A very personal experience. I have much more to build on to this.
|She sits alone in her room with the oversized headphones on again, drowning out the ugly world around her. Music pulls her into a life that she longs for, the dreams, the fantasies, the places that are filled with pure love and happiness that are far away from what she knows as home. Within the melody she finds herself laying in the cool, crisp grass of a meadow surrounded by enormous trees that wave slowly back and forth in the breeze that flows all throughout this perfect place. She stretches her arms outward allowing her fingertips to glide over each blade of grass while the sun warms her body and dances over her long strawberry blonde curls. In this place she feels beautiful, she is worthy and has peace. Here she can be the adult that lives within her twelve-year old body.
Reality is revisited with a large crash from the next room. It’s him. She lifts the left headphone up just enough to try and make out what could be happening. Crack. Crack. Crack. The noises get louder and more frequent. He is in the room next to hers, his den, his lair, the place where he does all of his dirty deeds, but she wonders what on earth he could be up to now. Bang. Crack. Thud. She can hear his voice rising in anger, filth spewing forth again. This isn’t anything unusual, not enough to even make her cringe anymore. The fear stopped a long time ago. She listens carefully for her mother’s voice, but everything is silent. Mom must be hidden away as well. She lets the headphone snap back against her ear to escape once again.
Moments pass as she tries to push his noises out of her head, a feeble attempt to focus solely on the music. A jolt shoots through her body when the bedroom door flies open and she sees him standing over her. The look of pride on his red, sweaty face is followed closely by insanity. With stammering excitement he boasts, “I thought through, not on, but through!! Come see.” The young girl doesn’t care what he did now, but she knows he will be displeased if she doesn’t at least pretend to be interested. She was used to these drugged up and drunken stupors of his, she knew how to play along, had learned that she had no better choice.
The girl’s tiny frame hesitates and then follows him into the doorway of the room next to hers. She refuses to step all the way in, but can clearly see that he has managed to reduce what used to be a perfectly good barstool into tiny splinters and shards. Relieved that this time the loud noises weren’t from the cocking of his pistol, she lets him pull her further into the room. He again reports, “I thought THROUGH, not on, but THROUGH”. She suddenly realizes he’s reflecting upon a lesson straight out of the Karate Kid. A part of her wants to find the scene before her funny, but only because she won’t let the fear touch her anymore. How would she survive otherwise? She manages to put an unnerved smile on her face and give her dad a bit of a “way to go”. Just keep him happy and maybe he would stay away.
It wasn’t enough for him; she could see that on his face as it grew from drunken enthusiasm into drunken anger. He had caught her at her game and now she knew she would pay for it. She never did do anything right.
She sits alone in her room with her enormous headphones, smiling.