No sadness, no hate, no anger, no rage, no sorrow, no tears, no pain. No happiness, no love, no acceptance, no home. No anything.
That’s what I feel all the time. Nothing.
I’m numb to the world. I think I know exactly why too.
My dad, ever since my mom died he’s never been the same.
He beats, abuses, throws me around. Never known why he’d done it. But he does it to my twin brother too.
“Alex! Beth! Get down here now!” My father’s voice boomed through the halls of our small house.
I started breathing heavy as I looked to my brother.
He didn’t say anything, he didn’t look at me. He just stood up and walked out of our bedroom.
We shared since our mom died and I got really messed up night mares.
I followed behind him closely, he always made me. He was my brother and he wanted to protect me.
“Yeah dad?” He asked calmly as we came into the kitchen.
“Why the did I get a call from your school today about you two fighting?” He hissed.
I flinched, I knew just by hearing his voice he’d had one too many to drink before coming home. He was always a lot worse to us when he was drunk.
“Yeah.” Alex said smoothly, “I got in a fight. Some guy was making rude comments to Beth. I stopped him. She tried to stop the fight and the principal hauled her in too. No sweat.”
I always admired Alex. He was so calm and cool when facing anything. I think he could do anything push come to shove.
“No sweat?” My father boomed.
I started shaking behind him. Alex reached around and put one hand at the small of my back to comfort me. He was real good at it.
“Give her here.” He said holding our his hand.
“With what you might do?” Alex sneered, “Not over my dead body.”
“What was that boy?” He demanded.
“Dad no.” I said coming out from behind him, “Sorry, um. I-I didn’t mean to. Alex was just in a bad mood from earlier. I’ll be good.”
“Elizabeth.” Alex said grabbing my arm.
“Alexander.” I said in the same tone.
He let me go. I hesitantly walked over to out dad meekly.
He started by running a hand through my hair and caressing my cheek.
“You’re a good girl, Beth.” He said, “Your mother would be proud if she saw the woman you became.” His smile turned into an evil smirk, “Now get in my bedroom.” He hissed.
I nodded and walked towards it.
“No interrupting, boy.” He hissed.
I looked back at Alex begging him to ignore this, this time. When ever I cooperated he wouldn’t be as rough with me. But if Alex interrupted, it wouldn’t matter, the next time he’d be rough enough to break skin.
“Take it off.” He said as he locked the door.
I sat on his bed and untied my shoes pulling them off along with my socks. I pulled my brown hair down from its ponytail. Then I pulled off the red plaid button down I had over top of my grey tank top, then the tank top, then I undid my belt and slipped my jeans off, I reached around to my back and un-clipped my bra letting it fall down with the pile of other things I was forced to remove. I stood up and took off my panties.
Then he approached me. He undid his belt and slipped it off. I held my breath knowing where this was going.
“Over my knee.” He said as he sat down.
I didn’t hesitate as I did what I was told. If I did things were worse.
I bit my bottom lip to keep from crying out in the pain of the buckle of the belt connecting with my skin.
It finally stopped after what seemed like an eternity.
Then he threw me onto the bed and pinned me down.
“We’re trying it in the ass again today.” He hissed close to my face.
I didn’t say or do anything as he flipped me over so I was on my hands and knees.
He entered and I held my breath.
I could hear it all down stairs. What he was doing anyway.
Beth had gotten good at not letting noise escape her when he was doing that.
I knew it was tonight I had to tell her. I had a plan and it was just for us. I was going to tell her when he go to sleep, it’s the only time we have together that’s undisturbed.
He’s a really heavy sleeper, and most of the time Beth wears him out. He’s getting older so he can’t keep going like he does.
I still feel bad though, Beth gets the worst part of it. She raped, abused, and bullied.
I do what I can for her, but it never seems like enough.
I can only hope she can hold out just a little longer.
He pulled out and I lied limply over the side of the bed catching my breath.
“Go to bed.” He barked, “I don’t wanna see you.”
I rolled off the bed and grabbed all my cloths before heading upstairs.
I showered quickly before going into our room.
“Hey.” I said tiredly as I pulled on a pair of sweat pants and an old t-shit. It didn’t bother me, Alex and I have been naked in front of each other plenty of times. Hell, I am almost everyday.
“Bad?” He asked looking me over.
I shrugged, “Could a been worse.” I told him.
He nodded and lied back on our bed.
I turned out the light and crawled in with him. This was normal for us. We’d share a bed because I can’t stand sleeping alone. That’s when the night mares are worse.
He slung an arm around me and pulled me close to him.
“There’s something I wanna tell you.” He whispered.
“I’m listening.” I told him.
“We’re gonna run away.” He said.
“We can’t.” I told him, “He’ll find us.”
“Beth, I’m not going to keep having him do this stuff to you.” He told me.
“Where are we going to go then?” I asked him.
“Mexico.” He said.
“Why Mexico?” I asked him.
“He won’t think to go there.” He told me, “Think about it. I could get a job, you can finish school. I’ve been saving up for years for this. I almost have ten thousand dollars, Beth. We can do it.”
“Here I only have twenty eight.” I laughed lightly.
“You’re the one who does the shopping.” He told me.
I smiled and snuggled closer to him.
“Okay.” I said, “We go to Mexico, you get a job, I get enrolled in a Mexican school, then what?”
“We get a place.” He told me, “And we’ll see what happens after that.”
“You’re crazy.” I told him.
“But you love me for it.” He said and kissed my forehead.
“Yeah.” I said kissing his nose, ” ‘Cause you’re the only one who cares about me.”
“Forever baby sister.” He said and pecked my lips.
“How many times have I told you not to tease me like that?” I whinned.
“Can’t help it.” He whispered and kissed me for real this time.
Most people would say that what goes on between us is wrong. But Alex is my best friend, my only friend. He’s always been there for me forever. No matter what happened, I could always look around and he’d be there. He tries to protect me from dad and everything, I know he tries, but I also know it hurts him when he can’t.
“Go to sleep.” I told him and rested my head on his chest so I could listen to his heart beat.
“And if I wanna stay awake and watch you?” He asked playfully.
“We’ll both wake up cranky in the morning.” I told him running a hand through his brown hair.
“I love you.” He said.
“I love you too.” I smiled.
I woke up the next morning to the sound of rain. I looked over, Alex wasn’t there. He was probably up making breakfast.
I got dressed and headed down stairs, he was there, so was dad, and a strange man. He seemed really business like ’cause he had a suit, tie, and a brief case.
“What’s going on?” I asked.
“Elizabeth, this is Mr. Clabeth.” Alex told me pointing to the man, “He’s here with social services.”
I backed into the wall.
“Don’t be frightened, Elizabeth.” He said trying to sound nice, “I’m here to make sure you and your brother are doing well with your father.”
“We’re doing fine.” I told him tugging on the long sleeves of my sweat shirt.
“I would just like to make sure.” He told me, “A couple of your teachers have reported that they’ve seen a few bruises on you.”
“I’m clumsy.” I said sweetly, “I fall a lot.”
He nodded and wrote something down.
“Beth, sit down.” Alex told me calmly.
I sat down next to him.
“Um, there aren’t any problems here of your children being disrespectful, or aggressive, or having any dangerous behaveur. Is there Mr. Levley?”
“No.” He said, “My son can be a little disrespectful at times. But that’s a teenager for you. They grow out of it.”
He nodded and wrote something else down.
“If it’s not too much to ask, Mr. Levley, would you mind if I spoke to Alexander and Elizabeth alone?” He asked politely.
“I don’t see why not.” He said sending both of us a look.
“I’ll be reading the morning paper in the living room if you need me.” He said and left.
“I understand if neither of you want to talk to me.” He said, “But your teachers have become extremely concerned with the marks appearing on Elizabeth, the slipping of your grades, and your peers have noticed a great deal of lack of socialization from, Alexander. Your neighbours have called complaining of loud noises a lot. If there is anything you want to tell me, say it now please.”
“Why do you care?” I asked him.
“It’s my job.” He said taken aback.
I looked at him from under my bangs.
“You get payed to care about kids like us.” I said rather bitterly, “You come in, you ask a few questions, if we cooperate, we’re sent to foster homes, or something. We’re put up for adoption, we’re separated, and you take away the last amount of happiness we have in this house that’s supposed to be called our home. And you get payed for all of it.”
“You’ll have to forgive her, Mr. Clabeth.” Alex apologised, “Beth, here has had a lot of bad nigh mares since our mother died. She hasn’t been sleeping well because of them.”
He nodded, “How bad are these night mares?” He asked.
I shrugged, “It depends.”
“On what, might I ask?” He asked.
“How I’m feeling throughout the day, things that happened, sometimes what I eat. And if Alex isn’t there to comfort me.” I told him.
“Alex comforts you, when you have these dreams?” He asked.
“How?” He asked.
“He’ll hold me until I feel better sometimes.” I said.
“Others?” He asked again.
“He’ll stroke my hair until I fall asleep, read me a story, whip my tears away and tell me everything’ll be okay.” I said.
I shook my head, “No.” I lied, “He comforts me like a good brother should.
I was lying through my teeth. Alex’d do those sometimes, most of the time he’d kiss and hold me until I feel good enough to fall back asleep.
“Alex, it appears you broke up with your girlfriend four months ago.” He said.
I rolled my eyes, we were in love long before that. He just kept it up to keep acting normal.
“She was getting too serious for me.” He said, it was partly true.
He nodded, then sighed after writing something down.
“Here.” He said giving Alex something, “It’s my business card. It has my personal and work phone numbers on it. If anything happens, I want you two to call me.”
“I’m going to have a quick word with your father.” He said, “I want you two to take care.”
“You too, Mr. Clabeth.” Alex said standing up and shaking his hand.
He went into the other room.
Alex dragged me back upstairs.
“We leave tonight.” He said as soon as the door was locked and barricaded.
We started packing things we needed. Cloths, shoes, money, Alex put his switch blade in his pocket.
I asked him about it and said it was just in case.
We kept waiting and waiting for our dad to call us down, but he never did.
We both slipped on our jackets just after midnight and tiptoed down stairs.
We were almost at the door when I heard a sound I never thought I would.
We turned around slowly to see our dad towering over us with a sawed off shotgun.
I swallowed hard.
“Where do you two think you’re going?” He hissed. He was completely sober.
Alex gripped my hand and he stood up straight.
“We were running away from you and your abuse.” He said.
“You can’t ever get away.” He said.
“It was worth a shot.” Alex laughed lightly.
Dad joined in for a minute, then fired the gun at his left leg.
“Alex!” I screamed as he fell I caught him and held him in my arms.
“It’s gonna be okay. It’s gonna be okay. It’s gonna be okay.” I kept repeating, running my hands through his hair and trying to stop the bleeding.
“It’s gonna be okay.” I said as tears started to fall.
“Don’t cry, Beth.” He said, “It will be alright.”
“It’ll be alright as long you get your ass in my room.” He barked at me.
“No.” I whispered.
“What was that?” He hissed.
“Not until, Alex is looked after.” I cried to him, “He’s your son. He’s my brother. Why wont you help him?”
“Why should I?” He asked, “Neither of you are mine?”
Both our heads shot up to him.
“What the hell do you mean?” I asked chalking on my words.
“Your mother and I were married. But she screwed around with some guy when I was in jail one time.” He said, “You ain’t mine. Neither’s he.”
I stared at him with my mouth wide open, how could this be? I asked myself.
If he isn’t our dad, then who is?
“Now get in the bedroom.” He demanded.
“You’ll have to kill me first.” I hissed at him.
“Beth.” Alex said taking hold of my arm.
“You want me again, you’ll have to kill me first.” I snapped.
“Beth.” Alex said making me look at him, “Don’t do this.” He begged.
I shook my head and whispered, “This is the only way we can be freed from him.”
He cupped my cheek and kissed me one last time.
“If you wanna kill her, you’re gonna need me first.” He told him.
“You two are sick and wrong.” he hissed looking down on us.
“Then kill us already.” I told him.
“Might as well.” He said, “You were starting to get too loose for my liking anyway.”
“I love you, Alex.”
“I love you, Beth.”
We both said that at the same time.
I smiled down at me, he grinned up at me.
A loud bang, blood covered my face and body. Alex lied limply in my arms.
“I love you.” I whispered again.
I heard a loud gun shot again, and everything went black. But for the first time in my life, I felt free.