I trembled as the first wave of anger swept through my body.
"He's not listening!" my mind shouted in frustration. I glared at the man sitting across from me. Rarely did he raise his voice. He was a patient man. One who quickly grasped others’ moods and reacted in ways which could only ever improve the situation. However, there was one thing, or should I say person, that could disrupt his calm ways: Heather Martin, more specifically, my mother.
"She raised you! Held you when you were sick! And now, you dare say that you’re embarrassed of her!" His face was tomato red and his eyes seemed darker, more black. (If that is even possible.) I hated to make him mad. However it was always worse when he was disappointed in me. This time he was both and I did not deserve either feeling. I had done nothing wrong. It had been Heather who had poisoned his thoughts with her fake tears and dejected whimpers. It simply was not fair! I shook with anger again.
It wouldn't be long now until the emotions coursing through my veins would take control of my body. For a brief moment I imagined myself as the Hulk. First shaking with anger and then, when the fury was beyond my control, I would burst forward as huge monster! But the thought was cut short. I couldn't wreak havoc in my own life, especially not now. At this point, my life resembled an ancient artifact, balanced precariously in my hands. To an onlooker it would look beautiful, perfect in everyway. What they wouldn’t see, is that it was in constant danger of falling and I was just holding my breath, waiting. If it dropped to the ground I would be forced to dive and catch it before it shattered. I would try to avoid that at all costs. The pain of hitting the ground was almost unbearable. Besides, you only get one life and I wasn't about to risk mine falling to pieces, not when it was in my control.
"Your usually such a sweet girl! And then, you do something like this! I just don't understand what's wrong with you Becca!" These words leapt out at me from the middle of his speech. They tore at the last fabrications of my resolve. My hands curled into fists.
"Okay! I'm sorry! Can I please go now!" My voice was slightly raised and absolutely dripping with repressed anger. I was trying to hold it in, trying to keep from 'transforming'.
"No, you may not!" Came his reply. Panic swelled in me, it wouldn't be long now, just a matter of seconds.
"Your not leaving until you understand! I just don't get it! I mean.." He was still shouting but I couldn't hear it anymore. I leapt off my chair. Angry tears practically pulsed at the rims of my eyes waiting to leap out onto my cheeks. My hands were fisted at my sides and my arms shook fervently.
"Can I please go now!" I interrupted. The restraint that could be heard in my voice would later amaze me. I would have never imagined I could show all my anger, resistence, pleadings and embarrassment in one sentence, but some how I managed. However it seemed my emotion was wasted.
"Becca, no! You..." I left. My legs carried me swiftly through our front door. My pace was a near run. I had to get away before I unleashed my wrath. It wasn’t choice, I was going to explode and I knew it.
As I turned into the kitchen, a new obstacle faced me. Heather. I halted mid step. She lifted her eyes from where they had been watching her fingers slowly chopping mushrooms and turned to focus on me.
She had a surprised expression on her face underlined clearly with a sadness that I considered to be very questionable. One hand held a chopping knife, pointer finger balanced on the bladeless side. Her eyes were still lined with redness, no doubt from the speech she had given my father, who was most likely still sitting on the front porch, stunned into silence by my behaviour.I usually was in control around my parents however today my emotions ran too deep, too strong. I had been repressing them so much lately that I should've been surprised that I didn't literally explode.
"I'm sorry okay!" I practically forced the words through my clenched teeth, using the same tone I had to escape my father. Then I hurried forward, past her, through the kitchen. I rushed to unlock the screen door and shoved it open. My legs forced me to the side of the house. Then I let go.
Quite literally I threw myself forward onto the ground, hitting it hard with my fore arms, knees and lower legs.
"Arrgh!!!!!" I attempted to keep my voice down, knowing I was in clear hearing range of both parents. I briefly considered that my landing would leave bruises. That spur of the moment thought led to another. In the span of a second I was up again. This time I slammed my back against the brick wall of our town house. I beat my forearms against the bricks again and again. I pressed myself tighter against the wall. My arms never halted for a second. Over and over I brought my arms smashing against the wall. They began to go numb so I beat them harder. I felt my anger beginning to leave me. THUMP!
"He wants me to be his perfect daughter?" THUMP! That time really hurt, I hoped I was getting bruises.
"I'll pretend to think what they want me to think!" THUMP! THUMP!
"He wants me to have respect like Jessica?" THUMP!
"Okay! I won't let them know my feelings," THUMP!
"Any of them!" THUMP!
"Then, when I graduate, I'll do what she's planning," THUMP!
"I'll move out and never speak to them again." I stopped my arms, rolling back my sleeves to examine my wrists.
"I'll store up all my hate, the unfairness and all my pain."I continued to mutter. My eyes prickled with tears at the thought of my pain. Holding it in could depress me again.
"No!" I shouted mentally, quickly wacking my arms back against the wall. I would not allow myself to cry. Not frustrated tears and defiantly not pain filled tears. My parents didn't care and they didn't deserve the satisfaction of seeing that they had gotten to me.
Checking my wrists again I noticed minuscule pin pricks of blood. I felt a strange satisfaction flow through me. Maybe people who cut their wrists weren't as crazy or stupid as I originally had thought. Giving myself pain had allowed me to get out the burning rage that had held me captive. On top of this, the situation with my parents had not become any worse, not really. Of course, I didn't plan on cutting myself anytime soon. I was terrified of needles and just hearing about another's physical pain could cause me to feel dizzy. I could only image trying to cut myself. It would never work. Once I had attempted to wax my own legs but had been so afraid of ripping the strip off that I had washed off the sticky substance. I had continued to try again as the months went by but I had never been able to pull the strip off. Fear always paralysed my body. If I couldn’t even do some thing as simple as that, I found it hard to imagine me being able to cut myself.
With renewed control and a calm face, I took the path along the side of the house. As I walked across the sun heated driveway, I realized that my socks were damp from the grass. It had rained last night, making way for the clear blue sky over head. I sighed. That’s all I had to do. Wait out this stormy part of my life and then there would be clear skies. I just had to be patient and careful that I didn’t get struck by lightening.
I climbed the three steps of our front porch and looked at my dad. His face was also calm yet, it was still hard with anger. When he turned his hurt eyes on me I had to dig my nails into my arm to keep from crying or giving away any emotion.
"I’m sorry I walked away when you were trying to tell me something," My words were almost lifeless but some regret carried through them, "I’m only human and I needed to control my anger." I took two more steps forward and sat down facing him. It was hard to control my emotion after that but digging my nails deeper into the flesh of my left arm helped.
"We love you, Rebecca. You are a beautiful, talented, intelligent girl. You have nothing to be ashamed of. Especially not your age. Who cares if you’re a little younger? Okay?" He stared at me, trying to read me. Little did he know it was an impossible task. After all, no one can read a book when it’s closed.
"Okay." I repeated quietly. I stood to leave and my dad held out his arms to me.
"Are you too upset to give me a hug?" His question was accompanied with a hesitant smile. I sighed and wrapped my arms around him. He wasn’t angry anymore. He still loved me just as I loved him. Heather could not break that bond.
"I love you, Daddy." I whispered before pulling away. His smile shone up at me.
"I love you too, sweetie." I turned to leave and had one hand resting on the front door when he added, "We’re going to see a movie tonight. Do you wanna come?" I certainly didn’t feel like ‘family time’ at the moment. All I wanted to do was get away.
"No." I stated before slipping in through the front door.
Once inside I sought out my mom. She turned to face me as I approached.
"I know kids are embarrassed of their parents," she began. The anger boiled in me. She was unbelievable! She was still playing the pity card! How many times did I have to say I wasn’t embarrassed of her before she got the hint?!
"Mom," I started. I tried to keep my voice even but the irritation crept in, "I’m not embarrassed of you. I was embarrassed because everyone else in that room was either going into a university or already in a university. I’m only going into grade 11!" I saw that she was about to interrupt so I hurried to finish.
"I know it was stupid to be embarrassed of my age and I’m sorry I hurt you. But this wasn’t about you. It was me I was embarrassed of! Okay?" She was sniffling now and I felt the anger burning hot and steady under my skin. I kept my face calm and friendly.
"Okay." She murmured and took a tentive step forward. I knew what she expected of me, what she wanted. I wrapped my arms around her in a hug and she held me tightly, slightly crying. I wanted to roll my eyes. Didn’t she know by now that I did not fall for all her ‘wounded puppy’ acts?
"I love you." I sighed pulling away.
"I love you too." She responded, managing to add in another sniff. Then she wiped the corner of one eye as if to say: ‘Look, I’m crying! See what you did? You should feel bad for me.’ I decided to cement the fact that we had made up so my dad could no longer be upset with me.
"Do you need any help making the salad?" I asked. I was sure that Dad would later quiz her on what I said and I wasn’t about to give her anything bad to say. Heather turned her eyes back to me, giving me a wounded/ brave warrior look that made me want to laugh.
"I think I’m okay." Her bottom lip trembled and she offered a weak smile. She looked like she thought she was the nicest person in the world for letting me off the hook.
"Well I’m going to go for a walk then." I stated. I hurried to get my ipod and put my shoes on. I had to get out of there.
"So you’re sure you don’t need any help with supper?" I asked one more time.
"It’s not supper." She mumbled. "It’s for Anotonnio’s picnic tomorrow."
"Mmm." I said quickly. And then once again I left.