AS THE DAYS GOT HOTTER, we were busy exploring the pond near my grandma’s house when a blue and white truck pulled into the driveway. A man walked out, went up to our mom and hugged her. This man was my step-dad, He told us many times he was Danika, Sarah, and Andrea’s dad. Never talking to us or giving us gifts. He would always have candy for my sisters, but never Josh and I. My mom never said anything to him about this, but we never minded. He was mean to us and would slap us for no reason at all.
“You still have those two with you?” he said looking at us. We did not say a thing to him. We knew better. Whenever Jacob and I asked my mom where our dads were, she would change her answer every time, so we never knew who our own dads were.
This man’s name was George, he was Native American, tall and had black hair. He wore very old torn clothes and he looked like he had not showered for days. He had faded tattoos up and down his arm and from the look of them, he was very strong and mean. He had a solid black Rottweiler with him name Bo, who had a muzzle on his mouth, his leash was a chain that went around his neck to Georges’ hand.
Walking towards grandmas house, we saw Bo growling our German Shepard.
“That is a tough boy!” said George. “That is right, show that Dog that you are the dominate one!” He pulled Bo into the house.
I got off the floor, walked out of the bedroom and into the bathroom on the right. Turning on the light, I checked every cabinet for diapers and I found nothing. I heard my mom and her boyfriend rocking their bed, I chose to ignore it, this was a regular thing for them. I walked out into the dark living room to see my aunts and uncles cuddled together on the floor sleeping, the TV was on static and the air felt lonely. I knew that I had to find those diapers before I went back to bed. As I turned around, I heard a voice say “Hello, I want to give you something”, “hold still please”, “stop running from me.” I knew I was dreaming again.
I awoke to the sound of laugher and loud talking. I reached over to see if Andrea was still sleeping. She was not there. I knew that mom had taken her for everyone to see, my brother and sister Danika were still sleeping, but Sarah was huddled in a corner crying. When I asked her what was wrong, she just stared at me. I looked down to see her pants and underwear were missing and had a huge bruise on her leg. I knew that her dad did something to her, but all I could do was hug her. We laid there for what seemed like days, I could not let my sister go. I hated to see her in pain and the sore on her leg. I grew angry at my step-dad. I wished mom would do something about this, every time he comes over, my sisters are hurt or he does something to me. I hated and dreaded him. I wished he would stop all this pain. I wished the pain would go away some days.
We got dressed the next day into our clothes that we have been wearing for weeks and went into the living room. There were people that we did not know drinking beer and loud music was playing from the stereo, this was very exciting, because I loved parties for one thing, the food. There was food on the dining room table, from chips to burgers to steak. We were told that we could eat the chips and burgers, but the steaks were for the grownups. As I was grabbing some food, I heard a voice behind me.
” You do not need to eat that much food!” Said George. Looking at me and my plate which was piled high with food, he reached over and took the burger off my plate and some chips. “Save some for the grownups.” he said smirking at me.
I bit my lip and looked at mom. She did not say anything, her eyes told me not to get mad or argue, just to take it. I looked at George, grabbed another burger and ran out the door to meet Sarah and Danika.
We sat on the dusty ground watching my brother play basketball with the boys in our neighborhood.
“George is going to hit you later.” said Danika. Looking at me.
“Well, if he does I can just hit him back.” I said shoving the burger in my mouth. “Plus, he is not my dad, so hitting me will not do anything to me.” I said bravely, trying to hold back my tears of fear.
Sarah and Danika went back inside to get more food. I sat there wondering if it was safe to get another burger, or at least more chips. My stomach was grumbling for more food. I looked down at the ground and saw something sparkling. I moved the tiny rocks out of the way and found a “PENNY!” I was so excited, I jumped up to show mom, the penny was so shiny and clean. I remember mom talking about this before. She would use pennies to buy things at the grocery stores. Stopping midway, I froze. “What if George is going to hit me?” I started thinking. “What if he takes this Penny away from me.” I decided to keep this secret to myself. I continued my walk to the house, but put the penny in my pocket for save keeping.
I walked into the living room, my heart was pounding and my stomach felt like sour milk again. I knew that I would bump into George again and I knew that I would get hit. To my surprise, everyone was sleeping. People were laying on the ground, on the coffee table, anywhere there was floor space and counter space, people were sleeping.
Walking around the people, making sure I did not step on anyone, I found Andrea sleeping in my moms’ arms in one of the bedrooms, Sarah and Danika had fallen asleep in the bedroom with George’s arm around them. He was cuddled close to Danika and Sarah was cuddled close to Danika. I felt a sting of jealously , rage with some relief. I wish my dad would hug me, I began to hope that George had forgotten that I had took another burger.
Walking back outside the house, I sat on the door steps and took the penny out of my pocket. Looking at it closely, I began to wonder if it was worth something. Looking closely at the penny, I began to feel accomplishments and excitement again. Like this one penny was telling me everything was going to be alright.
OURTH OF JULY WAS TODAY, I was very excited because I loved seeing the different colors in the sky. For the firework party was to be held between two of my aunts houses just down the road. They were both across the street from each other and all of my cousins were going to be there. My aunt and uncle lived in one house that had two stories that my mom told us were going to move in soon. It was a split foyer, the living room had two couches and a huge TV set that my uncles were huddled around watching football, there was a door on the far wall that lead to a deck in the backyard. The kitchen had brown cabinets and a square brown dining table with six brown chairs around it. Down the hallway, were two bedrooms and a bathroom. The downstairs had three bedrooms, a family room and a small bathroom. The house itself was tan all around with a large window in the front and two smaller ones. There were two small windows on each side of the house. In the back was a deck that had a long staircase, from the top of the house to the ground. In the backyard, people were playing the game horseshoe and drinking beer. As I began to walk across the street to my other aunts houses, my sister Danika came up to me and told me that she had found my dad. I had told her that my dad was far away and was Caucasian. She kept telling me that my dad was sitting in a car just down the road and he wanted to meet me. So, I went down to the car that was filled with four guys. The one behind the driver’s seat smiled at me and I noticed that four of his front teeth were missing. He told me that I looked just like my mom and that I should keep up the good work. I had no idea what that meant, and I did not want to believe that this was my dad. When the car left, my mom came up to me and told me that he was not my dad, so she spanked me. I cried. She told me to be a tough girl and stop crying, so I did and I continued my walk to my other aunts’ house.
Her house was built the same way like other house expect all of the walls were red. My cousin told me that she would put my hair in a braid for the fireworks later or my hair would burn off. She spent an hour untangling my hair and putting in a braid. After she was done, everyone went outside to light some fireworks, but for once in my life I was soo hungry. I found a bag of roman noodles, open it up and put the seasoning on top of it uncooked. I brought it outside to eat, but I was afraid I was going to get caught because I took food without asking so I quickly ate the roman. As they were slowly lighting off the fireworks, the more my family got drunk. Once they put a firework in peoples shoe to see which one would blow up, this caused a huge problem because Danika had no idea that they did it in her shoe and she put them on. The firework went off and she screamed in pain. My mom and aunt took her to the hospital and did not come back for hours. My brother had some toy army men that he blow up with fireworks and they kept trying to get me to light some, but after watching my sister foot get blown up, I was afraid of getting near one.
Before we went to bed, my mom treated us to a movie at the drive in theater, so we piled in the car and drove off. We drove into town and down another highway road to the theater. Cars were lined up all the way to the road and so we sat there for what seemed like hours before we finally got in. The drive in theater had a playground at the front with rocking swing horses that I played on until the movie started.
My mom told us that we can have something from the concessions, so I chose a bag of popcorn and a small soda. This was the best and only night of life, I wished that this night would last forever.
That night I woke up to the sound of screaming, so I walked out of the bedroom to see my family huddled around the TV watching “The Blair Witch Project.” Not knowing where my mom was or Andrea, I stayed and watched
A lady in the movie was seeing these symbols that were by sticks and her partners were screaming about being lost and how they were going to get home. It got dark, so they set up a tent and it started to shake…
After getting scared, I quickly walked back to the bedroom and went to sleep, having that same chasing dream again.
I ran fast as I could through the forest, the branches in front of my kept blocking my way. Something dark was chasing, I kept running. My mom kept calling my name and telling me to move quicker. We were running from something that wanted to take me away from her.
I awoke to the sound of Andrea crying next to me. We were sleeping at my aunts’ house, I could hear music and people talking just outside our bedroom door. I wanted to see what was going on, but I knew I had to be there for Andrea. I gave her bottle and looked around, Jacob and Shawna were laying close to each other under a blanket on the floor, Danika was huddled in the corner, holding her arm sleeping. Andrea and our new brother Derek was laying right next to me. I crawled over to Danika, careful not to wake the others and looked at her arm. Since, it was dark in the bedroom I could not see much. What I saw terrified me, there was little burnt circles on her arm, one of them had started to bleed, so I wrapped my arm around her and fell asleep.