When Emily’s father died her life changed… her life became a living hell. This happened when her stepdad named Trevor entered her life. He has been abusing her physically and inflicting the same pain over and over again; which is the same thing he’s imposing to Emily’s mom…
Your Death Left Me Battered & Bruised
Pain is feeling your muscles, your mind, your bones burn with an angry flame. Pain is feeling that flame seep it's way deep into your brain. Pain and agony eats you up slowly from the inside, tearing off flesh after flesh. Experiencing pain can tumble you downwards into one of the scariest, deepest, darkest holes. You scratch at the walls of pain, your nails digging deep in as you desperately try to climb out and be free. It doesn't work.
I experience pain every single day.
"Next time, do as I tell you! No questions asked!" Trevor roared, standing over my petite body. His face is burning red, seething with anger. I push myself as far into the wall as I can, my entire body shaking with fear. My heart is beating wildly against my chest, the sound of it echoing in my ears.
Whatever you do, don't look him in the eyes Emily.
His hands curl up into a tight fist and I immediately shrink into myself, screaming out as they crash down onto my body.
"Please stop! You don't have to do this!" I yell, pleading with him. My screams of agony fall upon deaf ears so I give up and lie there emotionlessly, letting him torture me like his little rag doll.
I stare at my reflection in the mirror and sigh, hastily wiping the tears away from my eyes. I refuse to cry. . . That's exactly what he wants. He wants me to suffer and I would never give him the satisfaction of knowing I already am.
A big clump of my dark brown, almost black hair is missing, the scalp throbbing painfully where he'd ripped it out. My finger trailed down my cheek, under my eye where the stinging is now turning into a tender blue bruise. It's times like this where I thanked God I have an olive skin tone.
The bruises don't show up as easily.
I bite my bottom lip and let out a small whimper as I attempt to lift my top to see the damage he'd inflicted. As expected the bruises run up my side but thankfully nothing feels broken.
How sad is it that I can tell the difference between a bruised and broken bone?
"Why did you leave me like this Dad?" I whisper, glancing at the frame on my bedside table. A photograph taken of me as a little girl. . . large brown eyes shining happily as I sat on my fathers shoulders, holding tightly onto his hair. His own eyes mirrored mine, a pearly smile so white and wide. Dad and I were inseparable.
I adored the ground my father walked on. Every time he entered the room, I craved his attention. Mum had taken the picture on my sixth birthday party. I remember that day so well, the way my father smiled at me as he sang 'Happy Birthday'. I remember him clutching the cake in front of him, telling me to make a wish and blow out the candles. He cheered and clapped so loud, it felt like I had my own personal cheerleading squad.
Dad died suddenly the following month leaving his only daughter behind with a shattered heart.
Ten years without the man I love and adore.
I shuffle towards my bed, sitting down on the edge of it. I lift the picture up to my lips, placing a gentle kiss over the glass. It feels cool against my lips and I close my eyes, taking slow breaths. I allow the oxygen to fill my lungs and calm my thoughts.
"Night night, sleep tight my little princess." Dad would say every single night, tucking me up tightly before leaving the room and closing the door over slightly.
He knew I didn't like the dark.
"Night night Daddy," I whisper, clutching the picture frame tightly to my chest.
I walk into college, scanning the crowds for my best friend, Trisha Lockwood. The friendship between Trish and I has always been peculiar to anyone looking in from the outside. I'm relatively quiet whereas Trish is loud and bubbly. My dark hair is the complete opposite to Trish's bright blonde locks. She wears pink skirts with frill tops whereas I prefer to stick with denim jeans and a simple t-shirt. The one thing I regret every day is not telling her about my stepfather.
It's been a secret for so long that I don't know how to tell her anymore. Trish knows I despise my stepfather and mother but doesn't question it often as she knows it's a sensitive subject.
The girl has the ability to make me laugh until my sides hurt . . . cherish the people in your life who can do that. Even though she's wild at times, I know she has a good heart. We've been friends for years now, first meeting each other in primary school. We clicked from the start, she's wild and I'm calm. I tame her behaviour and she inserts some craziness into my life.
Trish is surrounded by three boys which doesn't surprise me in the slightest. She receives enough male attention for the both of us. I watch as one of the boys lean in, whispering something in her ear. Trish immediately giggles like a love-sick school girl, batting her long eyelashes at him flirtatiously in return.
I roll my eyes and walked over to them, ignoring the pain flaring up my side from the simple movement. Images of my step father raising his fists last night cloud my mind, making my hands clench into tight fists. I'm not a violent character. . . I'm too scared to fight back. I tried once when I was twelve years old and ended up breaking my thumb.
How was I supposed to know I shouldn't tuck my thumb into my fist when punching?
Let's just say my thumb has never been the same after that accident. I chuckle at my own stupidity, shaking my head.
"What's funny Emily?" Trish asks, walking over to me and linking her arm through mine. The boys behind her appeared to be heartbroken at her lack of attention and I mentally roll my eyes again. I shake my head at Trish, giving her a small smile.
"Nothing, how was the concert this weekend?" I ask her eagerly, partly wanting to change the subject. Trish winces from the memories before letting out a small chuckle —
"First of all, I was so drunk, I ended up peeing in a bush."
I let out a loud laugh, shaking my head.
Typical Trish behaviour.
"What about the music? You know, the actual reason you wanted to go."
"The music was awesome but I enjoyed the boys a little more." Trish giggles, waggling her eyebrows in a suggestive manner.
"Meet any cute ones?" I respond, giving a brief wave to a group of girls walking past. Trish nods eagerly, her eyes lighting up —
"The cutest. Let me tell you all about it!" She giggles, dragging me towards a nearby chair. I take a seat and Trish inhales deeply before diving right into every male she encountered at the concert. Whilst she gushes about a handsome blonde, I quickly scan the room.
My eyes land on a hunched over figure at the back of the class. I frown, tilting my head to study him. He's wearing a grey jacket, the hood pulled right over to mask his features. His shoulders are broad and a hint of dark hair sticks out from under the hood. His right hand scrolls through his phone and his other is bandaged tightly. I raise my eyebrow at this.
"Hey Trish, who's the new boy?" I ask, interrupting her and signalling in his direction. I watch as her eyes widen once she notices who I'm referring to.
"That's Jake, don't give him any attention." Trish whispers under her breath, not wanting to be heard.
"Jake? As in Jake Melvin?" I ask, knowing the name well. All purely through gossip, of course. Trish nods, her eyes quickly scanning over him.
"He's beautiful but he gives me the creeps."
"Yeah. . ." I agree quietly, my gaze still fixed on Jake Melvin. He isn't surrounded by any friends but the confidence that oozes from him is undeniable. I know he's bad news but that doesn't stop the fact that he's very good looking. Despite the permanent scowl on his face. . .
Rumours fly around town about how Jake Melvin is involved in a local gang. He lives with his mum but no-one ever mentioned a father. People avoid Jake due to his dangerous reputation, nobody wants to get involved with the wrong side of the law.
Jake slowly lifts his head and raises an eyebrow at me, clearly catching me gawking at him. That's when I notice his eyes, a dangerous dark shade of blue. They narrow in my direction, flashing with hostility as he silently dares me to look away. I swallow the nerves, ignoring the way the small hairs on the back of my neck prickles with fear.
"I can see why he gives you the creeps."
His icy stare resembles Trevor, my step father. A chill runs up my spine and my fingers brush over the bruises on my side that continue to throb with pain. I close my eyes, images of Trevor beating me up yesterday flashing through my mind, again. I bite down hard on my lip in an attempt to stop the tears I can feel forming in the back of my eyes.
"Emily?" Trish says beside me, nudging me slightly. I snap my eyes open, giving her a reassuring smile. Trish smiles back before turning towards the teacher and I do the same. Her voice eventually dulls out until her words start blurring together, making no sense. It's hard to concentrate when all I can feel is the throbbing of my injuries.
I feel someone's burning stare from my right and I turn slowly, meeting eyes with Jake Melvin. The intensity in them causes me to suck in a breath and I know no matter how hard I tried, I'll never be able to replicate his intense gaze. He's sat in his seat facing me, his fingers rhythmically tapping away on the desk in front of him. His head is cocked to the right as he studies me, thick dark strands of hair almost falling over into his eyes.
I shudder from the effect of his piercing stare, an uneasy feeling settling inside my stomach. Jake doesn't blink once, challenging me to break eye contact. The corners of his lips twitch upwards into a victorious smirk as he notices how uncomfortable I'm becoming. I turn my head away from him, a shiver running down my spine.
Mental note to self —
Stay out of Jake Melvin's way, at all costs.
"Please Don't Hurt Me"
Walking home reluctantly, I turn the corner and take the chance to study our house. It isn't a home anymore. The front garden once full of various different flowers that my father cherished is now strewn with rubbish — flowers limp and black from years of neglect. I turn the key into the door and slowly push it open, trying to stop the annoying creak. The last thing I want is to wake the monster.
I know Trevor would be fast asleep in the living room by now. . . he has the same routine every day. I can hear his heavy breathing and loud snores before I even have a chance to step a foot inside. I imagine him snorting and rolling around in thick mud just like a pig and snigger, slapping a hand over my mouth.
He definitely resembles a pig, meaty pink bald head and round face with a stubby nose. I never understood what my mum see's in him besides from his bank balance.
Trevor is the manager of his own building site which used to be successful but lately his business took a turn for the worse. Instead of doing something about it, he wallowed in his own self-pity by drinking all day and smoking marijuana. Lucky me. Sometime's he'll get a large paying contract which means he's away from the house for a few weeks at a time which is absolute bliss to my ears. I'd eventually begin to relax and the nightmares would be less frequent but then he'd be back, wanting to blow off steam. . .
And I'm his punching bag.
He started off by hitting Mum until one day I stood in front of her in an attempt to protect her. No child should ever witness their mother being beaten by a red faced stranger. Seeing your mum cry out in pain and whimper in fear causes even the quietest of children to protect their family. Trevor hadn't taken my courage well, his whole face raging with anger. I remember standing my ground stubbornly which annoyed him further hence why he began to abuse me. Now I'm the only one who ever dealt with his shit. I'm the inconvenience child who's responsible for the failure of his business. Bullcrap.
Maybe it's his attitude. I despise violent people, especially the ones who prey on the weak and vulnerable. Trevor has always been a coward who wouldn't pick on anyone his own size. I know what you're thinking. . .
Go to the police, they can keep me safe.
Well you're wrong.
I couldn't go to the police, Trevor made sure of that. He'd constantly remind me of his police officer acquaintances who were always keeping an eye on me.
"If you tell anyone, I'll know straight away." He'd sneer in my face, eyes shining brightly from my torture. "And then, I'll come for you."
There's no doubt about it. . . I'm officially trapped in this hell hole until I turn eighteen. I'll have no money, no family and no roof over my head but that's better than the constant beatings.
My breathing hitches in my throat as I see Trevor stir in his arm chair, his hand clutching a can of beer. Please do not wake up. The smell of smoke instantly smacks me in the face causing me to gag. I take a step towards the stairs, quietly creeping past the door before making a run for it. I take the stairs two a time, going as fast as I can.
My heart pounds as I slam my bedroom door shut behind me and locked the chain, something I had to install myself. No way am I letting that psycho have access to my room. It's the only room in the house that I can call mine. I've lost everything else so I treasure my bedroom.
It's always presentable and clean, unlike the rest of the house. My walls are painted a crisp white with photo's hung on both sides. I want to keep the memories alive of when life was bliss. My bed sits in the corner of the room with a fur blanket over the top and various cushions in different shades of blues.
I have a white rug at the foot of my bed where I like to sit and do homework. I kick off my converse and grab a hair tie off the desk, pulling my long dark hair into a high ponytail. I wince as the pain flares through my throbbing scalp. It took me almost ten minutes trying to disguise the bald patch this morning.
I quickly change into pyjamas, grateful for the relief of getting out of my clothes. There's something so relieving about taking off your clothes and swapping them for comfort. I walk over to my mirror and take a makeup wipe to get rid of the little I wear. I mainly use it to cover up the occasional cuts and bruise. Trevor doesn't aim for my face usually as he knows I'll have a hard time covering it up . . . Sometimes he's accidentally catch me or I'd fall to the floor, hurting my face.
As I'm wiping the concealer away, I study my appearance in the mirror, wondering where it all went so wrong. I look exactly like my mother, high cheekbones with full lips and large brown eyes. When I was younger, she'd dress us in matching outfits and I smile at the memory, pain hitting my chest. Somewhere along the way, I lost my mother.
I don't think I'm ever going to get her back.
My phone begins ringing and I reach over for it, glancing at the screen. I frown at the flashing screen before sliding the answer button and holding the phone up to my ear.
"Hello?" I say uneasily.
I don't know what it is about unknown numbers, they always creep me out. A deep low voice answers almost immediately —
His voice is smooth, holding such confidence behind it. It sounds like he was smiling on the other end. I immediately felt my spine tingle and I shudder, a bad feeling settling inside my stomach.
"Who is this?" I ask, my heart picking up pace. I don't recognize the voice at all.
"It's your father."
His tone is calm yet cold, rid of any emotion. I stop breathing at his words, the man's chilling voice sending shivers down my body.
What the freakin' hell?
I hold my phone away from me, my hand trembling. Through the speaker, I hear him laugh down the phone. A deep laugh that causes every hair to stand up on the back of my neck. I hold the phone back up to my ear, ready to give this asshole a piece of my mind.
"Who is this? Is this your idea of a sick joke?"
He immediately hangs up, his laughter still echoing in my ear. I stare at the phone in disbelief, my mouth hung open in shock. I've never received such a disturbing phone call in my entire life.
I couldn't sleep that night, my father's face appearing in every single dream. He'd be smiling but then his face would contort in fear and pain. He'd reach his hand out, desperately trying to get a grip of mine. I'd hold on as tight as I could, telling him I wouldn't let go. No matter how hard I tried, he fell away from me each time before eventually disappearing. All that was left was darkness surrounding me, engulfing me in it's silence.
Hours passed where the nightmares continued over and over again so in the end I give up, lying wide awake in the dark and waiting for the sun to rise.
“I practically deep throat my cereal.”
Whenever Trevor leaves for work early, my morning starts off amazing. I wake up without feeling like I need to watch over my shoulder. I don't have to walk on tip-toes or silently wish he doesn't hurt me right before college. This morning, I take my time getting ready with a faint smile on my lips.
I often wonder when I'm smiling whether I'm allowed to with the thoughts swirling round in my head. How can I appear happy when in reality I'm miserable? I've always prided myself in my smile being the only thing Trevor cannot take away from me and despite the hell inside my mind, that won't change.
This particular morning, my smile doesn't last long. I glance around the kitchen, letting out a small sigh. The stench in here is almost unbearable and I try to ignore the rubbish littering the floors.
"This whole place is a damn mess," I mutter, clearing a section of the table so I can sit down with my cereal. The rest of the house besides from my room mirrored each other, filthy and cluttered. It wasn't always like this . . . Dad and Mum were so house proud until he died and everything went downhill.
I’m mid-way through crunching down on my golden balls cereal when Mum enters the kitchen. I glance at her from the corner of my eye, my shoulders automatically tensing in her presence. She takes a seat beside me, oblivious to the rubbish surrounding her. Trevor must have definitely burned eighty percent of her brain cells . . .
"What do you want?" I ask her abruptly, my tone hostile. Mum lets out a sigh and I feel her burning stare seep it's way into my face.
"Emily, don't speak to me like that."
"Do you not like it? Yeah neither do I when Trevor's laying into me." I mutter sarcastically, my words dripping with hate for her.
She doesn't deserve a chance to speak to me, I've given her too many. There comes a point in your life when you forgive multiple times because you care for someone but eventually you have to let go because they keep shitting all over your chances.
Mum clears her throat, acting completely oblivious to my anger and resentment towards her. I breathe calmly through my nose before taking another bite of my cereal.
"I just want to eat my breakfast in peace." I tell her, hoping she'll stand up and leave me alone.
"Your Aunt Mandy has invited us to her wedding. It's on Saturday and we're going whether you like it or not."
I practically deep throat my cereal and begin sputtering milk and half eaten cereal everywhere. The place is a mess so it doesn't really make much difference. . .
"What?" I ask in surprise, wiping my mouth with the back of my hand. I notice a new expensive looking watch perched onto her wrist — courtesy of Trevor, no doubt.
Aunt Mandy is my Mum's older sister who I haven't seen for nine years since my fathers funeral. From what I remember she's a big woman with black wild crazy hair who has a tendency to scream instead of talk. As far as I know, Mum hasn't spoken to her in nine years either. She's probably on her fifth husband by now but that doesn't suprise me.
Mandy goes through men like running tap water.
"Yes she wants to make amends with us and has invited us all to her wedding. Trevor is more than happy to go so I don't see what the problem is."
Her face practically glows when she speaks about Trevor.
Why is she so blind?
Can she not see the bruise under my eyes or my red scalp? Or hear my cries for Trevor to stop?
"I'm not going. There is no way in hell I am playing happy families with you and Trevor." I spit out furiously, shaking my head in disbelief.
Mum sighs and stands up, scraping the chair back against the tiled floor. She silently places money on the table in front of me.
"Buy yourself something nice for the wedding."
"I'm—not—going—Mum!" I hiss, the grip on my spoon tightening so hard it's beginning to bend. At this rate, my precious Golden balls will never get eaten.
Mum takes a step back and begins moving dishes around, attempting to tidy up. I stand up, ready to leave. Before I go, I hear her mumble under her breath —
"Trevor will make you so you're coming."
I freeze in my tracks and turn around to look at her. She's hiding behind her hair, avoiding eye contact ugh me. My heart begins to thump hard against my chest and I frown in confusion, unable to believe her words.
She's fully aware of the consequences if I disagree. She knows Trevor will hit me and she's threatening me with him?
Fresh tears sting my eyes but I refuse to let them drop. I hate her. She can't even look her own daughter in the eyes as she threatens to have me beaten if I disagree. I grab the money off the table and slam the kitchen door, running out of the house.
I need to put space between us before I go crazy.