Theresa Phill2022/05/05 15:40

"Bye Clara" I shouted as I hung my apron where it was meant to be and grabbed my bag from under the counter.
"Is it time already?" Clara asked as she came towards me.
"I'm afraid so" I replied and looked at the wall clock, 9:53, seven more minutes or I would be in trouble.
"Okay then" Clara said and pulled me into a hug "I'll see you tomorrow" she gave me a bag which I knew contained sandwich and chips.
"You know Clara, you don't have to keep doing this" I said as I accepted the paper bag and put it inside my handbag.
"You know I love doing it" she said smiling.
Clara is like a mother to me, she's a gorgeous woman in her late thirties and the owner of sunshine eatery which I am currently working at as a waitress. I came here two years ago to ask for a job when I was still new in town, so when I saw the vacancy sign I applied immediately and got the job. I had kept to myself but Clara being the kind and cheerful woman she is made me warm up to her, I work in her eatery from four o'clock to nine-thirty pm and I love my job.
I glanced at the wall clock and my eyes widened. 9:53, if I reach home late I would be punished and I hate my punishment, I'm meant to be at home by 10:00 on the dot and once I'm late, even if it was a minute after ten I'll face a great punishment.
"Bye Clara, I'm really greatful" I pecked her " extend my greetings to Sammy" Sammy is her twelve year old son.
"Oh I will"
Immediately I was out of the door I sprinted, but I already knew that I wouldn't make it because the walk from the eatery to my house is at least half an hour walk and I don't even have enough money for a bus. I almost cried as I kept on walking faster through the dark streets, what will he do to me? Will I receive a few beatings or at least a slap? Will he have pity on me or will he decide to kill me today?All these thoughts kept running through my mind as I kept on walking, my only hope is that he isn't around.
I reached in front of my house and let out a shaky breath then I rummaged through my handbag and brought out the key. I put the key into the keyhole and few seconds later there was a click. The door opened and I put the key back in my handbag. I entered the house and closed the door quietly, everywhere was dark, I waited and scanned the living room with my eyes maybe waiting for an outburst from him or checking if he was hiding somewhere, when I was sure the coast was clear I let out a sigh of relief. Maybe he isn't home, I made to go upstairs.
"You're late"
I froze at the voice and turned to see a figure lying on the couch, he stood up and walked up to me.
"Where the hell have you been" His voice was cold. I checked my wrist watch and it was three minutes past ten. He staggered slightly and the next thing I knew, a slap landed on my face. He didn't even give me a chance to recover as he dragged me by my elbow and slammed me against the wall. I winced in pain but I didn't dare openly show it. He brought his face closer to me and I stared into his icy eyes, the scar that ran across his face made him more scary. His breath reeked of alcohol and I began to panic, whenever he was drunk my punishment was always a little extreme.
"Were you out with your lover you slut?" He asked harshly and his grip tightened more on my elbow.
I had no idea of what he was talking about. I don't have a lover or even a boyfriend and he knows that.
"Oh right, I forgot. No one in his right senses would want to be with you" He said with an icy laugh. "So why are you late" he asked again. I don't really know why he always asked me that when he knew the answer.
"I'm sorry dad, I had a lot of work to do at the eatery and that was why....." Another slap stopped me in mid sentence and I tried to fight back the tears that was struggling to be let out.
I looked at my dad with teary eyes. Yes my dad, Ronald Jones. He was never really like this before. He was a sweet and caring man, a dad which everyone would have loved to have as a father. His attitude changed after my mum passed away. We moved from Florida to California and I thought he wanted to escape the pain of losing his wife but I was wrong. Thinking back at all the times I had suffered in his hands I couldn't help but wonder if he was putting on a charade when my mum was still alive.
I felt pain when he punched me on my ribs. He let go of me and I fell on the floor because of the pain in my ribs. I couldn't breathe well and tears were threatening to come out from my eyes.
"I'm sorry please don't hurt me again. please" I pleaded. He didn't talk, he just went to the direction of the kitchen and came out with a bottle of alcohol. He stared at me and then poured half of it's contents on me, laughing at what he had done he went upstairs.
I stayed on the floor for a few minutes scared to stand up because of the pain in my ribs but then I managed to stand and move upstairs to my room. My clothes were wet with alcohol and I hated the smell of it. Immediately I was in the comfort of my room I locked it and allowed the tears to flow. I took off my jacket and clothes then entered the bathroom. After spending up to fifty minutes in the bathroom trying to wash off the smell of alcohol from my body and hair, I came out, toweled myself and put on my pyjamas. I looked at myself in the full length mirror. My eyes wee swollen from crying and I looked pretty pale. I have a long black hair and blue eyes, I'm petite in size and average in height. I won't say I'm pretty since no guy has ever taken interest in me or even looked twice at me. Not that I'm complaining.
I sat down on the bed when the pain in my ribs became unbearable wondering how my dad became like this. At least today's punishment wasn't that bad compared to what I have always received. At times he would hit my head on the floor and I would be unconscious only to wake up and still find myself in that same spot and then I would drag myself pathetically and move up to my room. Most of the time, I would receive blows and punches. I can still remember how he almost stabbed me with a kitchen knife but passed out as a result of too much alcohol. I shook my head to clear the thought, I took the picture of my mum from the bedside table. It was a picture of her smiling at the beach,I kissed it and kept it back.
This was not how my life was, we were a perfect family until my parents began to have constant quarrels. One day I had eavesdropped and that was when I found out that my dad was a gang leader. He was the leader of a powerful gang and that was when I started to fear him, when my mum died he became a monster, believe me I've tried to run away a few times but was always caught since he had his men all over the city. I even tried reporting to the police but the result wasn't a pleasant one. When we moved to California he stopped caring and said that he wouldn't take responsibility for my education or feeding. I was about to lose hope of finishing high school when I heard about a scholarship exam which I applied for, passed and got admitted into the school.
I now try my best to look after myself with my earnings from Sunshine Eatery. Closing my eyes and taking in a deep breath I let sleep take over.


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