Author's note: This is a rewrite of an original story I published long ago. It was recently stolen a few times so I've made some changes to the storyline. Hope you enjoy!
Warning: Adult content
Disclaimer: Do not own Glee
"His name is Noah," she says quietly. "Noah Aiden Puckerman."
The room goes quiet, even her son's constant babbling stops as he looks around at everyone's confused face.
The only noise in the room is Rachel's labored breathing. She's almost positive that coming here was a huge mistake and the silence in the room is eating at her, adding more nerves to her already churning stomach.
After a moment of recollection, Deborah smirks an all too familiar smirk. "Well, at least it suits him, right Bekah?" she jokes with a hearty laugh. "And it's a strong Jewish name too."
"Ma?" Rebekah says in confusion, looking the boy in her lap up and down. "You know what that means, right?"
Deborah scoffs at her daughter, "Of course I know what it means, Rebekah, I've known he was Noah's son from the minute he walked in the door. He's the spitting image of No' at that age, I was waiting for Rachel to confess."
Rachel panics, a sarcastic Puckerman is never a good thing when you're the subject. "Ms. Puckerman, I didn't mean to offend you or spring this on you and I'm sorry for hiding it for so long, but I didn't have a choice and-"
Deborah holds up her hand and Rachel stops mid-sentence. "It doesn't matter, Rachel, what matters is that you're here now and that you've brought my Jewish grandbabies and you've given them such strong beautiful names, you know hoe important to me that is" she smiles as she plants a big kiss on Nova's cheek who blinks up at the woman before smiling widely. "I always knew one day you'd have his children."
"Y-you're not mad?" Rachel asks timidly, her head swirling with emotions. This was entirely too much for her to handle, from the awful morning she'd had, to a disastrous dinner, to an unexpected escape, and now this? She doesn't know if she can handle this.
"Mad?" Deborah repeats as she shakes her head. "No, I'm not mad. Disappointed, yes. You kept my family from me, Rachel. From Rebekah, Noah, and me. I'm assuming he doesn't know, am I correct?"
Rachel nods, keeping her head bowed to hide her shame. "I tried and I know I'm a horrible person for doing this, but you have to believe I had good reasons."
Deborah nods, she knows Rachel isn't the kind of person who acts without a reason. "I'm sure you did, Rachel, and I can't wait to hear all of them and an explanation as to why you left."
Rachel pales and swallows back bile, this is what she cannot handle. She's barely escaped her old life and already the filth that's embedded into her skin is making an appearance in front of the people she cares about the most. How is she supposed to tell them why she left? She can't lie, not to them, they mean too much to her and she can't live with that type of guilt. She fights the nausea churning in her stomach, if they find out what kind of sick disgusting person she really is, they won't want anything to do with her or her children, but it's a sacrifice she has to make, they deserve the truth.
Deborah watches the girl across form her fidget and wince while having an inner-battle with herself. She knows that whatever happened to Rachel in the past four years she wasn't with Noah was bad to the point where the girl couldn't even think about it without showing physical displeasure.
She knows Rachel will talk eventually and that the sooner she knows what's going on, the sooner she can help. She does know that the girl needs to get to a hospital, she's ungodly pale, trembling, and appears to have some sort of injury around her chest area. It could be just a mother's intuition or the twenty-five years she's spent as a nurse, but she has a feeling Rachel's not going to go for an examination willingly. Not with injuries like the ones she has. Black eyes, busted lips, and visible handprints are all signs of abuse. There's no way Rachel's been treated for them without anyone asking questions.
She sighs deeply and turns towards her daughter, it's now or never. "Bekah, why don't you take the children and their things upstairs for a while and have some playtime until they fall asleep, they look pretty tired," she says gesturing to Nova's steadily drooping eyes.
"It's okay, Ms. Puckerman, I can do it," Rachel cringes as she stands to take her son from Rebekah. "They're really not used to being around strangers and-
"Sit down, Rachel," Deborah interrupts sternly, the way Rachel's holding her side in pain is scaring her and she doesn't want her to strain herself. "They're not with strangers, they're with family and Rebekah is perfectly capable of doing it. You and I are going to have something to eat and talk while they're upstairs and you're going to give me the explanation I deserve."
Rachel gulps and nods, lowering herself in the chair as quickly as she can without causing herself any pain. She watches as Rebekah leads the toddlers up the stairs with Nova only looking back at her mother once before following her brother and her aunt.
She turns towards Deborah only to have a plate full of food shoved into her lap. She's about to protest, but the look in the woman's fiery green eyes shuts her up immediately.
Rachel begins picking at her food taking a few small bites before hunger takes over and she digs in, shoveling bite after bite into her mouth. She hadn't realized how hungry she was with everything that happened today and this is the first meal she's had in years that she didn't cook herself.
She cleans the entire plate all while Deborah sits across from her with her arms folded and a smug look on her face. Comfort is what Rachel needs, whether it be food or a hug. "There's plenty more, would you like some?"
"No, thank you," Rachel says quietly, wiping her mouth with her napkin. She's not feeling very well and she's not sure if it's her anxiety over their upcoming conversation or the food she'd practically inhaled.
"Maybe later, after you tell me why you're here and why you left. Oh, and how in the world I have two year old grandchildren when you and Noah have been apart for nearly four," she says with a raised eyebrow.
Rachel opens her mouth, but the words won't come out. If she tells then she risks losing one of the few people she can trust. Almost as if the older woman is reading her mind, she leans forward and places a warm hand on Rachel's knee and to Rachel's surprise she doesn't feel the urge to pull away from it.
"You can trust me, Rachel. I will never judge you no matter what you do or say to me, you'll always be the little girl from Lima with a big heart and a big voice." she whispers and Rachel looses it.
She breaks down, the weight of the past six years beating down on her as she cries. She cries into Ms. Puckerman's lap not even caring that the woman's holding her, it's comforting and right now it's exactly what she needs. She cries for everything she's lost, for everything that has been taken, and for everything she's about to say. She cries for Hiram and Leroy, for Shelby, Noah, and even for Jesse because she realizes that after all this time, she's never once cried for them. She's cried because of them, but never for them. She cries for her children and the life she'd subjected them to at such a young age, but lastly she cries for herself. No matter how hard she tried to fight it, she became a victim.
She sobs for what feels like hours until she physically cannot sob anymore, only traces of tears fall down her battered face and the entire time Deborah holds her, rubbing her back and kissing her hair and promising that everything will be okay. It's comfort only a mother can provide.
It takes Deborah a while to realize Rachel is no longer crying, but is in fact talking, her voice barely above a raspy whisper. "It started when I was twelve," she sniffles. "I tried to stop him, I begged him not to, but I was too weak…I wasn't strong enough."
Deborah stiffens, wheels turning in her mind. Twelve? That didn't seem right, Rachel was still with Noah at the age of twelve, she was still happy then or so she thought. Perhaps her memory of Rachel and Noah isn't what she thinks. She realizes the girl is struggling to form her next sentence so she lightly kisses her forehead and whispers words of comfort in her ear.
"The first time it happened was the night of my Bat Mitzvah. It was awful and I tried to ignore it, but it was eating me alive. I thought my life was over, but then it didn't happen again for a few weeks and then not for a few months and I thought I could pretend it didn't happen. Then it happened again on my first day of high school, after that it was every night and I couldn't pretend anymore. I didn't know what to do and I didn't tell anyone, but it just . . .it hurt so bad and I couldn't tell Noah, he would hate me. He was starting to already because I couldn't…I couldn't be with him, I wouldn't let him touch me. He was angry and I pushed it aside, but he knew something was wrong. It hurt to be with him, so I broke up with him," Rachel says, tears in her empty eyes. She feels emotionally numb, remembering the awful things Leroy did to her, she doesn't know how to tell the woman she considered a mother that her own father raped her. She's talking in circles just as she did when she was younger, she can't help it. It's the only way she knows how to protect herself.
Deborah sighs and runs her hand over her face. Question after question is firing in her brain. She wants nothing more than to interrogate the girl like she does with her own children when she needs answers, but she can't. Not when Rachel is hurt and upset, she refuses to be one of the people that have hurt the poor girl.
She takes a deep breath and speaks calmly. "What happened, Rachel?"
"Leroy," Rachel whispers as she squeezes her eyes shut.
"He's still in prison?" she asks and Rachel nods.
"He touched me. I was only twelve and he raped me," Rachel says in disbelief and she realizes it's the first time since the trail that she's said it out loud.
Deborah holds back her tears as she urges Rachel to continue. "I was so confused and so hurt and I just . . .I feel so dirty all the time. He'd tell me that I deserved it and that I was a whore and I believe him." She whispers, and Deborah notices that Rachel's using present terms as though she still believes the awful things he said.
Rachel wipes a tear from her eyes before continuing. "He heard us the night that Noah and I made love. We didn't plan on it, but it just felt so right and even though I was so young, I didn't care. I lost my virginity at twelve years old, I guess that makes me a whore. The next day my father raped me."
Deborah doesn't say anything, her face remaining stoic and Rachel takes a faltering breath before continuing her story. "He continued to rape me for two years and I never said a word of it to anyone. Being with Noah became harder and harder, he wanted more from me and I just couldn't give it to him. I didn't want him to touch me, I didn't want anyone to touch me. I just felt so dirty, so used and so filthy, that I couldn't imagine being with Noah any longer, he deserved better" she pauses and notices how deep lines have appeared in the older woman's forehead and how her eyes are closed almost as if she's the one with the bruised ribs.
Rachel frowns, her suspicions have been confirmed. She knew telling Deborah about her past would only disgust the woman and the fact that she can't even stand to look at her proves it.
Rachel shakes her head in grief, she's learned she's not wanted a long time ago. She only had a glimmer of hope that Deborah would be willing to help her, but seeing the way the woman is reacting to the truth tells her that she's on her own. Slowly she stands up, trying not to agitate her ribs and makes her way to the stairs to retrieve her toddlers.
"What are you doing, Rachel?" Deborah calls, stopping her before she can climb the first stair.
"It was wrong of me to come here and worry you with my problems, I'm sorry for intruding. I'll just get the children and I'll be on my way," Rachel says softly, her eyes directed to the floor.
"Rachel, what has gotten into you? I thought we were making progress?" The older woman says, tears leaking down her face.
"You don't want to hear the rest, I've already made you upset and I haven't even told you half of the story. I can see how disgusted you are with me and trust me, I understand why because I feel this way everyday of my life. I cannot-no-I will not sit and pretend that you want me here because I know you don't. I don't belong here, you all are good and pure and I'm not. I was wrong to come back, I don't deserve your help," Rachel says and before she can take another step the same warm hand is on her shoulder, but this time she does jump back. The emotional turmoil is too much for her to handle any type of comfort.
Deborah stands in shock, her hand hovering over the area where Rachel's shoulder was only the girl isn't there anymore. Instead, she's huddled into the corner with her hands held in front of her face like she's blocking a hit. The younger brunette begins crying hysterically and Deborah is amazed she even has any tears left at this point. She wants to help her, to pull her into her arms and never let her go, but she knows it's not a good idea and judging by the way the girl reacted to one touch, she's guessing Rachel hasn't had anyone to comfort her in a long, long time.
She lowers her hand and rolls her shoulders back, deciding to let the girl deal with whatever just happened on her own. She's seen enough cases like this at the hospital and she knows right now, Rachel just needs to calm herself.
"Rachel," she says softly, startling the sobbing brunette. "I'm not going to hurt you, I would never do that. I'm going to go check on the children and make us some tea and when you're ready, I'd like you to finish your story. I need you to know that you do not disgust me in any way. In fact it's the opposite. I'm in awe of you, Rachel, you've been through so much and yet you've managed to take care of your children at such a young age. I'm going to help you in anyway I can, but you've got to trust me."
She's almost sure she sees Rachel nod slightly, but she's not one hundred percent sure the girl even heard one word through her tears. She heads into the kitchen and turns on the kettle before making her way upstairs where she finds a sleeping Nova in the center of her daughter's bed and Rebekah and little Noah engrossed in one of Noah's old video games.
"Dude, you're on my team, you're not supposed to kill me! You're supposed to kill them, they're the bad guys!" Rebekah pouts as she throws down her controller.
"Bad!" Noah says, pointing at the television.
"Yes, exactly" Rebekah nods, high fiving her nephew. "Kill them, not me."
"Nobody should be killing anybody," Deborah says as she scoops the sleeping girl into her arms and cuddles her close.
"It's just a game, Ma, nobody's getting hurt," Rebekah rolls her eyes and as much as Deborah wants to scold her daughter for rolling her eyes yet again, she can't pull herself away from the sleeping baby girl in her arms.
She gently strokes her index finger over the little girl's chubby freckled cheek and watches her thick dark lashes flutter open to reveal tired green eyes. She's completely in love with this little girl. In all her years, she never thought being a grandmother would be even better than being a mother. It's like she's getting a second chance, a chance to help her children not make the same mistakes she did with them, but if she's completely honest, she's mostly excited about spoiling these two rotten.
She's so much like a tiny Rachel. The thick curly hair, the big doe eyes, the full pouty lips, but the nose is all Noah's. She's slightly relieved though, as much as she loves her Jewish heritage, she's not fond of the way the majority of her family, including herself, was teased because of it. She was blessed when both of her children had inherited their father's noses and not hers which was similar to Rachel's.
What shocks her the most though is the little girl's bright green eyes, the same color that had been passed down from her grandmother, to her mother, and finally to herself. It seemed the gene had skipped a generation with her children, but both of her grandchildren had them and she couldn't have been happier.
The little girl fidgets in her arms, clearly upset at being woken from her sleep. "Hi, Nova," Deborah whispers and the little girl smiles.
Deborah's heart melts at the dimpled grin on her granddaughter's face. "I'm Debbie, your grandmother, but you can call me Nana."
Nova's grin turns into a confused frown. She's not entirely sure what a 'Nana' is, she's never had one before, but she knows she likes this woman. She's warm like her Momma and she smells like her favorite sugar cookies. She realizes that she really wants a Nana to keep her and her family safe and warm.
"Nana?" she says aloud, testing out the word.
Deborah beams, hearing it sounds even more beautiful that she'd imagined, but before she can ask the little girl to say it again she's already dosing off into dreamland.
She lays her granddaughter back in Rebekah's bed and tells her daughter that she has ten minutes before she has to get ready for school tomorrow and go to bed. Rebekah whines and begs to have the day and eventually Deborah caves. It doesn't seem like anyone will be getting anymore sleep tonight anyway and they could all use a day off.
She makes her way downstairs, the smile on her face fading when she sees Rachel's tiny figure sitting in the chair across from the couch, a cup of tea in her shaking hands and tear tracks shining on her bruised face. She seems calmer than before, still a little shaken, but definitely much calmer.
She lowers herself onto the couch and grabs the cup sitting on the coffee table, taking a huge sip and letting the herbal essence calm her nerves.
"I didn't know how you take it so I made it like mine, I hope you don't mind," Rachel says timidly and Deborah waves her off. Rachel takes another sip before clearing her throat. "I suppose I owe you an apology."
"For what?" Deborah asks.
"For everything. For breaking your son's heart, for leaving without saying goodbye, for making you think that you didn't mean anything to me when you all were the only family I ever had. For hiding your grandchildren from you and showing up uninvited and for acting the way I just did," Rachel whispers. "I've been prone to panic attacks ever since I was…ever since that night. I know I owe you an explanation, but you have to understand that the things I'm telling you, I've never told anyone. I've never even said the words out loud. I've been haunted by Leroy for the past six years and even though he's put away, I can't shake the fear I'm living with."
"After that night, I needed an outlet. Everything became too much and I wanted to give up. Leroy would come home intoxicated late at night and sneak into my room," she stops and wipes away a stray tear. "I didn't understand what I had done to deserve what he did to me, I didn't have anybody to turn to because I'd pushed away the only people who cared. I just needed a way out and by accident I found it," she pauses and lifts the sleeve of her dress revealing blood soaked bandages.
Deborah gasps as the girl slowly pulls them away, revealing jagged red lines across her wrist and forearm.
"At the time, this was all I had. I tried sex, I used Noah and it was wrong. So, so very wrong. I couldn't do it. Cutting was the only escape, the only way I could have control over something. Me, I wanted control over who hurt me. It seemed like everybody was. The kids at school were so cruel to me and the only reason I could figure out why was to blame Leroy for everything he had done to me, for making me the way I am."
"The way you are?" Deborah asks in confusion.
"Dirty. Slut. Filthy. Whore. Worthless. Disgusting," Rachel recites from the painful words from memory.
"Rachel, honey, you are none of those things. What your father did to you was wrong, you have to understand that. What you are is an amazing talented young woman and a loving and caring mother. Nothing he ever said is true, he's a monster, a no good scum bag who hurt you…Rachel, where was Hiram during all of this?" Deborah asks.
Rachel shrugs and pain shoots through her midsection and she struggles to hide it. "At first it was a business trip in Pennsylvania. Then Nebraska, Delaware, Connecticut, and then he was gone for good. I used to beg him to stay home, to keep Leroy away from me, but I wasn't good enough for him to stay. He didn't want me, I was too dirty."
Deborah sighs and places her hand over Rachel's. "Sweetheart, you know that's not true."
Rachel shakes her head and pulls her hand away, she knows the truth, and she knows why Hiram left her. It's the same reason everyone else left her, she just doesn't deserve them. She slowly sits back in the worn chair and continues her story. She doesn't want to hear Deborah's lies, they hurt too much.
"I was on my own with Leroy for a year or so before I met Shelby. I'd met a student of hers a while before in a music store and unknowingly, he lead me right to her," Rachel closes her eyes, she doesn't want to think about Shelby or Jesse and what they did to her, but she needs to hear the words out loud before she can begin to forgive them because deep down she knows that's what she needs to do.
"When I first met her, I thought everything would be perfect. That she'd save me from Leroy and we'd go live together in New York and everything would be perfect. I thought I could finally forget about the past and before I knew what was happening she was telling me she didn't want me and that I wasn't what she was looking for," Rachel's eyes water and she furiously wipes away the tears. She doesn't want this to effect her as much as it does, but after everything she'd been through having her very own mother basically tell her she wasn't good enough hurt her the most.
"I only remember running out of the auditorium in tears, I was completely devastated. The only thing on my mind at that point was cutting. It was my only way out, hearing Shelby tell me that she didn't want me felt worse anything Leroy had ever done to me. She didn't even know me, she knew nothing about me, but she didn't want me. It was like she could see it, like she could see how physically disgusting I was. That had to be the only reason she didn't want me. I still don't understand why she came back for me," she says in disbelief.
"She came back for you? Is she the one that put Leroy in prison?" Deborah asks.
Rachel frowns. "Yes, she's the one who called the police and helped me through the trial. After that she was given custody of me and I went to live with her, even though she never wanted me."
Deborah shakes her head and runs her fingers through her hair in frustration, tears burning at the back of her eyelids. "Why didn't you come to me, Rachel? Why didn't you let us help you, Noah would've given his life to keep you safe, he loved you so much and you kept this all from him, from us. You are family, Rachel. Family doesn't do that to each other. I would've taken you in, I would've put that bastard in jail the first time he ever laid a finger on you. I was supposed to be your mother, Rachel, why didn't you come to me?"
"It wasn't that easy! It's not that I didn't trust you, it's that I didn't want to hurt you. I was hurting Noah so much when we were together because I couldn't love him the way he loved me, not after what Leroy did. I wasn't worthy of his love or yours. I'm sick, Deborah. I'm sick and twisted and disgusting and worthless and-
"Stop!" Deborah says sternly, stopping Rachel from degrading herself even further. "You're sick for even thinking those things, Rachel, how could you ever believe that we would think those things of you? We loved you, we still do. You don't do that to the people you love."
Rachel shakes her head, this is exactly what she didn't want to happen. She didn't want to have Deborah thinking she was innocent when she wasn't. She could have stopped her father had she only tried harder. She could have told someone if she wasn't ugly and annoying and actually had friends to tell. And she could have come to Ms. Puckerman had she been able to be loved back then, but she wasn't, she still isn't. That was all taken from her the night she was raped of her dignity and her virtues.
Deborah sighs and stares at the girl in front of her. She knows not a single word sunk in and whatever Rachel's warped thoughts are will completely outbid anything she says. The girl in front of her is broken. Physically, she can see that, but mentally and emotionally is different. This girl is no longer the Rachel Berry that used to chase her son around the house and force him into tea parties. This isn't the Rachel Berry who put on impromptu talent shows and believed she was the best at everything. This girl is not the same little girl who loved her son unconditionally and was destined to become the next Mrs. Puckerman. This girl is not the little girl she watched grow up, this is not Rachel Berry, it can't be.
She leans forward in her chair making heavy eye contact with sad, empty brown eyes. "Believe what you want, Rachel. I'm here for you and I always will be. Tell me what happened. How did Shelby get custody of you?"
Rachel closes her eyes as the memories come flooding back.
She's only focused on one thing at this point and it's getting as far away from the auditorium where she left Shelby Corcoran and as close to her razor blade as possible. She's completely devastated. All the hopes, dreams, and fantasies of her mother she's created from the time she was a little girl were ripped away from her like everything in her life. All because she isn't good enough.
She could see the disappointment on Shelby's face, she sees it everywhere. She should have tried harder to be better and then maybe Shelby would have wanted to be in her life. She should have practiced more and become a better singer. She should have worked harder in dance class and became a better dancer. She should have pushed aside her fear and hatred of Mr. Schuester and rejoin the glee club to become the star again. She should forget about her father and get back together with Noah and be a better girlfriend. She should really just become better at life in general, but she's fucked up everything so badly she doesn't even know where to start.
The only thing she can see in her mind is the disappointment and disgust in Shelby's eyes. It's almost as if the image of her mother's hazel brown eyes are burned into her memory as a cruel reminder of how much she's not wanted. She wants the image gone and she only knows one way to get it out, to get it all out.
She barges into her house not even bothering to close the door behind her and heads up to her bathroom where her razor blade is hidden. She's in such desperate need for release that she doesn't even see the dark-skinned man sitting on her mattress. She walks into the bathroom and starts rummaging through her medicine cabinet looking for her escape in the form of a little piece of metal.
"Looking for this?" a deep voice startles her and she practically jumps ten feet, spilling all the contents from the cabinet on the floor with a noisy clatter.
She spins towards the direction of the voice and finds Leroy standing in the doorway of her ensuite bathroom holding up the object she so dreadfully needs between his two fingers.
"Daddy," she whispers in shock, unconsciously taking a few steps away from him. "W-what are you doing home so early?"
He smirks, "Early? It's nearly eight-thirty in the evening, Rachel. I think the real question is why are you so late?"
"I'm sorry, I was supposed to meet Jesse at Carmel and I-" she stops and clamps her mouth shut, not daring to mention Shelby's name to her father. Her heart beings beating frantically in her chest as he walks towards her, the blade resting just at arm's level. He lifts his hand and dangles the blade across her face, watching as her eyes follow it to and fro as if her life literally depends on it. He smiles, he could have some fun with this.
He steps closer to her and presses the blade against her collarbone, not hard enough to draw blood, but hard enough to make her breathing increase to the point of hyperventilation. He drags it over her clavicles and down in-between the crack of her breasts.
Through her panic, she's able to see where this is going and before she can run, he's got a hand around her throat and a sickeningly dark look in his eyes.
"You were out screwing your little boyfriend weren't you?" he snaps and she shakes her head furiously despite the fact that he's got an iron grip around her neck. "You can spend all night fucking him, but what about you dear ol' daddy, huh? Don't you think I want to spend time with you too?"
Tears well up in her eyes and before she has a chance to react he tosses her to the floor and grips her hair in one hand, the other pulling furiously at her shirt. Buttons scatter across the tiled floor as her shirt is ripped from her body, leaving her in her plaid skirt, white cotton bra, knee socks, and black buckle shoes.
She holds in the tears as he lifts her up by her hair and drags her into the bedroom, tossing her against the nearest wall where she slams against her bookshelf, knocking it to the ground. Pain shoots up her spine as the edge of the heavy wooden shelf weighs down on top of her. It's even heavier than Leroy and she can't get from underneath of it. The contents of the shelf spill out in front of her, all her albums and CDs lying broken and scattered around the floor.
"Daddy," she manages in a struggling voice. "Help me, please."
He paces the floor angrily, not bothering to paying any attention to his daughter struggling for life a few feet away. He stops when she addresses him and glares at her, his haunting eyes boring into her crippled frame.
"Now you want my help?" he snaps, continuing his pacing. He runs his fingers through his graying, unruly hair. "You didn't want me before when you were off being a slut for your boyfriend."
"I'm sorry, daddy," she chokes, as she tries to move herself into a position that allows her to breath better, but the bookcase is too heavy. "I'm sorry for disobeying you, I was wrong and I'll never do it again. Daddy, please help me, I can't breathe," she gasps.
He completely ignores her plea and instead walks towards her desk where in one quick sweep of his arm, he tosses all of her belongings onto the ground, most of them shattering and breaking right before her. He turns to her, his eyes blazing.
"When will you learn, Rachel?" he spits as he kicks a framed photo of herself and Hiram across the room. "When will you learn that you're nothing?"
"Daddy!" she cries, chocking on her sobs. The bookshelf is pressing her against the ground tightly, preventing her form taking in oxygen and she knows it's only a matter of time before she can no longer breathe.
"Shut up!" he hisses. "You just don't understand, do you? All of this," he says motioning around the room. "It's a lie. You don't deserve any of it, you don't even deserved to be treated like the trash in the alley, that's how disgusting you are."
His words hurt, but it's nothing she hasn't heard before. She's ready to give up, to stop fighting for her life and just let the bookshelf suffocate her to death, at least then the pain will stop.
He continues around the room, throwing and breaking things. Her mirror, her computer, her iPod, and even her radio and karaoke machine lie in broken piles across her pink carpet. She's much too tired to care, she's loosing the fight for her life and watching him destroy the last of her possessions is the final stab in her heart. She knows she's going to die. Music and Broadway were all she had left to live for, without it, she truly is nothing.
She can hear him talking, but she can't understand his words, the blood pounding in her head and ears is too loud for her to be able to focus on anything else. Against her will, her eyes begin to slip closed and her body stops moving. She knows it's wrong, but she smiles anyway because she's finally getting her permanent escape, she doesn't care that she'll probably rot in hell for the rest of her life because anything is better than this life. Anything is better than being forced to sleep with you father.
He's absolutely furious that she's not responding to his outrage, he wants her to cower in fear the way she usually does, but instead she's lying motionless under the bookshelf, her face hidden by her dark hair.
He smirks, perhaps he should take it to the next level. He walks towards the giant "Wicked" poster that hangs above her bed and rips it from the wall, tearing the paper into tiny shreds. "You don't need this anymore, you're not going to make it anyway. A talentless, worthless, slut like you doesn't belong on Broadway."
He turns towards her and notices a small smile on her face and before he can stop himself he's shredding every poster in her room until he's panting and shaking with rage.
"You think this is funny, Rachel!" he screams, tossing the bits of paper into the air. "You did this! You caused yourself all of this pain! It's your entire fault Hiram is gone, you took my husband from me and I will make sure you pay for it!"
He turns towards her, expecting to see her crying and begging for forgiveness and when he's met with the pale blue face of his daughter, he feels his blood begin to boil. He stalks toward her and lifts the bookshelf from on top of her, pulling her up by her hair and tossing her on top of the mattress, where her limp body sprawls out.
"Wake up!" he yells as he pounces on her, slapping her across the face. "Wake your pathetic little ass up, you little fucking slut!" he yells as he slaps her repeatedly until her eyes blink open.
Dazed and confused she tries to sit up when she notices Leroy on top of her, pinning her down with his body while his hands worked on his belt buckle. Weakly, she tries to push against him, but she knows it's no use.
She sighs grimly and lies back down on the grimy mattress closing her eyes tightly to keep back the tears. She had honestly thought she was going to die today and as scary as the concept of death seemed to other people, she'd been looking forward to it.
She doesn't move as he undoes her skirt and pushes her panties aside and she doesn't even breathe when he forces himself inside her. She realizes that this is the first time she hasn't tried to stop him, but she's too tired and too disappointed to care.
She holds in her tears as her father grunts and groans on top of her, smothering her yet again. She feels like she's back underneath the bookshelf only this time, she's awake and conscious. They'll be no end to the pain.
Suddenly, as if a dam has burst she releases the tears she's been holding in for so long. Loud sobs wrack her body as her father brutally rapes her for the umpteenth time. She cries because it's finally hit her, she's never getting out. Shelby was her only chance at getting away from Leroy and the woman brushed her off within five minutes of their introduction.
She's crying so hard that she doesn't even realize that she's been turned over onto her stomach and she doesn't even care. She cries into her dirty mattress, praying that it will be over soon and that her entire life has just been some cruel sick joke and one day she'll wake up and it'll all go away.
She thinks her prayers might have been answered because she feels him pull out and shift above her. She releases the breath she was holding and waits for him to finish so she can haul her aching body into the bathroom and scrub away the filth in her life and in her body. She feels the mattress dip even lower and panic rises within her.
"You want to cry like a little bitch?" Leroy laughs as he sits on the backs of her thighs, stroking himself above her. "I'll give you something to cry about."
She's just about to protest when she feels something wet hit her backside before a pain like no other tears into her from behind. She screams out in agony and claws at her bedframe, desperately trying to get away. The pain only gets worse and she finally realizes when he's doing to her.
She shouldn't have been surprised really, she knew it was bound to happen someday. However, it didn't stop the way her body naturally reacted to having something foreign inside that particular area. The harder he thrusts, the harder she tenses and fights to push him out, and the worse the pain gets.
She's screaming now, the pain going from too much pressure to stabbing and ripping her apart. She's so desperate for him to stop that she calls for Shelby, praying to a god she doesn't believe in that her mother will finally come to her rescue.
She can smell the metallic essence of her blood as she feels it trickling down her leg and before she can stop herself she's choking on her own vomit. Luckily for her, Leroy doesn't seem to notice, he's too preoccupied with thrusting himself inside of his daughter's virgin asshole to care.
She lies still on the mattress covered in blood and vomit for what feels like hours, even after Leroy had finished inside her and left her alone in the room. Everything hurts and she doesn't think she can move even if she wanted to.
She hears the door open downstairs followed by footsteps coming up the stairs and as fast as she can possibly can, she jumps off of the bed and runs into her closet, shutting the door tightly. She knows it's Leroy coming back to finish her off. She'd never seen him so angry before and she knows for sure that he's coming back to murder her. She reaches her shaking hand into one of the boxes she keeps in the back and pulls out Noah's old pocketknife.
She's already accepted the fact that she's going to die today, in fact, she welcomes it, but she's not going to give Leroy the satisfaction of killing her. She'd rather do it herself and save any dignity she has left. He's taken everything she has away from her, but the one thing she will not let him have is her life.
She holds the blade at the side of her neck, preparing to make the biggest cut of them all. She knows it will be worth it. She presses the blade into her skin just enough to feel a pinch of pain, but it's nothing compared to the ache she feels all over. She closes her eyes and takes a deep breath, preparing to make the final slice when the door is pushed open.
She jumps and drops the knife, scrambling into the back of the closet as far away from the door as possible. She curls herself into a ball and waits for Leroy to make his final move when she hears Shelby calling out to her.
"And that's how Shelby found you?" Deborah asks, her voice thick with tears.
"She called the police and they found Leroy. She took me to the hospital, even though I refused, because I was bleeding so badly and it wouldn't stop. They collected the evidence there and used it in the trial. He was found guilty and put in prison in another state and after that I left Lima to live with her."
"Why didn't you contact us, Rachel, you could have at least let us know you were leaving?" the older woman asks.
"Noah and I weren't on speaking terms, Ms. Puckerman. As far as I knew, he hated me just like everyone else did. I had no one to tell because no one cared," Rachel says.
Deborah shakes her head, knowing she's fighting a losing battle. It would take time for the girl to realize that she did have people who loved her.