Chapter 12:

Act 12

I'll carry you

My parents got married at a young age because my mother got pregnant with me. I was an unplanned and unwanted child. I don’t really remember when things started to get rough but the past couple of years had been the worst. Everything was spiralling out of control. My sanity included. I always wondered why nothing changed for the better. Maybe because my family consisted of stubborn and unreasonable people, including me. The broken glass pieces were all over the floor. My mother was in her room while I cleaned up the mess. She had told me to do it, so I did, quietly. I could hear her moving around and making some phone calls. My foot had stopped bleeding. I cleaned up the blood stains with a wet cloth. My mother walked out of her room. She was carrying my duffle bag. Bookmark here

“Ayu, I am going back to Auntie Mei and I am taking Aiko with me,” she said and sat down on the sofa. The duffle bag was dropped on the floor by her. Bookmark here

“Can’t I come with you?” I murmured. My foot was throbbing and still hurting a bit.Bookmark here

“No! You can’t,” she answered panicked. “Remember what you have promised me. You have to protect me and your younger sister. You promised me. You made a promise with me, remember? You can’t let him touch your younger sister at all cost. We have to protect her.” She was still sitting on the sofa and her hands were shaking. She did not look at me, not even once.Bookmark here

“Mhm,” I agreed and lowered my head. She told me not to let him come after them and woke Aiko up. My younger sister refused to go and started crying. She was confused and sleepy. I gave her a kiss on her forehead and told her that it was an emergency and that I had to stay behind to look after father. The door closed behind them and there was no one in the house left, except me. I was running out of plasters. Fortunately, the cut on my foot was not too deep. It would probably heal within a couple of days. I went into the kitchen and took some painkillers, not only for the pain in my foot but also for what was about to happen when he would return. I didn’t know if painkillers worked this way. Usually people took them whenever they were in pain and not when they presumed to be in pain in the near future.Bookmark here

It didn’t take long for him to come back. The door got unlocked and the door opened. I was waiting in the living room. I didn’t want him to enter my and Ai-chan’s room. It was early in the morning. I didn’t sleep at all last night and felt exhausted.Bookmark here

“Where are your mother and sister?” he asked me and took off his black jacket.Bookmark here

“They went to visit Auntie Mei,” I answered, not moving an inch.Bookmark here

“Didn’t your mother come back from her younger sister’s house yesterday?” he asked and walked over to me. My whole body tensed up. Before I could answer his question, he grabbed me by my hair and pulled me off the sofa.Bookmark here

“I asked you something,” he said and dragged me along with him. “I shouldn’t have burnt your long hair back then. Your short hair is making it a lot harder for me to grab on.” All I was thinking about was my mother and sister. I had to concentrate on my breathing or else I would get a panic attack and maybe an asthma attack would follow. I had to be strong for them. He grabbed my blue inhaler that I was holding in my hands and pushed me down to the floor. Bookmark here

“Don’t you ever get upset or angry at your mother? If I was you, I would hate her. I would despise her. She is the one who is supposed to be protecting you, but she uses you and throws you in the middle of things and runs away. And because of her selfish decisions, you will need to get punished. She is your mother after all. I guess bad blood runs in her family,” he mocked me and took of his belt. My blue inhaler was smashed on the floor and stepped on by him.Bookmark here

“Against the wall,” he ordered. My breathing fastened and I felt lightheaded. I was too slow for him, so he grabbed me by my hair again and pulled me up. Would I survive? Am I allowed to be sad? Did I deserve this? Those were the questions that I used to ask myself, but I had stopped. Why should I waste my time on useless questions? Instead, I started counting in German. It was a language I was interested in. He usually stops when I get between 25 and 30. Sometimes he takes breaks in between the sessions. My back was on fire. It was hard to stand still. I was grabbing the wall in front of me. Every hit felt heavy, and my body was forced to bent forward. After a while, I went numb. My breathing was shallow, and I felt a tingling sensation go through my body. I tried not to concentrate on the sound too much. I wouldn’t cry. I wouldn’t give in. He was using his belt, meaning that he was really upset. His go-to way of beating me up was with his bare fists, aiming at places where the bruises will not get noticed by anyone and will heal in secret. After he was done, he went to his room and didn’t come out for a while. I dragged myself into the bathroom and turned on the water. I made sure to lock the door before taking off my clothes. My pink t-shirt had been soiled with my blood. It stung pretty badly when I got into the bathtub and the water turned bright red. My hair was still wet, but I still laid down in my bed. The sun was rising from the horizon. The only comfort I got was from the warmth of my bed and the softness and weight from my blanket told me that I was still alive.Bookmark here

My father did not drink, nor did he smoke. He had a good earning job and was liked by all his friends and co-workers. Him and my mother maintained an image of a happy family, for the world to see. He frequently meets other women as well to have intercourse with them. I knew about it because I had seen it with my own two eyes. My mother didn’t believe me and got mad at me. His other hobby was to physically abuse me whenever his mood was off, or when he felt like it. He told me to blame my mother who after seeing it several times happening right before her, never interfered or stopped him. She actually encouraged him to hit me instead of her. I shouldn’t blame myself, but I was not supposed to blame them either. I was the one who came into their lives without an invitation. So, who should I blame?Bookmark here

The next day had arrived and I was still in my bed. It was afternoon already. I could hear the tv in the living room. The doorbell rang. It was too early for my mother and sister to return. I heard him opening the door and talking to someone. Then he knocked on my door and entered. He had a smile on his face.Bookmark here

“A friend of yours is here. I think his name was Akimitsu Eichi,” he said.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.