Chapter NineMature

Hana had to stop herself from whimpering or showing any signs of how much pain she was in. She left the house early that morning, hoping Steven wouldn’t see her and attack; she really couldn’t hide anymore pain. She was slowly making her way to hell, and by that she meant walking to school. Hana had to stop at the park, because she needed to catch her breath.

It seemed this weekend, fate just wanted to laugh at her. Saturday was the day everyone agreed on going to Ethan’s house to work on the project. Sunday she wasn’t even allowed to leave the house, not that she could even if she wanted to. Instead Steven gave her a long list of chores that he ‘needed’ done by the end of the day.

In the end, Steven said she had done none of it right, so he gave her another beating. He also burned her with his cigarettes and pushed her into the door, more times than she could count.

Hana wasn’t a doctor, nor did she want to be one, but she was sure some of her ribs were inches from breaking, if not already broken. Judging from the slight limp of her right leg, she was sure that it was also fractured. Pulling the hood of her rarely worn light blue hoodie, she tried to cover as much of her face as she could. Steven had hit her in easily seen areas, something that rarely happened, in fear of being caught.

Hana didn’t want to go to school, but at the same time she didn’t want to stay home. With her behaviour on Saturday and the number of injuries that she had today, Ethan and Nick would be suspicious. Anna and Sam would want to take her to the hospital, but sadly she couldn’t tell anyone how she got them.

Steven had a habit of warning her most days, before she went to school, and the warnings were the same. If she told anyone and he went to jail because of it, then he would look for her and make the rest of her living life a living hell.

Not that her life wasn’t already a living hell. Sometimes, okay most of the time, Hana wondered if it would be better, if she just followed her parents and Lila to the afterlife, than living with this pain. The voice in her head, that she called Roy, told her that it would be easier and no one would miss her.

Hana had learned the hard way, what Steven was willing to do if she planned to tell anyone. Before they moved here, they lived in Magalia, California. She made a friend at school, Jewels was her nickname and her father worked in law. Hana hoped that her friend would be able to get her away from the devil that she was forced to live with.

Somehow Steven had found out about her plans and stopped her, by giving her a beating and a broken arm. He also had a friend of his scare Jewels into staying away from her, for the few weeks before they had left.

When asked by the hospital staff how Hana had gotten her broken arm, he just laughed and told them, that she was playing in a tree which she fell out of. He only found out when she cried out in pain and took her straight to the hospital. 

 

The worst part all this was CPS, Children Protective Services, didn’t think Steven was like this and that he didn’t do anything wrong. Before Hana came into his care, he had other children living with him and his wife. He’d never raised a hand to them and some of them called him, even to this day.

Sadly, a month after Hana moved in with Steven, Susan his wife, died. After that he began to hit her and call her names because of her heritage, thinking that she was cursed and that’s why his wife had passed. Not her heart condition that had gotten worse over the years.

Two months after Susan’s death, Steven started to take out all of his life’s problems on Hana, from his wife dying to not having enough money to buy food, clothes and beer.

The thing that made Hana sad was the fact that before all this happened Steven and Susan were really nice and understanding with her, she thought that she was going to be safe again. After what happened to her family, but like Lila always said, ‘They’re not dead, they live on in the hearts of the people they leave.’ But that didn’t stop the fact that she was wrong about Steven.

Choking back a sob as her ribs protested against any and all movement. Maybe she really did have a broken bone, not that knowing was going to help her, since Steven rarely let her go to the hospital for a broken bone. She had to heal and fix any injuries herself.

Which meant Gym was going to be a living nightmare. She was so going to be able to play dodge ball, tennis, football, run laps or any of the other fun things they did in gym.

“Hana!” Hana winced at the familiar loud, booming voice. The voice of one of her best friends.

“Why is it always Nick?” Hana whispered to herself as she increased her speed, even with her legs begging for her to slow down, she didn’t and soon she was in a slow jog.

Hana knew that she couldn’t be able to explain her black eye as a fall, Nick wouldn’t believe her if she said that. Now way in the high heavens or high hell would he believe that. Hana believed that would only make his suspicion worse than it already would be.

“Hana, wait up,” Nick yelled as he jogged to Hana’s side with a smile on his face “Where have you been? We tried calling your cell but you didn’t answer. We planned to do the project Sunday as well.”

Yeah, about that. I don’t have a phone anymore because Steven took it and threw into the fireplace and then started hitting me with a belt because I had it, Hana thought and she wished she could tell Nick that, but she couldn’t tell him the truth, so she just ended up lying to him “Sorry about that, I wasn’t feeling well and I didn’t want to get anyone else sick.” She couldn’t look at him, so she looked at his black sneakers instead, along with his dark coloured jeans, which were suddenly very interesting.

Nick’s smile turned into a frown when he heard Hana’s voice. It sounded like she lost her voice, a really bad case of it and had only gotten it back. The only other way he could describe it was like someone was yelling or crying really loud, only a bit before and hadn’t recovered from it. “Hana, if you’re still sick, you might want to go home.”

“No, no,” Hana said shaking her head slowing stepping back “I’m fine, I really am.”

Nick slowly walked in front of her, placing a hand on the girl’s thin shoulders; it was as if she hadn’t eaten or not enough to gain any weight. Hana looked at the ground when she felt the extra weight on her shoulders.

“Hana,” Nick said, trying to get the girl to look at him in the eye, but Hana wasn’t willing to show Nick her black eye or her busted lip. She didn’t know how to explain them without telling Nick about Steven.

“I’m fine, Nick,” Hana told him weakly, she was hoping that he’d drop it.

“Hana, I could call my dad,” Nick said, worry growing in the pit of his stomach for the small girl in front of him, he didn’t understand why Hana couldn’t tell him the truth. After talking with Ethan’s dad, he knew something was wrong, but he didn’t know what. All Nick could do was hope Hana would tell him before something bad happened. 

I don’t want to go home, Hana thought, I really don’t want to go home.

            

  

The End

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