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Rated: 13+ · Fiction · Emotional · #2273556
Written for Personification Contest - Personify a Journal
She writes such sad things, Amanda does. I take it all in, those words, and sometimes I get soaked with her tears. She tells me things that she wouldn't dare speak out loud to anyone. No, Amanda couldn't speak those words with her soft quiet voice. But I'm thick and I've got a strong hard back so I can speak for her.

Manda Panda is what her father calls her. Says she's his "favorite girl" when he picks her up early from school after lying to the office about a non-existent doctor or dentist appointment. Amanda told me the truth though. She said he takes her to get her favorite milkshake at the Dairy Queen - made with banana, strawberry and peanut butter - and then they come home while the house is yet quiet and empty. What she told me next made my pages curl at the corners with sadness. The binding on the page she wrote on became unglued because I just couldn't hold it together.

As the middle one of three sisters, he singles her out for special treats like the Dairy Queen or giving her an extra five dollars to spend when she and her sisters take the city bus to the mall some Saturdays. Amanda says he slips it in her hand as they are leaving and winks at her. She knows this coded message between them means, "Don"t tell your sisters."

Amanda writes things that express the guilt and confusion she feels by her father's "special" treatment of her. She says she likes and doesn't like it at the same time. She likes being called Manda Panda by her father when they're in public and The Prettiest Sister of All when they're alone. But even at eleven years old she knows this isn't right.

Just the other day she wrote,

"Daddy gives me things he doesn't give to Claudia or July and I have to hide them from them. Those things are not free!!. Later he'll ask me to do things that I don't like to do."

Now when he comes into her room she says she doesn't even cry anymore. She saves those tears for when he's gone and she's alone with me.

Her youngest sister, Claudia is nine and July, the eldest, is thirteen. Amanda has been confiding in me ever since their mother died two years ago. She told me how Claudia started wetting the bed and even peeing her pants at school back then. The school nurse had told their dad it was the stress of Claudia losing her mother and would stop with time. During the same time she added,

"July, stopped speaking to dad, she avoids him and won't even hardly look at him; like she's mad for something. She's got Claudia sleeping in her room now on an old cot she found in the basement. Claudia hasn't wet that cot once! She told me I should move to her room too and I was gonna but Dad said I was too mature for such foolishness and it would make him sad and lonely so I didn't"

After two years of faithfully holding all of Amanda's secrets I am literally bursting at the seams. I can't hold much more, I'm so filled with this sweet girl's pain. I must do something to help her.

I know July likes to snoop around in Amanda's room when she's gone, looking for evidence of what she suspects is going on. I heard her doing it! Amanda even wrote to me,

"Someone's been going through my things and I think its July! If she finds my piggy bank she's gonna ask where did I get all that money so I have to keep it hidden well."

But what I know and Amanda doesn't is that July already knows about the sly exchanges of dollars slipped into Amanda's hand when their father thinks she's not looking. July's not after the money. She's after me! While she was prowling in Amanda's room one day, her fingertips reaching very near me on the closet shelf, she was talking to herself and I heard her say,

"I know he's giving Amanda extra money and I know why . Claudia got stiff as a board when I asked her if anybody did anything to her and wouldn't talk for days. Amanda won't tell but I know she puts everything in that journal. That's why I'm gonna find it. And when I do I'm gonna take it to that nurse at Claudia's school."

That's what I heard July saying. I hope she finds me where Amanda keeps me stashed in a corner of her closet shelf.

Whoa, wait a minute. What's that? Who's that?

There's a hand reaching towards me in the back right corner of Amanda's closet shelf and it ain't Amanda's! I know because I've seen her hand many times.

Oh, my, it isJuly! I can hear her talking out loud to herself again,

"Where's that darn journal? I'm not gonna stop till I find it!"

I can hear her grunting and straining. I think she must be on tippy-toe stretching to feel around up here where I am. Her fingers are so close to touching me in the back right corner. Stretch, July. Stretch! I want to scream. Oddly enough I can hear, but I can only speak by being opened and read. Oh, I have an idea!

Amanda once told me that when her father comes into her room she concentrates real hard on being some place else. I want to be some place else right now. I want to be in July's hands and I'm focusing on that really, really hard. Come on July, reach for me. Reach! Her fingers are brushing the edge of my pages now. Oh, my - she's got me! I feel s-o-o--o-o-o-o good. I feel the tension leaving my spine as the corners of my pages uncurl.

WC: 986
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