"How the fuck should I know?" "She's your daughter!" The voices would scream, as the noise erupted throughout the house she turned up her music player. Writhing around in her bed she listened through the noise and the hatred.
Little girl, little girl why are you crying?
She sighs and a silent tear rolls down her cheek, she knew full well why she was crying. Her life, and everyone in it, was crashing down in front of her. She wanted it to stop and be happy. But that's a thing she hasn't had in a long time.
Inside your restless soul your heart is dying
She curls up into a ball so her bed covers muffle some of the shouting and she checked the time on her glow-in-the-dark watch. - She'd have bad dreams without it and it was the last thing her proper daddy gave to her - it was 10:23 pm.
Little one, little one your soul is purging
She fiddled with the fresh material wrapped around her wrist, she sighed because it no longer hurt. Just itched; a painful recurring itch.
Of love and razorblades your blood is surging
The song cradled her, it whispered words into her skull and they stayed there, like distant memories from a forgotten face.
"Run away, from the river to the street and find yourself with your face in the gutter" She whispered. Though she was only young and she was bullied due to her height she knew what the words meant; "Run away from your problems and you will only find yourself with your face in the gutter, poor and alone, crawling back to the people who caused it. Come to terms with your problems and everything will be okay."
She smiled, remembering her past thoughts and drowning them out with Billie Joe's voice. If only she could meet him and thank him for all he's done for her. Giving her faith in the broken skyline of her life and giving her a helping hand out of the deepest pits of despair.
Your straight from the Salvation Army, there is no place like home.
"When you've got no place to go." She whispered under her breath and sighed once again, she wondered if that's all she would accomplish in life; the ability to sigh. She glanced at her watch: 10:23pm.
It had stopped. "So much for those bad dreams." She thought, unlocking the strap and throwing it across the room and hearing it smash against a wall.
The last memory of her dad. Smashed into a hundred little pieces.
She wiped away another tear and listened to the now fist-fight that broke out downstairs, she heard things smashing and curled up tighter; trying desperately to block out the noise.
She heard the door open, she lay still. It was him. She could feel him walking over to her bed, she tensed. "I'm sorry." She whispered.
"What for?" Replied a familiar voice, she looked up to see her heavily eyelinered brother.
"Jimmy ?" She smiled through the faded light
"You better believe it."
She hugged him tightly. "Jimmy. Take me away from here Please." She wept, her tears staining his t-shirt, which smelled strongly of cigarettes and alcohol. She looked up at him, eyes brimming with tears "And don't make me come back like last time."
Jimmy's heart felt like breaking, he gave a half-smile and gripped her shoulder. "You have to be strong. Okay?"
She would have to stay here. That's what he meant, she would be stuck with mum and Him, when he would be free and could do whatever he wanted. She hugged him tighter and cried harder. Jimmy looked over his shoulder and he whispered in her ear "And you have to be quiet."
Little girl, little girl your life is calling
She smiled with all her teeth and kissed his cheek "Thank you."
She slipped off her bed and grabbed her suitcase, filling it up with clothes and underwear. She stuffed her birthday money in the suitcase's compartment and placed her teddy bear on top.
The last of her childhood innocence.
"We can buy some stuff, is that everything?" Whispered Jimmy, holding her tightly as if he could sense that his dad would run up the stairs and scream at them for having such "fucking mental ideas" which "could get them both killed". He didn't want his step-sister hurt. Ever.
"Wait a second" She whispered and grabbed a pen and paper from her bedside table
"Dear Mummy and
She signed her name with love, grabbed her suitcase and squeezed Jimmy's hand.
Of charlatan's and saint's of your abandon.
She wasn't running away from her problems; she was running away from the cause of her problems.
She glanced at her finger interlocked with Jimmy's and grinned. However, her smile faded away when she saw her bandages still remained. Without Jimmy noticing, she tore the bandages away with her teeth and spat them on the floor; that was the only thing that she left behind.
Little one, little one, the sky is falling, your lifeboat of deception is now sailing
No one heard them leaving. They crept down the stairs, she still listening to the row between Jimmy's father and her mother. Why wouldn't they stop? Didn't they love each other?
"Shut up brat, we all hate you" she hissed under her breath. Her hand was becoming increasingly sweaty around Jimmy's as they reached the back door; they unhitched the latch and stepped out into nightfall.
A thunderstorm was overhead, a deluge of precipitation showered down on them as they reached Jimmy's car parked in the drive way. Jimmy threw her suitcase in the backseats and strapped his little sister into the seat "Nice and safe" he smiled as her buckle clicked into place.
But were they really safe?
Jimmy's dad could go after them, his hand would clench on Jimmy's throat until he could no longer breathe. He would look down on his technical "daughter" and abandon her by the side of the road, claiming that he had "lost her" on the way home or that she had "run away before he could take her".
That was Brad the Brat; loathsome and vengeful. He hated his son because he was different from the other kids and his technical daughter was being shipped off to a private school where he could no longer see her "horrid little bitch of a face". He told her this, unaware of her mother, and laughed when she said "Jimmy won't let you."
Jimmy was the only thing that was good in her mother's remarriage after her daddy died in September, he look after her and played games with her. He even let her listen to his iPod on rare occasions and she loved him with all her heart.
And that's why she replied to Jimmy when he was strapping her in: "I am if you are here."
But he wasn't there that day, he could have stopped Brat, but he didn't.
She looked at her wrist once more and sighed, she brought it up to the car light so she could see clearer. Seven deep cuts in her wrist.
Brad was always drunk and it was when Jimmy left the house that Brad had snatched her, smashed a bottle on the kitchen side and slit her wrists with it.
"You are such an ungrateful cow!" He hissed as he dragged the bottle up her arm, leaving shards of glass in her skin. She screamed out in pain but to no avail, her mummy was at work and Jimmy had left her.
Alone with Brad.
Brad left her, bleeding on the floor, crying out in pain and screaming the words "I'm sorry Brad! I didn't mean to!"
She'd knocked over a lamp belonging to his mother who lived 40 miles down the highway. This was her punishment.
She cleaned up her wrists when Brad left for his another trip to Wal-Mart to buy endless supplies of Beer and general alcohol for his own selfish needs. She removed the glass with tweezers from her mummy's make-up bag; she washed away the dried blood on her veins, applied some ointment to stop infection and tightly wrapped a bandage around her wrist.
No one would be the wiser.
No one except Jimmy.
Jimmy clicked in his seatbelt and placed the keys in the ignition, "Say goodbye to Brat" he winked. But his face fell when he saw his little sister's expression.
"Hey Are you okay baby face?"
She stayed silent.
Jimmy leaned over the seat to face her, "Y'know, if you don't wanna-" he stopped and stared. She'd moved her wrists away from him and it was then he noticed. They were still fresh with blood.
"What have you- ?" He began, but he placed together the shouting and why she was so quiet, like a jigsaw puzzle in his mind.
"He did this I'll fucking kill him. No one touches you. You understand me? NO ONE!" He screamed, unlocking his belt and lunging for the door handle.
He'd kill him.
He'd gone too far this time.
Way too fucking far.
Brat was dead. So fucking dead.
He'd march back into the house and punch the basterd in the face; he'd grab a bottle and slit his throat. Mum would try and stop him but it would be too late; he'd smash the body on the floor and beat him to a bloody pulp. His adrenaline would rush to an all time high as he battered his father, fists flying, bruises becoming scars and blood running through the kitchen like a sick, twisted river of hatred and evil.
But he didn't.
Because his little sister had grabbed his forearm and pleaded with him, her eyes watering and her lip quivering; making her words into stuttered mumbles.
"Don't." She whispered "I want that basterd to pay with the guilt. He made my life hell when you weren't around Jimmy, he'd lock me in my room without food and and I didn't tell you in case you didn't believe me." Her eyes brimmed with tears, looking directly into Jimmy's eyes she said "Drive away. Take us away from here Jimmy Please."
Jimmy kissed his sister's forehead and gave her wounded hand a small squeeze "Tell me next time."
"Don't be so silly Jimmy." She replied, a smile began to spread across her face "There won't be a next time."
He smiled and twisted the keys firmly to start the ignition; the headlights would be off till they reached the end of the road.
The engine hummed quietly against the rain and Jimmy started to sing
" Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road "
He reversed the car out of the drive way and sped off into the early dusk with his sister singing along with him
" Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go "
The rain had begun to settle on the streets, pavements and rooftops before the parents found the beds were empty.
They called their names into the night but only an echo and early song birds heard them.
"Jimmy! You little cunt!" screamed his dad; alcohol strong on his breath.
Her mother's empty cries were drowned out by the rain, her tears washed away in the gutter and her chances of their return were about as clear as the silver-lining in a raincloud full of lead.
But for the first time in Jimmy and Gloria's lives, they were safe and free.