That's What I Believe

by, Cassandra

I slam the bathroom door hard and lean against it, sinking down to the floor. I don't even bother to lock it, because if he wants in a flimsy lock isn't going to do a damn thing to keep him out.

I shove my fist against my mouth, trying to muffle my gasping sobs. My other arm is wrapped tightly around my bruised stomach, alleviating some of the pain. It's not fair that a thirteen year old has to go through this.

He yells at me, he beats me, and then he has the nerve to tell me he loves me. And sometimes, when he's in a good mood, I actually believe it. He promises that he'll stop, that he'll get help. But the next day it's the same story all over again.

I do one thing he doesn't like and he's all over me like white on rice. And it's not like there's anyone I can go to. He home schools me now. He doesn't want a repeat of last time when I told the cops what was going on.

They investigated, they filed charges, they brought him to court, and he walked because he paid the damn judge off. He moved us across the country after that. Not just because he thought they'd bring him back to court, but because he was scared that the detective who'd worked the case would try to take me away.

So now I'm alone with him. There's no one to protect me. I've tried praying, every night since I was six. Since this hell began. But I'm still with him, he's still abusing me. I'm still alone.

I draw my knees up to my chest, wrapping my arms around them. I feel sick, like I always do after one of his beatings. I just want this to end; I don't really care how anymore. I use to make-believe that some knight on his white horse would come riding in, and save me from all of this. But I don't believe in fairy tales and happily-ever-after anymore.

What I do believe in on bad days is that families are punishment for a past life. Maybe I killed someone, or maybe I was a thief, or an arsonist. Someone really, really bad, someone who actually deserved this life.

On good days I believe that heaven is crying when it rains. Someone up there sees what innocent children like me are going through and cries to let them know that there is someone up there, or out there, that gives a damn.

But today is a bad day. And today I believe that the broken razor on the sink is my salvation. I believe with all my heart that it's the only way I'm ever going to be able to get away from him. And I'm a firm believer in the things I believe. Even if they aren't necessarily true.

All I know is that spilling my own blood is better than him spilling it for me. It's better than doing this damn dance over and over again, with no end to the depressing music. It's hell of a lot better than knowing that there's absolutely no one out there who loves me.

The razor glides across my skin easily enough, though it's a bit dull. My blood immediately starts oozing out, and I'm mesmerized. I'm a little surprised that it doesn't hurt more, but I really shouldn't be. I mean, after all the pain I've gone through, a little cut isn't going to be a big deal.

I close my eyes, tears still streaming down my cheeks, unconsciously praying for forgiveness from whoever will listen. But in closing my eyes my never ending dream surfaces, assaulting my mind with words.

"So, no matter what, heaven isn't the only one crying."

"Don't worry; I'm not going to let him hurt you ever again."

"It's okay. You're going to be okay."

"I love you. Remember that."

My eyes pop open after I hear the last phrase in my head. It was the only time anyone has ever said they loved me. At least the only person without ulterior motives. The detective who worked my case, the man who showed me what a real father is like.

I remember the look in his eyes after I had testified at my father's trial. It was the look of a father proud of his daughter. Even though he had daughters' of his own, one's that weren't damaged, he still thought I was worth that look.

He had hugged me, held me as I cried, and told me how proud he was of me. He told me how brave he thought I was; that grown woman had a hard time testifying at their rapist's trials, and I was so brave to agree to do it.

He wouldn't be so proud if he saw me right now. He'd have a look of disappointment. Disappointed at the fact that I thought this was the only way out. I let the razor slid out of my fingers, hearing it clatter to the floor.

I can't do it. I can't bear the thought of disappointing the one person who'd ever really given a damn about me. The one person who thought I was worth something. I'm not even sure what I'm worth anymore.

I start sobbing again, this time not even trying to muffle the sound. But this time they're not tears of pain, or anger. This time they're tears of frustration, laughter, joy. He'd saved me again... but this time he won't even know it.

But I'm making two vows right here, right now, with the bloody razor and my pitiful, tear streaked reflection as my witnesses. One; I'm never going to be in this position again. No matter what happens, no matter how hard life gets, I'm never going to think that suicide is the answer.

And two; I'm going to make sure that; someday somehow, he's going to know what he did for me. He's going to know how he saved my life. And hopefully if, god forbid, something were to happen to him, I'd be able to return the favor.

Life may seem like it's not worth living sometimes, but there's always at least a tiny ray of light somewhere. Something you can hold on to, something to get you through your darker moments, days, weeks, months, years.

That's what I believe, and I'm a firm believer in the things I believe.