Still in the spirit of Valentine’s Day and the Month of Love, I’m posting a special post about love, or is it? (inserts ominous music). I think I’m entitled to a lighter-ish post after what I posted two days ago, no? LOL. Enjoy!
I heard the swooshing sound of the belt first before I felt its hot burning touch on my skin. It was my left calves today. I was glad it was my left calves instead of my right, since it was still a bit sore and reddish from yesterday’s session. I bit my lips so hard I could feel blood. But the sting on my calves dulled the one on my lips. It was beyond salvation anyway. I chewed on it too much for it to even start healing itself. I didn’t really think about the act as a self harm. It was what I did to get by. I bit my lips. My bottom lip was constantly swollen and red, sometimes the corner of my lips bleeds. Nevermind. Once again, the sound first then the hot sting of the familiar contraption struck my left calves. I couldn’t even hear anything aside from that swooshing sound now. I counted. It was close to 5 minutes. It meant that he would stop soon. He usually never went over the 5 minutes mark. I thought it was because he wasn’t that young anymore and so his stamina must have dropped. He couldn’t bear to be part of our session for more than 5 minutes without breathing hard himself. So yeah, I was glad that I didn’t shed a single tear this time and it was close to 5 minutes already. I thought it was a job well done.
Right on the 5 minutes mark, he stopped. I glanced at the clock hanging on the wall behind his heaving chest and surely it showed that 5 minutes had passed since he started his session with me. He yelled inaudible curses at me and left to sit on his favorite sofa while trying to calm his breathing. He sometimes flexed his fingers as if he was also in pain from gripping too tightly on the belt he used. Thinking about the belt, I could see it discarded by its owner in the corner looking harmless, unless I knew first-hand that it was nothing but. I could feel its bite on my left calves vividly. Still, I was very glad he decided on my left calves today because if he didn’t, I was sure I wouldn’t be able to walk the next day. I was grateful for the small mercy he gave me today. I glanced at the clock again briefly. It was 1 minute and 30 seconds after he stopped. It was safe for me to start limping back to my room where my box was waiting for me. He would not bother with me anymore today since he had had his fill.
“Where are you going?”
Or maybe not. Once again I stole a glance towards the clock. It was 2 minutes after he stopped. Usually he wouldn’t bother with me any longer after a full minute of lounging on his favorite sofa. He must have had an extremely shitty day in his office today.
“I asked you a question.”
I forgot to answer, too busy with my thoughts. I didn’t know what to do. This was out of the ordinary. Usually he just hit me with his belt, or cane — sometimes he used his hands and fist also but it was a rare occurrence kept away for what he called special occasions — or our broom handle. The broom handle was the worst for me. I could take the belt or cane, but the broom handle — and his fist — really hurt. My bones constantly ached after that.
“To my room?” I silently curse myself. Only in my mind though. I should know that he expected an answer, but instead I gave him an answer that sounded like a question instead. He wouldn’t be pleased.
He stopped looking at the television and turned his head towards me. My body was already half-turned towards the direction of my room. He looked at me for a long time. I felt like he didn’t stop scrutinizing me for centuries before he sneered, cursed, and nodded his head in dismissal. Inwardly I let out a breath of relief. I quickly went back to my room or as far as my mangled left leg could take me. Again, I bit my bottom lips to distract me from the pain. It was still pulsing and hot. I felt like my leg was on fire. Soon enough — or not soon enough — I finally reached my room. I directly looked for that trustworthy box under the bed. He didn’t allow me to have it inside my room, so I needed to hide it really carefully.
I hissed when the cool touch of the alcohol burnt my leg. Apparently, his beeating was quite hard today that it broke my skin. I swallowed back another hiss of pain. I didn’t want him to hear me and mistook it for me crying or sobbing. He didn’t like that. He didn’t like that I cried after his beating because in his mind, all his sessions were for my sake. If I cried, then it meant that he was doing something wrong and he didn’t like being wrong, so I simply stopped crying after a few months. I learned that the harder I cried, the harder he hit me. It was an extremely simple logic. I didn’t want to get beaten harder than usual, so I stopped crying. And I resorted to lip-biting which was the main reason my lips were bruised all the time. But as I said, it helped to dull the pain from where he decided to hit me that day. Once I was done attending to my wounded leg, I started to change into my pajamas. Showering was out of the option for that night. My wound was too open and my whole body too sore to withstand standing inside the shower for too long. I was afraid that I would collapse. So I changed into my pajamas slowly. Painfully. A brush of fabric on my leg and I bit back another hiss of pain. At last, I finished changing and was crawling onto my bed to tuck myself in.
I sighed and stared at the ceiling for quite a long time. I stopped myself from imagining things that I couldn’t have. I had given up feeling hopeful for a long time that I simply didn’t remember how to hope. If I could stay alive for another day then it was miracle enough for me. I glanced over the only picture I had of my Mom and managed a small smile.
“Good night, Mom,” I said. Soon, sleep and tiredness took me into its embrace.
I shrugged sadly.
“Same old routine every day. I don’t know if I can do this any longer,” I said with my head on my hand. I sighed.
“Where —, “she choked. She didn’t need to continue her sentence though as I understood completely what she wanted to ask me.
“Today it was her left leg. Yesterday was the right one. I guess we should be grateful that she doesn’t stay on the same leg two days in a row or else she wouldn’t be able to walk.”
She sighed. “Maybe you should…”
“No.” I cut her mid-sentence. “I’m not putting my kid into an asylum. She’s not crazy, you know. She’s just…lost. So lost. And it’s all because of me.”
“She’s harming herself everyday and you don’t think she needs help?”
“She does need help, and she’s getting it! I am helping her.”
“But it’s not enough. Soon, it won’t be enough. Please, just think about it. She needs help. Medical help. Please. Before it’s too late.”
“What do you mean it’s too late? Don’t say that.” I got up from my chair and pacing around the room. I just couldn’t accept the fact that my daughter would end up like — no, I must stop that train of thoughts.
“You don’t want her to end up like…”
“Don’t say another word.” I hissed.
I started to pace even faster and when I couldn’t take it anymore, I walked to her room. It wasn’t locked, as usual. And as I stared at her sleeping form, she looked so peaceful. So different from the depressed girl I met earlier this evening. It was the same daily routine for us. She would wake up, took a bath, ate her breakfast, and went to school as if in a daze. Then she would go back home and didn’t even remember anything from her day at school. She would then start her so-called evening ritual by taking my belt from the drawer where I kept them and started beating her own body. I tried to stop her but she hit herself even stronger the next day. I didn’t know what to do.
“Please, think about it. Don’t wait until it’s too late and she went too far like —,” she stopped mid-sentence and looked at me as if to gauge my reaction. Her hands felt warm on my slumping shoulder.
Once again, I watched her sleeping form. She looked so peaceful. I put my hand on hers which still rests on my shoulder and squeezed. I needed the strength she gave me for what I was about to do. My eyes felt hot and I didn’t realize I was crying until she wiped the tears away from my cheek. I closed my eyes and wished that I didn’t have to do this.
“You’re doing the right thing.” She smiled sadly at me. I looked at her trying to etch her beautiful face in my mind.
“Don’t go,” I begged. “Stay. Help me.”
“I can’t. You know I can’t. Take care of her, I beg you. Even if it means getting her help somewhere else. Don’t let her go too far.”
She walked away from me and I tried my best to grab her only to find my hands grappling onto thin air. I sobbed quietly and tried to keep her warm hands on my shoulder forever even though in reality the traces were getting cold. But her unspoken words earlier made me get the strength that I needed to do the right thing. I wiped away the tears and walked back to the living room. I took my phone and dialed the number that I had memorized but never dialed. When I said hello, it was with her unspoken words ringing in my head.
Don’t let her go too far like me…
P.S.: I published this story elsewhere or to be exact on my wattpad account. Check it out here