The stained, tattered glass slipped through my fingers like ice and shattered instantly. Shards of glass flew across the wooden floor and laid scattered beside my bare feet. An inaudible gasp left my lips as I frantically dropped to the floor and began gathering the sharp pieces of glass. I hurriedly glanced at the clock behind me and sped up my pace as I dropped the numerous pieces of glass into the trash bin beside me. A searing pain crossed the base of my palm as I swiped the remaining shards off the floor. I glanced down at my palm to see a small cut with droplets of blood leaking across my palm. I quickly pressed a napkin onto the cut and firmly held it against my palm as I began making my way out of the kitchen.
Before I made it through the doorway of the kitchen, I heard the front door creak open. Heavy footsteps made their way towards the kitchen as I stood in the doorway frozen. Before anyone could enter, I hurriedly made my way back into the kitchen and in front of the stove. I tried to calm my racing heart as I readjusted the food I had prepared no less than 10 minutes before. I heard the footsteps move into the living room as the sounds of voices reached the kitchen.
“I’m telling you man, if we continue this, we’ll have so much cash in just a matter of days.” A raspy voice uttered from the other room. I quickly filled up a glass of water and dumped in a few ice cubes before grabbing the plate of food and the glass and making my way into the kitchen.I scurried towards the living room quickly knowing that he’d be angry if his food was even a minute late.
“I know, I got it handled. Be ready.” The familiar voice of my abuser and captor responded as I placed the food onto the table in front of the couch the two men were seated at. I avoided all eye contact from the men as I tried to escape before either could say anything.
“Bring food out for Wes too.” My father demanded as I looked up at him. His brown eyes were filled with anger and hatred as he glared at me. I let my gaze fall down to the floor as I meekly nodded my head.
“No need for that Rick. Just a cup of water will do sweet cheeks.” My fathers friend Wes said as his eyes hungrily raked over my figure. His gaze met mine and he shot me a wink as he smirked at me disgustingly. I resisted the urge to vomit and quickly walked out of the room and back into the kitchen to grab the water before my father grew angrier.
As I was filling the water, I couldn’t help but listen in on the conversation occurring in the living room.
“You know, people are talkin’. Its a small town and gossip sure does spread fast.” Wes said as the water filled to the brink of the cup. My curiosity was spiked about the conversation, yet I made my way out of kitchen and back into the living room.
“What bullshit are you spewin’ out now.” My father bellowed as I quickly placed the glass of water onto the table. I rushed out of the room to avoid his wrath and made my way up the creaking stairs. I labored my harsh breathing as I made it upstairs. Still curious about what Wes was saying, I hid behind the large wall that stood beside the stairway and listened in quietly.
“I’m talking about your daughter. Everyone knows you got one, yet they never see her out in public. She doesn’t go to school and rarely leaves the house. I heard the Miller’s down the street talking ’bout getting an officer down here to check up on ya’ll. They’re onto you.” Wes informed as silence filled the room. I watched from above and lightly smiled to myself as a surge of hope rushed through me at the thought of being rescued. Although running away was an option I had considered, I had nowhere to go. I was too old for foster care, I had no friends to stay with, and living in the streets would only land me back with my father seeing that he was involved with illegal activity that ran through the streets of Maryland.
“What the hell am I supposed to do then? If I let her out she might run her mouth off to someone.” Rick exclaimed angrily as he slammed his fist onto the coffee table. I held my breath as I listened in for what Wes would say next.
“I had an idea and I talked to a few of the guys about it too and they’re in on it. Send the girl to college. We got a damn good college 20 minutes from here that she could attend. You could get the people here off your back, and theres an advantage for us.” Wes explained as I furrowed my eyebrows in confusion. Though I was ecstatic at the thought of going to an actual school after online schooling for my whole life, I knew there would be a reason why they would allow me out of the house. I clenched my fists as I realized the reality of what I could be forced to do. I had spent years being forced to take part in minor illegal activity to help them out. Luckily I didn’t deal with anything too illegal, but I was almost always the getaway driver in their schemes or a pawn in their games.
“How would she bring any advantage to us? She’s a useless burden.” Rick scoffed as I winced at his harsh insults.
“There’s some major drug activity down in that college. I doubt the college kids are dealing, but there are a few dealers from around the area lurking around for some cash. If she attends, we have her as a source to get some information so we could take part in that too. Plus, I got a nephew who’s attending the college and I’ll make sure he keeps an eye on her.” Wes replied as my father once again remained silent. It was obvious he was reluctant to let me out of his sights, and although I would be let out of the house to get an education I had always yearned for, I wasn’t ready to be a personal spy to my father and his drug dealing gang.
“I’ll consider it.” My father replied in a gruff voice as the conversation ended. Tuning out their voices, I crept back towards my room and lightly shut the door behind me. Making my way towards my mattress, I took a seat with my back resting against the wall.
As hard as I tried, I failed to ignore the countless thoughts about what was in store for me. I felt ecstatic knowing I could possibly have the opportunity to pursue my dreams, yet I couldn’t bring myself to be completely happy. I would never live the normal college life as long as my father was around ordering me to take part in his dirty work.
Resting my head against the cold wall, I shut my eyes and let my thoughts run through my brain as I contemplated my unknown future.