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What can you make of it? It's not really all that much of an average story. If you think you can add on, feel free! Let's see how far it can go, before it gets boring.

Chapter 1

Chapter 1: Remembering

I remember the day my mother left. It’s like a lived the day over and over. I remember hearing my father yelling at her, but not like he yells at me. It was much, much louder and fiercer. My mother yelled back, but not with the same amount of volume. She never was all that good at yelling.
I remember my father catching my gaze in the corner of his eye, and figuring that I did not deserve to watch their fight. I remember him slamming the door to the master bedroom, blocking my view from them.
I remember closing my own door, and sitting up against it, listening to them. I didn’t know if I should cry. I didn’t know if I should laugh. I didn’t know how to react. It was all too new to me.
I remember jumping at the sound of a loud SMACK! and jumping at the sound of my mother’s loud, shrill scream following after. I was quiet.
I remember hearing another sound, more like a BANG! and my mother’s scream followed again. I was quiet.
I remember hearing lots of sounds coming from behind my door, but after hearing my mother’s cries and pleas, I finally knew how to react. I began to cry.
I remember hearing their bedroom door open, and I remember opening my door just a bit, so that I could peek out. I remember seeing my mother in a white and red tie-died blouse, which I remember being white. I remember seeing my mother holding a single carry-on suitcase, which looked very heavy. I remember opening my door all the way, and running to her, and trying to carry her bag for her, but I also remember the hard shove to the wall that my father gave me. He shoved me so hard. I remember sitting crunched up on the ground next to the master bedroom door for a long time.
I could still hear them, though. I remember hearing my mother’s cries, over and over, and my father was still yelling at her. I remember hearing my mother open the front door, and hearing the rain pouring down. But, the thing I hated to remember was watching my mother go out there. She had no umbrella. She had no jacket. She had no shoes.
I remember my father not going after her. I remember him slamming the door behind her. I remember him standing there, staring at the door for what seemed like forever. I remember him doing that. And I remember wandering what had happened.
I remembered looking in the master bedroom door that was still opened, and crying some more. I kept crying and crying, and the room became blurry. I remember crying, and crying, and crying.
I remember watching my father go back into the room, but glaring at me first, and then slamming the door. I remember a lot of slamming that day.
I hate remembering. I hate remembering my parents yelling. I hate remembering my mother’s cries and pleas of pain. I hate remembering my mother going out into the rain, and remembering my father not stopping her. I hate remembering my father just standing there.
I hate remembering looking into the bedroom with fresh blood on the carpet and on the white walls.
I hate remembering how my father had hurt my mother.
I hate remembering.

I miss her. I miss her every day, and I tell her that every night, and every morning. I can’t stop missing her. And I can’t stop hating my father.
The first week after she left, I kept thinking that she would come back. I kept dreaming about her coming back in through the front door, and enveloping me in a bear hug. I dreamed about us hugging for a long time, and then I’d dream about her going straight up to my father and slapping him across the face. Then I’d dream about me packing up my things, and the two of us leaving together, to go somewhere better, as far away from the beast that I called my father.
But, that’s only dreaming.
I’m 12 now. I was 7 when she left. 5 years without her is painful. 5 years only with The Beast is punishment.
Sometimes, I’ll sit in my room against the back of the door, and imagine hearing the screams and yells, again and again. And, I’ll wonder what I did to deserve this. Why am I being punished? What did I do? What did I do that was so bad as to result into this?
Then, I’d realize that I wasn’t the one being punished. I was the one who’d witnessed the punishment. Well, at least part of it. I’d realize that my mother was the one being punished.
Most of the time, I’m usually on my own. The Beast spends his time in his study, which leaves me to start becoming an adult 6 years earlier than scheduled. He’s like a giant baby that only cares for himself, and with him in the house, someone’s got to take charge of food, shelter, water, clothing, and cleaning. That person would be me.
Saturday morning, I gathered the laundry from the basket that my father and I dispose our dirty clothing in, and stuffed it into a large plastic bag that I’d kept from the time I’d went down to Target to get some new shoes. I was wearing the pair now, nice and spacey on my small little feet, with an orange stripe zipping down both sides. My toes wiggled around and front, and wiggled all the way to the front door.
"I’m leaving!" I called over to the Beast’s study. There was no reply, but I knew he’d heard me. He never really replied to anything I said. I never really replied to anything he said. And that was our special father and daughter relationship.
I softly closed the front door behind me, in order not to awaken my next door neighbors. I didn’t know Mr. Rodgers on my right very well, but I’d sit and sip lemonade with Mrs. Wilson on my left on a hot afternoon. At that very moment, Mrs. Wilson was out on her front lawn in a fold out chair, reading a thick book with a black leather hardcover. I didn’t recognize the title and author on the spine, but it must’ve been a great book. Mrs. Wilson was so engrossed in it that she didn’t notice I’d come out.
“Good morning Mrs. Wilson,” I called over to her. She tucked a fallen gray hair behind her ear and pulled her reading glasses down, letting them hang on the chain.
“Belle? Is that you? Why don’t you come on over here? Sorry, I left my glasses inside the house. These here are only my reading ones,” Mrs. Wilson replied. I walked across the lawn to her, leaving the bag on my front step. She peered closer at me, and figured that yes, I really was the Belle she thought I was.
“How are you, Belle?” she asked. “Are you alright? You look a bit shaken up.”
I’ve always looked shaken up, but when you’re as old as Mrs. Wilson, you start losing your memory. “I’m perfectly well today. I was actually on my way to the Laundromat to get some clothes done. Do you have any that you’d like me to do for you?” I asked kindly. Mrs. Wilson shook her head and pulled my hand into her right palm, placing her left one on top, like a sandwich.
“Belle, please. You must let me call the police on that man you call your father. It’s been years, dearie. It has to be done sometime…” she cooed to me. This was one of the many things she remembered. The day after the Leave, I’d gone over to her to sip some lemonade, and she and I had talked it through. She’d seen my mother in the rain. She’d heard the yelling and cries of pain, and had peered out her window blinds to see what had happened. She’d seen my mother leaving in the rain, heading out onto the sidewalk and disappearing around the house on the corner of the block. She’d wondered after it, and when I’d told her everything I’d witnessed, she’d shared tears with me. She and my mother were close. They’d been friends before I was born. Mrs. Wilson had shared tears with me for many days after, and I’d shared tears with her.
“No,” I softly replied. “There’s nothing they can do.”
Mrs. Wilson took a deep breath, then slowly nodded. “Then, I support your opinion. But remember, if something ever happens, I’m always next door to help.”
“Mrs. Wilson, there’d be nothing you could do,” I said, referring to her age and weakness. She knew what I was talking about.
“But I’ve got Paul and Linda. They’d be happy to go over there and give your father a nice old style beating!” Mrs. Wilson swung her arm through the air, and had it make a loud SMACK against her thigh, demonstrating what she planned on her two 20 year old children to do to my father. I giggled, and she embraced me in a hug. I buried my head into her chest, and we were like that for a while before I slowly pulled away.
“I really should be getting these clothes to the Laundromat soon. Besides, it looks like you’ve still got a good book to get back to,” I said sweetly.
“Oh! Yes, of course, of course! It’s…” she pulled the book up from her lap and showed me the cover, “…’A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens. He’s one of my favorite authors. Paul went down to the library yesterday to get me this book. I’ll let you read it once I’m finished.”
“Oh, no it’s alright. I’ve got a busy schedule, so…”
“No, no, Belle! You’ve definitely got to read this one! It’s a must!”
I sighed, and nodded, waving goodbye as I collected my bag and headed down the street to the Laundromat.
I really like Mrs. Wilson. She’s been there for me since the Leave, and she’s given me lots of love and affection. I like Paul and Linda as well. Paul taught me how to mow my front lawn and take out the trash, while Linda taught me how to use the Laundromat, cook food, buy clothing, and clean around the house. Linda was even willing to go to my parent teacher conference meetings like my mom used to, because the Beast would never serve as a suitable parent for that kind of thing. Sometimes, I wish I could live with the Wilson’s, because they’re so nice and amazing. The Beast will never be a match for them. He’ll never be a match for anybody.

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