I’m (Almost) Free
“You knew and didn’t tell me?”
The tears started rolling down my face, I couldn’t believe it. I ran to my bedroom while my mother’s voice repeated in my head, I’m being deployed, I’ll be gone for a year.
I kept crying and couldn’t stop. It wasn’t fair I would have to be alone with Charlie for an entire year. I can’t do this! I just can’t. Soon, I just cried myself to sleep.
I woke up to Charlie calling my name.
“Where’s Mom?” I asked Charlie,
“She went to buy a suit case; she’ll be home in an hour.”
He started touching me. I felt so uncomfortable, but last time I tried to stop him he hit me, hard. He told me next time it will be worse. I just stood there trying not to cry. He dragged me by my arm and pushed me on his bed.
Then we both heard my mother. He told me to pretend to sleep. I didn’t know what he would do if I didn’t so I just listened to him.
“Where’s Brianna?” my mother asked,
“Ummm….” Charlie was thinking of an excuse “she came down for a drink of water and was too tired to go back up stairs; she’s in our room. “ He just kept making more excuses.
I fell asleep later and when I woke up, I went into the kitchen. My mother was making supper. Charlie was just sitting there reading the paper as usual.
“So your finally up” Charlie said,
“Yeah, I am up, is there a problem with that?” I said.
“Brianna that is no way to talk to him!!” my mother scolded, “Now go get ready for supper!”
“I’m not hungry.” I didn’t want to eat, because he made me feel alone. Like nobody loved me anymore. I went upstairs and listened to my radio. I was so bored, and I felt alone more than anything. I hated my life, just hated it. It was so difficult; I just wish someone would care about me and love me. Like my dad did.
I was getting tired. I could hear Charlie and my mother talking. They were so annoying. Why does she love him? It isn’t fair! It just isn’t. I finally fell asleep and I didn’t have any of my usual nightmares. I had an amazing dream. It was good for me and my mom. Charlie was nice, and my mother still loved him, I felt alive and free, but mostly loved, until I woke up and realized it was only a dream.
My mom told me she was going to the store. I asked her I if could come. She said no.
“Mom, please,” I begged.
“I said no!” my mother yelled.
“I never get to see you anymore!” I insisted.
She finally gave in. I was so relieved that I didn’t have to spend more time with him. We stayed at the store for an hour. I wanted to tell her about Charlie but I knew she loved him, and I could suffer for her, I thought.
We had a lot of fun. We had long conversations; I was going to miss her so much. Why does she have to leave, so soon?
After we got home, my mother made us a late breakfast. We just all sat there in silent. My mom hates that, so she tries to make small talk, but it never works. She asked us if we wanted to go out for supper and we both said yes. Then there was more awkward silence.
I went up to my bed room with out saying anything. I hated being alone, but I’d rather be alone than be with him. I called Mia because I wanted to know if she wanted to hangout. And she did. She came over an hour later, and we went up to my room. When we sat on my bed, I heard something fall. It was the picture of my dad.
“Who is that?” Mia asked.
“It’s my dad. He died two years ago.”
“How come you didn’t tell me before?” she asked surprised.
“I don’t like talking ‘bout it.”
There was that silence again. I never know what to say, ever. But then we started talking and we had a lot of fun. She got my mind off Charlie for awhile, at least.
In the morning when she left, it was really quite in my house. My mom was in the kitchen like always and I asked her where he was.
“He’s looking for a job.”
I was so happy. Maybe I didn’t have to see him much anymore. My life could be easier now. I could be free. I was really happy, but really sad at the same time. My mom is leaving tomorrow. What if he’s still going to be mean? This isn’t fair. I just wish my dad was here. I wish there was some place I could go.
It was midnight and I was getting tired. My mom had to leave in four hours for her trip. I didn’t know how I was going to do this. Somewhere in my thoughts I fell asleep, and Charlie woke me up in the morning.
“Get up now!” he kept screaming at me over and over. I was so mad that my mom didn’t wake me up before she left. I didn’t want to be here. I just wanted my mom. This isn’t fair, it just isn’t.
He started touching me again. He wouldn’t stop. I closed my eyes and tried to block everything out. But it wasn’t helping. I still felt everything. Him breathing on my neck, his touch on my skin. I can’t do this anymore. I have to tell someone.
When he pushed me on my bed and I pasted out. It was better than feeling everything. But when I woke up it was dark. I looked at my clock it was 6:45 and I was really hungry, but I wasn’t going down stairs with him here.
An hour later I was really hungry, I couldn’t stand it anymore. I remembered I had 30 dollars in my purse, but how do I get out of the house? I have a rope in my closet and I could climb off my porch. That might work. I tied it to my porch and slid down it. My hands were red from the rope.
I went to some little pizza place down the block. I felt so alone. Like I had nobody who loved me. Nobody who cared.
I went to Marissa’s house. She wanted me to go to some party. It wasn’t that fun. It was mostly druggies, just wanting to have fun. But the next morning when I woke up, I had no idea where I was, or what happened last night. I saw Marissa, but she was still sleeping.
I had so a many thoughts in my head. I just wanted to run and never stop. So I did. I ran far and I had no idea where I was going. I just knew if I ran nobody would find me. But then I realized I ended up running home. I didn’t mean to, it just happened.
It was Saturday, and the first thing I was going to do on Monday, when I got to school, was tell the guidance person. They needed to help me. I just have to stay away from Charlie for two more days. I can do this.
I called Mia and I asked her if she wanted to hang out. She said that she was painting her house. I offered to help and she said yes and it would be fun.
So I did we had a blast and ended up getting to a paint fight. It was so fun. I felt like a little kid again, running through puddles of water, dancing in the rain, having a free spirit. I wish I could feel like this more.
“Hey, Brianna, do you want to sleep over?”
“Uhh,” she caught me in my thoughts. “Yeah, sure.”
We just hung around her house the rest of the night, painting. It got boring after a while but it was better than being with him. I was sick of dealing with it. I shouldn’t have to, nobody should.
The next morning, Mia woke me up and said that we could go out for breakfast, if I wanted. I did, so we went. I was really good, but I eventually had to go home. They had church, and that’s not my thing.
I had just gotten home and he was at the door.
“Where have you been?” he yelled
“It’s none of your business!” I yell right back.
He went to grab me and I punched him in the face and ran as far as I could. This time I ran to the police station. I told them what has been going on for the last year. I told them everything, didn’t leave one detail out.
Charlie was arrested that night. I was able to live with Mia until my mother returned. She was informed with Charlie’s behavior. I was scared that I had ruined her life, but she came home, resolving to take care of me no matter what the cost. We were free of Charlie and I no longer had to live with the guilt.