Chapter Eleven

15 July, 1958

Holly heard the door slam, and she cringed. She was home. Holly quickly took her cigarette and threw it out the window. Her mother waltzed drunkenly into the room, and suddenly the whole living room smelled of beer. Ever since her father had died, her mother went out drinking, and then would come home and yell at her daughter. Julie smiled.

"It smells like smoke! Has the little whore been smoking? Mummy doesn't like smoke," Julie said, sniffing the air like a dog. Holly move her gaze to her book again, and growled.

"You don't bloody even have the right to call yerself a mum," Holly muttered.

"Be a good little girl and go make Mummy a drink," her mother said. Holly stood up.

"No. I'm cutting you off here, I'm not even sure how you walked home without getting hit by a car," Holly said as she stood up.

"What did you say?" her mother asked, walking so close to her daughter that their noses were touching. Holly smelled the alcohol on her mother's breath, and coughed. It made her want to puke.

"I said no," Holly repeated, looking into her mum's eyes; her own eyes. Julie grabbed the collar of Holly's shirt clumsily.

"Mummy doesn't like when little girls don't obey," Julie whispered, and Holly closed her eyes. "And when girls don't obey, they are punished." Holly's mother started beating her, brutally landing blow after blow in the same place despite her intoxicated state. Holly diligently took each hit, biting down hard on her tongue, eventually feeling it break and spill blood into her mouth. Finally, Holly saw her opportunity, and took it. She got in a punch, and escaped up the stairs to her room. "Run away, then!" Julie screamed after her daughter. "Run away like the little fucking bitch you are!"

Holly took some clothes out of her dresser, and climbed out of her window into the tree. She climbed down the tree, and ran across the street. She picked up little pebbles and threw them at his window.

"Paulllie... Paulllie..." Holly whispered to him, willing him to come open the window. He did (finally).

"Wha'sthematter?" Paul asked groggily, and then took in his friend's appearance. "Fuckin' 'ell, yer hurt!" His face left the window, and Paul opened the front door to let Holly inside. She sat on the toilet while he cleaned the off the crimson blood, something he had gotten to be skilled at in the past week. He got her some ice for her eye. "D'you want to talk?" Paul asked. Holly shook her head.

"No, just sleep with someone who loves me," Holly said, and changed into the t-shirt and sweatpants Paul was loaning her. She laid down next to Paul in his bed, and he protectively put an arm around her body, daring anything to come and hurt her.

Oh, if only you knew how much I love you, Paul thought sadly, holding her tighter.