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Split Lips - Short Story

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posted on Nov, 19 2015 @ 03:05 AM
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I wrote this short story a few years ago and wanted to share. This is a fictional work that deals with heavy content, I apologize if it makes you uncomfortable.

* * *

Mother’s best advice was never cry. She took his beatings silently, head held high. When Mother got a job that he let her keep to pay for his booze and bills, he began abusing me instead when she was out. At first I cried; he beat me harder. I began crying only after he left me a trembling mess on the moldy carpet in my dark room. Mother didn’t know at first. I couldn’t tell her. But she found out one night when she came home and I hadn’t cleaned myself up; he was furious and beat me again, forcing Mother to watch, and I cried. She held me on the red couch, the only furniture in my small room. She combed my hair and sang lullabies. Many of the comb’s teeth were broken and her voice cracked as she sang softly to me, but I calmed down. As soon as she left I began to cry again, alone in the dark.

Then Mother died. I cried until I could cry no more. No tears on swollen cheeks, no gasping with split lips and cracked ribs. He said it was an accident. Mother left for work in the afternoon, and did not come back. He left me alone for hours, locked in my room, and came back with a stricken face. A bus had run a red light and hit her, harder than he ever did. He left me alone the rest of the week. After Mother’s funeral, he returned with groceries. He bought non-perishables, things that would keep for long periods of time—that was normal—but had also picked out a box of oatmeal cookies. Something I had not seen since my kindergarten days, before he went sour and stopped buying us things, before he pulled me out of school and kept me here. Mother had said at first that it was because he was angry at losing his job, being unable to work. Then she said it was the pain. Then it was the booze and she didn’t need to explain things anymore. I was amazed. He had shown me little, if any, kindness in a long time. He removed the blackout curtains from the small window in my room to let some natural light in. He stopped frowning when he gave me food. A week after that he bought me a new nightdress to wear, white and silky and clean. He began running baths for me and even bought new soap and a sponge.

He came into my room one night, his tall bulky figure lingering in the doorway, a shadow surrounded by sickly yellow light which pooled into my room a short way, highlighting the ugly peeling wallpaper and stained carpet. Then he stepped forward and his face was twisted in the dark. I cowered in the corner from him but in three long strides he was in front of me, yanking me out of the corner by my hair, throwing me bottom up over the arm of the couch, onto the red cushions. He pulled my white nightdress up, the only thing that fits me now, exposing my skin, which still smelled of soap. I didn’t cry. He said nothing, just grunted a few times, pushing my face into the couch. I didn’t scream, or kick and fight, I didn’t beg to be left alone. I didn’t cry. I was limp, and he was gentler. I focused on Mother’s comb, tucked between the cushions of the couch, left where I could find it, where it would stay safe. That’s all Mother ever wanted for us, why she clung to her hope. I reached out and pulled the comb from the cushions and clung to it, eyes staring blankly at a loose upholstery button. I didn’t cry. When he finished, he left me on the couch, nightgown twisted and my gut more so. I numbly pulled my limbs in and curled up. I didn’t cry. He made a gruff, strangled noise behind me, and wrenched the comb from my hands. I heard the snap as he broke it in two, and the muffled sound of the pieces falling to the grimy carpet, followed by his heavy footfalls receding. I didn’t cry.

* * *

Thanks for reading, let me know what you think.




posted on Nov, 19 2015 @ 03:16 AM
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a reply to: Alexithymia

It's great writing it's a tale of abuse, and a hard one.



posted on Nov, 19 2015 @ 02:25 PM
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Man, I really felt the emotions in this! Good job!



 
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