20th August 2010
I call you Jemma because that's the name I would have chosen if I were allowed the privilege of possessing a name. My parents call me "Girl". Today was a pretty normal day; it went like this.
I woke up screaming, tears pouring down my gaunt face, my sheets sodden. The nightmare had been worse than usual, but there was no point dwelling on it then- I had much bigger problems to worry about, like my sheets. If my parents saw them they would whack me for sure. I crept down the creaky stairs, grabbed a rusty key from the table and set off into the untamed garden. Trekking through the wilderness, dragging my soaking sheets behind me, I struggled frantically to wipe the tears from my face. Behind a large bush stood a bucket of water, a bar of soap and a washing line constructed from two strong sticks and a piece of rope. This was my homemade washing service. Due to lots of practice I was now as quiet as a feather. I hurriedly scrubbed down the sheets and dunked them in the foamy water before chucking it over the washing line. After this I crept over to the pond and swirled my hand around in it- trying to clear a space to wash my face. As I plunge my head into the murky depths, plants attach to my dripping hair. At least my face felt refreshed- even if it wasn't clean. I knew it was dark and my parents were probably snoring in bed but I still tiptoed back as soundlessly as I could, holding my breath and darting behind a tree at every creak or snap. Although I go through this ritual several times a week, I never feel comfortable doing it. The very second I'm inside, I scoot upstairs and lie sprawled on my sheet-less bed, breathing heavily. I shut my eyes so I would be unable to perceive my monster of a mother sneaking into my room. However hard I tried, I could still hear her. The latch clicked and my door burst open.
"GIRL, GET UP! HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN ASLEEP? MY BREAKFAST DOESN'T ******* MAKE ITSELF YOU KNOW!"
She stormed over to me and yanked my hair so hard it nearly ripped out. And then she noticed the weeds. She gasped.
"WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO YOUR HAIR, YOU FILTHY CHILD?"
With her free hand she smacked my cheek, causing it to burn scarlet and my head to jerk backwards. My chin wobbled and I willed myself not to cry. Still gripping my hair, she dragged me over to the staircase, ignoring my trips and stumbles. When we reached the staircase- I gulped, realizing what she was about to do. I looked up at her although I already knew what the answer would be.
Her eyes froze, her expression was as hard as stone...
The next thing I knew I was lying at the foot of the stairs, agony running through my veins. This was nothing, this was only my mother.
Tears gushed down my face; I cautiously tried to get up. Apart from a searing pain in my toe, I was no worse than normal. I had a feeling I'd sprained my ankle. I didn't complain, for I knew that complaining would be like setting off a bomb. I managed to limp into the grubby kitchen, relying heavily on tables and chairs to support me. Once inside, a roaring bellow filled my ears, and I resisted the urge to hobble as fast as I could back into the grimy corridor. Before I had the chance, my vision was obscured by a massive fist swinging towards me like a bulldozer. Excruciating pain shocked me senseless as I crumpled to the floor; my crushed nose gushed a scarlet waterfall. As my heartless parents stalked past, they both kicked me in the ribs. My mother's was a sharp stab whereas my father's was a blundering whack.
I tried in vain to stand up and my face was as white as a ghost. Weird choking sounds that I make when I cry emitted from my mouth.
"Help!" I whispered but my parents just glared at me as if I were a piece of dirt.
"I'm warning you girl" my father snarled, spit flying from his mouth. "If you're not up and making my breakfast in ten seconds I'll whip your back with my belt until it's bleeding." That wasn't much of a threat, more like reality. Clutching onto the edge of the counter, I hoisted myself up using my other hand to attempt to stem the flow of crimson blood flooding from my throbbing nostrils. I knew better than to complain.
Soon I figured that if I wriggled on top of the counter, then I could reach everything needed to make breakfast. My parents don't mind stuff like that. They just hope I'll get germs from the greasy surface and come down with a virus. I fry them both an egg and stir up a hot chocolate; however hard I try they are never satisfied.
"GIRL, I WANTED MY EGG SUNNY SIDE UP!" (smack).
"how dare you only put three marshmallows in my hot chocolate?!" (thump).
While they ranted on I slunk upstairs into the comfort of my room. They'd started muttering to each other now. About me. Their livid voices floated up to my painful ears.
"Why was she even born?"
"The useless little so and so!" They actually said something much ruder than that, too rude to put in this notebook.
My room consists of a broken bed, a small, tattered desk and a chair which spins around. Nevertheless, it is my sanctuary. For the rest of the morning I tended to my recent wounds with some tissues which I had earlier smuggled from downstairs. Don't get me wrong, my parents don't hate each other- on the contrary, they love each other to bits! They unite in ganging up against me. My parents always go out to lunch, normally down to the pub, so thankfully I don't need to cook them anything.
I breathed a sigh of relief as the door slammed behind them -but I couldn't relax then- sometimes they would rush back to get their purse or grab their bags. Quietly I waited for a few minutes before walking out into the garden. My room may be my sanctuary but the garden is the only place where I really feel free. I ran around a few laps, my face glowing with joy- staying clear of mother's flower patch. Feeling exhilarated I leaped over to my home-made washing line where my sheets were hanging. Mercifully it had been a relatively sunny day so the sheets were dry. It was always a nightmare when it rained.. The air was so clean that it fizzed in my lungs; so different from the musty, smoky air in my house. I grabbed the now crisp sheets and lugged them inside. As soon as I stepped indoors, my spirits dampened. That was my only chance in the day to stock up on my food supplies. I searched through the cupboards and smuggled a few provisions to last me until tonight. After gulping down some water; I sat at my desk and wrote in this diary. Approximately, I had about ten minutes before my parents came home. I used this time well, drawing glittering rainbows and smiling adults- the world which I long to live in. The moment they returned I busied myself pretending to be sweeping the floor and tidying away their mess. My father grunted and barged straight into me, knocking me into an open cabinet full of fragile ornaments which smashed around me. The dreaded noise echoed around the house. For a few seconds afterwards you could have heard a pin drop. I held my breath waiting for the explosion, ready to whip my hands out and protect my head. Sure enough, all hell broke lose.
My furious mother strode towards me, too shocked to even speak and started smacking me in the face- over and over again, until it glowed flaming red. Next her extended nails contacted with my skin, causing blood to ooze down my face like molten lava. There was no one to hear my screams. As soon as my face had been converted into a bloody pulp she started on my arms. Then my legs, then my torso and so on until my whole body was shrieking in agony.
"STOP IT!" I yelled. I wasn't going to give up, never... I received a particularly hard slap and fell to the floor. But that wasn't the end- next it was my father's turn. He advanced upon me with a threatening gleam in his eyes...
The next thing I knew I was collapsed on my bed, breathing heavily.
The lesson I have learnt today is when life gives you lemons don't hand them to your parents.
Help me please, Girl