“You look fine,” I coaxed, forcing a wry smile across my aching face. At least the bruise was covered by my cropped bangs, no one would be noticing that anytime soon. Abuse had merely become a part of my everyday routine: eat breakfast, get punched, brush teeth, get kicked, go to school, come home, get slapped and the cycle went on an on, only to be repeated the next day. The years had trudged by painfully, literally, and no matter who I told they would always find an excuse to dismiss my “overreactions” to protect the reputation of my parents. But this year was different. This year my life was going to change. And I was going to make sure of that.
New Years Eve was about half a year ago, but the pact David and I had agreed upon burned fresh in my mind: that we would fulfill the resolution we had written on the slip of paper in front of us. The two of us crossed our fingers behind our back, and threw the scrap papers into the roaring fire.
“You missed a spot,” the sudden cold voice of my father caused me to jump instinctively.
“Um, thanks,” I mumbled as I brushed my hand up to my cheek, caressing the scars he had intentionally left for the entire world to see, hoping they would feel his strength and accept his power.
“Cute outfit,” he remarked smugly while eyeing me from head to toe. Trust me, skimpy clothing was not my choice of attire, it would be father’s… my ever so perverted father. Thankfully, he never thought of abusing me in that sense, but that didn’t stop his mind from considering the possibility.
“I’m glad you like it,” I sheepishly answered.
“You’re not fooling me,” my father testified, disappointment ringing in his voice. “Why?! I provide you with clothing, shelter, and now these amazing sets of clothes! And you disrespect me?! You ought to be ashamed of yourself!”
“Daddy, please! I’m sorry, I’ll never-” but my protest was too late, he had already connected his firm hand with my tattered face.
I don’t know what happened but something about this particular incident really hit an emotional nerve. Taking drama as an elective finally found a way to weave its way into my life and make itself useful. Although my father hadn’t struck me with all that much force I pretended like he had, acting woozy and tipsy, teetering and tottering across my cramped room. Eventually, I wound up at my nightstand where I faked knocking over my glass vase full of flowers, only to swiftly catch it in midair. I cast my father a relieved glance as he gave a chuckle of amusement, inching closer and closer, attempting to trap me in the corner.
No. Not this time.
Carefully, I raised the vase above my head and watched as my father’s face grew tight with confusion. With all of my strength I united the vessel with my father’s scalp, instantaneously sending him to the floor leaving him unresponsive.
My mother must have heard the echoing thud of my father as he collided with the floor because she bolted through the door a few moments later.
“What did you do?!” she interrogated, rushing to her husband’s side. Although my mother wasn’t the smartest woman around she was capable of taking a pulse, but this knowledge did her no good as my father had no pulse to take. What I thought was a simple blow to the head had managed to kill my father in a mere matter of seconds.
“You killed him! You killed him!” she shrieked, curling up in a ball next to his body.
“I… I didn’t mean to! I swear! I was just… I was just…” I stuttered. Was I supposed to feel guilty for murdering my father? Because I didn’t… It felt as if the heaviest weight in the world had been taken off my shoulders. It felt, well, great.
The following morning we had a quiet service in the backyard, my mother bawling her eyes out while I cast her multiple skeptical looks. I was more concerned with the possibility of her ratting me out to the police than mourning the loss of my father. Mom trudged up to Dad’s grave and shared a few words of condolences before bursting into an uncontrollable session of tears. I felt so sinister smiling at her misfortune, but after all of the horrible things I’d been through I knew I deserved some sort of closure.