Tell her?

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A young girl feels pressured to make a decision that may improve the life of her mother, but also may comprimise her own happiness. This is a very short and tamed version of a true story, originally written for a school assessment.

Submitted: April 09, 2010

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Submitted: April 09, 2010

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They were yelling again. At each other. Usually they took turns, but tonight it was different. Standing in the kitchen, her father was in a constant, upset rage at her mother, and her mother was taking any chance she could get to rage back at him, both attempting to drown out the other. To the girl’s ears, their voices were just a thundering noise that she could not get out of her head. The noise seemed to echo around, closeting all other senses from the world. She was mercilessly locked in the moment.
 
She sat behind the closed kitchen door listening, shuddering. One thought rolled through her head over and over - Why can’t they just say sorry and stop? Why not? Suddenly the sliding door flew open behind her, and her mother stumbled past, almost tripping over her, hastening to get to the spare room – the sanctuary her mother escaped to during these evening arguments. Usually, when her mother hid away in the room, it gave her father time to calm enough not to pursue matters further, but tonight he bounded furiously after her mother through the doorway, almost tripping over the girl whimpering silently, curled up on the floor. As her parents hurried past her, the girl leapt up in fear and scrambled out of the way. She half crawled, half ran to the study on the opposite side of the room. Here, she thought, I can be safe… and see.
 
Through an inch-wide gap the study door left, the girl sobbed, unable to turn away from the sight. Her eyes flashed from her father, stomping angrily after her mother, throwing chairs and shelves out of the way is his fury, to her mother scrambling onto the far nook of the bunk bed she had been sleeping in for the past few years. She looked again to her father reaching her mother, raising his hand and yelling about how she had been asking for this all night. The girl, sheltered in the study, crumpled to the floor in emotional pain, her eyes closed. She did not need her eyes to know what came next. Her mother’s squeals and screams and her father’s curses and timely panting from the effort was enough. She opened her eyes open again, however, only to see shadows on her mother’s bedroom wall of the horrid bashing.
 
Ten minutes later, with her father downstairs having a smoke, the girl silently emerged from the study. Still shaking with fear and shock, she crept towards her mother’s bedroom, stopping hesitantly before the entrance. She could hear her mother on the phone, whispering through tears.
“I don’t know what to do.”
“It’s simple, dear. You have to leave. You can’t live like this any longer,” the woman on the other end urged.
“I know it’s hard, but… I’ve put this off for years for one reason, and I’ll do it for a few more…” whispered the girl’s mother.
“But why are you making yourself go through this?”
“… Because I have a daughter to think of.”
 
The girl almost forgot to breathe. At the information her mother had unknowingly given her, new tears tumbled down her already wet cheeks. She ran, quietly as possible, to her own bedroom, where she slumped down in the corner and cried out her fears and worries. Crying in hard times almost always made things easier. However, she ran out of tears and still felt upset. Looking around, she saw a diary she had never used sitting upon the bedside table. She reached for the diary with a lightly shaking hand, opened it up slowly, and began to write.
 
 
Dear diary, 16/09/08
… I love my father as much as any daughter should, although he does things I don’t like – things that upset me. He abuses my mother verbally every day, and physically as well each night. Tonight was the worst that I can remember however. Father has thrown things at her and hit her in his rage, and I have not yet seen what condition she is in.
Just before, I heard my mother talking to her friend on the phone. She basically said the only thing keeping her from leaving my father is that she does not wish to upset me further. My wellbeing is the ropes holding her in this dangerous place - this place where she is being hurt so. So you see, Diary, that I have a choice to make. If I wish for my mother’s unhappiness to end, I must let her know that the family splitting will be a positive move, and that anything is better than this. Anything.
But neither of these points are fact. Although I think I am strong enough to handle their divorce, I do not know if leaving is the right thing to do right now. Obviously my mother leaving will be safer for her, as I am becoming very anxious of her safety. But although I am worried for my mother, I also still care for my father. If mother was to leave, I would be leaving with her (no questions asked), leaving father alone. I happen to know father has been taking anti-depressants for a number or years now, and I wonder - how would he handle what may come? I could not bare it if he was to do something to himself… And on that note, how would I handle what may come if mother and I leave? Although I would leave with mother, I have and never will wish to lose contact with father. I would need to know how he is coping – if he is coping. I am not entirely sure leaving him be better in the long run for me. You see, Diary, I really have no idea whether ‘anything’ is better than this at all. Should I tell mum it is ok if we leave?  Would it be better to wait? …
No, it is too dangerous to wait. I have to do something now.
 
 


© Copyright 2018 Dona Bierte. All rights reserved.

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