Chapter EightMature

Within minutes everyone was working on different parts of our world. Nick was working on drawing Russia, Anna was doing Asia, Sam was drawing Europe, Ethan was doing Australia and Hana was working on America. Everyone was enjoying themselves, joking and playing around, even Hana, and she hated school work.

Hana jumped when her phone went off, Anna had given the girl one of her old ones. She must have forgotten to put it on silent or vibrate. She pulled out the small red flip phone, answering it without checking the caller ID.

“Hello? Hana speaking.” Hana said, leaning on her chair twirling the penicil between her fingers. No one knew who was calling Hana, but they were looking at her as the other person said something making Hana sit dead straight and her eyes the size of dinner plates. “I-I’ll be, be h-home i-in a co-couple min-minutes.”

Flipping her phone closed she put in the pocket of her jeans, grapping her bag and walking out of the room.

“Hana? We’ve got to finish this,” Ethan called after the girl following her out of the room the three following after them.

“Sorry guys, that was my… foster dad,” Hana told them looking at them from the middle of the stairs “He wants me home, like right now. See you later.”

“Hana, is something wrong?” Anna asked playing with her blonde hair with a small tanned hand.

“No, nothing’s wrong,” Hana said “Bye, Adelaide, see ya Christian.” She shouted in the direction of the living room, where Ethan’s parents were.

Adelaide came into the hallway, Hana thought she was really pretty. Ethan looked a lot like her, but had the build of his dad.

“You’re leaving?” Adelaide asked, twisting her light brown hair, which she wore in a ponytail, her green eyes showed worry - it seemed her eyes always gave away her emotions, like an open book.

“Hana, do you want me to give you a lift?” Christian asked the small girl. Christian was better at working out emotions of others, he had to. Having a major in psychology helped him and the fact he worked in that field helped.

“No, you don’t have to,” Hana said, playing with her jacket, revealing a small heart shaped locket  “I live about ten minutes away.”

“If you’re sure,” Christian told her, looking out for her reactions.

“I hope you had a good visit,” Adelaide told her, “Make sure to come for another.”

“Sorry for leaving so soon,” Hana told her, looking at the window, not wanting to look at their eyes “But you know… family stuff.”

Christian thought it was strange that she paused before saying family - it was as if she had to think about it. Her earlier comment on foster dad made him think as well, some foster families were okay, but most only used the child. Sad, but it was true and he mostly worked with foster children and knew what some had to go through. He’ll have to ask Ethan about it later and maybe his friends, and he’ll also have to look at her medical records and such.

“That’s okay,” Adelaide said keeping an eye on her husband, in case he said something that upset her “Just remember you’re always welcome here.”

“Thanks,” Hana said opening the door, leaving her friends standing on the stairs. Adelaide stared at door as it closed.

“Christian,” She said looking at her darked haired husband “what was that about?”

“What was what about?” He asked pulled out of his thoughts.

“You’re thinking about something,” Adelaide deadpanned.

“Did she say foster dad?” Anna asked, looking at everyone with a confused expression on her face.

“I believe she did,” Nick said leaning against the wall, pale brown eyes looking at pictures hanging on the opposite wall.

“I guess I should go to the shops,” Anna said “We’ll do most of it in class.”

“Bye, Anna, Nick,” Ethan said. “Sam.”

“Goodbye,” Anna and Nick said at the same time, before walking out of the house. Sam waved before leaving himself.

“Ethan,” Adelaide said as they left

“Yes Mum?” Ethan asked

“I need to ask you some things,” Christian told him, putting his arms around his tall, but thin, wife.

--

Hana panted as she ran through the snow towards her house. Her lungs were burning, Hana know that she would have to start exercising, no matter how much she hated it. When she stopped in front of the house, she doubled over trying to catch her breath. She remembered something her health and PE teacher told the class a few years ago, that it was harder to run and catch your breath in winter because of core temperature and your lungs.

It took her a minute or two to catch her breath from the ten minute run, but when she did stand up straight. She looked at the place where she was forced to live. Hana wished she could live somewhere like Ethan’s house, his house looked loved and cared for. His house was the opposite of this one, this one… wasn’t loved, and anyone could tell by looking at it.

The garden and yard were overgrown, the grass was dying and the flowers weren’t doing much better. Some of the shingles were breaking, missing or messed up. The paint, which used to be a lovely white, was peeling off in multiple areas and it had so much dirt and dust that it was brown more so than white in colour. Many of the windows were broken, most likely caused by off-course tennis balls. In front of the house was an old, beaten up Toyota truck, it was more rust than metal and Hana wondered many times how the thing still worked.

She sighed as she walked past the piece of junk, pausing at the mold-eaten door. She could already smell the stench of alcohol, or more specifically, beer.

Hana shook her head, Steven was home and he didn’t just tell her that to scare her. That didn’t make things any better, in fact that just made them a lot worse. When she walked into the hallway the smell was worse and she could se-

“Girl! That you? Get your arse into the living room! Now!” Hana flinched at the voice that pulled her out of her thoughts, forcing herself to walk into the living room.

Hana shook her head when she stood on a beer can. There were more lying around the hallway and the living room, both rooms were a mess, but Hana know that only her room was clean. Some of the cans were days old, others were weeks and months, the blinds that hide the horrors of this room were just as brown or even more so than the walls, and dented in multiple areas.

An old-fashioned fire place was in the corner opposite the window. An old, bulky, beaten up television sat near it, the sport channel on, but not watched. Sitting on his old and stained chair was the devil himself and the one that made Hana’s life a living hell: Steven.

“I’m here,” Hana muttered “After you called me at a friend’s place.” She didn’t look at him, but at the mess the living room was, and wondered how long it would take to clean. If he let her clean it, Steven couldn’t clean or cook to save anyone, not that he thought of even feeding her. Most of the time.

“Don’t you sass me girl!” Steven yelled and the slur of his voice was unmistakable. He was drink and it wouldn’t be long before he passed out from drinking too much, most likely as long as she has been at Ethan’s place “You weren’t even meant to be at someone’s house today.”

Hana had to resist the urge to retort with a sarcastic remark, she knew that it would only make it worse. How drinking was his job, and taking ‘care’ of his foster ‘daughter’ was too.  Steven only kept her because he was getting money from the government for having her, that’s what he told her.

“You said three days ago that I could go to my friend’s house,” Hana muttered, bitting her bottom lip. She knew what was going to happen, the second the bottle hit the ground. The sound echoed throughout the house, making Hana flinch at the loud noise and looking anywhere, but the brown haired male in front of her.

“I never said such a thing! Stop lying, you idiotic girl!” Steven stood, despite the swaying when he moved, “What did I tell you about lying?”

Hana closed her eyes and shook her head, refusing to give Steven any satisfaction of knowing that he was scaring her. Before she knew what was happening, she was slammed against the wall, pain going through her back and head, as she harshly met the wall.

“I asked a question,” Steven spat, moving his scar ridden hand up to Hana’s head into her thick black hair “didn’t you hear me? Or are you just that stupid that you didn’t understand me?”

“No,” Hana whimpered, as he pulled her hair, so close that she could smell his ranched breath. She couldn’t help, but fear this… this monster. Steven wasn’t human to Hana, to her he was worse than any demon, worse than Satan.

“Then I want an answer now!” Steven shouted slapping Hana in the face.

“If I ever lie to you, I would be beaten until I couldn’t walk,” Hana whimpered, closing her eyes trying to block out her nerves, to block out the pain that she knew was coming.

“Exactly,” Steven breathed, taking a step back “And trust me, after this you will never lie to me again.”

The next thing Hana knew she was being punched in the stomach. Grunting, she nearly toppled over in pain, when a hand grabbed the back of her neck and a knee went into her stomach. Crying out in pain as Steven continuously kneed her in the stomach. Hana tried to stop him, and when that didn’t work, she fell to the floor, trying to pull herself into a protective position, but with no luck. When Steven saw her covering her stomach, he kicked her. Hard.

The next ten minutes, which felt like hours to Hana, was a blur of kicks, punches, knees and pain… so much pain. By the time Steven had gotten bored with beating her, she was a mess of bruises. Hana’s eye was swollen shut and she was sure that some of her ribs were fractured, from all the kicks that she had gotten to the ribs she wouldn’t be surprised. Luckily, for who was debatable, there wasn’t any internal bleeding. Hana took it as both a blessing and as a curse - maybe, just maybe internal bleeding would finally get the government to pay attention and see how much danger she was in.

“That’ll teach you to lie to me!” Steven slurred marching up the stairs and into his bedroom, laughing at the broken girl on the floor.

Hana pushed herself off her back and onto her side, ignoring the pain that tore through her, her body protesting against the move and tears fell down her face. She wasn’t allowed to cry, in Steven’s eyes, crying was for ‘babies’, and she would just get another beating if he heard her cry.

Hana wanted Ethan, Anna, Nick or Sam, hell at the moment she would be glad to see any of her bullies. Any of them. Why didn’t she die four years ago, along with her sister that day?

She wanted someone to come through the door, and save her. She didn’t want to live in pain and in fear… not for the rest of her life, she didn’t think she could live like this, but when she made friends, Steven would move before she could say something, or they didn’t believe her. There was a reason why she didn’t trust anyone. Her real parents were dead, as was Lila. Ethan, Anna and everyone else weren’t going to save her, they didn’t even know what was going on.

She completely alone. Abandoned. Unwanted. Unloved.         

        

 

The End

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