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Rated: E · Essay · Personal · #1766775
I call this a biographic essay.
         Year after year, it’s the same.  The beatings and the constant reminders he won’t be worth a damn.  Always being so scared.  Tonight that’s all going to change.  Nothing could be worse than it is now, not even death.  He would rather deal with being homeless  than live in the hell he’s known at home all these years.  After all the terrors of the past, tonight will be the first night of the rest of what has been his miserable life.
         After what happened today, there is no way he can stay in this house.  He has been planning this since he was told the was going to be killed earlier in the day, and after the beatings he has endured, he doesn’t doubt the threat any.  Laying in his bed, listening intently, he hears nothing but the normal sounds of the house at night.  The creaking and the low groaning of an old house.  He is already packed and ready to go.  Two bags, one full of cloths; the other full of books.  School books actually.  Throughout all the suffering, he still plans to show up for classes when school starts. Is it possible?  Heading downstairs from his second story bedroom, he places his feet on the sides of the steps because he knows they will creak and squeal like a prison alarm if he steps in the center.  As if walking through a mine field, he walks to the front door.  Almost there, just a little more.  He opens the first door, and his heart seemingly stops as the barrier moans aloud so as to wake up the prison warden.  Just as he is about to step through the door, there is movement in the corner of his eye.  He turns as his younger brother asks him where he is going.  Lying he says, “I couldn’t sleep so I’m just going outside for a while.  I’ll be back in a few minutes, now go back to bed.”  The brother goes, but he knows that was a terrible cover up.  He wouldn’t buy it himself.  Closing the door as quietly as possible, he is finally out.
         The county road is only two miles away, and that is the next goal he is reaching for.  Although the road is only two miles, it seems hours away.  He knows exactly where he’s going.  He just doesn’t know what he’ll do when he gets there.  He doesn’t have a place to live or any money.  Not many friends either.  He is determined to survive though.  As he keeps walking, his ears are starting to play tricks on him.  He keeps hearing someone calling his name.  Stopping, he turns to look at the house and listen.  He doesn’t see anyone, and he doesn’t hear the mysterious call anymore.  Looking at the silhouette of the old, two story farm house one last time, it seems to be glowing in the dark as it reflects the moon’s light.  They he turns to continue his journey.  There is a full moon out tonight.  He is lucky.  It will make the trip a little easier and a little less scary.  Looking at the night sky again, he sees the clouds moving ominously towards the moon.  The story of his life.  Nothing has gone right for very long in his life.  Concentrating on the path in front of him, he realizes he needs to use heaven’s night light for as long as it lasts before the clouds turn it off.  The dirt he is walking on is loosely packed, making walking even harder.  Some farmer must have plowed this field recently. The heavy burden of his bags makes him sink into the loose dirt with every step, but this is a short cut so he will endure the hardship.  Hardship?  After what he has been through, this is nothing.
         The hard asphalt of the county road is a big improvement over the plowed dirt of the fields.  He gains a little confidence as his steps get surer.  Quickly realizing the need to make the miles go by faster, he begins to use his most valuable possession.  His mind!  Being poor, he doesn’t have much else.  For a few dark miles, singing keeps his thoughts occupied.  As the melodies run out though, his thoughts drift on to more serious matters.  He goes through his options, frighteningly few, for the future.  The worse case scenarios keep flashing through his confused mind.  After all those, the same question still isn’t answered.  What is he going to do next?
         Headlights!  He does the first thing that comes to mind.  Quickly, he hides in the deep ditch paralleling the road.  After coming this far, he can’t risk being caught by that terrible man.  Besides, this rest is exactly what he needs.  He is so tired he could lie down in the ditch and sleep until the dawn warmed his face in the morning.  Not distracted by walking, the environment seeps into his consciousness.  The ditch, he notices, is dark and damp.  Stiff weeds keep poking at him as if to keep him awake.  As uncomfortable as this spot is, he could still fall asleep like he was in his own bed.  With the headlights past him, he grudgingly lifts his bags, climbs out of the ditch, and keeps walking south.
         Many miles are between him and his old home now.  There still seems to be so many more miles in front of him.  Depression and doubt are setting in along with fatigue.  The feeling he abandoned his family is starting to haunt his thoughts.  He left his younger brothers and sisters with that monster of a man, and now he can’t protect his mother from her beatings.  The beatings he would divert by being beaten himself.  Tears start to fall freely off his cheeks as guilt starts to eat at his soul.  The bag straps are really digging into the muscles of his shoulders.  There is just no way to make them comfortable, and they are starting to get unbearably heavy.  “I am going to be sore in the morning,” he thinks to himself.  The shadows are starting to come alive.  In the trees of the shelter belts, in the weeds of the ditches, the shadows are looking ominously evil.  He can’t lie to himself.  These murky gray creatures are scaring the hell out of him.  He has gone beyond tired, and to top that off, it has started to sprinkle.  Now he is cold, lonely, emotionally worn out, and wet.
         Car lights are coming again.  Who in their right mind would be driving at two in the morning.  It doesn’t matter.  Let them come this time.  If he gets into another ditch, he won’t be able to climb out of it again.  His legs barely keep going at all now.  If it is his stepfather, he is resigned to take whatever happens.  He is to tired to care anymore.  It is amazing how fatigue steals one’s determination.  Luckily he doesn’t have to worry this time.  It is only a small truck.  Just as he starts to relax, he sees brake lights come on, and then reverse lights as the truck backs up.
         “Vincent, is that you?” the passenger asks.
         “Yes,” is the only answer he is strong enough to give.  The passenger is a friend of his from school.  The driver is another high school student, but he doesn’t know her that well.
         “Trouble at home again.”
         “Yes,” he has to fight hard to hold back the tears as he is forced to remember the pain once again.
         “Did your step dad…” the passenger starts.  Cutting off what he knows his friend is going to ask, the simply answers yes.
         “Jump in and we will give you a lift.  You can spend the night at our house,” says his friend.
         “Thanks, I am so tired,” is all he can say.  Putting his bags in the back, he gets in the cab.  He can feel himself start to relax.  His legs are numb and so is his mind.  God was definitely looking out for him tonight.  He still isn’t sure what is going to happen next, but now he feels more in control of his life and safer.
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