I've seen your face

In pictures with names

That never were framed...

It was amazing how simply I could block all of it out. The years of senseless abuse and torture he put us though. I was so little, an easy target. I hated being so small. Mom was small too, but not like me. She couldn't defend me either, she screamed and cried when you hit her, threatening to kill her. The memories I recant the most are my most heinous. The ones that stood horrific in the mind of a terrified child. Daddies were supposed to love their children and wives, take good care of them, shower them with gifts and affection. Walk me to the bus stop or pick me up from school. You were supposed to be there to guide and be my hero, the perfect star-studded role model.

What cold, cruel irony.

You were my worst nightmare. You weren't like the other fathers at school that drove their children to movies and laughed through mouthfuls of salty popcorn. You weren't the good kind of daddy. You were the bad sort. The only time you ever spent with me... I cover my mouth still disgusted by the mere thought of such things. Losing my heart had not purified my body of you deep inside me, rotting me away. Teaching me never to trust and never to love. You were the cruel abusing son of a bitch that let your hands roam until I was old enough to screw. Then you pinned me down fucked me until I bled and cried. Beat my mother until her blood coated the floor and walls. Kids at school would tease me because I was so quiet. I was the outcast with my nose in a book desperate to escape the reality in which I resided. It was safer there, in the realms of books. I didn't have to be myself. I could have a happy ending.

Even now I look into the mirror and all I see is you. I have my mother's small stature but it's the eyes I stare back into, the long steel blue hair. I see my own face and remember yours, smirking above me, laughing and having such wonderful fun. Tears prick my eyes and I curl up on the bed, burying my face in my knees. The one illusion I can't control. The one monster that lurks in the darkness I can never slay. You tore me apart. Are you happy now?

I'm ashamed to face the neophytes. In truth I am nowhere near as confident as I play myself off to be. The tortures of my life have armed me with the skills of masterful disguise. I can play off anything I may be feeling and you'll all believe me. You carefree spirits who take what you have with each other so lightly. It's never been used against you.

Gently I kneel and take out from a box beneath the bed, a place I, Lexaeus, and Vexen keep little things that remind us of our past. A picture of Vexen's mother next to mine, the face of our fathers carved angrily away. Being sold to a psychotic doctor and tortured was no childhood either. Jealousy clenched my chest tightly as I unfolded the picture of Lexaeus's family. Six beautiful children smiling around their mother, his father having abandoned them at a young age. Lexaeus wasn't bitter, he never remembered his father enough to hate. I couldn't help but envy him and the happy family he talked so much about. The only true happiness I had ever known was with Ansem with the other elders. They held me when I cried, cradled me when I couldn't sleep. Laughed and joked and dare I say loved me over the rounds of winter nights spent by a roaring fireplace eating sea salt ice cream.

The last picture in the box is my own, a picture of my tender little mother. I could only imagine how lonely she must be. She always regretted being unable to protect me from her husband. I want to cry so I shove it away and climb back onto the bed. My lower back tightens up and I cannot withold the tears. The vivid pain wedged in my memory. It's best she believes me dead. I couldn't bear her to see what I have become.

She never framed you...