After we hung up last night I tossed and turned knowing something wasn’t right and I would find out what it was.
“Good morning! Be on the way in 5 see you soon!” Liza’s text read.
I will make sure she tells me the truth one way or another so I hurriedly got dressed, and drove to the cemetery as fast as I could. I got out of my car and went to her dad’s headstone and waited. After a few minutes passed I could see her slowly walking my way, wincing as she walked towards where I was sitting. Jumping up I ran to her, grabbing her face lightly. Turning it side to side I can barely make out the bruises because of her makeup, but I definitely can see them.
“Who the fuck did this to you Liz? And don’t you dare say it’s nothing, or you fell into the damned door again. I swear I will go to your mom and ask her just how many times you can fall into a door knob!!”
Seeing her panicked state I knew I was right so I softly poked her sides and Liza hissed in pain as tears began to fall. “Please tell me what’s going on Liz I am here for you, and I can’t help if you don’t talk to me.” Sighing she looks up at me as the tears begin to flow like tiny rivers smearing her make up.
“OK, OK. I know I just can’t tell you I just can’t. I’m sorry I really am but I can’t otherwise they would hurt you please don’t make me.”
“Bullshit Liz. You do know my dad has ties to some of the most dangerous people in this town. NO one can hurt me or they will have to deal with him. And trust me they have eyes everywhere. So please talk to me, or let’s go have a conversation with papa and you tell him as I clean his grave if that makes it easier.”
I should have known she would be able to tell something was wrong. I knew she’d demand answers but I didn’t want her to get hurt. However, I knew Amanda like the back of my hand. If I didn’t tell her she really would go to my mom to figure it out and she would get hurt or worse.
“Ok fine. I will talk but please you have to promise me you won’t tell anyone, if my mom or fuck if Mark found out I would be in trouble please you have to swear it!!” I begged.
“Ok, just please be honest with me I know something is going on I could sense it last night.”
We both sat down at my dad’s headstone as I picked away at the weeds that decided to grow there. Where the hell am I suppose to start? How do I even begin to tell my best friend that my life is hell, and I just really want to die so it ends. Sighing, I know I have to begin as I look up and see that Amanda is staring at me with sadness and rage in her eyes, looking expectantly at me.
“You remember how upset mom was after dad and my brother’s died right? Well it was actually worse. It’s like her brain couldn’t accept the truth so it created this lie that she blames on me. Yes, she acknowledges that my brothers are gone but she swears dad left her to have some affair not that he died.”
“That’s horrible but I don’t see what that has to do with why you are walking around looking like a corpse. No offense but you look like someone’s punching bag. Come on Liz you can barely even carry your book bag without wincing from the pain.”
“Just let me finish please,” I ask and Amanda holds both hands up in surrender takes one hand zips her lips twist like she’s locking them with a key, and tosses the imaginary key behind her.
“ Well since then if mom got mad at first it was just her yelling at me or calling me names. Then she had started keeping track of the food in the house. If I didn’t do my chores to her liking or I just walked in at the wrong moment she would refuse to let me eat. Then, when she met Mark things started to get worse. Do you remember the time I told you she slapped me because I had to study for my exam and fell asleep, so Mark was mad she didn’t have his supper ready”
“Well mom heard us and told me that if I ever told you anything else she would get Mark to make sure you disappeared. So I never took that chance. I started skipping school so you couldn’t ask because I knew you’d eventually get it out of me and I don’t want anything to happen to you.”
“So that’s why you have been distant? Why you haven’t hardly spoken to me?”
I nod my head yes but stop as it begins to throb. Amanda can see the pain in my eyes as I reach behind to rub my head. “May I?,” she asked. Putting my hands back down sighing she scoots over to rub my head for me. “OH MY GOD WHAT HAPPENED?” She screamed.
“Shhh not so loud. Well guess I better tell you the rest. The school called mom yesterday and they found out I had skipped well been skipping. Mom was livid she sent Mark out looking for me and he found me. I came here early yesterday morning because I’m not allowed to come to their grave, but I know Mark and mom won’t come here either so it’s my safe place. I walked around most of the afternoon until it was close to time for school to let out when Mark found me and made me go home. As soon as I went in mom hit me in the back of my head with skillet and beat me until I passed out from the pain. When she was bored she finally threw cold water on me made me clean up my blood from the beating and make their food. I snuck down after they went to bed cleaned their mess and snuck a bite to eat. Since her and Mark married she has been finding any and every reason to beat me. Says I am to blame for my brothers’ deaths and dad… quote leaving me for some floozy unquote. I just want to die I really do. I just want it to stop. I don’t know how much more of this I can take. I keep wishing that the next beating will finally be the one where I get my freedom but I’m not that lucky!! Wwwhat ddiiid I do ttoo dd dd deserve this?” I barely get it all out the crying making me studer as Amanda wraps her arms around me crying.
“Oh my God Liz!! I had no idea I am soo sorry. They can’t hurt me I promise!! I will always be there if you need to talk or you can run away to my house. I will always make sure there’s a key hidden for you. What kind of mother does that to her child. Oh my God!!” She cries as she rocks us slowly careful not to hurt my already injured body.
We sit there just letting all the tears dry up on there own when I hear her sharply breathe in. A look of pure horror on her face as if she’s looking at death itself. Frantically I sit up looking thru my bag til I find my mirror.
“Oh no oh no no no! This can’t be happening. I didn’t bring my makeup how am I going to hide this!!”
“Don’t worry girl I will help. I’ve got mine in the car then we can head to school.”