Tag Archives: Misinterpreted

Misinterpreted by Liscia Lawrence

[2005 Young Explorer Wadadli Youth Pen Prize Third Placed Writer]

“Come to daddy; who’s daddy’s little girl?

Who’s daddy’s little girl? Open your eyes, sweetheart.”

It was the second time for the week that mom was working late and dad was once again drunk. As I squeezed my eyes and held my breath, my clock beeped, which signaled to me that it was 11 o’clock. I kept telling myself that it was only four hours before mom came home from work. As I lay there, trying very hard not to move a muscle, I felt my dad’s hand on the inner part of my thighs. As he climbed on me, I smelt the strong alcohol on his breath.

“Sarah, Sarah, wake up, goddamnit. Do you think I’ve got time for games? Get up!”

“Daddy, what’s the matter? What are you doing?”

“Do you think I’ve got time for games? What do you take me for, a fool?”

“No, Dad, no fool, but, please, not tonight.”

“You’ve gotten a boy, right? Is that it? You little bitch! I’ll show you! Come here.”

“Daddy, stop that! Please stop, Daddy! Stop! Stoooooppppppp…”

“Sarah? Sarah.”

“What!”

“You can’t keep falling asleep in class. You’ve got to stay focused.”

“I’m focused. I heard every word you said.”

“Tell me.”

“Tell you what?”

“Tell me what I said.”

“Welllll…”

“Just as I expected. I can’t have you falling asleep in my class. I am going to have to send you to the office.”

“Laughter and screams are all I hear. I see him; I see his face.”

“The times that you have seen or heard him, what is it that you hear him telling you?”

“Wake up, goddamnit.”

“Have you ever told anyone about this?”

“Why, what’s the point? It’s not like anyone would care or want to hear about my unfortunate mishappening.”

“Did you ever tell your mother?”

“No.”

“Why?”

“She just wouldn’t………”

“Believe you? Why would I want to believe you when you are constantly at my office?”

“But, Mr. Billings, I did nothing out of the way. Mr. John just assumed that…”

“You were not paying attention, right?”

“Right.”

“I am really getting sick and tired of your attitude, young lady. Come here to me, you little b….”

“In the times that your dad attacked you, did he leave any physical mark on your skin as evidence of his abuse? In other words, did he hit you?”

“Of course, he did. What do you think I did, just lay there and let him have his way with me?”

“Didn’t your mother see the bruises? Why didn’t you tell her then?”

“You’re kidding, right? I don’t think I heard you correctly.”

“Let me rephrase it for you. Your behaviour is unacceptable, and if there is any more misconduct from you, I’m going to have to call in your mother and your father.”

“No, please…not my father.”

“Why? Why would you want to cover up for your father?”

“I don’t know why I did it; I guess I just felt sorry for him or something.”

“I think we’re getting somewhere. You felt as if you were…”

“…Ungrateful little b…Who is it that put clothes on your back, who feeds you, who looks after you, who gives you everything that you need? Now you want to act as if you are the boss of your body. Well, here’s some news for you: You’re not the boss, I am! And no boy is going to get what is mine.”

“No!”

“Then tell me why would you not tell anyone?”

“Why would I tell anyone when it wasn’t his fault?”

“Then whose fault was it?”

“Mine, all mine, and no boy is going to taste it before me.”

“Daddy, please stop; you’re hurting me. Daddy, Daddy, stop. Ahhhhh.”

“You have carried this baggage with you for so long that it has become a part of you. It is choking you and you are suffocating within yourself. You have allowed pain to become your best friend and joy your enemy. But it is time for you to let go and let God. Why not turn that frown into a smile? Just let it go. You cannot fight this battle anymore. It is killing you. It is slowly eating away your heart and it’s killing your joy. You should be able to go out and have fun with your friends and family. Don’t let the devil steal your joy girl.”

“How do I do that; how do I let go? It is not as if I do it intentionally, but every time I see him with our daughter, I see my dad, and I, I  am so afraid that he will do to my baby girl what my father did to me. I am unable to trust him around our daughter.”

“Are you listening to yourself? This is your husband you are speaking about. Your husband has never done anything which would make you become suspicious.”

“No. That’s why I am afraid. He’s too perfect.”

“Sarah, it has been 25 years. You are now 30. Your father cannot hurt you anymore. Take control of your life. Your body is the temple of God; let God deal with him. God is not asleep. He has seen your tears and he knows the pain you’ve been through; he feels your pain. Just let God take over your life. Start fresh with God. When all have forsaken you, God will uphold you. He loves you and he isn’t asleep. Give God a chance in your life.”

“How can you tell me to just let go? What do you know? You have never felt this pain! You don’t know the shame! You don’t and you never will. It is easy for you to sit in your office and tell me to let go. You were trained to tell me that, but what do you know?”

“I do know what you are going through and what you went through.”

“How do you know? How…”

“I know because I too was abused by my father, and my uncle, and by any man who got a hold of me. So, I do know the pain. I know the shame; the feeling that you could have stopped it. But you don’t see me holding on to it. That was the past. I found Jesus and I accepted him into my life and I was able to find peace. I found peace and you can, too. I too was a victim.”

“Oh, I never knew.”

THE END.

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