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When I'm Gone

When I'm Gone

Description : When I'm Gone

“Come here, girl!” My stepfather’s voice bellowed throughout the house.

Instantly, my gut twisted. The sick knot that came from being near him and knowing what he would do to me was a constantpanion.

I stood up slowly from my bed and put the book I was reading—or trying to read—down carefully. My mother wasn’t home from work yet. She was supposed to be home by now. I shouldn’t havee back from the library so early. A man and his young daughter hade up to me while I was looking through the children’s picture books. He’d started talking to me and asking me my name. He’d wanted to know if I was getting a book for my little sister.

The embarrassment that came with that question reminded me of my stupidity, as always.

“Girl!” my stepfather roared.

He was angry now. My eyes stung with unshed tears. If he would only just beat me like he used to. Back when I was younger and I brought home poor grades in school. If he would just call me names and tell me how worthless I was . . . but he wouldn’t. Once I had wished more than anything that he would stop hitting me. I hated the belt, and the welts he left on my legs and bottom made it hard to sit down.

Then one day, he stopped. And I instantly wished he’d go back to hitting me. The bite from the belt was better than this. Anything was better than this. Even death.

I opened my bedroom door and took a deep breath, reminding myself that I could survive whatever he did. I was saving my money from the housecleaning jobs I had, and I would be leaving here soon. My mother would be glad I was gone. She hated me. She had hated me for years.

I was a burden on her.

I tugged my shirt down and tucked it into the shorts I was wearing. Then I pulled the shorts down so...