She is whimpering and shaking. Led Zeppelin pounds from his room down the hall, and he slams the door shut, finally. She has already cried twice that day, and this is now the third time. The first cause for tears was when she found out her best friend had been spreading shit about her, so she decided to call her up. What started out awkward and fragile, ended up horribly. She called her best friend up to see how she was doing and ask, well, why.
“Hey, Hannah, how are you? It’s ______.”
“It’s been a while.”
“Um yeah, I’m good, just eating.” (laugh)
“Yeah…um, I know this sounds really weird but I’m just going to say this…we haven’t been talking for like the past two weeks and I was wondering what’s up? Are we okay?”
”Well, not only that, but I heard you’ve been saying shit about me so-“
She called back multiple times. Finally she reaches her on messaging, and asks what’s going on. Unexpectedly her once “best friend” pours out how she is a wanna-be slut, a wanna-be druggie, how she thinks she is so cool and that everyone loves her but really no one does. Shocked, she reads the long paragraph and stares blankly at the screen for five minutes and lets out a dry sob. She will cry later, but she hates it so being hurt. She will not cry now; now, is the time to be a bitch.
It is ten minutes later that she signs off and curls up on her bed to weep silently. She tore into her “best friend”, saying the meanest and most vengeful comments she could let loose from her fingertips. At the end her “best friend” turns it around on her, saying she is a cruel and heartless bitch.
”I’m cruel Hannah? I’m the bitch here?”
“YOU ASKED FOR IT YOU WANTED ME TO TELL YOU”
“Of course I fucking wanted you to tell me why you were being so damn backstabbing. I didn’t realize what a fake plastic bitch you were”
After more exchanges of insults and stabs at self-esteem that will scar for life, they draw near to a close, with Hannah saying she can be mature and that they both know they are done with each other and that they have had good times.
”Well, _______, it’s been fun, at least I thought it was. We had good times, at least I thought we did, but I’m done with you and you’re done with me so we can be mature about this”
“Stop playing the victim, Hannah”
“You are. We did, and we are. I just wanted you to be mature in the first place but you didn’t seem capable of that”
They end on what to outsiders would seem a decent note, considering the way the middle of the performance played. But the note is to her ears jarring and painful, a terribly deceiving chord that is struck. Her woman’s intuition and her understanding of the ways of girls screams at her that it’s not over; the last two weeks of school will be a hell consisting of rumors, backstabbing, plastic smiles, and loss of more fake friendships.
But at least though her self-esteem and trust and heart took a beating, she didn’t whimper.
She whimpers now because her brother just gave her a physical beating.
It began at 4:47 when she was on his computer.
She is sitting at his desk checking her poetry page as he walks in, and stares at her.
“Why the hell are you always on my computer? Get out.”
“I can’t use my laptop, you know it’s broken. Give me like 15 minutes, I need to type some homework up too, anyways.”
“No, I want to use the computer and my room, you’re in here all the time, Fatty, go to your own room.”
”Fine 15 fucking minutes and that’s it.”
”Whatever. Stop being such an asshole.”
They both turn to their own devices, disgusted with each other. She exits out of her page and begins typing up an English essay draft. He messes around with some clothes and then pulls out some homework. He sits on his bed and turns on the boom box in the corner with Led Zeppelin, of course, blasting away.
“Mark, turn that down. I can’t concentrate.”
”It’s my room, you don’t like it, then leave.”
”You know I need to use the computer and this is the only computer available, stupid. Turn it down. And that’s my boom box anyways, you shouldn’t be stealing my shit without my permission. That’s like the 4th time you’ve done that. If you don’t turn it down, I’m taking it back.”
She turns it down. He gets pissed.
“You know what take the fucking boom box and get the hell out.”
She grabs her stuff and turns to leave. She steps out into the living room where she begins writing it out nicely and praying her teacher will accept it for at least some credit. She is just beginning her work as Led Zeppelin once again wails from down the hall.
“MARK TURN THAT SHIT OFF IT’S FUCKING TAKING OVER THE WHOLE HOUSE! AT LEAST CLOSE YOUR DOOR!”
“SHUTUP AND STOP BITCHING AT ME”
She storms over and slams the door shut. He opens it up again as she walks away. Pissed, she runs back and slams it hard to block out the music. He opens it and they glare at eachother.
“Don’t you fucking touch my door.”
”THEN SHUT IT YOURSELF IDIOT!”
“I’ll leave it open if I want, so fuck off.”
She slams it shut again.
He bangs it open and angrily stares at her.
“Stay the fuck away from my door or else!”
Defiant little girl. She shuts it.
“I said, STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM MY DOOR! STAY THE FUCK AWAY!”
He grabs her with ferocity. Startled, she drops what she is carrying as she is pushed backwards into the wall. But the shock wears off as instinct for survival kicks in and she begins to fight back. But though they are a year apart, he has not been working out for nothing. His strength far surpasses her own, and his rage scares her more than she will ever admit out loud.
“STAY THE FUCK AWAY FROM MY DOOR! STAY THE FUCK AWAY!”
They fight. He punches her body, her face. She hits back with all the strength she has, but she is frail from throwing up her meals. She is no match, and she realizes this as he bangs her head repeatedly into the side of the door. She will not go down without a fight. He will not go down. They both know this. She pummels as best as she can, kicks, till they get up and wipe their faces.
Her head is spinning, she is dizzy, and she aches though she will not cry. She never cries for that kind of pain.
“YOU ASSHOLE! I can’t believe you! YOU SUNAVABITCH LET’S GO FUCKER!”
He gets up and suddenly, he is the bigger person.
“I’m not going to fight you.”
She is disbelieving. She stares lost at him, then spits on his turned back. She gathers her stuff and storms out of the room, yet again. She is unsettled, she is scared, she is in a panicky state of mind. She runs to the garage where she weeps till her eyes hurt from dispelling her heart’s flood. She writes a poem on her garage floor. She hears the car of her mother pulling in and she wipes her face, sighs, and resigns herself.
There is interaction with her mother.
She enters in her diary before she runs away from it all, on a well-worn path of dirt, leaves, and broken dreams that her feet know way too well.
It’s about 5:15 and Mom just got back from errands. Her timing was just fantastic; she missed her precious son banging the side of my head into the door. It began over me wanting his door shut, because he was playing that goddamned music so loud...my head my head my face! I feel so dizzy and sick, how can he do that to me? HOWOWOWOWOW, diary, how could he hurt me so much? He knows I don’t stand a chance against him, he’s too big, too strong, too DAMN HIM…ow… And so now, diary, I need to run, I need to let go, I need to try to save myself, because no one else will. I am trying to stop all this pain I use to get rid of the other pain. I am trying something else. I’m giving cutting a rest…people are getting suspicious of the excuses used when they catch sight of the cuts…no matter how hard I try to hide them, somehow my cover always almost slips. Perfection diary, not real perfection, a mask of it. That’s the only way to exist acceptably.
Need. To. Run.
But she, not paying attention to my bruise on the side of my head and the tears streaked down my face, told me no way in hell was I going out of this house when I should be studying instead of socializing all the time, that I never help, so I am not allowed out.
Well, I tried calling Dad to see if I was allowed to run, but he didn’t pick up again. So I had another screaming fight with mom in which we exchanged, “I hate you”, “evil bitch”, and “I wish you weren’t in my life”. On both our parts. So I ran out of the house and she threatened to call the cops and have me riding back to the house in a cop car. I know she won’t though no way, not after that social worker and cop came the other day thanks to my dickhead of a French teacher who thinks that calling the cops will solve everything, will warn the parents, will fix the family, just because he had “one experience” similar…well he doesn’t have my experience now, and he isn’t me. And now it’s just worse. That stupid bitch, blaming that whole thing on me. I tried so hard to cover it up I can’t cover everything up, not enough concealer, not enough smiling; slip once, you’re under their eyes, looked down upon forever.
“Mom I swear to God I didn’t say anything! MOM, I SWEAR! I WOULDN’T DO THAT, MOMMMMM!”
“______, how could you DO that! How dare you! Go around telling everyone everything, you are so ungrateful! What are you trying to do, you brat, the shame of this!”
“Mom, please stop being such a bitch and listen to me! I swear to you! It’s okay I’ll take care of it, I’ll just tell them, please Mom, please. I’m sorry okay!!! I am! But I didn’t say it!”
“Don’t YOU EVER CALL ME THAT AGAIN, you are so EVIL! I am calling your father and you are not going anywhere don’t give me that lip!”
“Mom just leave me the fuck alone okay!!! YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE HELL I WENT THROUGH TO TRY AND COVER THAT UP OKAY! I TRIED GODDAMMIT JUST LEAVE ME ALONE!!!”
“WATCH YOUR MOUTH YOU HORRIBLE GIRL! WHY ARE YOU ALWAYS CAUSING ALL THESE PROBLEMS? First the hospital bills, then the cuts, cigarettes, weed, WHAT ELSE DO YOU HAVE TO SHAME THIS FAMILY! YOU ARE THE ONLY child that does this what are you trying to prove! YOU HAVE NO CONTROL! I am YOUR mother; I am IN CHARGE! YOU HAVE NO SAY!”
“SHUTUP MOM SHUTUP SHUTUP SHUTUP I HATE YOU I DON’T CARE I DON”T CARE GO TO HELL!”
She runs out.
Later, yet another entry in her diary:
For once I have decided not to talk to you about my issues, since we both know you love hearing me bitch and moan so much…I am sooooo tired…well, I’m…just going to talk through you this time…okay, let’s see how this goes.
Daddy. Oh, oh, Daddy,
What happened to your baby girl?
The one you used to toss and catch in the air
And play with her curls
Well Daddy, you tossed and you let go
Now where she’ll land she doesn’t know
And all she cries for is to go home
But home is where it hurts
Daddy, daddy, why, oh why
Must you control her?
Please don’t make her cry
Don’t smack her like that
It hurts more than you know why
She loves you; but she knows you just refuse to know
The hell she lives in when you’re not home
How can you let her live such agony?
And then you hide behind your papers
And pretend you don’t see
Hand her your money, but take away your time
Give her things
But never what she needs
Daddy, you’re letting your baby girl die
Brother. Oh, my baby brother,
Daddy’s son and the delight of my mother,
Growing up, raised together
And endured so much; you’ve never been better
Than you are now, and little brother
I’m really proud
You’re the pride and joy of the family
You’re everything Mom and Daddy wanted you to be
I know I’m disappointing
Next to your steel, I’m a stain
The spotlight’s not right for me
And I’m too preoccupied with pain
But maybe, little brother, if you can spare
I’d like some leftover love, if you think you can share
Or maybe less taunting, and less mockery
Stop saying I’m fat and stupid
Stop adding to my misery
You have no idea, what it is to be a shadow
You have no idea; you’re too perfect and shallow
Mom. Oh, Mom.
Where did we go wrong?
When did we go from a mother and daughter
To a bitch and a brat, and this internal slaughter
Mommy, Mommy, I want your approval so
I want your comforting me
I want your hold
Why couldn’t you ever sing me to sleep?
Did you realize all the time I would weep?
Actually, Mommy, when the nightmares came
When the monsters and demons drooled
And showed all their fangs
And when you made the little girl stay in the dark of her room
And just told her to pray
She’d shiver and just a little, she’d cry
Then she’d shut her eyes tight
And whisper her own lullaby
And now the only song you sing to her
Is that of lectures
With a chorus of, “You’re a failure,”
And a bridge of , “Why can’t you be better?”
I love hearing that I’m always wrong
And that I’m not as good as you want
I love hearing I’m too dumb
I’m sorry that I’m out-of-control
And that I’m rude and wild
I’m sorry that I’m “a waste of your life”
But Mommy…I’m still your child
Can’t you open your ears and heart
And let your daughter in?
Put down your fist and look at me
I already have cuts and bruises on my skin
“Cause of all your problems”
”Crazy, psychotic, evil, mean,” okay
I’m sorry I’m tearing apart this “family”
And by the way Mom, I don’t pray
So Mommy, at night, I listen to you and Daddy fight
And your nagging and screaming and Dad’s thunder
And the hits and cries that burn and bite
And though my brother slept peacefully
I didn’t end up so lucky
So don’t wonder why I can’t sleep at night
And Daddy, you can ignore me and my problems
But the drugs and the booze won’t
And neither will this knife
And if you insist on denying all this
I will end my own strife
And baby brother, be as perfect as you please
You’re not the one down on your knees
And looking at your lunch in the swirl of water
Trying to be a beautiful and perfect daughter
You don’t see the scars on arms and thighs
You don’t get lost in the liquor and the highs
And you never wish you could disappear or die
Because if you did, they would cry
I’m sorry family, that I’ve turned out so bad
I guess I wasn’t included in the family plan
I don’t know how to tell you how much this hurts for me to write. But screaming and violence is what I grew up in, with hatred the soundtrack to my life.
This is far from poetry
No, poetry is beautiful, poetry is made of angel’s wings and
Dark blood and summer’s thoughts
This is the journal of a sad girl, trying to explain to herself why she isn’t loved.