The International Writers
Hed ruined everything,
they could have been so happy. Shed waited years for her mum and
dad to split up. Shed waited for that time with her mum and brother;
time for them to become a proper family again. Or so she thought. Her
mum had met him the week that she decided to divorce her dad. There wasnt
any spare time for the kids. She left one relationship and walked straight
into another one.
falling on the icy ground. Shallow breaths echo round the air.
She could feel her heart pounding in her chest. She had to run,
had to hide, had to get away. He was still too close. Her head
was thumping; the blood rushing through her veins. She couldnt
look back; she didnt want to see his face; didnt want
to hear that voice.
Like most new relationships, the start was all roses and chocolate. It
blossomed like a perfect rose. The kids were happy, was this finally the
father figure they had been waiting for? Everything was steady, it had
all seemed to have settled down. Had it been a boat it would have been
gently riding on the calm sea. Then he moved in, the sea suddenly got
really rough, the boat was going everywhere. Hed got the power he
craved. Like a boat bobbing along on the calm sea, not expecting a thing.
Suddenly the winds changed and within moments the boat capsized.
The footsteps were dying away he was stopping, he couldnt catch
her. "You cant run forever." The words echoed round the
air. "Youll have to come back one day and when you do. Ill
He was right, she couldnt keep running; she would have to stop.
But where would she go? Then she knew, he turned towards the setting sun.
That first Christmas, was one that she would never forget. It was meant
to be such a happy time, a time for family. That was what shed wished
for, hoped for. The Christmas that she got was very different. He didnt
like their family, so the big, happy, warm, family Christmas went out
the window. Shed wanted everyone their, her grandparents and even
his parents. No, it was just them. Shed never felt that lonely.
The house felt so lonely, like she didnt belong. Shed so wanted
that first Christmas to be the three of them together without her dad.
Hed gone at Easter, she didnt think that by Christmas there
would be another man. But it took two weeks for her mum and this new man
to get together after her dad went. So by Christmas it felt like theyd
been together for years. Not only that, she felt so torn. It was her first
ever Christmas without her dad around as well. She knew now that she would
probably never spend another Christmas with her dad, not that she wanted
to; any Christmas they spent together he had ruined. His idea of Christmas
was to see how quickly he could get really drunk. It was his own personal
challenge to beat the time hed set the year before.
Christmas was going to change again. Hed only been living with them
for six months but shed already been able to see past his guise.
Shed seen his true colours. The smart and well presented man was
all an act. When he was annoyed, the true man came out; his temper biding
its time fighting to get out. Like dynamite everyone wondered when it
would be lit. Everyone worried when it would explode. Even the most simple
things would set off a reaction. He was just so jealous. The last tantrum
that he had was when he found some of her Dads clothes in the wardrobe.
He was like a toddler balling when someone else is playing with their
favourite toy. He wanted her Mum all to himself. He didnt want to
share. Such a simple thing, yet it caused so much pain, everyone in tears,
everyone hurting. So what did this man, so big and strong do when things
got tough, simple. He walked away.
Shed stopped running now, there wasnt any point, hed
stopped, she was safe. Not that she felt it. He simply expected her back
again. But she kept asking, what was there to go back for? More shouting,
more anger, more threats, more pain? No. She stopped by the river and
took in a deep breath. Shed loved the river, for as long as she
could remember. It was her peace and her haven. The swirling water. Twisting
below her. The gentle splashes against the side. Gentle ripples, heavy
pounding. She became so lost in it. She stared out into the blue.
She knew from the moment she met his parents. She knew she wasnt
what theyd expect. The way she talked, acted. Not what they were
used to. They were all jolly hockey sticks and country manors. She couldve
fitted her house into theirs three times over. His Mum looked down her
nose at her. Shed been expecting a well bought up middle class girl,
who had her own pony, shed got a shock when she met her. She couldnt
have been any more different, but she was proud of who she was and wouldnt
change for anyone. But shed survived. Got through it. They were
only there for a weekend and then they went home. Little did she know,
there was much worse to come.
She couldnt stay by the river all night. No matter how much she
wanted to. She felt like something was calling her. Her name was being
carried on the wind. But where? Where would she go? Then she knew. She
carried on towards the beach.
Everyone had always told her; things would get better. They were wrong.
It didnt get better. It got worse. She wanted to believe them, she
did, but everyone time she ended up proving herself wrong. He got angrier
quicker. His temper got more violent. His outbursts became more and more
frequent. Though there was one time she couldnt forget, one time
that would remain forever. Shed been on the computer, playing games,
chatting to her friends. Doing the same as any other normal teenager.
She hadnt even realised that he was in a bad mood. How was she meant
to tell? Suddenly his feet were on the stairs. Stomping. His voice, barking
sharp and nasty. Before she realised what was happening, he was at the
top of the stairs. Though he didnt tell her to get off the computer,
he slammed the bathroom door behind him. She stopped, she thought. She
decided that it would be a good idea to turn off the computer. Out the
bathroom he came, his face like thunder. What? He was screaming at her,
telling her to turn off the computer. She couldnt hear anything
but his screaming, ringing in her ears. Couldnt he see she was turning
it off? She couldnt concentrate. He was getting more and more violent.
He was scaring her. Suddenly her Mum came up the stairs. Hed advanced
towards her. He raised his hand. What was happening? He couldnt,
Suddenly her mum had come between them. There was the sharp sound of skin
hitting skin, her mum had crumpled. Suddenly time stopped. Her world collapsed.
Hed hit her, hed hit her mum. Tears streaming down her face.
She looked up. Her ears didnt seem to work any more. He was screaming.
So was her Mum. He didnt like being screamed at. The sound of another
slap rang round her head. She had to escape, had to get away. She ran
up the stairs into the roof. She covered her ears. It wouldnt go
away. The slaps rang round her ears. The tears wouldnt stop, they
flowed and flowed, rivers of guilt, running down her cheeks, how could
she ever forgive him now?
Stood at the end of the pier, she thought of all those times, the times
hed upset them. Hed broken what was left of their family.
Hed shattered any relationship her and her Mum may have had. All
those times hed broken her. So why had she taken him back? She didnt
understand her Mum was stronger than that. What hurt more though was him
telling her that it was her fault. He stood in front of her screaming
at her Mum, yet still told her it was her fault. How could he? Maybe they
were right, maybe it was her fault she could change all of that though,
she knew what she had to do. She slowly climbed up onto the railings.
Hed caused more pain than shed ever imagined. He was like
a steam roller. He didnt just break the relationships, he crushed
them. Hed crushed her. Sometimes he hurt her so much, that she wished,
she lived with her Dad. The Dad whod hurt her so much. She longed
more than anything for a way out. Though one never came. There was one
though, lying deep in the back of her mind. It scared her to think of
it. Shed never thought that she was strong enough. It was the final
act, was she strong enough? Could she do it?
Ever since she was little, her Mum had warned her. Shed always told
her how strong the river was. That no one could ever get back out again.
That the river was so strong, that youd be lost out to sea in minutes.
She climbed on top of the railings.
It was ok, theyd understand. Wouldnt they? She always knew,
that they would be better off without her. She knew that she didnt
fit. Shed left them notes. Shed explained. Shed made
sure thats shed told the people she cared about. Told them
how much she loved them. Finally shed made sure that shed
told her Mum it wasnt her fault.
The sea was so beautiful in the night. Swirling below her, like a dream.
The night above so clear. It was a perfect evening. Everything seemed
so right. Stood on top of those railing. Breathing in lungfuls of the
sea air she so loved. So long shed longed to be free. This was it.
With one final smile she stepped off the railings.
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