The Comfort of No one

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Noah Johnson is a sweet guy that cares for his girlfriend Addison and his daughter Hope but unfortunately he abused PCP also known as Angel Dust. Addison struggled for many years trying to save herself and Hope but she failed. She became numb to her home environment and it took a toll on her and her whole family. Addison went crazy after the abuse ended for five years and went to Aid to Recovery; Psychiatric Residential Treatment Center. As she talks to her psychologist; Dr. Salvador, she realizes a lot of things she didn’t realize while she was struggling with the abuse from Noah and how she could have done things differently. Addison would run away from her problems instead of facing them and it drastically changed her life forever.

Submitted: March 02, 2015

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Submitted: March 02, 2015

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~~A fictional Short story written by: Kourtney White & Kaitlyn Derochea
Chapter One: The Beginning of the End
  “Do you still love him?” Dr. Salvador asked.
  “Of course I do.'' I responded.
  “Even after everything he put you through Addison?”
 “Yes, I know I shouldn’t love him but I do.” It might not be a good thing that I still love Noah, but how could I not? There’s so much more to Noah that is unseen to the outside world.
 I was only five years old when Mary and Joe adopted me from the foster home that I unfortunately had to stay at for the rest of my childhood. My parents just weren’t ready to have a child and as a young child this was very confusing. Now after everything I have gone through, that is one of the only things that actually makes sense.
 Mary and Joe lived in the projects of New York, Brooklyn to be specific. A woman named Karen lived in the same complex as us with her two sons Noah and Andrew. Karen was extremely beautiful, her hair always down kissing the tops of her shoulders. She wore no makeup, she didn’t need any. Every woman in the complex lowered their eyes when they saw her. I couldn’t help but want to be just like her. That of course was until I met her sons. Noah was the younger of the two. He was seven at the time I moved in and his brother Andrew was eleven. Their mother abused alcohol and drugs and would occasionally beat them. Noah and Andrew would often come over my place to eat food and play with me to avoid being around their mother. They never said it, but I knew. I saw the welts and bruises all over their bodies and I heard the screams late at night.  Whenever they did anything that their mother didn’t like she would furiously whip them with a belt until they bled. When they came over to my place Karen decided to starve them. She would deprive them of food for days and days at a time. They weren’t home listening to her orders, so they didn't get fed.
 I never thought I’d ever have a crush on Noah Johnson but once high school came around my feelings about him drastically changed. On my fifteenth birthday I had a little get together with my friends, which included my best friends Rachel and Noah. After everyone left Noah kissed me. When I say kissed me I mean like full on tongue to tongue. It was everything that everyone ever said it would be. It was so pure, so innocent, and so beautiful. I never wanted to let go. When he pulled away I swear my face turned bright red. After that day, Noah and I became boyfriend and girlfriend. He was mine, I was his, and we were happy.
 Noah was the sweetest guy I have ever met. He would always come over on Fridays and give me a little gift; it usually consisted of chocolates and flowers. He would also bring me on dates to the movies whenever he could afford it. I spent most of my time with him because he hated being around his abusive mother.
When I was 16 Noah got me pregnant. We didn't use protection when having sex; Noah said that it wouldn't happen. Of course he was wrong. The sex was so good but when the test came out positive my heart stopped. How could I take care of a baby? It was Noah who talked me into keeping it. At first Mary and Joe were mad but when I had that baby girl their hearts warmed up. They loved that baby more than the world itself; they would have done anything for her.
 Noah and I decided on naming our girl Hope. Noah dropped out of high school and got a job to support me and Hope. Noah got stressed out a lot of the time dealing with his mom and work. He only had one day of the week off and when he was eighteen he left his moms place and moved in with me because he was sick and tired of the abuse. Mary and Joe welcomed him into our apartment with an open heart. They heard the screams and the whips, they were glad to get him away from his mother. He has all of the scars from his rotten mother and at first I thought I could never think anything good about her, obviously my point of view changed when Noah turned into his mother. How can I still love Noah after everything he has done but hate Karen?
Andrew was living with one of his friends named Ricky at the time Hope was born. When I finally turned 18 we moved in with Andrew. Things went well at first but then things got a little rough. Andrew and Noah fought a lot and there was a prostitute in the house every night. Sometimes I wondered how old these girls were, once I saw one that was half my height and looked like she was yet to hit puberty. When the drug use started to get over the top I put my foot down and told Noah we had to leave. Noah never touched any drugs back then, so he was just as ready to leave as I was. When Hope turned five years old Noah and I finally made enough money to move into our own place together. We moved out of the projects and into a different complex that was a lot better than where we were before.
 When Hope was eight years old Noah started taking PCP, a drug also known as angel dust, to try and relieve his stress. That drug did the opposite to helping him. The first time he used it I could see it in his eyes. I told him that was it. If he used it again he was going to have to leave. To this day I can still remember the words that he said to me. “Well I guess it was fun while it lasted”. Those words broke my heart to shreds. The next day he came into our room and lied down next to me. When I looked him in the eyes he broke into tears. For hours, we lied there and just cried. That wasn't the last time that Noah used drugs, not even close.
 The first time that Noah hit me it was a warm spring night, it was my birthday. I was feeding Hope when Noah got home from work that night. He ran up to me and started yelling. He said that I was useless and I believed him. “Girls like you need to get put in their place” his fingers bit my face. That was where it all started, the beginning of the end.

 

 

Chapter Two: A Monster
“Did Noah and Hope get along well together?” Dr. Salvador asked.
 “Yes they did... well... when he wasn’t mad.” I answered.
 “You mean when he was mad he didn’t just abuse you? He abused Hope?”
 “No... Well yes... but I wouldn’t allow it.”
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 “Noah! Just leave Hope alone! She didn’t mean to spill milk everywhere” I said.
 “Addison! Do you realize how much of a mess she made?”
 “It was an accident Noah! She’s ten! You don’t need to smack her for something so little.”
 “Whatever! Addison you deal with the mess I'm going out!”
 “Where do you think you’re going?”
 “Don't worry about where I'm going!”
Noah slammed the door right in my face leaving me alone with Hope and a floor filled with milk.
When I was done cleaning the milk off of the floor I went into Hopes room to try and calm her down. Usually when Noah decides to take PCP and gets vicious he would hit me. That night was the first time Noah had ever laid a finger on Hope and she was traumatized.
 I woke up at 9:00 am that morning and noticed that Noah never came back. At 12:00 pm I started to panic and I tried calling his cell phone but it kept going straight to voice mail.
 “Where’s daddy?” Hope asked.
 “Oh uh... daddy’s at work right now honey” I responded.
 “I thought he had today off. He told me he was bringing me to the park today.”
 “They called him in today Hope, I’m sorry.”
 How could I tell her that her father never came back last night and that I had no idea where he went? At 1:00pm I got a call from the New York Downtown hospital.
 “Hello can I speak to Addison Miller?” said a man about in his 30's.
 “This is Addison Miller; may I ask who is speaking?”
 “Hello Addison, I am Dr. Charleston from New York Downtown hospital and I am sorry to inform you that Noah Johnson overdosed on a drug called PCP at 8:30 this morning.”
 “Oh my god! Is he going to be alright!? Please tell me he is going to be okay.”
 “Yes he is fine Mrs. Miller, Noah has just woken up and told us your number. You can come by to see him but we would like to keep him here over night to do some tests.”
 “Okay, thanks Doctor I’ll be there in a half an hour with my daughter Hope.”
 “Okay Addison, I am truly sorry for all of this commotion.”
 “No need to apologize Doctor.”
 I hung up the phone and told Hope that her dad got into an accident and is in the hospital. I told her to hurry up and get dressed so we can go to the hospital to see him. It took me ten minutes to drive to get there. Hope and I speed walked to the front of the hospital door.
 “Hello, may I help you miss?” said the secretary in the front.
 “Yes, my daughter Hope and I are here to visit Noah Johnson, my name is Addison Miller, and I am Noah’s girlfriend” I said
 “Ah yes, Mr. Johnson... he is on the third floor in the ICU in room 114.”
 “Okay, thank you.”
 “You’re very welcome Sweet heart.”
 A doctor escorted Hope and I to room 114 to see Noah. When we went inside the room I saw Noah lying on the hospital bed. His face was pale and he had dark circles under his eyes. Hope ran up to Noah and gave him a big hug and kiss. Noah told her how much he is sorry for not bringing her to the park today and that he loves her. Hope told him it was okay and that she hopes he gets better from his accident. After she said the word “accident” Noah looked straight at me. I told Hope to go to the other side of the room so I could talk to Noah in private. He started by saying “Addison I am truly sorry for all of this, I mean it, and I will make up for it.”
 “Noah I'm sick and tired of this constant bull shit.”
 “I know, I know Addison” Noah wined
 “Noah you freaked out last night on Hope and hit her because you were so messed up on drugs, you don’t come back all night or call me, and I get a call from the hospital telling me my boyfriend over dosed on PCP.” I said angrily “What did you do when you left Noah? Did more PCP? You were already messed up on it before you left the house. You left last night and did more Angel Dust to the point that you overdose? Noah when is this going to end? You’ve been taking this drug for two years.”
“I know Addison.” Noah started to cry “I want to stop, I truly want to stop. PCP is a terrible drug and I started taking it because of all the stress I was under. I thought maybe if I had hallucinations I would be distracted from all of the things I am stressed about. I want to stop Addison.”
 I believed Noah when he told me he wanted to stop doing PCP but unfortunately Angel Dust is a very addictive and dangerous drug and instead of Noah trying to stop taking it he used all of his time trying to find more. I tried to ignore it the best I could because I thought maybe one day he would stop trying to find more of it, but the more days he kept doing it the more aggressive and ferocious he got. The days he wasn’t doing PCP we would have family days together. We would talk, laugh together, and I would see the true Noah that I fell in love with and not the drug addict Noah that he was becoming.
 Days went on, weeks went by, our family was falling apart, and so was I. I had bruises all up each side of my body and I hadn't eaten in days. All the money that we had was being spent on drugs and we had nothing left. Hope and Noah got all of the food. Hope was getting skinny, too skinny for her own good.  Her teachers called asking questions about her bruises and her dramatic weight loss. I told them that things had been rough around the house and she had taken to hurting herself. They requested a bunch of names for therapists in the area. I didn't take her to any of them of course! How could I, what if she told them what her home life was like? I couldn't risk losing Noah. I loved Hope with all of my heart but I thought it would get better. I thought it was something that we had to work through as a family. He was a good man; I refused to give up on him. At the time I thought I was doing the right thing by being the best girlfriend that I could possibly be, but at the time I didn’t realize that by doing so I was betraying my daughter and abusing my job as a mother.
 Life only got harder when he started bringing other women around. It was almost every night that I would come home from work to find Hope alone in the kitchen while “daddy” was locked in the bedroom “play fighting”. The first time it happened I broke the door down, pulled the bitch out of the house by her hair, and flipped out on Noah. “How could you do this to me Noah, you love me?”
 “Loved, and you better watch who the fuck you're talking to bitch!”
That night I packed my bags. Hope and I were going to stay at Mary and Joe’s house for a few weeks but when Noah saw me packing my bags, world war 3 erupted in front of my eyes. He grabbed me by the throat and threw me to the ground. He grabbed a knife in one hand and salt in the other.  He poured a thick layer of salt throughout the kitchen floor and made me kneel on it. If you have ever tried to kneel on salt you would know that it is one of the most painful things you could imagine and I can promise you that it was awful. He stayed there with a knife to my neck watching me suffer for four hours. A few times he threatened to go into Hope's room and do what he wanted with her. He told me that it was his deep dark fantasy. At this moment I looked into his eyes and saw a monster.
 When the four hours were up he told me that I had to clean it. He said that if I missed one grain of salt we would do it for eight hours next time. I cleaned all night long, and I never tried to escape again. When morning came, apologies flooded the apartment, I forgave him. It’s almost impossible to say no to the man you love. You have to understand that.
Chapter Three: The Apple Doesn't Fall Far from the Tree
 “Would Noah remember any of the awful things he put you and Hope threw?” Dr. Salvador asked.
 “Not all the time. I mean he would remember enough to apologize the next morning but not enough to actually understand what went on the night before. The hallucinations that the angel dust gave Noah were awful. He wasn’t the same person when he was going through a trip and I had no idea who I was facing. Hope and Noah’s relationships started to fade. They used to be two peas in a pod.” I said
 “How did Hope deal with the constant traumatizing moments your family had?”
 “At first she would get over it and think it wasn’t a big deal but after a while she avoided being near everyone. I noticed she was quiet more and stayed in her room a lot.”
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ “Hope you’ve been in your room all day, go outside its nice out.” I said
 “No thanks mom I think I’ll just stay in my room watching TV” Hope replied
 “Okay Hope.”
I didn’t bother make her go outside. I didn’t make her do anything she didn’t want to do to try and make her life a little easier by not bugging her. Later that night me and Noah had our alone time. I was singing and dancing with the true Noah Johnson that I fell in love with. He made us both amazing chicken pot pies and we cuddled and watched The Note Book together. At 11:00pm we went to bed and stayed up talking.
“I want you to get better Noah” I said.
 “I want to get better too Addison, I haven’t done drugs for almost a week baby I'm really trying to do better.” Noah responded
 “Noah that’s good I am so proud of you sweetheart.”
 “I am trying my hardest for this family.”
 “What does it even feel like when you do angel dust?” I asked
 “To be honest I don’t always remember how I feel but I do remember the hallucinations are the most unreal things in the world and when I'm walking and talking I feel like everything is spinning and that everything is all made up. I don’t really know how to explain the feeling but I do know that when I'm stressed out and I do PCP, I enter a whole new world.”
 “Noah you aren’t yourself when you’re on drugs. You turn into a monster and you abuse me and Hope and yell at us.”
“I know.”
 “You know but you do it anyways?”
 “I don’t do it because I want to, I do it because I don’t know what I'm doing and sometimes I get scared and want to leave my hallucination, but I can’t”
 “Then why do you continuously do it if you get scared Noah?”
 “I don’t know Addison. For some reason I feel lost if I don’t do PCP. I feel like it has become a part of me.”
 “Noah, remember when your mom abused drugs and abused you and Andrew? You hated your life and your mom for treating you like that. You would always come to my place to stay away from her. You told me when you had kids you were going to make their life better than you and Andrews life, and now look at where you are now. You grew up to be exactly what your mother was and you’re putting me and Hope threw the same hell you and Andrew had to go through.”
Noah didn’t respond right away. He just stared at me with a sad look on his face. Then he finally said “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree does it? Goodnight Addison.” I didn’t say anything back to that and I just lied there starring at the wall for an hour thinking until I finally fell asleep.
 The next day was a good one; those didn’t come very often these days. I think we had a whole week of happiness, things were getting back to normal, I actually felt like I wasn’t alone anymore. Someone was there for me, to help me and not hurt me, someone cared. The week was one of the best of my life. Drugs were absent in our home and the real Noah was present. I felt as if I was a little girl again, feeling butterflies with every kiss. We would lie down and cuddle all day, us two against the world. I could feel his eyelashes kiss my skin. He was the most handsome man during that week. Without the drugs you could see the real him, his real skin, his beautiful bright blue eyes. I smelt what he truly smelt like, what he really tasted like. I felt his skin against mine. I thought everything was going back to normal until I came home from a night out with Rachel and saw Hope crying on the floor and Noah passed out on the couch. I asked her what happened and she said “Daddy took more bad things and freaked out on me because I was born and he kept hitting me and told me to stay in the corner until I realized how much of a mistake I was.”

 

Chapter Four: Broken Souls
 “Your friend Rachael” Dr. Salvador started to say “did she notice what was going on in your household?”
 “No, not at first. I would tell her that Hope and I were clumsy people and whenever she saw Noah freaking out I would tell her he had anger issues.” I answered
 “When did she find out that all of this was going on for you?”
 “It was during Hopes birthday weekend” I started to say “Hope was turning eleven on Friday and Rachael came and slept over that night to help set up for Hopes birthday party the next day. Noah told me he was going out with his friends but when he came home that night I realized that wasn’t what he was doing.”
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ “Rachael do you think the streamers would look better at this angle or that angle?” I asked Rachael while we were setting up for Hopes eleventh birthday party for the next day.
 “Um” Rachael started to say “I actually think the streamers would look better over there and if you made them position in corners it would look nice.” Rachael said
 “Okay thanks Rachael.”
 Hope was in her room playing with the new tablet Noah bought her for her birthday. After me and Rachael were done setting up for Hopes party we called her into the living room to show her the decorations. Her eyes light up for the first time in a while. I could see my beautiful happy Hope again that has been hidden from her sadness created by her father.
 “Thank you mommy and Rachael.” she said “I’m so excited for my party tomorrow!”
 “Good, you deserve it.” Rachael said
 Then all of a sudden we heard a big crash at the door that made us all jump.
“Oh my goodness!” I screamed. “What in the hell was that bang.”
 Then the door opened and there was Noah, all messed up on drugs again, and drunk to the point where he could barely walk.
 “Noah what in the bloody hell are you doing coming home like that? You nearly gave us all a heart attack from that bang.” I said
 “Shut up you stupid bitch!” he screamed. “You’re always complaining about everything I do, what about the shit you do?”
 “What shit Noah? All I do is take care of Hope, make sure she is safe, healthy, and I try to make sure you’re out of trouble and safe.”
 “No all you do is complain and not let me live how I want to live my life. I am stressed out Addison and all I want to be is happy. My mother ruined my whole childhood of happiness and now that I am not living in that hell, I can live freely and happy!”
 “All you are doing Noah, is putting me and Hope through the same hell that you and Andrew went through!”
 I swear my life flashed before my eyes. Noah swung at me with his cold achy hand and it wasn’t one of those smacks where I'd get really hurt and wonder why the guy I love was hurting me. This smack was the most painful feeling I have ever encountered and I fell to the ground and my face smacked against the coffee table. Noah started to rip down all of the decorations Rachael and I spent time putting together and he took Hopes birthday cake and threw it away. Hope started bawling her eyes out and ran to her room. Rachael helped me up, brought me to Hopes room, and locked the door. At five o’clock in the morning Hope and I packed our things and Rachael drove us to her house. We stayed at Rachael's place for a few days and canceled Hopes party. We told all of Hopes friends that Hope is terribly sick and we unfortunately had to cancel her party. How could I tell anyone that we were canceling her party because her father was messed up on PCP and destroyed everything? I couldn't. Hope was miserable because her party was canceled but she had to get over it. She had to get over it like she always did when her father acted aggressive like that. That was how Hopes life had to be and it was slowly tearing her apart.
 That was the same week that Hope's bullying began. Things were really rough on Hope so she kind of blended into the background. As you might know, kids are never nice to the girl in the background. She didn't have the nicest clothes due to our financial problems. All the money in the household went to bills, food, and PCP. It took a while for Hope to finally tell me what the problem was, why she was so mopey and depressed. She was 11 in the 6th grade, girls are mean and there were a few that seemed just above averagely cruel.
 The two bullies that Hope faced in the sixth grade were Theresa and Brady-Anna. Theresa was the shit talker; the one who made up the rumors and spread them throughout the school. Brady was the fighter; she was a very violent young girl. Brady often resorted to pushing Hope around in the halls and tripping her. The teachers were no help in the matter. I didn't find out because a teacher called home, nor did I find out from Hope. One day she strolled home with a black eye and a bloody nose.
 Brady was a tough one for being such a beauty, I worried for her sometimes. She grew up in the foster system moving from house to house.  She was only here in Brooklyn for about two months before she moved on.
 When Hope came home that day in such an awful condition I immediately called the school asking for an explanation.
 “I’ll talk to the girls tomorrow, but there is nothing I can do without solid evidence” the ridiculous principle said. 
 “What about my daughters fucking face?”
 “Ma'am-”
 No I am fucking done!” I cried.
 The abuse from the girls at school continued, and so did the abuse at home. My biggest regret in life is not doing anything about it. I became so weak, so numb to everything around me. I no longer stood up for myself. Even worse, I no longer stood up for my daughter. The day that I stopped protecting her was the day I was no longer her mother I was just a women watching as a young girl that I was responsible for got her life ripped away.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ “When did the abuse from the girls at school finally stop, when Brady left?” asked Dr. Salvador.
 “No, there was always someone else around to torture her” I Replied.
 “Do you resent these girls for doing this to your daughter?”
 “I did at first; I wanted to rip all of the hair off of Brady's head. I actually wanted to for years, but I found out that they were all just broken souls in this world lost and alone like I was. Years later, a week after Brady's Eighteenth birthday, she killed herself. Slit her wrists and bled out on the bathroom floor. The poor girl just had no one who loved her.” I answered.
 “Sounds like another little girl that I have heard about.”

 

 


Chapter Five: The Incident
 “Did you and Noah talk or see his brother Andrew after you guys moved out?” Dr. Salvador asked.
 “Sometimes” I started to say “Andrew wasn’t the nicest guy and he was not mentally stable enough to see Hope at all.”
 “What do you mean he was not mentally stable enough to see Hope?”
 “He was an alcoholic and occasionally did drugs. He didn’t always make the right choices in his life and I didn’t want Hope around that while she had to deal with her father. I didn’t want another bad influence in her life, but we did see him occasionally, until the incident.”
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Christmas was mine and Noah’s favorite holiday. We spoiled Hope every year with presents and decorated the house with Christmas decorations. Every place you turned in our apartment you would see Christmas decorations. Andrew would come over for Christmas to spend time with all of us. He would always come by himself because he could never keep a stable relationship.
 Noah had been drug free for three days and it made me happy. The previous Christmas was a disaster, with Noah all messed up on drugs, and Andrew in jail for stealing. This Christmas was different, it was calm and happy especially Hope. I loved seeing Hope happy because ever since her father got into drugs she hadn’t been the same. When Andrew showed up we had Christmas dinner together and talked about all the old memories we had growing up in the complex we all lived in as kids.
 When Andrew left that night, Hope, Noah, and I cuddled together on the couch and watched Christmas movies together. It felt like an ordinary happy family and that wasn’t something I was used to. By midnight we all were exhausted and ended up falling asleep on the couch.
 The next morning Hope and I went over Rachael’s house to exchange gifts and hangout. Rachael and I have been best friends since I was eight years old and she has always been there for me. Hope and I started staying at her place every other weekend to take a break from Noah. Rachel did not like Noah and she would constantly tell me to leave him. How could anyone leave the person they love dearly? Sometimes Rachael and I would fight about me not leaving Noah and it really tore me apart. I understand she is just looking out for me but Noah was the love of my life and I wasn’t going to leave him. Noah was an amazing guy when he wasn’t messed up and not everyone saw that, but I did.
 “Addison, you’re my best friend and I love you” Rachael said.
 “I love you too Rachael, but why are you randomly saying this?” I asked
 “Addison” Rachael said with a sigh “I do not want to see you and Hope suffer with that man any longer.”
 “That man happens to be my boyfriend and I don’t respect you calling Noah 'that'”
 “Addison, your boyfriend is a monster”
 “Rachael, there’s more to Noah then you understand”
 “What is there to understand? I do understand that Noah is messed up on PCP all of the time and abuses you and Hope constantly.”
 “He isn’t always messed up on PCP and abusing us. He is a great guy when he’s sober and I love him. He is so sweet and funny and no other guy has ever treated me like I was their world. Noah and Hope are two peas in a pod Rachael. Why would I leave him?”
“Why would you leave him? What?”
I could tell Rachael was starting to get mad by the tone of her voice and the way she was looking at me.
“Addison, Noah is a drug addict that abuses you and Hope. PCP is a dangerous drug that makes people aggressive and fucked up from the hallucinations. Hope and Noah hadn’t been close ever since he started doing drugs. You even said it once before that they were drifting apart. He is making yours and Hope’s lives a living hell, Addison. You stay over my house every other weekend for Christ’s sake and you have the audacity to ask me why you should leave Noah.” Rachael said angrily.
 “I’m sorry Rachael you just don’t under—“
 “No save your breath Addison” Rachel interrupted me. “I know what you’re going to say. You’re going to tell me that I don’t understand that you love Noah and that he is a great guy when he is sober, but Addison honestly you need to realize what is best for you and Hope. You guys are miserable and are at danger every day in that house. Remember Josh? He cheated on me once and I left him. I loved Josh with all of my heart Addison. He was my world and when he cheated on me I lost a part of me but how could I stay with someone that cheated on me? Cheating on me didn’t physically hurt me, it emotionally hurt me. Noah physically and emotionally hurts you and Hope. He may be a great guy but that “great guy” decided to start taking drugs and I know for a fact he knew how dangerous PCP was before he started taking it. If he really loved you Addison he wouldn’t have put you in this situation especially due to the fact that he understands what it’s like to have a drug addict, abusive person in your life. You need to do what’s best for you.”
 “I’m sorry Rachael but I don’t think leaving Noah is the best idea. If I leave him he will have no one and probably end up dead on the street and I can’t do that to the man I love.”
 “Addison, I think you and Hope should leave.”
 “What?”
 “I’m sorry Addison, but if you’re going to have that attitude about this situation, then I don’t want you and Hope staying at my place every other weekend. If you’re going to keep you guys in danger like that, then I don’t want to waste my time trying to save you if you can’t even save yourself.”
 “But Rachael, I thought you were my best friend. Why are you doing this?”
 “I am your best friend Addison and I always will be. If I wasn’t your best friend, I wouldn’t try to help you do what’s best and safe for you. But if you won’t take my advice, then I’ll let you go off and do what you want but I don’t want you guys staying at my house anymore. I don’t want to see the pain and sorrow in yours and Hope’s eyes. I don’t want to see the bruises and the welts on your bodies. Until you decide to leave that monster, you can't come back. Good bye Addison.”
 I started to cry and Rachael hugged me for a while. Hope and I packed our bags and left Rachel’s house. When we got back home, we saw broken glass everywhere and Noah sleeping on the couch. I had no idea where the glass came from until I noticed the kitchen cabinets were opened. It looks like Noah smashed all of the glass plates and cups on the ground. He must have been on PCP and got aggressive. I put Hope to bed, cleaned up all of the glass, and woke up Noah.
 “Noah, what happened? Why are all the glass plates and cups all smashed on the floor?” I asked.
 “What? The glass plates and cups are smashed?” Noah said confused
 “Noah, Hope and I came home to all of the glass plates and cups smashed on the ground. Did you do drugs?”
 “I must have.”
 “Noah” I said in a depressed tone “when is this going to end? The drug abuse is getting sickening and I’m tired of having Hope and I in this kind of a danger. It is not fair to us.”
 “I know Addison, I was doing so well with not doing drugs but then I got extremely stressed out and I needed something to help me get my mind off of things.”
 “What on earth were you stressed out about that made you go back to doing drugs?”
Noah didn’t respond. “Noah?” I said
 “It’s Andrew” Noah said.
 “What about Andrew”
 “He’s in jail again Addison”
 “What did he do this time? Did he steal again?” I said angrily
 “No it’s more serious than that this time”
 “Did he get caught with drugs?”
 “Addison, he raped a fifteen year old girl.” Noah finally said
 “What… you’re joking”
 “I wish I was Addison. I wish I was. Andrew raped a fifteen year old girl named Cassandra and is facing five and a half years of jail maybe even longer than that.”
 “What possessed him to do something like that, Noah?”
 “I don’t know. The police told me he was high on heroin and that he raped a fifteen year old girl named Cassandra. They didn’t tell me anything else.”
I couldn’t stop thinking about what Andrew did. Andrew didn’t make the best choices in life but it put me in shock to hear that he raped someone. Everything in my life seemed like it was falling apart and I had to fall asleep to wake up for another day in hell.

 

 

 

 

 


Chapter Six: Cassandra
 Cassandra was a beautiful fifteen year old Cape Verdean girl with long dark curly hair. Her teeth were perfectly straight, her nails were always done, and she wore the most expensive clothes in town. Everyone loved Cassandra, who couldn’t? She was a very nice person and on top of that she was gorgeous. All of the guys wanted to be with her and everyone wanted to be her friend. Everyone wished they could be her and live her “perfect” life.
Cassandra's life was going perfect until that Friday night she decided to go out with her friends to find alcohol. Cassandra's friend Sabrina came up with the idea to get drunk that night. Cassandra's friends Riley and Peyton loved the idea of getting wasted on a Friday night. Cassandra agreed with them and thought it would be fun. It was 8:00 o’clock at night when they all decided to walk around to find someone to get alcohol. By 8:40, they finally found someone willing to give them alcohol. The man told them his name was Andrew Johnson and that he would love to give them alcohol so they could enjoy their night. The girls could tell that Andrew was a heroin addict by how skinny he was and the lack of hygiene he had. They didn’t care that Andrew was high on heroin as long as they got their alcohol.
Andrew's house was very small and it looked like he hadn’t cleaned the house in years. When the girls entered his house, he told them to sit on the couch and he would bring the bottle of vodka out to them after he blocked the door with his dresser. The girls felt a little scared and confused at first but when they started to drink the vodka, they started to ease up a little bit. At 11:00 o’clock, the bottle of vodka was gone and the girls were all wasted. Andrew told Cassandra that he wanted to show her something in the other room and that her friends should stay on the couch. Cassandra was so drunk that she didn’t think anything of it and she followed Andrew to his room.
When they got to Andrews room Cassandra said “okay so what do you need to show me.”
 “It’s over here” Andrew said
Cassandra stumbled her way to where Andrew was telling her to go and fell on his bed. Andrew then grabbed Cassandra and tied her to his bed really tight. Cassandra started to scream on the top of her lungs saying “what the fuck are you doing? Stop that!”  Andrew put tape over her mouth so nobody could hear her scream. He then proceeded to rape her violently as she laid there tied up crying. After ten minutes Cassandras friends went in Andrew’s room to see if he was done showing her what he had to show her.
 The girls walked in on Andrew raping Cassandra and freaked out. Riley called the cops and Andrew jumped off of Cassandra. He then chased the girls, trying to grab them but he only got a hold of Sabrina. Riley and Peyton jumped out of the window that was left open and ran as fast as they could. When they saw the cops driving over to them they panicked. Riley called the cops to save Cassandra but she forgot that her and her friends were all drinking underage.
 After the girls explained to the cops what was going on, the cops told the girls to go in the cop car and to wait there while they went to go get the other girls in Andrew's house. The cops busted the door open and walked in on Andrew tying up Sabrina and Cassandra crying with her pants on the other side of the room. The cops told Andrew to put his hands up and to stop tying the underage girl. He listened to them and one of the cops put hand cuffs on him. The other cop untied the girls and walked them to the cop car that had Riley and Peyton inside. Andrew went into the other cop car that didn’t have the girls inside and the cops drove off to the police station.
 All of the girl’s parents were called to be informed of the situation and were told that they needed to come to the station to pick them up. Andrew was charged for rape and for giving underage girls alcohol. He became a registered sex offender and was facing 5 and half years of jail time for raping Cassandra and even longer for giving the underage girls the alcohol and for having heroin in his household.
 Cassandra's story was all over the news on TV and in the newspaper. Everyone was talking about the Four drunken underage girls and the 15 year old Cassandra Rodriguez, Raped by 33 year old Andrew Johnson. Nobody could look at Cassandra the same way and they didn’t wish to be her anymore. Not many guys wanted her and not many people wanted to be her friend anymore. Some people bullied her saying she wanted to have sex with that guy because she was drunk. They called her a “whore” “skank” “alcoholic.” Some people felt bad for her and others thought it was all her fault and that she deserved it. Sabrina, Riley, and Peyton stopped being Cassandra's friend because they were afraid to get bullied with her. Cassandra soon got depressed and had to get home schooled by her mother. No matter what school she wanted to attend there were people against her or with her. She shut herself out from the outside world and that “beautiful fifteen year old Cape Verdean girl with long dark curly hair” that everyone wanted to be, slowly became nothing but a depressed, unwanted teenage girl. That one Friday night changed Cassandra's whole life around and she realized no matter how small a situation starts off to be it can turn into something big and change your entire life drastically and you’ll never forget the damage it caused you.

 

 

 


Chapter Seven: Human Shield
 “No family is perfect; they all have their own problems.” Dr. Salvador assured me.
 “I know” I started to say. “I just wish I could go back in time and fix everything. There are so many things that I regret and I wish I could have stopped many situations from happening but instead of facing my problems, I ran away from them.”
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ It was an early spring morning in the month of April. Hope didn’t have school all that week because it was spring break in all of the town schools. I was overly stressed out and I barley ate or slept. I needed to get away from everyone and everything so I left for a few days. The previous weeks were tough on me and I guess at this point I was my only concern. Leaving Hope with Noah for a few days was a big mistake and I’ll never forget it. Noah abused PCP while I was gone and abused Hope to no end.
 “Daddy” Hope cried. “Please don't do this to me”
 “Shut up Hope you are a bad girl and bad girls need to be disciplined” Noah said as he filed up the bath tub with scolding hot water.
 “No I don't want to go into the bath tub, it will hurt me.”
 “You are going into this tub weather you want to or not!”
 When Noah finished filling the bath tub with hot water Hope ran off. Noah ran at full speed and grabbed her by her long blonde hair and dragged her into the bathroom. He yelled at her to take off her clothes and go in the bath tub or he will do it for her. She listened to Noah’s orders because at that time Hope was terrified. Hope striped her clothes off and started to cry and begged her farther to not make her go in the bath tub. Noah grabbed Hope, placed her in the bath tub, and held her down. The burning water made Hopes skin turn a pinkish color and her skin started to bubble. Hope screamed on the top of her lungs in agony. The hot water was so unbearable for the little girl that she could feel herself start to get dizzy and light headed.
 Hope suffered in the bath tub full of hot water for fifteen minutes. Noah pulled her out and you could see her skin start to peel and the color of her skin was pink. You could see the terror in her eyes and her weak unfed body collapsed. Noah picked Hope up and brought her to her room and put pajamas on her. Hope listened to all of her father’s orders after that traumatizing incident. That night Noah wouldn't allow Hope to sleep in her room. He made her sleep in a box with only two holes cut out for her to breath out of. Of course she got no sleep that night and I came home that morning to find her in a box.
 I thought I was just going to enter my house and see my family but it felt like I just entered the gates of hell and I was terrified. The house was a disaster area with everything all over the place. I noticed some of my decorations were broken and the picture frames were smashed. Hope looked like she hadn't eaten for days and had third degree burns covering her body. Noah was at the kitchen table pouring himself a cup of coffee. He looked at me and said 'hello beautiful.' I smiled of course but I knew he wasn't the Noah I met years ago. When I looked at Hope, she looked away. At that moment I knew I failed as a mother because not only did I leave her with Noah, I also didn't say a word to what went on when I was gone. I knew Hope was expecting me to say something and to stick up for her like I always did. This time was different and I knew it was wrong for me to pretend nothing happened but I had given up on everything.
  We kept her out of school for a few days so that teachers wouldn't ask questions. I don't know what Noah had told her he would do if she told anybody and I didn't care to find out. She did not speak a word of what happened when she returned to school. The teachers wondered but they never asked. It was too easy to get away with such a horrible crime. One of the worst crimes you can commit.
 Kids stared; you can’t really blame them though. Her face didn't take any of the impact but the rest of her body sure did. Her arms took it the worst; they were getting infected and were covered in puss. It didn't help that her bandages and clothes were only changed once a week. The bullying got worse and the burns caused her health to decline rapidly, soon she would have to see a doctor.
 Since we had no health insurance, we couldn't just see a doctor, we went to the hospital. When they first called her in they scolded us for not taking her in sooner. We told the doctor that she had spilled a hot pot of water on herself when trying to cook soup. He didn't believe us but he had no proof to say otherwise.
 She needed multiple surgeries and medication. The medication part intrigued Noah. I couldn't wait for Hope to come home because since she was gone, he channeled all his abuse towards me. In a way, she was like my human shield from him, but humans aren't indestructible. The times she was absent, I was left vulnerable to his wrath.

 

 

 

Chapter Eight: Unconditional love
 “Did Hope ever see her grandmother?” Dr. Salvador asked.
 “Noah’s mother?” I asked.
 “Yes” Dr. Salvador answered “Karen is Noah’s mother, which makes her Hopes grandmother.”
 “Karen rarely saw Hope. She would show up on random occasions to visit Hope but of course she and Noah did not get along at all. When Hope was twelve years old Karen passed away due to failure of the liver. She was an alcoholic and one night, her liver gave up on her and she passed away. Noah, Hope, and I attended her wake and funeral and at that time I saw something about Noah that seemed out of the ordinary.”
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ “My mother’s services are from 4pm till 8pm so we have to get there an hour early before people show up.” Noah said.
 “Okay, I am going to help get Hope ready for the wake.”  I said.
 Hope and I got ready together without a word said to each other. We barely talked anymore, but Hope barely talked to anyone. When we all got ready, we drove to Sampson Funeral Home in Brooklyn, New York. Noah hadn’t been taken PCP since he found out his mother passed away which I found odd. I expected him to abuse angel dust after hearing the news, but it seemed as if an evil demon escaped his body for a little while. We were the first ones to arrive at the funeral home and Noah, Hope, and I went to pay our respects near Karen’s casket. Karen wasn’t very liked by many people and only some of Noah’s family and family friends showed up to Karen’s wake.
 After everyone showed up, the priest said some words from the Bible and we had a moment of silence to remember Karen. The only thing that popped into my mind was how she treated her sons and how it really impacted their lives. Andrew was still in jail and even though he was allowed to go see her, he had no desire. After the priest was done talking, we all walked around, talked, and looked at old pictures even though there weren't many of them to look at. At eight o’clock, we said our last good byes to Karen before she got cremated. I saw Noah starring at his mother with sorrow in his eyes. I’ve never seen Noah look at his mother that way and I was curious on what he was thinking because the way he looked at his mother was not hate; it was love.
 One thing I have learned from my many long hard years on this earth is that a child will love their parents unconditionally. Even parents that are abusive and don't deserve it are still loved. Just like Hopes love for me never faltered.
 Hope was constantly making me gifts and doing very well in school so that she could get some positive attention from her guardians but we were not very supportive. I think Noah was jealous of her success in school. He didn't want her to succeed him, so he didn't let her. He shot her down at every chance that he got. He added on to her chores so homework was impossible, didn't feed her breakfast so she wasn't at her healthiest during school, and he broke her alarm clock, she was late every day. 
 I would love to tell you Hope's point of view while this all went on, but I kind of isolated myself during this time. As a mother, I should have known what was going on with her, her pain, her struggle. I didn't, I didn't know how she felt, but I can only imagine her little heart breaking to pieces.
 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Nine: Psychotic Mess
 “So let’s hear a little more about you, what was going on in your head during this time.” Said Dr. Salvador.
 “My feelings weren't important, I wasn't a part of the family at this point in time, and I was in my own world.” I replied.
 “Of course they are important, this is your story isn't it?”
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Darkness became my home and nothing made me happy anymore. I started self-harming and I know that everyone has a different reason to cut. Mine was to be able to feel something while I was numb to everything. My feelings and emotions were buried so deep inside that I couldn't feel them. Crying was very rare so when it happened, I was grateful for a relief. I cut deeper and deeper every time hoping maybe it would hurt more, but eventually, I even became numb to that pain.
 I had razors lying everywhere in the house, I wasn’t in the business of hiding what was going on, and it’s not like Noah really cared what I did to myself. I don't know what I did to make him hate me so much. Was I really that ugly, that worthless? Did I do something to make him not want me anymore? He didn't even give me an explanation to why he wanted nothing to do with me anymore. He no longer felt the way he used to about me. The worst part was that I still cared about him so much, that I still wanted him.
 Hope got into my razors and I couldn't see why she would cut, I thought that her physical pain must have definitely surpassed her emotional pain. Now that I think about it, I think that for once she just wanted control over her pain and I didn't stop her. Who was I to say something to her, when I was doing the same exact thing?
 I don't know what got into me. What went so wrong? How did I turn into such a monster? I could ask these questions all day long, but I don't think I will ever get the answers.
 Poor Hope had a drug addict dad and a mother who didn't show she cared. I didn't have the strength anymore to save Hope and I hate myself for that. Noah ended up quitting his job and laid around the house most of the time. I had to work long hours and almost every day to support for all us but I didn't care because the longer I stayed away from that house, the happier I felt. Noah continued doing drugs and Hope always stayed cooped up in her room and sometimes she would miss days of school causing the school to call the house constantly. Our household became one big psychotic mess and nobody did anything to fix it nor did anyone care.


Chapter Ten: Finally Free
  “Do you still love him?” Dr. Salvador asked.
  “Of course I do.'' I responded.
  “Even after everything he put you through Addison?”
 “Yes, I know I shouldn’t love him but I do.”
 “Do you still love Hope?”
 “Of course I still love Hope” I started to say. “I wish I could have saved Hope before it was too late. I wish I could have been the mother I thought I was going to be. I try not to think about it anymore. I try to pretend that part of my life never happened but I can’t trick myself. I break down every time I look at old pictures of Noah, Hope, and me. I remember the days when we used to be a happy family and I remember the days I gave up my role as a mother. I feel like if I was stronger in this situation I could have saved Hope and maybe I could have saved Noah. But maybe its best that they are both not suffering in this hell we call life.”
 “Do you ever think what life would have been like if Noah didn’t decide to abuse angel dust or if you and Hope left him while this was occurring?”
 “Yes I do, I think about it all the time. Late at night I used to lie in my bed and I would think how I could have made my life different. I lived with Rachel for Five years until I ended up going crazy and tried killing myself. Rachael called the ambulance and that’s how I ended up here; the Aid to Recovery; Psychiatric Residential Treatment Center. These two years I’ve spent at the hospital have been really helpful for me. I still wish I could see Hope and Noah, though I know it’s best for me to be strong. If Noah hadn’t killed Hope and himself, Hope would have been twenty and Noah would have been thirty eight years old today and I still wonder what life would be like if they were still here.”
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ It was the summer when Hope was thirteen years old. Noah still didn’t have a job and I was still continuously working long hours. My day off was always on Sunday and I would always sleep in late. Noah usually woke up before me and would wake up Hope because he didn’t allow her to sleep in. Hope would wake up, have breakfast, and go back in her room. Noah would go in the bathroom and do PCP. The more days Noah did PCP, the more aggressive and crazy he got. I woke up to a loud bang in the other room. I jumped out of bed to go see what was going on.
 I entered the living room to Noah’s hands wrapped around Hopes neck and I pushed him off of her. Pushing Noah off of Hope was a bad idea because that caused him to target all of his anger on me. Hope and I tried to calm Noah down, but nothing we did worked. I told Hope that I still cared about her and that I love her. I saw her smile and she told me she loved me too. Noah left the room for a little while and I thought everything had cooled down but I was terribly wrong by that assumption. Noah came back into the living room with a gun pointed at me and Hope. I still remember the words that came out of his mouth that day.
 “Life is a living hell and when I grew up with Andrew and my mother I hated my life. When I grew up, I became the monster that my mom was and treated you and Hope the same way that Andrew and I got treated. I never understood why my mother put us through all of that, but now I do. I have damaged you enough Addison and you are going to live the rest of your life without the events that happened in the past. I want you to know I love you but it is time that your past dies.” Noah said
 I didn’t understand what Noah meant, but in a blink of an eye I saw him point at Hope and he shot her. He shot her right in the head and she fell down onto the floor. Her blood came gushing out of her head and I froze. I felt like Noah killing Hope right in front of me was all a dream but I soon woke up to reality when I heard Noah shoot himself in the head. I called Rachel freaking out and I ran out of the house. She told me that I had to call 911 immediately, so that is exactly what I did.
 “911 what’s your emergency”
 “My boyfriend shot my daughter and then shot himself, they are both dead. They aren't breathing” I responded.
 “Officers are on their way. Stay tight and don't hang up the phone on me”
 “Okay, what caused him to do something like this” she asked.
 “He was mentally unstable and under the influence.” I replied.
That was the day my whole life shattered to pieces, but it was also the day that I was able to start over and I was finally free.


© Copyright 2020 kourtney96. All rights reserved.

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