She lay there quietly in her room. The moonlight shon through the open curtain and cast an eerie shadow upon the items atop her dresser. She knew that she had to get out. She couldn't kill him and she couldn't protect her mom and Cindy. Maybe if she left things would get better. A tear rolled down her cheek. She couldn't get the memories out of her mind. They were so vivid, like they just happened. Why did her mom always leave her behind when she left? Why did she not take her. Elsa began to sob now as she recalled that day five years ago when she and Cindy had just got home from school.
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They were headed toward the house, down the driveway and Elsa noticed her mother frantically throwing items into their beat up blue Dodge. She wondered what was going on. Her dad ran out of the old house and over to the car and grabbed their mom by the arm.
"You bitch!" he screamed at her. "Well if you're leaving you'd better take your damn dogs or I'll kill them."
Her mom just looked at him, fear in her eyes, and nodded. As they got closer to the house Elsa knew it was another fight. She hoped that this time she would not have to call the police. They never showed up anyway. Elsa was nine at the time. Cindy was only six. They both began to cry.
"Mommy, mommy," Cindy cried. "Mommy what's wrong?"
"I'm leaving him," their mom said "so who do you want to stay with?"
They stood there staring at her, sobbing desperately now. Cindy ran over and grabbed her mom around the knees. Elsa's mom grabbed her and threw her in the back seat of the car. She turned and stared at Elsa.
"Who do you want to stay with!" she demanded.
"You mommy, I want to go with you," Elsa stammered.
Her dad came outside then and just glared at her. Her mom ran back into the house avoiding him as she went through the screen door. Elsa just stood there crying. Her mom returned with another box of things, throwing them wildly into the trunk. She came around the side of the car where Elsa stood and repeated her question. Elsa just stood there crying.
"Mommy I don't know what to do," she sobbed.
"That's right," said her dad. "You want to stay with me don't you. I need someone to look after me and you're my little angel, right honey."
Elsa continued sobbing, wildly now, unable to catch her breath in between tears. She stretched out her arms toward her mom. Her school books falling to the ground. Her mom just stood there and looked at her. At that moment her dad ran over and grabbed her and took her over to the doorway of the house. Holding her tightly as Elsa struggled to get down.
"Mommy," Elsa screamed. "Mommy, I want to go with you mommy."
Elsa's mom called their german shepherd Enis. Enis galloped over to her. She opened the back door and Enis jumped in. She looked over at Elsa. Elsa continued to struggle crying with her arms outstretched toward her mom. Elsa's mom just turned and got in the Dodge with Cindy and left. She and Cindy were gone a long time. Elsa wasn't sure how long but it seemed like a year.
Elsa couldn't remember anything that happened while they were gone. She had blocked it all out. She remembered them coming back though and once again everything seemed like it would be fine. For a few months anyway.
The tears came quicker now. She wished that she could block it all out. But some of the bad things just kept resurfacing. Her parents had been fighting again that evening and Elsa and Cindy had ran to their rooms to avoid getting involved. It was only nine o'clock but better to be out of sight than to get dragged into another fight. Just then the door to her room burst open.
Her dad stormed in and stood there for a second followed by her mom. He flipped on the light. He had that look in his eyes again. His gray eyes were even more gray than usual and looked glazed over. He angrily came over to the bed and grabbed Elsa by the hair. He dragged her out of the room and into the living room. All the lights were off except for one lamp. He threw her into a chair in front of the lamp and tied her hands behind the chair. Elsa was sobbing now, wondering what had provoked this.
"That's right, you whore, go ahead and cry," he yelled at her. "We know what you've been up to. You've got problems girl but we've figured out a way to fix them."
"What?" Elsa asked confused.
"Just shut up," he yelled at her. "I ask the questions here not you."
Elsa knew better than to disobey so she sat there crying. Once he had finished tying her hands behind her back they repositioned the light so that all she could see was it. They sat behind the light in the darkness. It was so bizarre Elsa wondered if maybe she was dreaming. What could possibly have provoked this she thought.
"We know what you've been up to," her mom began. "You are sick and you need help."
"What I've been up to? What are you talking about?" Elsa questioned.
"You're just a little whore," her dad said. "We know that you've been taking the van down the road to visit the Carr family. You're going to get fucked aren't you, you little whore."
"Why did you do it?" her mom asked. "What were you thinking?"
Elsa sat there for a moment, unsure of what to say. She was shaking now.
"Answer her dammit," her dad yelled as he grabbed her chair, picked it up and forced it to the floor.
"Yes I took the van to visit the Carr's but I was just visiting," she stammered out. "They've got a trampoline and I wanted to go and try it out."
"Boy you sure do think we're stupid don't you," he dad screamed at her. "You're down there whoring around with that asshole Bryan. Weren't you! Weren't you!"
"No, honest I wasn't," Elsa cried out. "Honest. I just wanted to visit."
"Don't think that we don't know. We asked the Carr's," her mom said.
Elsa couldn't believe that the Carr family would lie. They were such nice people. What are they talking about. Were they mad because she had taken the van without permission. What had started all this. She thought desperately about what she could say to make them believe her.
"I don't know what you're talking about," Elsa stammered. "I did take the van without permission and I did go and visit them and Bryan does live there now but I wasn't whoring around, honest I wasn't."
"Oh so you admit it then, you fucking whore," her dad said, becoming calm all of a sudden. "You disgust me."
"No, I tell you, I wasn't fucking anyone!" Elsa screamed at him tears still rolling down her cheeks.
"You see!" he said to her mom. "You see how much respect we get."
"Yes, I see," she answered him knowingly. "That's why we have to help her."
Elsa was in disbelief, they took everything she said and twisted it around. It was like she wasn't there and they were just acting out this whole bizarre moment by themselves. They continued interrogating her behind the light for several hours. Elsa was tired now and had stopped crying. She thought maybe if she was calm they would believe her. But it was to no avail.
"Well in the morning we're taking you to the Baskin house," he told her matter of factly.
"Yes I think you'll really like it there," her mom added. "It's a home for wayward girls like you. They have a psychiatrist there and everything. We already spoke with them. We told them how you've been acting lately and they think that you need to be put away for awhile."
"Put away?" Elsa's calmness began to deteriorate.
"What do you mean put away?"
"You know," her dad said slowly "You're fucking crazy and you need to be put away for awhile. The men in white coats," he said chuckling now.
"I'm not crazy what are you talking about!" Elsa began to try to get free now. "You can't put me away. I'm not crazy. All I did was take the van and go and visit the neighbors," she cried desperately. Her crying had returned now. She began to tremble as she struggled.
"Oh, but you are crazy," her mom said "all we want to do is help you."
"No! I think you're the ones who are crazy," Elsa screamed at them now.
"You watch your mouth," her dad yelled at her. "You're mother and I are not fucked up you are. We're just trying to help you and you're going. There's nothing you can do about it."
Her dad got up and turned on the light. Elsa shut her eyes for a moment to avoid the brightness. She continued to struggle with the rope that was holding her hands in place.
"You hold her down," her dad said to her mom "I'll untie her."
Her mom nodded and held her feet to the ground while her dad untied her hands. As Elsa tried to stand up he grabbed her by the hair again and drug her back into her bedroom. Elsa complied walking bent over following him. He threw her onto her bed. She was shaking and crying wildly. She knew better than to try and fight back. Once she had tried that and she got beat so badly she could barely walk. The bruises covered her body from the waist down. She could even read the imprint from the belt buckle marks that littered her legs. She thought that her life was over that day, that she was going to die. She had wished often that she would just die. It would be better than living this nightmare.
As she lay there trembling and shaking her mom held her to the bed with both hands on her chest. Her dad had left the room. He returned with a pitcher in his hand. He poured the contents of the pitcher over her. She threw up her hands to avoid what was coming. It was water. She lay there, her nightgown soaked now.
"Whores don't deserve comfort," he yelled at her.
He threw the pitcher at the wall above her head and began to tie her hands to the bed. She tried to get up and run but her mom kept her down by throwing her whole body over her now. He had got her hands tied to the bed and began to tie her feet.
"We don't need to tie her feet too do we?" her mom asked him. "She can't escape with her hands tied up."
He stopped his methodical motions and looked over at her mom. He stopped tying her feet and got up. Turned and looked at her and then over at her mom. With one arm, swiftly and angrily he swept everything that was on top of her dresser to the floor. The glass from her mirror and several bottles shattered around the room as they hit the floor. Elsa cried out at him.
"What are you doing? Why are you doing this to me. I'm sorry, I'm sorry. Please don't put me away. I didn't mean to make you angry. I didn't honest. Please daddy, please..." she said sobbing uncontrollably.
"We've made up our minds," he said calmly again now " you're going and that's final."
Her mom looked at her. She almost looked like she felt sorry for her all of a sudden. She sat there on her knees beside Elsa's bed.
"Mommy, please," Elsa begged her, "Please I didn't do what you said, I didn't. I'm a good girl mom, please don't put me away. I promise I'll be good, I promise."
Her mom stood up and walked over to her dad.
"You didn't have to pour water over her did you," she asked him quietly.
"She's a whore, can't you see that?" he said to her slamming his fist down on top of her bare dresser top. "She deserves it."
They both left the room. Slamming the door behind them. Elsa struggled with the ropes that held her hands in place. She continued to sob and shake but then she realized that they had lost it. She had to escape. She knew about the men in white coats. She knew that she was under age and they could lock her away forever. She only had a few hours before daybreak. She had to get out before then. The ropes were chaffing her wrists now. It was no use. She wouldn't be able to escape. she lay there crying, feeling defeated when suddenly the door opened again. It was her mom. Elsa looked at her, tears streaming down her cheeks. Her dad appeared in the doorway but just stood there.
"They'll be here in the morning to take you away. Better get a good night's rest," he said to her calmly.
He turned and left the room. Her mom just stood there and looked at her.
"Why did you do it Elsa?" she questioned her. "You know what he's like. He wouldn't have done this to you if you had just been a good girl."
"You believe me don't you mom?" Elsa cried to her. "You believe that I'm a good girl don't you?"
Her mom turned and left the room. Elsa continued to struggle. She wanted depserately to get the ropes untied then she could run. She pulled hard with her left hand and winced as the rope cut into her wrist. She could feel a little slack in the rope now. She continued to struggle for a long time but she was getting nowhere. Suddenly the door opened again. Her mom walked over to her silently and knelt down beside her.
"I've told him you wouldn't run," she said as she started to untie her right hand. "He agreed but you'd better be here in the morning or there will be hell to pay."
Elsa nodded still sobbing. Her mom untied her left hand now and left the room quietly. Elsa grabbed her comforter and pulled it to her chest. She had been shivering from being wet and wanted to get warm. She thought for a second about what her mom had just said. Why did she want to help her all of a sudden? It didn't really matter. She was free now. She could run. Elsa wasn't sure where she could go. She couldn't go the the Carr's, they'd be looking for her there. It didn't matter. She had to leave.
She got dressed quietly. Shaking from the fear that she would be caught trying to escape and who knows what would happen to her then. She slowly pulled open the dresser drawer and put on two sweaters. Her shoes were still in the porch. She didn't dare try and leave the room to get them. The door was closed and for all she knew they were standing guard outside. She put on two pairs of socks and as queitly as she could she she opened her bedroom window. The window only opened a little way though. It was one of those that you used the lever to open. She wondered if she would fit in behind the window. After looking at it for a moment she decided it would be tight but she could make it. She grabbed the chair by the closet and stood on it to get by the arm that opened and closed the window. As quietly as she could she pulled her body up onto the ledge. She looked down at the ground. It was about an eight foot drop. She pulled herself back inside and repositioned herself so she could back out. But she realized that wouldn't work. So she began again stretching one leg out the window and straddling the ledge. She pushed with all the strength in her arms and ended up hanging there with one leg still half inside. She was not in very good shape and this was a painful position. Slowly though she managed to drop her body out the window and free her foot. Dangling by her arms she dropped to the ground. The drop smarted her feet. She looked up at the window for a moment wondering if they had heard her. She cowered in the bushes beside the house and slowly made her way down the driveway in the dark. Once on the gravel road she began to run as fast as she could. The rocks were painful though as she ran.
She made it about a mile to another neighbors. Her girlfriend lived there with her foster family and maybe they would be able to help her. She heard a vehicle coming so she dove face down into the ditch. The vehicle went by slowly but continued on. When she reached the neighbor's driveway she realized that it was a lot farther than she had thought. Scared and tired she decided to spend the night outside. She would go and see them in the morning. She didn't want to sleep on the ground. They had had problems in the past with bears. Elsa found a tree and climbed up into it.
Looking over the dimly lit ground she began to calm down. She tried to think about where she could go. She had no other family around here. They all lived in the city two hours drive from here. As the possibilites of how she could survive went through her mind she began to doze off. She would think about it tomorrow.