"We are hard pressed on every side, but nor crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed."

          ~2nd Corinthians 4:8-9


The Moonlight Sage

::Part One::

Chapter One Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, and it's snowing out again. There's a fierce blizzard blowing outside. It seems appropriate. The howling wind and clatter of hailstones against the roof just seems to add to the chaotic blanket of noise around me. Although the screaming is muffled, I can hear the strain in my mom's voice, feel the rage emanating from my father.

The door just slammed. I know it was my dad that left because I can hear mom crying. The wind is still screaming through the crack in my window. Dad said he was going to fix that crack when we moved in here. It still hasn't happened, two years later.

I watched my dad leave, tires spinning on the icy driveway, car flying around the corner and down the street until all that's left is the screeching of the tires and the hum of the engine. I wonder how long he'll be gone this time? I hope it's a long time. I hate him! I know he's cheating on my mom. I know he's doing it with that slut single mother down the road. That's probably where he went; he went to go fuck his girlfriend, the night before Christmas Eve. Why does he have to do this to us? I hope he dies…I hope he skids on the ice because he's going too fast and just dies. Serves him right.

Some Christmas I'll have this year, Merry Christmas…yeah, right…

The pen stopped scratching on the surface of the page. The young writer was broken from an angry trance when there was a crash downstairs. She jumped from her bed and stared warily at the door. Small, shaky fingers reached for the knob and twisted it, slowly pulling the door open.

Her steps were slow as she made her way down the stairs, knuckles turning white from gripping the railing. She was terrified of what she would see downstairs.

She stumbled down the final step and glanced into the living room.

Her mother was slumped against the coffee table, back arched, face buried in her long, thin arms. Her small frame heaved as another sob tore at her throat. Her face was red and streaked with tears, and her mass of brown hair was messy and damp, as if her entire body was crying along with her. At her feet lay her mother's favourite vase.

The entire scene was so heart-wrenching she nearly turned and ran. But it was too late. Her mother looked up at her, and the forced herself to straighten. "He'll be back," She promised the girl. As if she wanted that.

Her mother smiled; it was sickening, really. She just kept on believing.

"I hate him," She said bitterly.

"No you don't, Saige!" Her mother said firmly. "You never say that!"

Saige was taken aback.

"He's your father, Saige. You have to respect him."

Saige said nothing, but, as she walked away she muttered; "I wish he was dead."

As soon as she was gone, her mother began to cry again.

It was late at night when her father returned.

Ray Mathers was a relatively average man, with sandy coloured hair which he spent hours grooming every morning. He wasn't all that tall, but he was taller than both Saige and her mother. He announced his arrival with a loud slam of the front door. It was already past midnight. No one was asleep.  Her mother's pacing had kept Saige up most of the night.

"Look at this, I'm gone for four whole hours and the house still isn't clean! What the fuck is this mess?"

"I'm not your slave you know!" Jessica Mathers, his wife, snapped back, "I don't have to clean up your fucking mess!"

"Why you little…" Ray raised his arm and struck his wife across the face, sending her flying into the wall. She gasped and felt her bleeding lip.

Upstairs, Saige cringed at the sounds emanating from the living room. She curled herself up into a tight ball and hugged her knees to her chest. 'Please let it be over soon…' She thought.

The screaming continued, and after a few minutes there was a loud thump, thump as Jessica ran upstairs.

Saige sucked in her breath and waited, terrified, for it to be over.

Another set of footsteps came up the stairs, and Jessica flung open the door to Saige's room and slammed it shut behind her, throwing all her weight against it.

Ray thundered up the steps, and slammed against the door. Jessica was pushed back for a moment, but she struggled to keep it shut.
Saige knew that she wouldn't last forever. The wood was beginning to splinter.

Jessica was crying, her face streaked with pathetic tears.

Saige rolled of the bed and tried in vain to make herself invisible in the corner between the wall and the bed. Tears sprung to her eyes and stung her cheeks as she tried to wipe them away.

Her father slammed against the door once more and this time her mother let it go and stumbled to the back of the room where she waited for Ray to regain his balance.

"Look what you're doing!" Jessica screamed before he could hit her again. She pointed accusingly at their daughter, "Look at what you're doing to your child!"

Ray was snarling viscously at his wife, while Saige started to weep on the floor. She pressed herself even more tightly against the wall, trying to disappear.

Ray stopped when he saw his daughter curled up next to the bed. He sighed and ran his hands through his sweaty hair. Jessica sank down the wall and began to cry.


"Shut up!" She snapped. "Stay away from me!"

Ray took a step back and Jessica sprung to her feet and forced Saige to stand up. "We're leaving, Ray. Try and stop us." She turned to Saige, "Honey, pack your things,"

Saige nodded numbly and grabbed a few random articles of clothing from the floor. Within minutes they were standing at the front door.

Saige didn't know why, but her father was crying.

"I'm so sorry baby…" he whispered. He grabbed her and pulled her into a tight hug. Saige stood stiffly and waited for him to be finished. In her mind she was chanting, over and over again; 'I hate you…I hate you…I hate you…'

He finally let her go, and watched her, tears streaming down his own face. Saige fled after her mother, wondering why he was so upset. After what he'd done to them, he'd brought it on himself. She hoped he was eaten alive by guilt and threw himself off the escarpment.

She stepped out into the icy September chill and hurried down the street after her mother. They walked to the end of the road with their bags in hand and sat down on the curb.

Jessica said nothing to her daughter. She just dropped her face into her hands and began to cry. Her body shook violently and she sobbed loudly, her voice echoing eerily throughout the darkness.

Saige just watched her numbly, waiting to get out of the cold. She was afraid to say anything.

They waited twenty minutes before her grandmother pulled up in her car.

The window rolled down and Saige stood up to greet her.

"Come on, get in…" The old woman said in concern. Jessica looked up at her mother only for a second, before she got up and climbed into the passenger's seat.

Saige got in the back silently and they drove off.

Wednesday December 24, 2003

It finally happened. We left dad today. We're staying at Grandma's. It wasn't as much as of a relief as I thought it would be. It was scary. I was crying all last night. This will be the first Christmas I've ever spent without my dad. I'll never forget this date. This was the worst day of my life.

It was so cold outside while we were waiting, and all I could do was think about dad. I don't know why. I hate him so much! I still wish he were dead, only now, I think I'd be sad if he left. But I want to be sad. He doesn't like it when I'm unhappy, and he doesn't deserve to be happy. He should see what he's done to us. Mom kept crying, and it was scary. I'd never really seen her cry before. I used to think she was immortal, now I'm not so sure. I don't like to look at her. She just smiles at me and pats my hand, like everything is going to be all right. I hate it when she says that. She says that we'll be fine and that everything will be great again really soon. First of all, it was never great in the first place. I don't believe her anyway. How could I? After all that's happened.

Why can't it be like the families on TV, when the parent's sit their kids down and tell them calmly that they are getting a divorce? TV isn't real anyways. They never make it real. I've been fooling myself, thinking that this would be a release. They didn't tell me anything. Instead they just started fighting, and then one day…yesterday…it happened. I've been left to figure it all out on myself. It wasn't that hard. Dad is cheating, mom hates him, I hate him, and now they are getting divorced. All of a sudden I want everything to be the way it was…