Disclaimer: I don't own anybody except for those that are not famouse! this never happend and is not true, just a work of fiction.
ME OUT!!!!" Ash pounded on her bedroom door, screaming at her
mother. "I wanna see DAD!"
Her mother's voice came through the wood. "Shut-up, Ashley, or I'll have to do it for you." She heard footsteps down the hall.
Ash sat on her bed and tried not to cry. Today was her 18th birthday. She should've been at her dad's a month ago but he'd never come to get her. He'd finally called earlier that afternoon but her mom refused to let him see her. She balled her hands into a fist, and then let out a gasp. Her left middle finger was swollen and purple. There was no telling what her face looked like.
Ash heard a big truck with a big engine pull into the driveway. She could picture her dad pulling his 6'10" frame out form the Chevy Silverado. When she didn't hear the engine cut off she panicked. "Oh God. He's believing whatever she's telling him. He's gonna leave me here." Ash jumped up and pounded on her window. Her mother had nailed it closed from the outside, so pulling on it wouldn't work. She frantically looked around for something heavy enough to break the glass.
She picked up her metal desk chair and heaved it against the window as hard as she could. As soon as the sound of breaking glass stopped she screamed. "DADDY!!!" She had just gotten her head out the hole when she was shoved back inside. She felt the skin on her forearm catch on a shard. She looked up to see Mark push past her mom.
Ash scrambled up. "Please don't leave me here."
"I'm not. You're coming with me." He helped her through without getting any more cuts. Then, ignoring his screeching ex-wife, he carried her to his truck. He was down the street before he spoke again. "How bad are you hurt?"
"I don't know. I cut my arm."
He pulled into an empty parking lot and slammed the truck into park. "Let me look at you." He yanked a shirt out of his gym bag and carefully wiped the blood off her face. "Jesus, what'd she do to you?"
Ash shrugged. "She got mad when I demanded to see you. I told her I was 18 now and she couldn't stop me."
"So she beat the hell out of you?"
Ash looked sheepish. "I may have thrown some profanities in there."
Mark just grunted and moved down her arm. "Well, you're definitely gonna need stitches. And looks like that finger's broken. Possible concussion. We're going to the hospital."
"Do we have to?"
He cut her a glance out of the side of his eyes.
"I just don't want them to write up a report. They'll want me to press charges. But I just want it over. I don't wanna have to see her again."
"I'm sorry. We're going. I understand, but we've gotta get you fixed up."
Ash just nodded her head.
A few hours later
Heather heard the truck pull up. She scrambled down the stairs and
threw open the front door. She greeted her half sister with, "You
look like shit."
Ash grinned around the swollen and bruised parts. "Love you too." She held up her left hand where her middle finger was encased in metal. "Bitch broke my finger."
Mark sighed. "She got 14 stitches in her arm. Four in her eyebrow and two in her lip. But she's worried about a cracked finger."
Heather took her sister's good hand and they went upstairs. "Dad called from the hospital. I have been climbing the walls."
"Awww…for lil ole me?"
"Can the sarcasm, Ash. Dad's been worried about this for years now."
"He said it wasn't anything he could put his finger on, but he thought she'd been hitting you."
"Well, he's really pissed. He barely said anything in the truck."
"You know he's not mad at you, right?"
Ash nodded. "I think he's disappointed that I let it go this far. Which is worse. I'd rather him be mad."
"I totally understand. But everything's gonna be fine now. You don't have to live with your momma now."
Ash shrugged and mumbled a quick goodnight.
that night, after everyone had gone to bed, Ash heard her door creak
open. A large shadow blocked the hall light. "Dad?"
"I didn't mean to wake you up yet."
"You didn't. Can't sleep either?"
He left the door cracked enough to let a little light in. "Not really." He sat on the end of her bed. "When you guys were little, I'd come check on you as soon as I got home. It was the first thing I did. You'd both be piled up in one or the other's room."
Ash smiled at the memory. "We'd leave a nightlight on to make sure you knew who's room we were in."
"Yep. And I'd see that you were fine and I'd go to bed." Mark was silent for a moment. "My worst fear was that something would happen to my girls while I was gone. It still is. Even though you're both adults now."
"Dad? I really need to tell you something. And I know you're gonna get upset."
"Just tell me."
"You remember when we had to go to court about who got me after the divorce?"
"You remember how you took me out for ice cream the day before?"
"Yeah. The day I screwed everything up."
"What exactly happened? I was too little to remember it all."
Mark sighed heavily and readjusted himself on the bed. "I argued with you mother to let me take you out that day. She was saying that she'd make sure I never saw you again after they gave her custody. So I said fine. Let me have her for one afternoon. I knew my lawyers would get me at least partial custody. I hadn't seen you in about 3 weeks and you were a rambunctious child anyway. So you were bouncing all over the place that day. You caught sight of Baskin Robins and took off right into the street. I think you took a few years off my life right then. I just reacted. I grabbed your arm and yanked you back to the sidewalk. I wasn't thinking about how strong I was or how little you were. I left a lot of marks. Your mother used that in court against me." Mark caught sight of her face. Tears leaked silently down her bruised cheeks. "What? What's wrong?"
"I'm sorry. I lied.
To you. To everyone. Mom told me I had to. When I got home she saw
the light bruises and started grabbing my arm, making them worse. And
I had to say you did it. Or she'd make sure I never saw you again.
And if I told anyone she did it, then I'd get taken to an orphanage
where kids get beaten all the time and no one feeds them or let's
them play…" the last few words were almost unintelligible.
Mark scooped his child into his lap and rocked her like a baby. "Shhh. It's okay."
"No it's not. If I'd have told the truth maybe I could've lived with you. And this never would've happened."
"But we'll never know what coulda woulda shoulda happened. And you'll drive yourself crazy thinking about it."
Ash sniffled and looked up at him through watery eyes. "So, you're not mad at me?"
"No, honey. You were four years old. I can't blame you for being scared of your momma. Hell, I was scared of her sometimes."
"Bitch broke my finger."
Mark couldn't help but laugh. "Why that finger though? What'd you do? Flip her off?" He took her silence for a yes. "Not smart. You knew that."
"I know. But she had already beaten the shit out of me. So I figured fuck it. And I'd wanted to give that bitch the bird for a lotta years."
"Me too, darlin', me too."
They heard a door open next to them and Heathers head poked in. "Having a slumber party without me?"
"Why don't you girls go get in my bed? Since I have to wake Ash up every hour, we'll just camp out and watch movies."
Ash's eyes were still shiny. "Like when we were little?"
"Yep. Except I'm not checking the closet for monsters."
Heather snorted. "Dad, we wanted to sleep with you cause we just knew the closet monsters were terrified of the Lord of Fucking Darkness."
"Then why'd I have to scare so many away?"
It was Ash's turn to snort. "We wanted to see how many times you'd yell into an empty closet."
"Rotten. You are rotten, rotten children. Why do I put up with you two?"
"Glutton for punishment?" Heather suggested.
"Obviously." His voice was dry. "Now go pick a movie. I'll be there in a minute." After the girls left Mark stayed a minute. He looked around at the bedroom still decorated for a child. They hadn't been able to find care bear wall paper, so Mark had a friend of his hand paint Care-A-Lot onto the walls. Every bear you could think up was in residence. As his own special touch, Mark had added one riding a Harley. Ash had squealed and refused to leave her room for hours. Mark had to smile at the memory. The three of them had eaten dinner on the floor. Like a picnic.