Outside the front door I can hear them yelling.
“Where is she?” My father yells.
“How the hell should? You are supposed to be the better parent!”
“It’s not my fault she likes me more because you beat the shit out of her!”
I couldn’t take it anymore, so I open the door and walk in.
“Where the hell have you been?” They yell in unison.
“Jade went to the hospital, so I went with her.”
“Why didn’t you tell us?”
“Don’t pretend to care about where I have been!”
“I was worried sick! I was about to call the cops!”
“Only because- never mind I am going to bed.”
I sat on my bed and dusted off my Bible. As I turned the pages, I couldn’t help but smile. I finally realized that I have someone to lean on, someone that is always going to be there and have my back, and someone that is always going to love me, no matter what.”
As pages turned into chapters I lost track of time. That was until my mother came slamming into my room, “What the hell are you doing up so late? It is past midnight!”
“I was reading my Bible,” I said holding up an old family Bible, “last time I checked that wasn’t a crime.”
“Oh, so now you want to get smart with me?” my mother said grabbing my wrist and pulling it in quickly so she can grab me by my throat. I take the punches. When she finishes, I stumble to the bathroom to see how bad the damage is, I have a black eye, broken nose, a dislocated jaw and more than a few bruises. I put my jaw and now back in place, clean off the blood, and go to bed. My bladder wakes me up at five in morning. I make the mistake of looking in the mirror, my face is swollen as a pumpkin and red as a tomato. I have to find out what to tell everyone at school. Why should I; why not just come clean with everything.
At school Jade already knows what happened. No words are said we just hug and walk to class good morning but sees my face. “Nichole, what happened?”
“I got into a fight.” I say hesitantly.
“Can I see you after class?”
I know it is not a question, “uh… sure.”
Class when by way too quick for me. I was caught up in my own thoughts of what was going to be said after class. When the bell jolts me to reality I slowly pack up and when everyone is gone I move to the front of the room.
“Roll up your sleeves, please,” she tells me.
I do as I am told and tears sting her eyes and she has to blink them away quickly. “Why,” she simply asks.
“Issues with my mom,” I say shortly.
“You know I should call-“
“No, please don’t. My dad will freak and I really don’t need that right now.”
“Ok, so tell me, what happened? I know you didn’t get into a fight.”
So I tell her everything.
“You know, you are not the first person to come to me with something like this. I have had kids that starve themselves and much worse. I used to stick my finger down my throat.” It was my turn to blink away tears. “It is now easy being a follower of Christ, he never promised that, but He will never leave you and He hasn’t yet.”
“How do you know that? I have lived a sinner’s life and a sinner’s punishment is what I deserve.”
“Jesus was a perfect man, yet he suffered the pain of being crucified. He did that so none of us have to suffer that pain. Just follow Him and everything.
“Can I have a hug?”
“You look like you need one.” Mrs. Osborne wraps me in an embrace like a mother’s. One that makes you know everything will be ok.
We walked down to lunch and everyone could see the tears in our eyes. Instead of sitting with the other teachers, Mrs. Osborne walks over to Jade and says, “You have a concrete angel of a sister, never let her go.”
“I know,” Jade said, turned to me and continues, “I will never leave you, nor Mrs. Osborne, nor God. We love you and want to see you shine as bright as you can.”
“Thanks. I love you guys too.”
After school I volley ball practice, and always I give it my all. Everyone always asks me “How can you be so small and have so much power?” I just laugh and finish the drill. I always excel in sports when I am stressed. I can picture a face on the ball and slam it, or I can run like my mom is on my heels. The other girls on the team complain about running ten laps before practice to warm up when I run fifteen on top of the team’s ten. I have always been an above and beyond athlete and while I learn more about Christ I am becoming a better person.
After practice, I go to extended day, where I know I will be the last one to leave because my mom knows that it is embarrassing, she wants me to be excluded from everyone and to be honest it is working.
With only one game till state I go home and start packing. “What are you doing?” my mother yell.
“Packing for state.”
“Who said you could go?”
“I have to! The team needs me!”
“No, you are not going!”
“Yes, I am! I don’t care how bad you beat me when I get back! I am going to support my team!”
“So that is what you have been telling people, that I beat you? I can show you a beating!”
She went to grab my hand but I jerk away and take off down the stairs. I was out the back door in a dead sprint. I can hear my mom slamming through the drawers in the kitchen. Running around the pool to get out the back screen door, I didn’t see my dog sleeping on the ground. I trip and brake my ankle, within seconds my mom is on me, all I could feel was the sharp pain of a knife puncturing my skin and then black. Thankfully, my pure breed, Siberian husky was able to pull me out of the pool, she licked my face until I woke up. I went back inside, cleaned myself up and finished packing.