Mother called me downstairs. I was afraid of what she was going to do to me this time. Once I finally reached the bottom, two of my sisters raced past me in such delight towards the backyard, in the nice crisp air of St. Johnsbury, Vermont. It was May, just the right time of year to play outside without getting too hot or cold. I walked forward, expecting the worst. Mother strolled toward me, her brown curly hair bouncing on her plump shoulders, with arrogance in each stride. She spoke softly, although I knew she didn’t love me. “I saw you playing with other kids yesterday. Her voice was getting louder, and she was getting closer to my face.
“You seemed to be having fun. ” Now she was yelling in my ear. I could see each and every speck of makeup and concealer on her face to hide the bags under her eyes and the cold, hard stare. “YOU KNOW THAT HAVING FUN IS AGAINST THE RULES! ” I started to make a run for it, but mother had the advantage of being very tall, and she put her foot in front of mine and I tripped. She grabbed my leg, twisted it, and dragged me back to her. I felt a searing pain in the back of my leg and shrieked in pure agony. I heard a crack and so did mother.
I knew she didn’t care, but I looked up at her with pleading eyes. She looked away and brought me to a standing position, where she had the best shot at hitting me directly in the face. When she ordered me back upstairs to clean the bathroom, going up the stairs was more troublesome than I had thought. I looked in the mirror and saw where she had beat me. There were bruises and scratches, and my face looked and felt like an animal had attacked me. I started scrubbing, only wishing I could be at school. My only safe haven. My teacher is the nicest person I have ever met (besides my dad), and the few friends I have are forgiving and generous.
But when I heard footsteps my thoughts of happiness disappeared, and I flinched. My oldest sister, Karen, walked into the bathroom, and whispered into my ear,“Mother is taking us on a big trip next week. We’re going to the Grand Canyon. And guess what? You’re staying with Aunt Silvia. ” She walked away, knowing that she had made me mad. Aunt Silvia was my mother’s step sister. She was exactly like mother, but more self centered. I just wished that I had gotten to stay with my father, who was kicked out of the house about a year ago for standing up for me and saying that mother needed to stop.
When I heard my two younger sisters get called in for dinner, I inched my way down to the basement, wincing in pain, so I could get my food for the night. Twenty minutes later, mother came in, with a piece of cheese and a cracker. I snarfed it down, and went to clean the dishes. When mother told me to stop and get into the car, I started to get worried. Last time she told me to get into the car, mother took me down to the lake where I had to stick my face into the frigid water for minutes at a time. Once mother got into the car, I strapped myself in with all three back seat belts.
When we arrived at the hospital I was worried that she would threaten the doctors to do something horrible to me, but as we entered the emergency room, the doctor came up to my mother and said “ Are you Ms. Osborne? ” Mother nodded. “Follow me please. ” The doctor led us to a room down the hall. We went inside, and he told me to hop up onto the table. But I told him I couldn’t. I asked him to take a look at my leg, and when he did, he immediately put me onto the table. “This may sting a little. ” He gave me a shot and five minutes later, everything went black.
When I eventually woke up, the doctor and mother were both looking down at me. We had to make you go to sleep so we could do surgery on your broken leg. ” I glanced down, and sure enough, my leg was in a cast, and there were crutches leaning on the wall by the door. Mother yelled at me the second we arrived at home, “Do you realize how much that bill cost me?! ” I shook my head and mother banished me to the basement, which was pretty much my room. After I heard my sisters finally go to bed, I started to doze off, but that was a big mistake.
Mother walked into the basement ten minutes later, and to wake me up, she grabbed my face and slapped it like her hand was the paddle, and my face was the ping pong ball. The bill was one thousand fifty dollars you little twit! ” She threw me back onto the blankets I slept on, and marched upstairs. I finally fell asleep, with pain in my leg. My dream-(It was Christmas, and the family was watching me open the first present. It was a helicopter! Just what I had wanted! I thanked mother, and she gave me a huge kiss. ) I smiled for what seemed like the first time in my entire life. But that moment only lasted about two seconds because mother was calling for yet another day of torture.
Two years later… Mother was hitting me like never before, I tried to dodge the blows and run. But each time she caught me. She did the massive attacks on me in front of a window (by accident) and I saw our neighbor looking curiously through her window. “If you were a girl, you wouldn’t be so annoying! It’s your fault that I’m beating you! You decided to be a boy! ” Although she knew the truth, Mother had always thought that it was my fault that I was born a boy. The next time Mother hit me I saw the neighbor again, and this time she was on her phone, staring at Mother with a concerned look.
An hour later there was a sharp knock on the door and I went to get it. A police officer stood with five other men behind him. “Is Ms. Osborne home? ” I nodded my head and called for Mother. She came down the hall with an annoyed expression, but immediately after she saw the police, her faced turned pale. “Hello officers… may I help you? ” “Yes, are you Ms. Avery Osborne? ” She nodded reluctantly. The officer held up his badge and said, “ We received a call earlier today about you abusing this young boy,” nodding at me.
“Is this report true? Of course, Mother denied all accusations, but right as she was going to say something rude to the police, our neighbor walked beside the officer in front. “I can describe what I saw…” Suddenly I spoke up, not expecting it myself. “This woman is telling the truth. I get abused all the time by her,” pointing at Mother. “Please, help me escape this misery. ” Mother looked at me in awe. Two weeks later… My sisters, my dad and I were playing Monopoly at the dining room table. We were all laughing and joking around with each other, and I was smiling. I was so happy that all the kids got to stay with my father.
Everyone was happy, even our new puppy was happy! Surprisingly my sisters were tired of Mother’s cruel ways too. In a way I felt bad that Mother had gone to jail for abusing me. But I also realized that I was afraid of her, except when we were in public, and that was probably why I had spoken up when the police were at my house. It was my turn, and before I went, I asked father, “Once you were out of the house, why didn’t you call the police yourself? ” Everything got silent. “Son, I don’t know why I didn’t call the police. I didn’t realize that I was capable of doing such a simple thing since I got kicked out by your mother.
Since I couldn’t stand up to her, I thought that I wasn’t going to be able to say something to the authorities. I’m so sorry I left you for all those years. ” He walked to his room with his head sulking, and I just sat there, watching him walk away. I walked slowly towards his room, and started to say I was sorry but he interrupted me- “No, I’m sorry. It’s not your fault. ” He whispered just loud enough that I could hear him. I hugged him like I had never hugged anyone ever before. Now I can live with happiness, not cruelty, and be proud that my family was back to being nice to each other. And I smiled.