Weak from the beating of a life time, I did what La’ Keisha told me to do although I got beat for no reason. The living room was clean and I also cleaned the kitchen just to be on the safe side. When I was done tried making it up the stairs without falling out. I was so tired and in pain that I felt like passing out on the stairs. My face stung so bad it felt like somebody took a hot iron and put it against my face. I went to the bathroom and tried to run me some bath water, but I couldn’t do it. Afraid of what my face and body would look like after the beating, I couldn’t bear to see myself in the mirror with my reflection looking back at me, knowing that in the morning it would be worst then it felt in the morning. I felt like I was dying as I dragged myself down the hallway into my room. When I reached my bedroom door I almost fell into the room when I opened it. I crawled into the bed with my brother and sisters’, wincing as I lay down, and squeezed myself in between Robert and Stacey.
They looked so peaceful when they sleep and listening to them sleep I just couldn’t take it anymore. I just started crying. As I cried I whispered, “I neva thought our lives would be this much hell” I said as I smooth Stacey’s hair back, “I neva wanted us to have a low-down ass momma that didn’t care about her own kids, but if I have to be the one who provide yall with the things yall need I’m really to do so, just to make our lives better”. As I drifted off to sleep saying these words over and over again in my head. I cleared all the thoughts from my head that didn’t mean anything to me and opened my mind up for the new thoughts in my mind. The only three things I cared about: 1.Caring for my brother and sisters’ 2.Caring about myself. 3. Making sure that our lives are better.
* * *
It was 4:50 in the morning when I was awaked by the loud slam of the front door. Rob, Be-Be, and Stacey were still asleep, but I wasn’t. I couldn’t hardly sleep from the nightmares of me being beat to death and not able to provide and take care of Be-Be, Rob, and Stacey. In a few more hours I would have to wake them up in order to go to school. So, I tried to get up, well that’s what I thought I was doin’, but to my surprise I was still lying in the bed. I couldn’t move and the pain in my face felt heavy, so I just laid there with my eyes glued to the ceiling thinking about how I was gunna take care of Rob, Be-Be, and Stacey even though La’ Keisha was at home and most importantly take care of myself with my brother and sisters’ to look after. I knew that I had only 3 hours of sleep left until I had to wake them up, so I turned on my side; slowly though, and started into the darkness hoping that I would my sleep in. After a while I went back to sleep thinkin’ bout none thing, but I the ones I loved the most; Robert, Brianna, and Stacey.
* * * *
When I had awakened again I was alone in the bed. I looked around to find B, Rob, and Stacey, but there wasn’t anyone in the room with me. I turned to glance at the clock that read 7:45, I widened my eyes in the fact that I had slept to long and Robert, Be-Be, and Stacey was late for school, so I slowly tried to make it out of bed. My arms were sore, but they weren’t hurtin’ that bad, but when I moved my feet and legs I let out a painful yelp that no one could hear but me. I felt like an old lady as I reached for the door with my shoulders slum and my back arched and my feet draggin’ me slowly along to make it the bathroom. I sat down on the toilet and waited awhile before I gained my strength to across the small bathroom to the sink from where I was sitting. I turned on the light, afraid to look at myself in the mirror, and the first thing I noticed was the bruise on my face. It looked like the size of a stripper pole, but two or three sizes small; it went straight across my face, from my left temple all the way to the corner of my mouth.
And when I rose up my left arm to touch it, there were bruises and welts on my arm; they didn’t hurt as bad as my face, but felt pain in my arms sometimes. When I finally look at myself in the mirror; tears started rollin’ down my face and I decided to take off my night dress to reveal the rest of the damage to my body. I cried even harder when I saw the rest of the bruises, and welt from the belt and broom on my naked body, but the bruise and welts looked worst on my thighs and backside. I quickly forgot all about the reason way I got out of the bed in the first place, so quickly but slowly and I slipped my night dress back on and hurried down the stairs slowly. As I reached the bottom stairs I let out a sigh of relieve when I saw Stacey, Rob, and, Bre in the den lookin at Spongebob, I waz about to go back upstairs when Stacey turned around and saw me. “Le-Le!” she said runnin to me with open arms. She squeezed me tight against her little chest and I let out a painful scream. “I’m sorry”, she said in soft voice. “It’s ok”. I walked into the den all was silent, when they saw my face. Bre just sat there starin at it and Rob showed a facial expression, which showed that he was mad and Stacey begin to cry.
I sighed and said, “don’t worry about my face, it don’t hurt that much”. “Don’t worry about it, said Rob, look at yo face”. “She just don’t care, do she?” said Bre. There was a brief silence, and then I said, “Yall hungry?” The three of them nodded their heads and we all went into the kitchen. “We aren’t goin to school today?” asked Stacey. “Naw, I don’t feel like gettin yall ready today so yall stayin at home” I said. “Cool with me” said Rob. “You know that she gon say some if we didn’t go to school” said Bre. I just sighed and said, “Oh well, I’m just gonna have to take another beaten then”. “No, you don’t not any more, I mean I know you can’t stand to see us get a whuppin or even getting hit, but this is too much for you” said Rob. I just shrugged my shoulders and turned toward the refrigerator I opened it up and there was none thing in there, but five eggs, three pieces of bread and some grape jelly. I took them out and sat them on the counter.
“Look in the bottom of the cabinet and get the skillet, and look in the drawer and bring me that box of matches, somebody”. Stacey took the matches and sat them next to the stove and Bre took the skillet and put it on the stove. “Robert, go upstairs and bring me that stool that’s in our room. I hopped on the counter and got the black pepper, salt, and put all them next to the eggs. Robert came back downstairs with and stool. By that time Bre and Stacey had already cracked the eggs and added the seasonings. I lit the stove and put the eggs into the skillet.
After they got done eating I said, “Go upstairs and get ready to take yall bath”. “Where we going”? Stacey asked. “To the park” I told them. All three of them got happy and started shouting and jumping around the table. Everything was going fine until I felt a massive headache coming on. I didn’t know what was wrong with me, I felt like I going to pass out, so I laid my head down on the table and close my eyes. All the noise Stacey, Bre and Robert were making fading in and out of my mind. Stacey put her hand on my back and said, “Le-Le you ok”? At first I didn’t answer. “Le-Le you ok?” she asked again. “Yea, I’m fine” I said. “You look like you about to pass out or something”, she said. I closed my eyes and pretended not to hear her. The headaches begin to hurt more, but I ignored it and rose up from where I sat and said, “Hurry up if yall wanna go”. All three of them went upstairs to take their bath and was back down stairs in fifth teen minutes. “Stacey”, I said, “Go upstairs and get the brush, comb, rubber bands, and the grease”. Ok. When I got done with Stacey’s hair, I did Brianna’s hair and then Robert’s. When I got done with them, we left for the park.