Rachel: ForgottenMature

I can't remember what light looks like unfiltered by the basement window.

I can't remember what food tastes like unaffected by the gray dust of the basement floors.

I can't remember what humans should look like, but I do know that I look...wrong. Not beautiful.

From upstairs, I've heard Mommy talking about so-called beauty. It's usually associated with phrases like, "Oh, you've lost weight!" or "Your hair is wonderfully long, don't cut it!"

God knows I don't have trouble with either.

But I know that beauty lies in something else. I don't want to listen to Mommy this time.

Mostly because she's the one who put me down here. I can't remember exactly how, but it has to be her because Daddy left before I was taken prisoner. The memory is carved into my mind like a knife pressed just too hard onto skin.

Daddy stumbled into the house that night, his eyes half-closed, his clothes loosely hanging onto his lanky body. "Rachel!" He called. "Come give Daddy a hug!"

I tried to run to him, but Mommy grabbed my arm, her long nails digging into my skin. "Don't go near him," she hissed. "He'll hurt you; he's drunk."

To this day, I don't know what 'drunk' means, but judging by her tone of voice it isn't a good thing. Either way, I stayed back because I didn't want her nails to hurt me any more.

"Betty," Daddy said sternly. "Don't do that."

"David, you'll hurt her." Mommy insisted, shoving me behind her. I was frightened at this point, but not enough to cry. The feeling that accompanies the word 'beauty' was there, I believe. Nausea, longing, a bit of hatred, the works.

"Dammit, Betty!" Daddy's voice rang through the hallways as he charged towards Mommy, grabbing her arm now. To this day, I still can't figure out how he got her arm to twist that way.

"Run, Rachel!" She called. I ran to the living room and buried my face in the pillows to try to drown out the sound of their fighting. A lot of thumping followed, then the slamming of a door. The next morning, Daddy didn't return.

"Mommy, where did he go?" I'd ask. "When's he coming home?"

"Never," Mommy would always respond. But I kept asking, as if it would make him come home. The question was soon answered only with the scratching of nails and physical discipline.

I can't remember anything after that.

All I remember is darkness.

The End

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