Today, like any other day, I woke up to my brother’s yelling. His yelling became something very normal to me, so I got used to it. But I’ll never get used to the abuse.
I got out of bed and headed to the bathroom. When I finished, I wore my normal clothes, a shirt, and blue jeans then I was ready for the last day of my high school career. I got out of my room, on my tiptoes, making sure that I don’t make any noise so that my brother Raymond won’t hear.
Now you will probably ask why I haven’t gotten out of the house that I grew up in since I turned 18. The painful truth was that Raymond wouldn’t let me go, he refused to set me free from his grip. His tight grip almost choked me to death. His tight grip that I fear every night.
I tried once to run away. The same day I turned 18, but Raymond had other plans for me, he predicted my escape plan so he locked me up in the attic for five long days. Without food nor water. I didn’t know how I survived. Deep down, that week I prayed to die, to be with my loving parents again. Yet, I never thought of suicide because that would make my parents sad and disappointed that I gave up my life so easily.
As I was walking down the stairs, I saw Raymond waiting for me, with a frown on his normally angry face. Oh, please Lord let this day be good for me.
" Where do you think you’re going? ” he asked with a glare.
I breathed softly and looked at his cold green eyes, while my eyes were gray, we were nothing alike. The only thing we had in common was our pitch-black hair.
" To school ” I replied in a quiet tone, looking right at him.
He scoffed ” ...You will come home as fast as you can when school is over. I have guests today, so I want you to make the food, understand? ” he said with a threatening tone, which made me whimper with fear.
" Yes brother” I replied quickly then he was out of my sight. Well, that went better than I thought. He didn’t lay a hand on me. I ran out of the house, got on my old bike, and headed to the school that was 10 minutes away from home. It was nice weather. It was not hot nor chilly. Perfect.
I looked at the small kids who were escorted by their loving parents to their preschool. I missed these days. I missed my mother and father, they were the light in my life. When they died in a sudden plane crash, the light in my life was turned off.
I had my brother by my side. He took good care of me at first, he loved me back then and gave me the love that went missing after their horrible death. But one day everything turned upside down. I couldn’t remember the reason he became like this, abusive and cruel. All I knew was that I was loathed. Loathed by him, by my own flesh and blood.
" ....Stella, stop ” I was knocked out of my thoughts by my best friend’s shouting. I looked up ahead and saw that I was about to crash into the main door of my school. I put my hands on the breaks and stopped by my legs. I was about to bump into a teacher and hurt her.
" Oh my God, are you okay? I’m so sorry Ms. Rodriguez, I wasn’t paying any attention, I’m sorr-” my blabbing was cut off by Ms. Rodriguez, my history teacher.
" Stella, that’s okay. The question is, are you okay? You didn’t bump into me. ” She had concern reflecting in her blue eyes.
I smiled, reassuring myself that I was okay. ” Yes, and good morning ”
" Good morning dear, ready for the last day? ” She asked with a bright smile.
" No, I don’t want to finish high school. It’s my second home. ” I genuinely admitted.
It was my first home to be more honest if we are talking about ′ Home’ because back, where I live, was just a house. I couldn’t say that out loud. No one knew what happened behind those curtains. No one, not even my best friend.
Speaking of my best friend, I remembered hearing her warning voice before, so I turned my gaze and looked at her. She was standing right behind me with a big grin.
" Hey Stell, excited? ” She asked, her wide black eyes were dancing with excitement. Her brown hair was bouncing up and down because she was jumping.
I laughed at her enthusiasm. ” Good morning Skye” I greeted then we headed to the hallways and I was greeted by many other students. I was not popular. I was just known around the school for being a good athlete. I won the gold medal for sprinting and swimming. I loved sports and that made me known to many students, most of them were sports lovers.
" Good morning guys, ” I said back with a smile then I and Skye headed to our final class. Our favorite class. Music.
" Good morning fellas, please take your seats. We have some talking to do ” Mr. Jon said as we sat on our regular chairs next to our desks.
" Are we in trouble? ” the class clown asked and we all giggled, even the teacher. He was always so spontaneous.
" No, you are not. It’s your last day here, be reasonable ” Mr. Jon replied and we laughed.
" Now, let’s get to the point. Since it’s your last day here, I want every one of you ladies and gentlemen to come up here, and talk about your feelings. About your future. Anything ” he said and most of the students groaned. As every student stood and talked, I was thinking about my brother’s guests.
What should I make for dinner? I didn’t want him to be mad at me if I by any chance ‘disrespected’ his guests. Once, he hit me for an hour until I lost consciousness.
I had bruises for a month, and I had a broken rib and finger. He didn’t let me go to the doctor because he was afraid that I might say a word about how I got them and how I was treated. I was planning on telling the doctor that I fell from the second floor. I told Raymond that but he didn’t want to take any risks. He didn’t believe me.
" Stella, Stella ” I was brought back to reality by Skye, she was shaking my shoulder.
" What? ” I told her in a whisper.
" You’re up ” She pointed at Mr. Jon who was waiting for me.
" Oh yes, thanks,” I said then stood up and motioned towards him.
" Stella, could you please share your thoughts with us ?” Mr. Jon said with a smile. He was a sweet teacher.
" Of course ” I turned my gaze to my class who were waiting for me to speak. Here’s the thing, I didn’t speak much in class. I didn’t feel comfortable, but since it was the last day, I made an exception.
" Those past years of high school were great ” I began talking, everyone was giving me their full attention.” I love all of the teachers and students here, they were amazing. They treated me like a sister, friend, daughter, even a granddaughter. I’m thankful that fate brought me to this school. Most of you my dear friends don’t love school, heck you even hate it ” they chuckled at that and I smiled a genuine smile. ” But I was grateful for school ”
It was like a shelter to me. From my own brother, my own family.
" You Mr. Jon one of my favorite teachers ever and everyone know that your classes are fantastic. You’ve always said ′Everyone wants happiness without pain, but you can not have a rainbow with a little rain.′ and that is true. For my future, I will work hard on becoming a ballet teacher, because I love ballet. I have been dancing to it since I was young. So my dear friends work hard for your future, you may not know what the universe is baking for you. Thank you all for listening ” I bowed my head with respect then raised my head to see that everyone was standing, and clapping for me. I felt tears running down my cheeks, but I didn’t care. I will miss this. I will miss the love, the warmth. That I will never feel at ‘home’.
The school day was over and my hopes began to drain. It was time for ‘home’.