Prologue & Chapter 1
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Running thru the dark streets, I can’t believe I got away! I can hear my heartbeat pumping in my ears, but I have to keep moving. If my step father catches me, I know he will finish what he started in my bedroom. No!! I can’t go back.
'I just need to make it to Amanda's house. There, I can be safe, until I can figure out what to do,!' I say to myself.
I kept running as fast as I could down the road. To my right, I noticed the short cut Amanda and I always took when we were younger, so I headed straight for it. I can’t shake the feeling that I am being watched, and I just hope and pray my step father hasn’t caught up to me.
'Please! Daddy, I beg of you. If you can hear me, PLEASE, let me make it out of this tonight. In two months, I will be 18, so I will finally be free to leave that house behind. So please daddy, I beg you. Find a way for me to stay safe.' I pray, hoping my dad can hear me, (wherever he is up there).
The footsteps come closer, whoever they belonged to, they just stopped right in front of my hiding spot. Sitting really still, I wait for what seemed like an eternity, before whoever it was runs back the way they came. Slowly, peaking my head out I can see the backside of my step father.
'OK! When he's gone, I'm going to make a run for it!' I say to myself.
Just a few more moments pass by, when I am sure he isn’t coming back I bolt. I turn to look behind me to make sure Mark isn’t following me. I didn’t notice the man until it’s too late, and I ran right into his hard chest.
“Oof.” The stranger says as if I knocked the wind out of him.
“I am so sorry I didn’t see…” I started to apologize.
“My, my, my, what tasty treat do we have here boys.”
Panicked I tried to get free, just as three more men walk out of the shadows looking at me, as if I am to be devoured. Then everything goes black.
I wake up, my body still sore from being mom's punching bag last night. I slowly sit up in bed, wincing from the pain. I ignore it the best I can, as I continue to accept that this is my new life. I can still taste the blood on my tongue from the split lip, I slowly make my way into the bathroom. I turn the water on in the tub as hot as I can stand it, trying to ease some of the stiffness. Slowly I undress and begin to inspect the damages.
Looking in the mirror, I can see the bruising on my chest and stomach, yeap a few broken ribs, dried blood down the side of my face from the busted lip, black eye and more bruises across my back. (Hell, you could play tic-tac-toe the way they conmected.) I slowly lower myself in the tub, biting my lip as the water burns the cuts. Mom didn't always treat me like this she actually use to be my best friend. But a year ago, we got a knock on our door that changed our lives forever.
(*FLASHBACK. LAST YEAR*)
"Liza come on we need to hurry! They will be home soon!" Mom yelled.
"I'm coming hold your horses heifer geesh!" I laughed as I bound down the stairs.
Today my dad, Stephen, and my two brothers, Cole and Cam, were suppose to come home from the war.
"I am so glad their tours are finally over, this war in Iraq has been so scary." I said as I grabbed my purse.
We were planning a family barbeque, since we got their letters two weeks ago confirming the date.
"OK. I think we have everything, but we need to hurry and go buy a few more beers and tables for all the guests," mom said.
As we were finishing getting ready to head out the door a loud knock sounded.
*KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK*
"Of course Mark is always early," laughed mom, as she went to answer the door.
I run in the kitchen to grab my shoes from the back door when I heard mom screaming and sobbing.
"NO! NO! NO! NOOoooo!" The pain thick with each cry of her's.
Dropping the shoes I bolt to where my mom is, and that's when I see who was at the door.
"No, no, no, no, you only come with bad news what happened?" I stated, as I grabbed mom in a hug.
"We are so sorry to bring this news, but two days ago on a routine patrol your brothers Corporal Cole Hunt and Staff Sergeant Camdyn Hunt's vehicle was destroyed by an IUD.” He paused.
“ There were no survivors.” He said sympathetically, then paused again.
“Then six hours later your father, Captain Stephen Hunt was shot by a sniper and died in the operating room.” Pausing again, giving us time to fully grasp what he said thus far.
“On behalf of the Commander in Chief, and the United States Marine Corp., we offer our condolences. Their caskets will arrive in the morning. If you need anything, please let us know and we will do our best to assist your family during this tragic loss." The Sergeant then turned and left just as Mark pulled in the driveway.
My entire world felt like it has just crumbled, and threatened to swallow me whole.
(*END OF FLASHBACK*)
As the tears fell I sat there, and cursed them for leaving me with that drunken psycho. Since their funeral, mom stays drunk and blames me for my brothers deaths, and swears dad left her. Delusional bitch!
I'm not allowed to speak their names, look at their photos and videos, or even go to their graves. Well, fuck her; someone has to go put fresh flowers and keep them clean. I get out of the tub shivering from the cold water and go get dressed for school. I put on my trusty pink and black converses, black ripped skinny jeans and a loose fitting white t shirt. Topping my look off with my favorite pink hoodie; Cole bought me before he deployed.
Now, time for the mad scientist to cover these bruises. I do my makeup, and once I'm satisfied I double check to ensure it's all covered up. I'm no goddess, but before the abuse I did feel pretty.
Standing 5'10 with long legs, my almond skin, with long raven black hair reaching just above my wide hips. Ocean blue eyes that remind me of Cam's, thick lips and blessed in the chest department, if I do say so myself. As I grab my stuff for school, I'm hoping that mom is still asleep. So I tip toe my way downstairs, to grab a green tea and granola bar, however; I shortly start realizing, I'm not that lucky.
"Bitch! Don't think I don't see you trying to make a play with Mark. He's been a God send since your father left us, and I won't have some cheap slut take my man! You disgust me! I wished it was you instead of my boys!" Mom screams in my face.
"Mom you are crazy! I'm not trying to steal Mark. He's a slime ball. that creeped in on his best friend’s widow! That's right dad died, he didn't leave you! He's the one that hits on me, I don't do shit because I can't stand him. I'm going to school I don't have time for this. I can't wait, I have just a year left until I turn 18, and then I'm out of here! When that happens, who's going to be your punching bag?"
I am shaking so bad; but I can't let her see my fear. This is the first time I stood up for myself and I knew, as soon as I come home she will make me regret it, but I need to hurry and leave before I make my punishment worse.
" YOU DISRESPECTFUL BITCH!!! YOU ARE THE BIGGEST MISTAKE, I SHOULD HAVE ABORTED YOU!!!" she screeched as she punched me repeatedly in the stomach.
I quickly gathered my stuff and headed to school.
'Just a little bit longer and then I'm finally free! Finally, almost there!!' I thought to myself.