pull it carefully down his chest. That is when I notice I lay him on the blanket. I sigh deeply at my stupidity. As gentle as possible, I move the blanket from under him, then tuck him in.

It is a strange feeling, tucking him in, I know he is my brother, I know he is older than me. I have never been tucked in before, my mind wonders to if he had ever been tucked in before. He probably has, not by Marcus but by mother, she was such a kind gentle soul until he took it from her.

I look down at him and I see that I am stroking his hair, Wow, weird much? I think to myself, I need him to know that I care before I leave and be the coward that I am, “You are not alone Tobias, never forget that. I love you.” I kiss the back of his head. I walk towards the door.

I take one last look back, and he looks peaceful now. I find myself smiling for the first time in 8 years before running down the two flight of stairs to my apartment, shutting the door as I did.

As soon as I walk to the living room my smile has vanished. That is when I realise what I done. What did I do? My father is going to kill me, I saw Tobias, I saved Tobias. He walked out because he knew beating me there and then would be stupid, he is going to come back when Tobias is at school, then he will beat me to death and dump my body just like he made me all those years ago.

I don’t eat the rest of that day, I felt too sick from nerves, I have food and ingredients in the fridge and cupboard but I couldn’t make anything. So I am just laying on my bed looking out the tiny window seeing the darkness, it is late.

It is growing closer to my fate. To my death. Least I got to see and help my brother once. I think to myself, that is when I realised how exhausted I am. I let the darkness consume me.

I wake up by the voice I am terrified of, it was worth it, and whatever happens now it was worth saving Tobias.

“Wake up, bitch!” The voice shouts at me. My eyes fly up and I stood up to show I am awake. “You think you can get between me and my son? What did I tell you? you will stay down here and not be seen or heard, did I tell you to leave? Did I tell you, you could see my son?” He yells louder, sending shiver through her whole body. “I knew I should have killed you when I killed your mother, but now I have come to my senses.” He pulls a knife from behind his back.

I glance at the knife I instantly realise it is the same one that was used on my mother. The images were flying through my mind and I hate it but I am not going to beg for my life like mother did, there is no way that I would give him that satisfaction. I just stay silent standing in front of him.

“What suddenly lost your tongue? What not going to beg for your life like your shitty mother did?” He taunts me, taking a step closer to her. When he mention’s mother my hands move into fists, he has no right to talk about her like that. He was weak to have killed her, he had no reason to kill her.

I stayed perfectly still, not moving a muscle, mostly because I am scared I would punch him or something stupid like that, instead I stare him in the eyes, if I am going to die then I want him to remember the life to drain from my eyes. I want it to haunt him for the rest of his pathetic life.

It seems to affect him badly because he looks away when he stabs me twice, maybe he is getting the same memories as me, and maybe he actually regrets what he had done. I see the fury and anger in his eyes. Or maybe I was completely wrong. His arm moved back for the third stabbing, the stab that would kill me but the last stab never came because his doorbell rings.

I watch as fear hit my father’s eyes. Though it is hard to focus now, my vision is blurring, the world was spinning just a little, I manage to focus hard enough to see he is quickly washing his hands and the knife, I hear him run up the stairs, he must have gone to change his shirt because a few minutes later he opens the door.

“Andrew, what can I do for you?” I hear him say, it wasn’t long till the voices became quiet. I feel pain and I feel my shirt is drenched that is when I remembered why, I look down at my shirt which was covered in blood.

I stood up stifling a scream, this is the first time he had gone as far as to stab me. I am used to the whipping, kicking, punching but this hurt like hell.

The pain is excruciating, I have to use the wall as support as I walked to the bathroom, grabbing the first aid kit. I bite my lip hard to stop the scream as I pour antiseptic on my two stab wounds, but it doesn’t work, I end up screaming a very short scream. It was only short because I bite my hand so I will not get into more trouble. When the burning sensation was gone I stop biting my hand. I am relieved that neither of them seemed to hear me.

I stitch up my wounds quickly, I am becoming dizzy, very dizzy. The stitches are messy but I don’t care. I quickly bandaged myself up. I start to put the first box away but I collapse from bloody loss. I lay on the bathroom floor. That is when I could faintly hear a voice of concern.

“What was that sound?” A voice I assume it is Andrew question as my father is oblivious to anything.

“What noise?” my father acts dumb, as if he hadn’t heard a thing.

“I thought I heard a child scream.” His voice full of concerned but confusion, they are both silent for a moment before Andrew continues. “It must have been nothing.”

I managed to scream again? I think before I am pulled into the darkness.

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