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Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Drama · #969081
Kiah is living in a broken abusive home, can she survive?
Almost Forgotten

In the living room of the house on 6th street, is a dirty mattress placed up against the wall. There’s a television set, older than the house itself, with a broken screen placed on the wall farthest from the mattress. The old couch with fabric print from the 80’s sits lopsided, diagonal against a corner of the room. Needles and garbage litter the floor. In the middle of the room, Kiah’s parents stand arguing, they did this on most nights if they were home. Kiah, a cute little girl, only six years old, hides behind the couch in the corner, hoping that her mommy and daddy don’t start to hurt each other again. Realizing that this will probably be an all night fight, Kiah curls up in a ball and tries to fall asleep.
In the morning Kiah wakes up to find both of her parents gone. This wasn’t an unusual thing. Climbing over the couch she walked across the living room to the broken kitchen. She opened the fridge and realized that it wasn’t working anymore; what little food that had been in there was soiled and smelly. Her little tummy growled with hunger, having no dinner the night before. She opened up all the cupboards until she found an old box of cheerio’s to munch on. She dug her tiny fingers into the box. “Eghk!” she screamed; a mouse ran up her arm and jumped onto the floor. Feeling that here were no more mice in the box, she popped some cheerio’s into her mouth. On the occasions that she got to go to school, she would eat everything she could, but a lot of times, her mother wasn’t home to take her, and she couldn’t find it on her own.
These were the days that were most boring for Kiah; the ones where her parents were gone all day because there was nothing for her to do but sit around and wait for them. Kiah didn’t have any toys because her parents had never bought any for her. For a while, Kiah was friends with the girl next door named Sarah, but after a while Sarah stopped playing with her. She didn’t know why, but one day Kiah overheard Sarah’s mom yell at her mom that Kiah was always dirty and smelly. After that, Kiah’s mom wouldn’t even let her talk to Sarah.
Kiah went and sat on the couch and stared up at the ceiling. She started to count all the holes. She already knew how many there were because she counted them a lot. Soon her stomach was still growling but she didn’t get up to eat. She was so used to the hunger, that she didn’t even really notice it. After about an hour the front door opened and her mom stumbled in laughing and smiling with a man fallowing behind her. Her mother used to be an attractive woman. Her once flowing brown hair was now dyed blonde and very brittle. Her strong piercing blue eyes were now dull and gray. She was now rail thin and looked like a walking skeleton. Her baggy skin and scars didn’t keep her from wearing old worn out jean shorts and a t-shirt that was small enough for a two year old; it hung off her mother. Her mother and her new friend walked right past the front room into the hallway and disappeared into a back bedroom. Neither of them seemed to notice Kiah sitting on the couch. For the next 30 minutes, there were noises coming from the bedroom. Her mother was screaming and the guy was making weird noises too.
Soon, the man walked out of the bedroom, fallowed by her mother. He reached into his wallet, and handed some money to her. He took a glance a Kiah, then down at his wallet again. He reached back into it and handed Kiah’s mother some more money. He didn’t say anything, he just left.
Kiah’s mother was smiling. She looked at Kiah and then walked over to her. “How are you sweetie? You doing ok?”
“Yea” Kiah answered, playing shyly with her toes.
“Ok, well that’s good then.” She paused briefly. “You know that man was just a friend of mommy’s. Just like the others. Daddy doesn’t like any of mommy’s friends so if he asks what are you going to say?” she paused again to wait for Kiah’s answer. “Do you remember?”
“Uh huh.” She murmured. “I say that I didn’t see anyone in here.”
“That’s right baby, why do we say that?”
“Cause’ daddy don’t like any of your friends an’ we don’t want to make him mad.”
“That’s good sweetie.” Her mother, still squatted in front of her, reached into her back pocket and pulled out a 5 dollar bill. “Now lets go down to the minute mart on the corner and get you some food.” They both stood up together and walked out the front door. Neither of them said anything the whole way to the store. When they got there Kiah went into the store alone. The man behind the counter didn’t like Kiah’s mom in the store, but he was always nice to Kiah. Sometimes he gave her food for free. Kiah grabbed a soda and some chips off the shelves and walked up to the counter.
“You keep your money.” said the clerk with a smile. “And you take this with you too.” And he handed her a big hot dog. “How are you?”
“Good. Thank you.” replied Kiah. She put the money in her back pocket to save for later and left the store. Outside she looked around for her mom and spotted her getting into the car with another of her friends. “Mommy!” she yelled, but her mom didn’t hear her and the car drove away.
Kiah slowly walked home with her hotdog in hand. It seemed like such a long walk all by herself. When she got home her dad’s truck was in the driveway. Wondering what kind of mood he was in, Kiah walked into the house. Sitting on the couch in the front room was her father. He was only 32 but he looked like he was 50. His messed up black hair was thinning, and his brown eyes were sunken into his head. Years of alcohol and drugs had taken a toll on his body, and much like his wife, he was all baggy skin and bones. He wore a faded black t-shirt and a pair of tight jeans, both with many holes in them. In his left hand was a bottle of beer. “Where were you?” he asked softly, almost like he was half asleep. Kiah knew he didn’t really want an answer so she let him go on. “No doubt off sleazing with your no good mother; I knew it was only a matter of time before she had you doing it to.” Kiah waited to see if he was finished talking. “So, how many men did she bring home today” Thinking it was another one of those questions he didn’t want an answer to, Kiah didn’t say anything. Getting angry he stood up. “ I said, how many men did she bring home today?!”
“Uh...um...” Kiah could only stutter before her father started to get angrier. He threw his bottle of beer at the wall behind Kiah’s head, shattering the glass so it rained along with beer onto her head.
“God damn it!” he screamed “Why don’t you just fucking tell me! She’s got you lying for her now! I know they were here! That stupid tramp brings em’ here and don’t think I know it!” Kiah was scared. She hated it when her daddy got out of control like this. She tried not to cry but she couldn’t help it. “Oh so now you want to cry?!” He walked over to Kiah and put his hands on her shoulder. She could smell the alcohol on his breath. “You better shut those damn faucets off!” he yelled at her. This only made her cry harder. “I said, stop fucking crying!” He raised his hand behind him and slapped her across her face; she fell to the ground. Her father stood up, and looked down at her. He walked out of the house, leaving the door open behind him, got into his truck and drove away.
Kiah waited a good five minutes before picking herself up off the floor. She wiped her eyes on her shirt, and noticed she was bleeding. She went into the bathroom to look at herself in the mirror. Glass from her father’s beer bottle had cut her face when she had fallen to the floor. Still shaken, she took some toilet paper, stuck it to her face and went back to the front room. The door was still open so she shut it. She walked over to where her hot dog had fallen on the floor and picked it up. Wiping the glass from the bun, she took a bite. She picked up the bag that contained the soda and chips and climbed over the couch to sit behind it. This was her safe place. She felt like no one could hurt her if she stayed back here. After filling her tummy, she put all the garbage under the couch. She was tired so she curled up into a ball to take a nap.
She woke up later, and heard her mother and father talking quietly on the other side of the couch. They both seemed to be in a good mood, so she peaked over the couch to see. They were both sitting on the mattress. Her father had a long rubber tube tied around his upper arm, and he was tying one around her mother. They were quiet now as her father picked up one the needles off the floor and put it into a small butter dish. When he removed it from the dish he held it straight up and flicked it with his finger to remove the air. Kiah knew this because he had once showed her how he did it. He took her mother’s wrist and she pumped her hands a few times. Her father stuck the needle into her arm on the back side of her elbow. Her arm twitched a bit and then it relaxed. Her mother leaned against the wall, and closed her eyes. She looked over at her father who was repeating the process, and putting the needle to his own arm. Knowing what would come next, Kiah sunk back behind the couch. She knew that after a while of them both relaxing against the wall, they would eventually start to fight. She wanted to be asleep when they did so maybe she could sleep through it.
Kiah was wrong. She woke up to the screaming. Out of routine, she scooted closer to the couch; making it harder for them to see her if they glanced over to the corner.
“You whore!” her father screamed at her mother “Always bringing those men over to my house!”
“Oh shut up! I didn’t bring anyone here; you’re just a paranoid drunk!”
“Your little mini tramp told me everything! I’m sick of your shit Lisa! All this lying!”
“Oh please, the girl was lying! You know how she is!”
“She’s a liar like her mother!” her father yelled, Kiah could tell he was getting angrier and angrier.
“Well, if you would bring some money home I wouldn’t have to make it other ways!” her mother accused.
“Whore!” Kiah heard her father scream; she heard her mother scream, and heard her mother hit the wall. Kiah couldn’t help peeking around the corner to see if her mother was ok. Her mother was crumpled on the mattress, and her father was standing in the middle of the room.
“I’m through with your shit!” he told her. “You’re an unfaithful, ungrateful tramp, and I’m gonna’ give you exactly what I should have given you along time ago.” Kiah was still peering from behind the couch, and her father looked over and spotted her. “And you! You’re a tramp just like your mother!” Realizing that she had been seen, Kiah scrambled back behind the couch, but it was too late. Her father appeared over the couch and reached behind it to grab her. He got a hold of her arm and pulled her with great force over the couch. Kiah started to cry from the pain in her arm and because she was afraid. “What did I tell you about that crying shit?!” he yelled at her. He threw her hard against the wall next to her mother. Kiah hit her head against the wall and blacked out for only a second. When she opened her eyes, her father was coming from the hallway with something in his hand.
“I should have done this a long time ago!” He said. Kiah realized what was in his hand and screamed while crying again. Only fear kept her from running. She looked over at her mother who was half lying, half sitting up against the wall. She didn’t seem completely aware of what was going on. Kiah was still screaming and crying. “Oh shut up!” her father said aiming the gun at her mother’s head.
“Da… da… daddy! Pleeeeasssse!” Kiah screamed, but her father pulled the trigger. There was a loud bang, and everything went silent for just a second. Kiah looked over at her mother, whose face was unrecognizable and screamed so loud her throat was hurting. She looked up at her father who was smiling with pleasure at what he had just done. The gun was now pointed at Kiah. She was still crying and shaking with fear, but she could hear her father anyway.
“This is for being mommy’s little tramp.” Kiah thought there would be more but there wasn’t. He pulled the trigger. There was a loud noise, and that was all she heard, before everything was black.
“I think they’re all dead.” Kiah heard voices. She could hear someone crying softly. “I can’t believe this.” Kiah tried to say something; she tried to tell them she wasn’t dead, but she couldn’t even make a noise. She felt a cool hand rest on her neck. “This one’s alive!” yelled a voice. The voice seemed so far away. She felt herself being lifted onto what seemed like a bed, and that was the last thing she could remember.
It was months before Kiah could talk again. Her dad had shot her with two bullets, the first in the leg, and when she had blacked out from pain, he had shot her in the neck. Then he had turned the gun on himself. The bullet had only taken a chunk out of her neck. That was what made it hard for her to talk. When Kiah had awoken in the hospital about a week after her parents had died, the first person she seen was an old lady and an old man. When they had seen that she had opened her eyes, they rushed over to hug her. “Kiah?” they said, “Do you know who we are.” Kiah couldn’t speak, so she shook her head a little, although it hurt to do so. Kiah couldn’t stay awake for very long, and she fell back asleep before they could say.
When she woke up again, she didn’t open her eyes, but she listened to the soft voices in her room. “I’m just sorry I didn’t do something before, I never called, I could have saved this from happening.” Kiah thought it as the voice of the old women in her room. Then a male’s voice, maybe a doctor spoke.
“Well, we all have our shoulda’, coulda’, woulda’s, just be thankful that she’s alright and alive today. She should be able to leave here in about another two weeks.” Kiah heard the door open and then heard it shut. She opened her eyes and seen the old couple again. They spoke to her, and she loved them right away.
“We’re your grandparents Kiah, and we’re here to take you home.”
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