I walked up to the front steps of wet, red brick. I didn't have my keys, so I was forced to wait outside until Jack answered the door.

I could have sneaked inside through my bed room window, but I didn't want to reveal my one escape route.

The brass door knob began to jiggle, and I cringed at the thought of being back to this hell hole.

"You're late," was Jack's only remark. No, "Hello, Clair. Welcome back." Not even a simple "Hi". Nope, Jack was too much of a jack ass for that, as I'm fairly sure I've mentioned.

"Jennifer, she's back." The way he said it made it sound like I was a vessel carrying the plague or something.

"Oh, Clair, where the hell have you been? Why didn't you answer your cell phone?" That was my mom. She didn't give me a hug, or welcome me home or anything. She just glared at me, wondering what she was going to do with me.

"Gee, Jennifer. I don't have a cell phone," I retorted, still standing on the porch, hoping they would forget to invite me in, so I wouldn't have to step foot into this revolting house. The pungent odor of cigarette smoke slapped me in the face. I'd gotten so used to fresh air.

She sighed, clearly exasperated with me for God knows what reason. "Well, hurry up. Get your ass in here."

I stepped forward and moved into the house, taking off my soaked shoes at the door. I pushed pass my mother and escaped into my bedroom down the hall without further breath wasted. I slipped out of my soaked clothes that I'd been wearing for a week and left them on the wood floor of my room.

I was glad for the private bathroom off of my room, believing it was one of the two miracles in my life. 

I slung a worn blue towel over the top of the shower and slipped inside, turning on the hot water and standing there for a minute. 

I heard a sudden loud clang in the kitchen and jumped, wondering what had happened. But I decided it most likely didn't concern me and wasn't worried, knowing that Jennifer and Jack were adults and could talk things out maturely.

Yeah right. I quickened my shower, much to my great distaste, and shut the water off. I wrapped the worn blue towel around me, shivering from the sudden cold.

Drying off quickly in my room, I slipped into some comfy sweat pants and a t shirt and exited my room.

"God dammit, Jennifer! Watch what the hell you're doing!" Jack shouted in my mother's face.

"I'm sorry," she whispered. "Alex, I'm sorry. I'm tired, and it slipped," she tried to explain in a remorseful tone.

"You're tired," Jack mimicked in a high pitch squeaky voice that was supposed to represent my mom's. "Yeah right. You've been home all day, resting and watching TV I'd bet. Clean up this mess right now!" He demanded.

My mother trembled in fear and bent down to pick up the hot noodles of spaghetti. As her hands picked up the first noodle, Jack kicked her in the ribs as hard as he could.

"Hey!" I shouted. I may not like my mother very much, but she was still my mom and I loved her, or who she used to be. "Don't you touch her like that!" I shouted, getting ready to pounce on his back. He turned towards me with a strange gleam in his eyes, as if he was amused by my outburst.

"I'll do anything I want to do," He retorted menacingly. I could tell he was drunk. He was always an ass, but only violent when drunk.

I rushed forward and pounded my fist into his jaw, his arm, stomach. I kicked him in the balls and bit his wrist when he tried to restrain me.

"Clair, stop it!" my mom shouted. She had tears streaming down her face, and puffy, pink eyes. Whether it was from the pain from Jack's kick, or from our fighting, I couldn't tell.

Either way, I disobeyed her and continued to beat my step father. But I slipped up and he got the upper hand.

He seized my hair in a death grip and slammed my face into the counter. I heard something crunch, and I cried out in pain, my vision blurring. I elbowed him once in the face, to get myself free, and hurried into my room.

I took hold of my only black duffel bag and threw it onto my bed. I began taking out jeans and shirts, underwear, and such from dresser drawers and stuffing them half hazardly inside. From under my mattress, I removed some money I'd stolen from Jack and stuffed it into a sock, not bothering to count it yet. I ran into my bathroom and grabbed my tooth brush and tooth paste, put them in, and zipped it up.

I refused to use the front door with Jack out there. I slid open my window, duffel bag slung over my shoulder, and climbed outside into a light drizzle.

I guess I was finally making my escape.


The End

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