Lock and Chain

(Explicit content- 16+) What do you long for? A beautiful house? An expensive car? Eternal happiness? Acceptance? All through her life, Kadence Emery has been bullied, rejected and chained up by her father. Other girls long for a beautiful body, a hot boyfriend, all the riches in the world. Kadence only longs for acceptance and a life that she is happy to live.

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4. Chapter Three

 

Only two people in my life have ever called me beautiful. My nan once told me when I was wearing a pretty dress and going out for a family meal with them that I was very beautiful and took after my mother. My mother was a very pretty woman. She had blonde, bouncing hair that formed a halo round her heart-shaped face, her bright blue eyes were outlined by thick lashes that didn't even need mascara to have volume. Her skin was a gorgeous porcelain white. She always complained that she didn't have much of a tan, but she looked like a china doll, so she didn't really mind. My mother was the prettiest woman in our neighbourhood and everyone knew her. She couldn't go into public without someone greeting her. My mother was the other person who called me beautiful.

When the car accident happened, everything changed. I was aged eleven and sat in the car with her. She was driving us  back from a school parent's evening, at around seven o'clock.

 

The car wipers fought furiously against the pouring rain. Thunder rumbled above and lightning flashed across the sky. I knew that mother wanted to talk about what my teachers had said, but I didn't want to. Most of their comments had been good, apart from my English teacher.

"Why did Miss Harbey say that about you?" Mother asked, breaking the silence in the car.

I shrugged, looking at a teenage couple run through the rain together, holding hands and laughing. The car slid to a stop at the traffic lights so mother turned her full attention to me. I kept my gaze firmly away from her face.

"Why have you been writing silly stories in the back of your English book? And stories about abused children at that. Explain yourself Kadence." Mother said, a hint of anger touching her normally sing-song voice.

"I haven't been writing silly stories. They're creative." I replied, defending myself.

"Kadence," mother sighed, releasing the brake as soon as the lights changed to green. "This is your first parent's evening of secondary school and this is how we start it? You need to concentrate in class and stop doing activities that you shouldn't be doing. Miss Harbey and I have no problem with you writing stories, but you need to find somewhere else to write them other than the back of your book."

"But my inspiration comes from when I'm at school." I protested, staring at the car's taillights in front of us.

"Take a notebook and make notes then, but don't write the whole thing while the teacher is talking. And please change your topic of focus as well."

"Why? Why shouldn't I write about that? It's all I know about."

"Your father and I do not abuse you. We try to teach you who is in charge, and your father seems to believe that physical force is the only explanation. I'm not saying that I agree with his view that a slap will cure your bad behaviour, but I am not one to argue with your father."

I stay silent and frown in the distance, unsure of what I'm actually looking at. I close my eyes for a moment, leaving the car and going to my quiet place to think.

The car suddenly lurches sideways, abruptly flipping onto its side. My eyes shoot open, but I wish I had kept them closed as the sight that greets me is not one that I expected. Our car is balanced on its left side, the glass in both front doors is smashed and the rain is falling through the driver's door and onto me. I scream and curl into a ball, trying to protect myself. I don't know what has happened and I'm not sure that I really want to know yet.

Screaming sirens suddenly fill the air around me and I clamp my hands over my ears. I wish they would shut up and go away.

The sirens cut off so I took my hands away from my ears. Sound erupted around me. There were sounds of people screaming, crying, sobbing, distressed shouting, the ambulance people calling instructions to one another. I couldn't distinguish one voice from the next, but all I cared about was my mother. She hadn't said a word to me. She hadn't screamed, cried, or even looked my way. She was completely still and completely silent. I feared the worst but I couldn't reach out to her because everything was in a tangle of metal, fabric and limbs.

"Who's in this one?" I hear a voice shout. I presume that they are talking about our car.

"Not sure, no one has been able to look in." A voice replies, this one sounds further away.

A man comes round to the front of our car and looks at me through the broken windshield. I am curled up against the broken window, the tarmac pressing into my arm. The seatbelt is holding me in place, but it is cutting into my neck and seems to be doing more harm than good. Mother's seatbelt is luckily also in place, and that one is the one doing the good work by stopping her from falling.

The man waves over another man and points at me inside the car. They both look at each other in alarm and look around for something. A third man comes running over, holding what looks like a giant pair of scissors.

"It's no good, we're going to have to get the car the right way up." One man says to the others after a failed attempt at finding somewhere to free me.

"How do we do that?" Another man asks, surveying the car.

I close my eyes and feel tears begin to leak out from under my eyelids. All these men are doing is stand around having a conversation, while I sit in agony next to my passed-out mother.

I open my eyes to watch one of the men as he approaches the windshield and crouches down in front of where I am curled up. The glass on the windshield is broken so he can talk to me easily.

"Just hold in there sweetheart, we're going to bring in a special machine so we can get your car the right way up. That way it will be easier to get you out. Okay?" He says to me softly.

I nod, unable to speak around the tears that block my throat. I try to avoid looking at my mother so I don't cry.

"What's your name then sweetie?"

"Kadence." I manage around a sob. Tears roll down my face and I don't bother to wipe them away.

"How old are you, Kadence?"

"I'm eleven."

The man nods and looks up as a loud engine rumbles towards us.

"The machine has just got here. Hang in there, Kadence. You might feel a bit of a jolt and it might hurt, but don't worry, we'll fix you up soon enough."

The man gets up and walks away, leaving me still curled up in the car. I have given up the fight against the tears and they cascade freely down my face.

I don't want to stay awake while they tip our car over, I know it will hurt and I don't want any more pain.

The car suddenly begins to tip to the right. I close my eyes tightly shut and clamp my torso down on my knees, bending into a cocoon to protect myself. I hear lots of people shouting, a few screams and even some hysterical crying before the car suddenly falls back onto it's four wheels. From what I understand, the men didn't mean to drop the car so quickly, which explains the shouts, screams and the crying.

My body swings sideways from the impact of the car falling. I hit my head on something and pass out just as a man comes to my door.

 

After they had put the car the right way up, some men had wrestled with the broken door to get me out. I was then loaded on to a stretcher, chucked into the back of an ambulance and rushed to the nearest hospital. My mother was also rescued and put in the back of another ambulance and taken to the same hospital as I. They ran me into the trauma room and after about two hours of operations and tests, they managed to get me into a stable condition. I woke around seven hours after the accident, lying in a hospital bed, completely confused as to what had happened. A lovely nurse named Jane told me what had happened to me and explained about my mother too. According to Jane, I had a broken leg, a broken arm, several broken ribs, intense concussion and some slight brain damage that was reparable.

My mother hadn't been so lucky in the accident because the force of the lorry hit her door the hardest. Mother had immediately passed out from the impact (which the nurses say was very lucky and saved her from immense pain). When they got her to hospital, the doctors took her to a trauma room and discovered that one of her ribs had punctured her right lung. She also had a broken pelvis, cracked thigh bone and a broken arm. She spent four hours in the trauma room before the doctors managed to stabilise her enough. They immediately put her into a drug-induced coma so her body could recover.

"I want to see my mum." I had said to nurse Jane.

Jane replied with, "when you are well enough yourself, you can visit her."

I had accepted this agreement from Jane, but secretly I vowed to go and see my mother that night.

I did manage to wheel myself to my mother's room and sit beside her as she slept in her coma. I got to stay there long enough to say what I wanted to say before a nurse came and took me back to my own room. However, I needn't have worried because three days later, my mother woke from her coma and demanded that she saw me. The doctors wheeled her down to me after they had performed hundreds of tests to make sure she was okay to leave her room.

"My darling, I want you to grow up to become a beautiful and strong young woman. Don't you worry about what your father does to you because one day, you will look back on your life with him. You won't live with him forever, and these few years that you do will be over soon. I know that I am going to die soon which is why I am telling you this now. You are my precious daughter and I am so thankful that I had you. I will be watching over you for always. You are beautiful, Kadence, so very beautiful." My mother had said to me before the doctors took her away from me.

That night, my mother died in her sleep. When doctor Killy came into my room at one o'clock in the morning, I knew before he said anything that my mother had died.

I was discharged from hospital four days later to be returned back home to my father. Something had changed. My father no longer needed to put on an act in front of mother, so he could beat me all he liked. He resisted it for several weeks, while my broken bones healed, but when my plaster had been taken off and I had been given the all clear, he started it up.

I visit my mother's grave every day. On her birthday, I take flowers and a recent photograph of me and sit by her grave all day. I will talk to her about my life, about how the world has changed and say to her all the things that I should be saying if she was alive.

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