“Please stop!” I screamed. I felt the trickle of liquid along
the side of my face. Once I got over the shock, I felt the
unbearable pain as it ripped through my skin, forever
“You son of a bitch! Stop! Oh God, let her go!” I heard
my mother scream. “Let her go! Please, I beg you! Stop it!”
“No! She’s a spawn of the Devil! Can you not see it?” he
asked in a hoarse voice. “Maybe you can’t! Her beautiful,
angelic face conceals all the darkness within her! I will show
you! Once her beauty is gone… you will see her for what
she really is!”
He pulled my hair so I could face him. I willed myself to
be brave as I stared at the man who once meant the whole
world to me. He was staring back at me with bloodshot eyes
rimmed with dark circles. They were blazing with anger, like
he truly believed I was a demon he needed to kill.
He lifted the glass bottle over my face once again. I
closed my eyes, accepting my fate.
“No!” I heard my mother scream as she launched at
him. He fell back, released me and I fell to the floor.
I can feel the liquid eating through my skin, making its
way to my flesh. My whole body felt numb and I couldn’t
move even if I wanted to.
“You cannot stop me!” he roared as his hand landed on
my mother’s face and she, too, fell to the floor.
I was exhausted but I willed myself to get up, not just to
save myself, but to help my mother. I struggled to look up
and saw the familiar man with big brown eyes come after
me again. I knew that face. It used to be a face of comfort
for me. I remembered the first time I met him. I was barely five years old then. He was the only father I ever knew… the
only father I ever loved. He took care of me like I was his
own flesh and blood.
Now… I could barely recognize his face. Substance
abuse changed not only his physical attributes, but also the
way he saw things. In his eyes, I was probably a little
monster that he had to kill. The hallucinations were
completely taking over him, making it difficult to separate
fiction from fact… nightmares from reality.
I couldn’t give a fight when I saw him swing the bat. I
could only close my eyes. “Monster!” he growled as he
prepared to hit me in the face.
I braced myself for the unbearable pain that would
probably be the death of me. I was praying for a miracle,
hoping to God that it was not yet my time… wishing I had a
guardian angel who would magically appear on my side to
shield me, save me and fight for me.
I took a deep breath, which could well be my last… and
then I heard a gunshot.
The sound was deafening, almost impairing my sense of
hearing. But the silence that followed was even worse.
The mixed scent of gunpowder, burning skin and blood
filled the room. I could only hear the wild beating of my
heart, the silent whimpers that I didn’t know belonged to me
and the fast intakes of last breaths that belonged to the
man I once called Dad.
I stared into space, not really looking at anything in
particular as I tried to distract myself from the harsh reality
that I knew would slap me in the face and probably cripple
me for life.
It was over… months of torture and physical abuse,
days of struggling to heal from the wounds. Now… I could
only feel my heart breaking, because for the last ten years
of my life, I truly loved him. And I know, he truly loved us.
He had always been there to take care of me and my
mother. He used to chase my nightmares away. And now…
I’m sure most of my nightmares will be of him, chasing me,
pouring acid over my face.
Then finally, I heard the sirens, telling me that help was
here. They would come to make it all right, wouldn’t they?
They would take me away to a place far enough… where
nobody could hurt me again. They would fix my wounds…
make sure I could function again… I could live normally
Everything was going to be okay.
But I know… no matter what happens… nothing can
erase the scars he left in my heart… and most importantly,
my soul. No matter what they do, they couldn’t take away
the pain and they couldn’t chase the nightmares that are to
haunt my sleepless nights.