The cold bath water chills my skin but I can't bring myself to care.
Why should I?
No one else did.
I slip beneath it, staying motionless until my lungs scream for oxygen. Sometimes I think that would be easy. Nice, even. Just to let myself go... just drift into a never-ending sleep. But what kind of goodbye would that be? It's selfish, I told myself. I had to think of others. The people I had gone to school with, even though that was finishing for good tomorrow. The people that still sent me birthday cards and presents even though I hadn't seen them in years. They didn't want anymore bad memories and thoughts to associate my family with. They didn't even come to this house anymore. This house had too many bad memories. Too many voices whispering in the walls. Nobody wanted to be stuck in the past, with no light at the end of the tunnel.
But, that was were I was and always would be.
I stand in my underwear, full length mirror displaying my wretched frame. My hair was limp and lifeless. My eyes were a duller green than normal and my lips were chapped and thin. I trace my hands over the large area of skin that's marked a purple colour. It wasn't his fault. He was drunk; unaware of his actions when he did it. He didn't know any better.
I hated him. But there was still a part of me that craved for his attention and love. No matter how hard I tried I couldn't ever diminish that feeling.
I bite my tongue in an attempt to stop myself from gagging at the sight of my emaciated body. Sighing, I shake my head at myself. That was enough for today. I couldn't take anymore. So, I reach down and pick up the large jumper laying on the floor. I dust it off before slipping it over my head. It falls down to my knees and I breath in the musty scent that my house seems to always possess. I grab a pair of leggings and slip them on too, tutting at the hole on my thigh that was gradually getting larger and larger. I would ask him for money to buy new clothes. But I knew what it would result in.
I rummage in my nearly empty drawers until I find two mismatching socks and pull them on to my cold feet. I contemplate what tomorrow is going to be like as I wander aimlessly into the kitchen and pour myself a glass of water from the tap. It was the last day of school and I would never have to see any of those sneering faces again. The ones that belonged to tragic teenagers with no goals in life apart from making it to the next big party on Friday night. Sighing, I lift the glass of water up to the dim light sifting through the window to see the grey misty colour it takes on. I hesitate before taking a sip; the liquid cooling my throat. I slump onto one of the chairs surrounding the kitchen table; feeling my muscles burn with the effort. I was tired. Constantly. No matter how much I slept, or tried to, I would never feel any more awake than I did now. It took all my effort to get through a school day. My legs would seize up with the effort it took to walk a few minutes straight. I pick at my brittle nails as I try my best to ignore the burning sensation in my stomach; signalling I was hungry. I was far from hungry. I was starving. But I couldn't. It would only make things worse.
The sound of the front door being opened causes my stomach to pang with nerves and fear. He was home.
"Fucking... bitch...fucking... what the when they said..." The slurs of his voice ignites immediate nerves in me as I watch his figure stumble down the hallway and into the kitchen. I stiffen in my seat, hands gripping the glass. The stale stench of smoke and alcohol emanates from him as I stand from the chair, adrenaline coursing through my veins in my panic. He eyes me for a while, the corners of his mouth twitching. The same mouth that read me bed-time stories and told me there were no monsters under the bed.
"Fucking... why," He growls, voice deep and coarse. His scruffy blonde hair was sticking up messily; lips dry and a deep cut running from his eyebrow down his cheek. His face was matted with week old stubble that was graying slightly with his age. He advances towards me, clumsily taking off his coat in the process.
"Dad," I start, about to ask him if he wants a glass of water and a headache tablet. He tries to sit on a chair but is so induced with alcohol that he falls to floor in a heavy slump. He chuckles slightly at himself; as if his loss of bodily control is something to find amusing. It's then that I stand and stare down at the mess of the man who was once my dad. If I could change one thing in my life it would be him; for his and my own sake. I continue to watch as he stands up slowly, taking steps towards me. My eyes temporally cloud with tears before the force of his push sends me flying to the floor. I scramble in an attempt to get away from him but he forcefully grabs my ankle. I kick upwards with my free leg and manage to clip him in the stomach. A kick is then swiftly delivered to my side, sending fire across my skin. I hold back another scream, knowing it would only make things worse. I clamp my eyes and try my best to picture my mother's face as the kicking and shouting continues. I keep the image of her warm smile and bright eyes in my mind before the pain overrides me and darkness takes over.
I wake up on the hallway floor; covered in sweat, blood and tears. The house was eerily quiet and I hold my breath as I listen for any sign of movement. After a few minutes, I try to prop myself up but my elbows quiver violently with the pressure and I quickly collapse back onto the floor with a defeated sigh. Instead, I manage to crawl painfully across the hallway to the bathroom. Once there, I slump against the toilet as my fear, anger and saddness all pours from my mouth in the form of bile. Running my tongue across my teeth, I try my best to resist the urge to be sick again. I lay there on the floor for the next hour; milling over what I had done wrong. Why this had happened. Why she had to be taken away from me. Why I was deprived.
Crawling out of the bathroom and into the hallway again, I lift my gaze up at the clock and see that it's ten past three in the morning. I cast a glance at the slightly open front door and see the bright glow of the moon, high in the sky.
I don't know what happened to me when I was laying on the bathroom floor in a pool of my own blood and bile rising from my throat. Maybe it was the fact that I was tired. Not just physically, but mentally. Tired of it all. Maybe it was the fact that I missed her. Maybe it was because I finally realised it was my fault. After all those nights of him screaming and shouting at me; drumming into my head that it was me, all me. Maybe that was what had made me do it. It didn't fully matter, anyway. I would make it, even if it was the last thing I saw.
I manage to stand up, my muscles and mind screaming in pain with the effort. I open the door further and slide out, the cold night air suffocating my skin. I trudge to the middle of the road outside my house and continue walking into the dark night. The houses are all silent and dark, everyone fast asleep in their peaceful slumbers overcome with dreams. I walk for a while more until I'm on a street I don't recognise. I slowly lower myself to the floor and bring my legs to my chest and wrap my arms around them.
Then I scream.
I scream as loud as I can, scream till my lungs burn and my throat aches. I scream with everything I have left, everything I ever had. I cry and cry, the tears flowing hot and fast down my cold cheeks. I don't care anymore. I give up.
I surrender to them.
The last thing I see is a pair of blinding lights streaming down my vision towards me; illuminating the rain falling quickly from the darkened sky.