I woke up when someone knocked on my bedroom door. “Helena! Wake up, you lurdan! It’s six o’clock in the evening and there’s still no dinner! I swear to God you’re good for nothing! If there’s no food in ten minutes, I’ll beat your lazy ass!” my father yelled angrily from across the door while still pounding his fist against it.
I got up quickly from the bed while my eyes were fixed on the door, which trembled from his hits. I looked scared at the door until it stopped shaking. Then I carefully approached the door before leaning my ear against it to see if it was still there or not.
After making sure he was gone, I sighed in relief before leaning my forehead against the door and taking a deep breath to calm myself. I barely woke up and had to deal with him again. At least he sounded sober, he was more aggressive when he was drunk.
When I calmed down, I dressed quickly and packed my bag for work before going into the kitchen to prepare dinner for my father. I only had an hour before I had to go to work. I checked the refrigerator to see we were running out of food.
I had to go shopping but couldn’t because there was no money left. I had to pay part of his gambling debts every month so the men he owed the money, otherwise we would lose our home.
Even when I worked in two jobs, the money I had made quickly disappeared into his gambling and alcohol addiction. Fortunately, I didn’t have to pay rent on our house because we owed it.
I quickly made a curry chicken and set the table. I looked at the clock and realized that if I eat now, I’ll be late for work. The ingredients I used to cook were enough for one person anyway.
“Dad, dinner is ready! I’m going to work!” I screamed from the kitchen before going to my room and grabbing my bag. I didn’t want to see him because I had enough bruises on my body and didn’t want to add more. I rushed downstairs with my bag and was about to leave, but dad stopped me by grabbing my wrist very roughly.
“Wait there, I have something to tell you,” he told me as I winced in pain and tried to loosen my wrist from its tight grip. “Okay,” I mumbled, nodding my head while listening to him with my head bowed and not daring to look at him.
“Come home immediately after your shift and bring two beers. I have an important visitor,” he said, letting go of my wrist. I wondered who he meant by an important visitor, but I suspected it was one of his alcoholic friends who sometimes came home to gamble.
“Okay I will,” I said intimidated, biting my lip not to tell him we didn’t have enough money to buy alcohol.
I never contradicted him again after he started beating me. He was going to get what he wanted anyway by beating the shit out of me. I left home looking at my red wrist and rubbing it to relieve the pain.
I had to go to work, and I had enough money left to either buy a bus ticket or alcohol for dad. After the last few beatings I received, I decided to buy alcohol for my father and walk to work.
After half an hour I arrived at the bar and went to the front door to get in. It seemed like it was going to be a long night tonight when I noticed the long queue of people waiting to be let in.
The bodyguard opened the door to let me in when he saw me walk to the door. “Thanks, Bob,” I smiled at him before getting in. “You’re welcome, princess,” Bob winked before closing the door behind me.
I rushed to the locker room to get changed before heading to the bar and ignoring the lustful looks I was getting from some perverts. I would love to knock the perverted look off their faces if I wouldn’t end up losing my job. I started to work and served a couple of drinks at the bar.
There was an hour before my shift ended. Most people would like to go home after work, I was sad and scared. I didn’t want to go home and take care of my father, who would be angry with me when he was in a bad mood or lost a game.
I was mixing a few drinks when a drunk guy approached the bar before smiling at me. “Hey, beautiful. Can I get you something to drink?” he asked me clearly intoxicated. He couldn’t even stand properly.
“I can’t drink during my working hours,” I politely declined his offer, hoping that he would just leave me alone. This was the fifth guy I turned down tonight.
Working at the counter, however, was better than serving the drinks and collecting the empty glasses around the desks, as there was a good chance to be touched by drunk men who got horny after drinking.
“Then just give me a kiss,” he claimed, taking my wrist to pull me towards him, while I looked at him startled about his sudden move. For a drunk, he had a really tight grip on me.
“Let go of me, you idiot!” I yelled at him and tried to pull my arm back, but he wouldn’t let go and even tightened his grip on my wrist. I tried to push his face away with my other hand and leaned back to create more distance between us. His breath smelled disgusting.
“Hey buddy, she said let go,” Drake hurried with a tray of empty drinks that he put on the counter before pulling the guy away from me who was glaring at Drake.
“Mind your own business if you value your job,” he threatened Drake as he tried to sound intimidating and gave him a hard push on his chest that made him stumble backwards.
“Oh, but she’s my business asshole,” Drake argued back before punching him in the face. Now the guy stumbled back before falling completely backwards to the floor. In an instant Drake sat on top of him and punched his face like there was no tomorrow.
“Oh my god! Drake let him go!” I yelled at him as I rushed to pull him off this guy, even if he deserved to be hit it wasn’t right. I have been a victim of abuse for years and could say that problems should be solved with communication, not violence.
However, I wasn’t strong enough to pull them apart. Just great. I hoped we wouldn’t get fired. Dad would be mad and beat me up if he couldn’t play with the money I worked day and night to earn.
I thought about what I could do and decided to call Bob. I called him and told him that there was a fight going on at the club and I needed help. And it wasn’t long before I saw him walking towards us before he stopped right next to me to watch the scene in front of me. “Please take them apart,” I pleaded him. He immediately pulled Drake off the guy and pulled him out.
It wasn’t long before the manager came after hearing about the incident and rushed to the beaten man to get him off the floor. “Josh, are you alright son?” he asked the beaten guy. Wait, wait, did he say son? That guy was his son! Now I’m in deep shit and I will probably lose my job too.
“That bitch made her boyfriend beat me up,” he claimed as he shook his head to signal that he was not okay while he was moaning in pain. I was shocked by his sudden accusation and looked at him with my mouth open while the manager looked at me in sheer anger.
“I-I didn’t do anything—” I stuttered, still shocked, as I tried to justify myself. Before I could report the whole incident to him, he cut me off.
“I never want to see you or Drake anywhere near this bar again! You’re fired! Go take your things and leave my damn bar. You’re banned, if I see you both in this bar again, I’ll report you to the damn police!” he yelled at me. I didn’t care about the ban, I wouldn’t have the money or the time to go clubbing anyway.
I just needed the job and he was accusing me of a crime that I didn’t actually commit. He couldn’t scapegoat me for Drake’s sudden outburst. I was about to tell him how the situation escalated, but he cut me off before I could say a single word.
“Pathetic bitch, go away,” he said to me. I winced at his harsh words and finally managed to leave when I realized there was no point in getting him to listen to me. I rushed to the locker room to get my things before finally leaving his bar.
Great. Now I’ve lost my job. Dad will surely be happy after finding out the great news.