Surfacing

a short story about fear and love

BY THERESE McCLAIN

Fear can control you. It can be of a person, an object, a  place. But for her it was different. She had let herself be consumed by her inner thoughts. She had forced a label of shame onto herself, although never being at fault. She believed that in life Everything happens for a reason. She knew she didn’t deserve those fearful nights. 

Hearing footsteps coming upstairs that are so close, but can sound so far away. She hated herself. For not standing up. For not telling anyone. For hiding it. She couldn’t see; she wanted whatever she couldn’t see to be Anything other than what it really was. 

This is the last time; I promise. She had so much hope. But that hope seemed to never really have a response. Being neglected and used in a place that was dirtier than garbage itself, but that was home where she had to return. Every day she had to walk as slowly as possible, hoping her sisters would get home before her so that she could feel a little safe, maybe find a little comfort in knowing she  wouldn’t be alone with her own father.

Sadly they wanted to run from this house as much as she did. Maybe not for the same reasons but they did, so what better excuse than staying after school to do sports, right? But of course how could they protect her if they didn’t know. After all she was blindfolded every time; how could she really know for sure what was happening. Maybe her imagination was sparked at this point in her life.

She wasn’t able to see anything of him, but in her eyes her sisters were there. She could see them. In her Reality they may have been sleeping, but in her eyes they were smiling and helping her to do anything but cry. 

She’d shed enough tears to last a lifetime. When she gained the strength to speak her life and when she personally decided that she was tired of lying to her sisters about where she was Disappearing in the middle of the night, she was brought into the light and was treated right and taught to fight. No one has ever made her feel as grateful as the amazing woman who raised 7 kids in 2 different generations. 

She is Blessed with her involvement in her life. It doesn’t matter how many times she says she despise her; she is the reason she feels like she’s worth the extra space, because she is. She now knows this and nothing can take away the love she has for her, because of everything she’s done for her.

She Didn’t Have To Do It.