A girl of 13 is tortured by her mom. Will she live? Written as a project for school.
| FRIGHTENED, ALONE, AND HELPLESS
It was a beautiful day outside. A clear blue, cloudless sky with the sunshine heating up the morning. Children of all ages were walking, skipping and some even riding their bicycles on their way to school.
The streets within half a kilometre radius of the elementary school building were packed with kids eagerly awaiting their first day back in school, after a long fun-filled summer vacation.
Ms. Gail, a young lady that had just begun teaching, gathered up her thirty-one students that were waiting outside and led them upstairs to their grade eight classroom.
Once they were all seated, her big brown eyes quickly skimmed the room and came to a halt, staring at an empty desk with a name tag that read, “Emily Cuthbert”. The new teacher swiftly pushed her honey-coloured hair behind one ear and put her class to work on an introductory poem about themselves while she hurriedly stepped out of the classroom for a moment.
On her way to the office, a bit of disappointment began forming in her. Ms. Gail had been warned by Emily’s grade seven teachers that Emily could be a bit difficult at times. Not too social, they had said. Ms. Gail took this as a challenge. She had a desire to help that girl make some friends. She was looking forward to meeting Emily all summer long and couldn’t help but feel a bit let down that Emily hadn’t shown up.
Her sandals squeaked on the shiny and smooth pebble floor as she approached the office door. After a short round of greetings, she told the elderly woman, Mrs. Finch, at the secretary’s desk that Emily Cuthbert had not arrived. The expression on the secretary’s face stayed exactly the same, a frown on her wrinkled face, as she sourly replied that this was not a surprise. Seeing the shocked look on Ms. Gail’s face she added that she would still give Emily’s house a call to investigate the reason of her absence. “Yet again.” The annoyed woman mumbled just as a partially satisfied Ms. Gail started on her way back to her classroom.
“Ring!!!” “Ring!!!” The loud unexpected shriek of the telephone yanked a startled Emily out of her disturbing sleep. For a moment she forgot where she was but the tremendous pain that overcame her pulled her back into reality. She hurt everywhere. She stared at the white ceiling replaying the dreadful events of the night before as it suddenly dawned on her that today was the first day of school and she was late. The phone had stopped ringing by now. It suddenly occurred to Emily that if she had been awakened by the phone then her mom… A fear began growing inside of Emily and her heart was racing. Panic forced her to jump out of bed as she quietly but swiftly tiptoed over to the door of her small bedroom, the only place where she felt the least bit safe. Emily took a deep breath and let it out in a shaky drawn out sigh.
She was scared. Scared of the monster that had taken the shape of her mother. Emily was afraid that the monster’s sleep had been disturbed and that she would be the one to suffer the consequences.
As she crept around the house Emily finally let herself believe the fact that her mother was not at home. She relaxed for a moment before she realized once again that she should get going because she was late for school. Emily wasn’t really looking forward to that. She was always behind in everything since she missed so much school. The reason for her frequent absences was that her mother wanted to keep the bruises and cuts she gave her daughter, a secret. Even though she had no friends and did not enjoy it there, Emily decided that it was a smarter choice to go to school then to wait around for her angry mother to come home. She didn’t want another episode like yesterday. It was just too painful. Emily was weaker than her mom and that worked to her mother’s advantage. Since she couldn’t harm her boss at her minimum wage job, she took out all of her problems on Emily. She hit Emily and she screamed at her as well as scratching and cutting her helpless daughter. Whenever Emily felt like she couldn’t stand it anymore, she remembered how gentle her mom used to be before her father had left them in this misery. She knew that if someone found out about what her mother did to her they would report it. She didn’t want any trouble for her mom but she couldn’t go on like this either.
Emily was boiling by the time that she arrived at school. She understood that it was way too warm for the jeans and dark blue sweater that she was wearing but she also knew no other way of hiding her bruises as well as her mother’s nasty secret.
Emily found her new class just as they were getting ready for gym. Ms. Gail, excited to finally meet Emily, told her to change into her gym clothes. Emily was quick to say no. Trying to hide the real reason, Emily announced that she had not brought a t-shirt to change into. Ms. Gail kindly replied that she could borrow an extra one from the office.
Running out of excuses, Emily began to feel pressured as if she had hit a dead end. Both of them could feel the tension in the air and their nice discussion had formed into an inside argument. Kind words but a not so kind tone to show what they really meant. Emily was determined not to show the bruises but that same determination was shown in Ms. Gail, who knew that now was the chance to show Emily, and their audience (the whole class) who the real boss was.
Ms. Gail was getting impatient and was losing self confidence, being a new teacher and all. At this same time Emily felt the eyes of her classmates bore into her. She tried to turn around and not show anyone her scared expression but she was surrounded. Emily suddenly realized that there was no way out of this situation. Everything was going wrong and once they found out about her mom beating her, they would call the authorities. Then her mother would really kill her. She shuddered at the thought and decided that she would have to do all in her power to hide her mother’s abusive side.
Emily couldn’t take the anxiety any longer. She saw her vision blur as warm tears rolled down her cheeks. She felt something heavy stuck in her throat as she let out a loud sob.
Hesitating for only a fraction of a second, Ms. Gail reached out to Emily, wanting to guide her out of the gym. Unexpectedly, Emily shrunk back with fear. A raised hand brought back too many memories for her. Memories of last night, the day before, the day before that…
Emily relaxed when she saw that Ms. Gail meant her no harm and she walked out of the gym with Ms. Gail trailing shortly behind her.
To Emily’s great surprise, Ms. Gail did not say a word about what had happened in the gym. She just started talking about herself. Her likes and dislikes, her family, her unusual big red house with a light green roof. Ms. Gail did this because she wanted Emily to feel like she could talk to her. Emily listened intently the whole time until gym was over and both of them had to go to class.
The rest of the day Emily didn’t talk to anyone or participate in any of the activities. She wondered how it would be to live with Ms. Gail. She day-dreamed about how all of the bruises would disappear and never return. She thought about that huge red house. She had seen how inviting and comfortable it had seemed when she walked by it before, not knowing that her future teacher lived there.
Ms. Gail couldn’t concentrate on the classes either. She was worried about Emily. She saw longing in the child’s eyes, but for what? Not even Ms. Gail could figure out the mysterious Emily.
She pondered over all of Emily’s actions that day but could not come to an answer as to why Emily was so negative and secretive. Ms. Gail finally decided that she was going to give Emily’s mother and father a phone call.
At the end of the day all of the students had gone home except one. Emily was taking extra long getting her homework ready. Before she left, she asked Ms. Gail if she could come in early to work on some math. She insisted on coming even when Ms. Gail said that there was no need.
After Emily had left, Ms. Gail went to the office once again and called the number that the secretary had found for her to express her concern towards Emily. A female voice answered and immediately Ms. Gail distinguished that to be the voice of Emily’s mother.
Ms. Gail tried her best to be nice but Mrs. Cuthbert proved difficult to talk to. Emily’s mom was frustrated and annoyed. When the two women had finally finished their three minute discussion which felt like three hours to both of them, they hung up the phone. Strangely, as Ms. Gail left the school, she did not feel anymore successful than she had before the call. Ms. Gail also believed that she did not know Emily any better than she had before the day had started. As for Emily’s mom, she slammed down the receiver and with an evil hunger in her eyes awaited the arrival of her unsuspecting daughter.
Emily unlocked the door to her house very quietly, hoping that she could sneak in without alerting her mom.
Emily gasped and felt her face go white as she saw her mother angrily approaching her. She looked up at the stairs and mentally tried to calculate how long it would take her to get up, and if there was any chance of dodging her mom.
Aimlessly, she started to run but was abruptly halted as an ice cold hand grabbed her and sharp fingernails sunk deep into her flesh.
She was pushed to the floor and felt the burn of a slap on her face. Her mother was yelling but all that Emily could hear was the ringing in her ears.
Emily was kicked over and over again. She put up her hands as a hopeless act of defence.
With every contact that Mrs. Cuthbert had with Emily’s frail body, Emily heard just three words. The three words that hurt her more than the kicks, punches, and physical violence. The three words that changed everything. The three most hurtful words that a child can hear from their parents. The three words that broke Emily’s heart were “I hate you”.
Emily began screaming at the top of her voice. So loud that she couldn’t hear herself think. She couldn’t even think. All this time she had tried to protect her mom… The sudden screaming had left Mrs. Cuthbert a bit startled and Emily, using this to her advantage; with the last bit of energy that she had left she limped to her room and found a hiding spot in the closet where she quietly began to cry.
Emily heard her mom’s footsteps come into her room but to her surprise, Mrs. Cuthbert did not step into the closet, instead, her mother came up to the small closet and let out a snicker. The next thing that Emily heard was the jingling of keys and a loud echoing “click” as her mother mocked her and laughed one last evil laugh before she went downstairs.
Emily didn’t have the energy to think of food, school or when, maybe if, her mother would let her out. She just lay sprawled out on the ground afraid to move. For if she did, the pain would become unbearable.
For the first time, Emily wished that her mother had killed her. She imagined that her life would become happier after death. She didn’t want to think this way though. It would mean giving up. She would fight this battle to the end.
Struggling to push the miserable thought out of her mind, Emily fell into a troubled sleep with a promise to herself of running away tomorrow. She didn’t know how she would escape from the closet, she didn’t know where she would go, but she knew one thing for certain. She knew that she had to get away.
Basically, she had known all along but didn’t want to believe it. She had lived on false hope of her father coming home and of them all being a happy family. Emily had waited through years of pain for her real mother to emerge from that monster but the wait was now over. After today, Emily knew that it was pointless to wait. The kind mom she had known and loved was gone forever. All that was left to do now was to get away from the monster safely. Far away.
~TO BE CONTINUED~