In college, I went on a date with the son of my mother’s coworker. I couldn’t remember if his name was Jason or Justin, so I spent the entire night maneuvering my way out of saying his name. He... [+]
I ask myself, “Who are you?” as if I don't already know I am Meadow Springs, I live with my dad. My mom has passed away from cancer. And I am a victim of abuse.
I throw my clothes on that were sitting on my dresser and walk down the hallway. And there is my dad, passed out on the couch. I wish he didn't get drunk everyday anymore. He took the hit of mom dying pretty hard,
I bend down to grab my bookbag off the table. And I feel the wound on my back, I run into our ‘under construction’ bathroom and I see it, A perfect handprint. I fight back the tears that are filling my eyes like little pools. I pull down my shirt and glance over at the time, 7:05?! I grab my bookbag and run out the door.
“Hey Meadow!” my friends all squealed when they saw me. I force a smile, I am the ‘it girl’ of our school. Everyone looks up to me, I don't know what they would do if they found out about my dad abusing me every time he is drunk,
“Meadow did you know we had a test in geometry today?!” Ally says as she grabs my arm. She is getting me out. Ally is my best friend. And she is the only one who I can actually trust. She is the only person who knows about my dad, and even so she doesn't know how often.
“No!” I gasp, “Ally come with me to study hall you can quiz me.”
We both laugh as we run through the hallway while all the boys gawk at us. Few even attempt a conversation which we say ‘I’m in a hurry catch you later!’ Neither of us were dating anyone. And we didn't want to either.
When we arrived in study hall it was packed because of everyone studying for midterms. People moved from their tables as we walk by, offering them to us, but we politely decline and find our usual table.
“How was your dad last night?” Ally asks me as she looks into my eyes,
“Let’s say he is out cold right now,” I say nervously.
She nods her head and bends down to grab her textbook. I do the same. I reach down to grab my book and I feel the stretch of the wound on my back, But then it’s warm. No I thought as I reached and touched my back, All I got in return was a wet, bloody finger.
“We have to go, now!” I say as quietly as I can.
She looks up and sees my back, “Oh no,” she whispers. You could already see the blood on my back and it needed medical attention.
We run to the nurse as fast as I can tolerate. People are now gasping as I run by and whispering something like is she okay?!
Finally we reach the nurse, As soon as she sets eyes on me I turn around.
“Oh honey, get in here right now,” she says somehow managing to have a calm voice.
I walk into the office and immediately smell that clean scent of doctors. She pulls up my shirt, and only now do I realize she is going to see the handprint, nobody has questioned my living after my mom dying for about a year. I have never spoken out about this for fear of getting sent to foster care and not being able to come to school, Or live the same life anymore,
“Hun,” she says wearily, “where did you get this injury?”
A tear slides down my face. I don't usually let people see me cry, but I must speak up now, “My father,” I croak.
“Honey, I’m going to give you some stitches to close this but your going to have to talk to me or the guidance counselors after to find out why your own father would put you through this pain,” She calmly eased the idea into me.
I nodded my head. I look over at Ally and she can't stop staring at my back. I know she will stay, But she will not talk. It’s her presence that I love so much. She doesn’t need to speak for me to know she cares, She knows I’m watching her so she blinks hard and looks away.
The nurse notifies me she is done and I know that I must stay strong to admit what has been done to me repeatedly throughout the year.
“Do you have any idea why your dad would do something like this to you?” the nurse asks me.
“My mom passed away from cancer a year ago, and ever since then he has repeatedly gotten drunk and made me suffer,” I swallowed and continued, “He beats me, won't feed me, I don't even have a bed to sleep on after I get beat. And it’s not carpet. Its hardwood,”
I exhale. I feel like I just lifted a million pounds off of my shoulders, I can actually breathe again.
She held a long pause and called down the guidance counselor down.
“I’m sorry to hear that,” she whispered.
Right then Mrs. B, our guidance counselor, comes into the room and gasps as soon as she sees my back, “Oh Lord! what happened?” she exclaimed.
I explained the story I had told the nurse and Mrs. B was in tears. And asked me what I wanted to do.
“What are my options?” I asked.
“Well you could report to the police what has been happening, you could give it to me to handle or,” she paused, “You could take him to court,”
I don't know how long my mouth was open. My jaw must have hit the floor, “I... I think I will notify the police,” I never thought I could have worked up the courage to do that. I would usually lie and say it was an accident of some sort but now, now I want them to know. I want him to live up to what he has put me through.
Mrs. B nods and asks, “Do you want me to drive you over there now?”
I look over at Ally who has been quietly watching everything happening and she raises her eyebrows and tilts her head. And then she nods.
“Yes, thank you,” I say.
We are arriving at the police station when Ally turns to me, “Are you scared?”
“Yes, but if I don’t make these courageous decisions everything might get worse,” I whisper.
We slowly exit the car. And walk into the station. We search for the front desk and ask to speak with the chief. She nods and points toward his office.
I have never felt stronger than I do now. I knock on the door.
“Come on in!” I hear him yell from inside.
I creak open his wooden door to see an older man with a mustache and a full head of dark brown hair.
“I would like to file a report against my father, Mark Springs,” I say while looking him into the eyes.
“Alrighty, explain why you must take action toward this and what report would you like to file?” He says. I can tell he doesn't think I’m serious.
“I would like to file it for child abuse,” I turn around so my dried blood shirt will be seen by his wandering eyes.
I explain everything about my mothers death and how he became an alcoholic and started to mistreat me.
“Seems like we need to take immediate action let me look at who would be your guardian after the arrest,” He announced.
He spends the next few minutes on his computer looking through the files until he stops at my moms, “It looks like your mother chose that you would be handed over to Allys family, I am assuming that's you?” He looked to Ally.
“Yes, sir,” she replied.
I would go to Ally? I can still go to school. I can still live my life. My mom had made my dreams come true without even being alive. I am ready to take action.
He loads us into his police car and its silent until we reach my driveway. I actually look at my house for the first time. It was a lopsided 1 floor brick home. With the whitest front door you have ever seen. Nobody knows what has been hid behind that white door. It will finally be released.
For the second time today I exit a car near a police force. Only this time I’m prepared for what is to come.
The police men swarm around my tiny house and then I hear him scream. Scream and yell and then I see him. But no longer do I cower to him. Afraid of being beaten to the core. I can stand tall and say, I won.