My name is Clarissa Morgenstern. I go by Clary. I live with my father, Valentine, and my brother, Jonathan. He goes by Jon. My mom died when I was four. I don't remember her. My dad doesn't like me much because I look so much like her. He says I bring back bad memories of her. I guess that's why her beats me.

Jon helps me to clean up my cuts and bruises. He takes good care of me, and I'm very grateful that he does. I've been abused by Valentine for 7 years. The beatings started when I was nine. The first time he beat me to the point of unconsciousness was when I was eleven. At the time I thought that was the worst he could do to me. I was so wrong. That night, he was drunk.


I was sitting on bed with my sketch book balanced on my knees. I was drawing my brother, my savior. I heard the door slam downstairs. My father was home. I quickly scrambled up to hide my sketch book. He would take it away if he knew I had it. He was yelling at my brother. Jon's beatings weren't as bad as mine, but they were still awful. We took turns patching each other up. He bandaged me up more than I did him because I got the majority of the beatings.

When I got downstairs, he had chucked a beer bottle at my brother. He avoided the bottle. My father got angry at him and started beating him senseless. I ran over to guard my brother who was trying to protect his stomach from the demon we called dad.

"No Clary," he croaked, "Go back upstairs. I'll be up in a little bit. Okay?"

He had barely had time to say the "okay" before Valentine punched me. He hit me square in the jaw. It was hard enough to make me fall to the ground. While I was down, Valentine started kicking me repeatedly in the stomach. I started to dry heave because of the pain. He grabbed a handful of my vibrant red hair, and bashed my head against the wall several times.

When he finally let go of my hair, I fell to the ground. He walked back over to my brother and continued his beating. I would walk through hell and back to save my brother. I dragged myself to my feet and walked to my brother. I stood in front of him yet again. Suddenly Valentine knelt down, grabbed my ankle and twisted as hard as he could. I felt a snap in my ankle, and I fell to the ground screaming. Valentine slapped me as hard as he could, then went over to the couch and passed out.

As I was writhing in pain from my now broken ankle, I felt a strong pair of arms, wrap around me, and pick me up. Jon carried me upstairs to his room. We often slept in the same bed after our beatings. We both had the nightmare, having the other there to calm us down helped a lot. Jon put me down on his bed, and started to fix me up. He put my foot in a spare cast to support my ankle. He told me it was just sprained.

I started to get up to help him with his injuries, but he told me to get them in the morning. He changed both of us into pajamas and then crawled into bed next to me. He pulled the blankets up around both of us, and pulled me close to him, careful to avoid my new bruises. I laid my head down on his chest and wrapped my arms around his waist. We soon fell asleep in each other's embrace.

Flashback over

It's been five years since that beating. I've grown both stronger and weaker over the years. As I grow older I start to look more and more like my mother which consists of more beatings. However, because of the numerous beatings, they don't hurt as bad anymore.

I'm 16 years and Jon is 17. We both go to Idris High School. We have a black sports car that Valentine bought years ago, but never used. We drive the two miles to school in it. It's better than walking. Luckily, Jon and I have mostly all the same classes. For 1st and 2nd hour I have English with Mr. Starkweather, and Math with Mr. Garroway with Jon. Then we have lunch, and we go to P.E. Next I have art and music, while he has science, and science. Then we both go home.

I have two friends. Simon Lewis, and Isabelle Lightwood. She goes by Izzy. Jon is best friends with her older brother, Alec. We all sit with each other at lunch. No one knows about our beatings. Valentine would flip if he knew that we told anyone because they could go to the police. He's been charged with child abuse before. That's why we moved. Jon and I both like it here. We're not willing to give it up, and if that means keeping our mouths closed, then so be it.