Hurt People

“Hurt people hurt people. That’s how pain patterns get passed on, generation after generation after generation. Break the chain today. Meet anger with sympathy, contempt with compassion, cruelty with kindness. Greet grimaces with smiles. Forgive and forget about finding fault. Love is the weapon of the future.“
- Yehuda Burg


Khara is an eighteen year old girl. A black girl with a lot of self esteem issues due to being slightly overweight and recently having to get all of her hair cut off. On top of that, her parents tend to hurt her emotionally, though not always on purpose. Hoping to finally find peace with herself, she tries to have an unforgettable summer before entering college.


1. Prologue

“Congratulations class of 2014! You finished high school!” The crowd roared as the lady on stage finished her speech. Parents were applauding, cheering, and crying tears of joy. My fellow classmates and I were screaming and throwing our caps into the air. I had done it. I graduated high school.

Most people would be crying, happy to be going to college or just starting a new chapter in life, but sad to be leaving behind the halls where they went through several phases of life. I, on the other hand, would not miss the concept of high school at all. The few friends I planned to keep in touch with, I’d see during the summer. Some of us would go to the same school, or even a school nearby. Others weren’t even really going to college. As for everyone else, screw them all! My senior year absolutely sucked. The school changed completely from the schedule, to the several incoming new teachers that replaced great one that once taught there, to the rules, to the incoming students that completely ruined the school. If it could’ve just remained the same one last year, senior would have been pretty amazing. But, change is always happening.

“Khara! Khara, we did it! We’re done!” My best friend, Shelby, shouted alongside of me in the crowd of red gowns.

“I know! We’re free from that hell hole! Part of me really didn’t think that we’d make it.”

“I love you so much!” Shelby embraced me in a hug.

“I love you too. I honestly don’t know where I would be without you. You’ve seen me at my best and my worst and has accepted me for who I am ever since we met in the seventh grade.”

“You’ve done the same for me. You know more about me than anyone. Promise me that going to different college won’t affect our friendship.”

“Trust me Shelby. I doubt it will. We’ve been apart for months, almost a year, at a time, and still managed to remain as close as we are. Plus, our schools are close by each other and I heard they actually do a lot together.”

“Yay! Okay, let’s go find our parents, you know they’re looking for us.”

Together my best friend and I walked hand and hand outside of the stadium to go find our parents. Only, I wasn’t the most thrilled person about seeing my parents. We had just gotten over a rough patch. Part of me was relieved it was over. But, the other part of me knew that the peace between us would only last a little while and something would spark up another long period of tension between the three of us. It was mainly my father who I had issues with.

He didn’t want me when I was younger. And when my mom filed for child support, he wanted a DNA test, even though I showed no resemblance to my mom and looked like he could have birthed me all on his own. I know it had to do with him being young. He was twenty and my mom was seventeen. After that he went through this phase of acting like he cared when he came to pick me up on Fridays, but them dropping me off at my grandma’s house to go out and do whatever until Sundays when I had to go back home.  

Of course he doesn’t know that I know these things. But, I have a pretty good memory. A little better than the average person. As I got older he became the father that only did things for me because my mom had to threaten to take him to court for more money. Then, he got sick when I was fourteen.

He had actually been sick all of his life. Asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, and more. You name it, he had it. Everything but cancer it seemed like. He found out that his lungs were worn out from all of the stress on them over the years, and needed a double lung transplant. After doing even more testing, he found out that his heart was working overtime to support his lungs and he also needed a heart transplant.

In the process of waiting for his surgery, he started to change his ways. I thought he would’ve changed for good, but I was so wrong. Six months later, he had a successful surgery, and not even a year later he was healthier that he had ever been. He reverted back to his old ways, and thats when I realized, he only started acted right because he thought he was dying. And here we are today, at my graduation. He in all of the pictures, acting as though he had been there for me all of my life. Always on camera but never helping out behind the scenes. It’s gotten to the point that when I do visit, I’m miserable and when I don’t want to stay he’s angered by it and is upset that I’m closer to my mom.

My mom on the other hand. Our relationship and hard times are way easier to explain. She’s a great mom. Never has she ever tried to deny me or get rid of me. She’s exhausted herself trying to provide for me. But, she has her faults. She has been hurt by a lot of things. Her father moved to California when she was nine, so their relationship was via phone call ninety percent of the time. He always sent her money and gifts to make sure she everything she needed. She just, didn’t have him. And because of that she was hurt.

Her mom beat her as a younger child. She took her anger toward my grandfather out on my mom. She never taught her the things a woman was suppose to teach her daughter. She often didn’t want to be bothered by her, and never had she ever told her that she was proud of anything she had ever done. She was neglectful to my mother. So being a teenage mom, the way my grandmother raised her, was the only way she knew how to raise me. Beating me when I made a mistake and saying things that would hurt my confidence. She tried to break the cycle. Once she realized what she was doing, she tried to break the cycle. She stopped beating me, but every once in a while, if I had done something wrong, she’d call me names and say things to me that would kill me emotionally. She’d apologize for it, because she’d tell me all the time, “Hurt people hurt people. Your grandma hurt me, and trying my best to break the cycle because I want you to do so much better than me in life.”

Of course, I had forgiven her. I knew it wasn’t her fault, and I knew that she loved me because of the things she had done for me. But, that didn’t mean she hadn’t knocked my confidence down a few levels.

And here I was, standing between the two people that managed to hurt me the most. Yet, if something were to happen to them, my world world would come crashing down.

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