The motorcycle complained as it was cruelly pressed to its highest gear. Its rider did not even notice its complaint.
She did not notice the city disappearing behind her nor did she realize the breakneck speed at which she was driving.
She didn't think of where she was going or how to reach her unknown destination. All she knew was what she was
leaving behind: The broken home that had its foundations in the city behind her. She had to get away from it. The
full tank of gas was enough motivation for her to go. She knew no one would follow. As always she was alone.
The knuckles of her right hand pounded, sending the searing pain to her skull every time she moved her fingers. She didn't care. She knew the cause of the pain was a wrong move on her account, but, to her, it was worth it.
* * * * *
A feeling had filled her heart that she never felt before as her fist connected with his face. Anger upon anger upon anger. 'Is this what it feels like?' the question popped into her mind as she saw him fall to the ground in slow motion. 'Is this what hatred feels like?'
She turned to the woman who was frantically trying to dress herself. "Let me guess: You didn't know he was married, did you?" Her guess was confirmed with the horrified expression on the other woman's face.
"Let me fill you in then. You're not the first to fall for his pack of lies. He has done this more times than I would like to know, while his wife, as she is too depressed and broken to fight him, is forced to stay with him."
She turned to the man on the floor. "Isn't life grand," she smirked and moved to the front door.
"Wait! Who are you?" the woman, now finally dressed, asked.
She paused near the open door.
"I'm his daughter"
* * * * *
She refused to cry. The memory brought so much pain and yet her body was too numb to respond to it. She looked at the scenery around her, finally noticing how quickly it was passing her by. She reluctantly eased her hand on the accelerator and brought the bike to a halt.
She was in the farmlands, wherever that was. Everything was so foreign to her: The area, the country and the people. America was supposedly the land of opportunity, but no opportunities presented itself to her. How she longed to see the fields of her country.
She shifted the weight of her large, uncomfortable backpack so that it rested equally on both her shoulders. The though of what happened when she was packing her things into it brought back the depthless sorrow.
* * * * *
"Mom! I found him!" She called as she walked into the house, "though I think it won't surprise you to know where."
She walked towards her mother's room and found her mother standing in the doorway.
"I'm sorry," she said quietly as she looked into the pale blue eyes of her mother. 'How lifeless those eyes have become' she thought sadly.
Mother and daughter silently stared at one another. Nothing further needed to be said. This wasn't the first time something like this happened. This wasn't a new situation. Both knew the endless possibilities of what the future could bring. Both knew that only a few of these possibilities could be positive.
The silence was broken as the front door was thrown open and her father stomped into the room. She turned and walked up to him, ready for whatever he would bring.
His dark and handsome features were rumpled up. Rage made his eyes bloodshot and made his body tremble. He usually used his height of six feet to stare anyone down, but this did not work on his daughter who had inherited so much of his physical looks as well as his height. She simply smiled and met his glare.
"How dare you!" He quietly breathed. "How dare you show me such disrespect?"
"How dare I?!" she asked indignantly. "How dare you storm in here after what you did and expect that you deserve any respect!"
"I am your father!"
"Through blood only!"
She saw the movement of her father's arm but was too slow to block the move. She stumbled backwards as he slapped her across the face and fell into a crouched position.
She was surprised at first and touched her face. She could feel the imprint of his fingers as it stretched across her cheek. She chuckled. Bitterness and hatred filled every sound as it passed from her lips.
"Was that supposed to prove me otherwise?" she spat. "Was that supposed to silence me and make me bow to your will?"
She stood up and looked him straight in the eye. A bitter smile crept up to her lips.
"Dear father, it only proves me right. You were never a father to me."
She paused and moved closer to him, her face inches from his.
"Lift your hand to me just once more and the fight I'll give you will make the last punch I gave you look like a summer's kiss," she threatened softly so only her father could hear.
He paused then tried to change the argument, "Is this how a Christian should act?"
"No, this is me telling you to leave… now!"
He turned and walked out the door, slamming it as he left. She felt relief fill her body and slumped slightly. She turned to her mother, who had not moved throughout the argument but simply leaned against the doorway, watching.
"You know, he is right," her mother whispered. "You should not be acting like this."
"And how should I act!" she shot back. "Should I act like nothing happened? Like I didn't see him with another woman? Should I act as if everything is normal? Mother, look around you. Look at yourself! Look at what he has done to us! Look at what he has done to you!"
She stopped as she looked at her mother once again. The tears she saw silenced her.
"Mother, I'm sorry," she whispered. "But I can't take this anymore. I can't take this cage anymore."
"I understand, honey, but we'll get through this, we always do," her mother simply replied.
"Mom, aren't you listening to me?!" she cried out in desperation, but her mother simply stared back. The tears had faded and her face was devoid of any emotion. 'She's too far gone to understand,' she thought sadly.
She left her mother in the doorway and went to her room. She started packing clothes into her yellow backpack. She opened her desk drawer and retrieved her Bible and her wallet. As she turned towards her backpack to pack the items in as well, she stopped as she noticed her mother standing in the doorway.
"How long will you be gone?" her mother asked.
She paused to think.
'She didn't even ask where I was going. She knew I needed to clear my head. She knew!"
"I don't know. I need to clear my head. I have enough money in my bank account to be away for a week of so," she finally said and then softly added, "I don't know if I'm coming back."
Her mother sadly shook her head. "You will be back." She paused then said, "Wait here," and went out of the room.
She waited, not knowing what her mother was up to. Soon her mother returned and handed over what she was carrying.
"Here is some money I saved. It will keep you going for a while and I want you to take grandmother's Bible. It's the only Afrikaans Bible we brought with us when we moved."
She opened the Bible and smiled at the texts written in her native tongue. It was the thing closest to her heart. When they had immigrated her father insisted everything had to be done in English. They had to speak, read and write in English. Nothing must be done to remind them of where they came from. A new language and a new culture for the fresh clean slate he wanted. The book reminded her of where she came from.
She counted the money her mother had given her. "Mother!" she exclaimed as she realized what a large amount her mother had given her. "This is enough to keep me going for at least two weeks!"
Her mother smiled sadly and embraced her daughter
"I'll try to transfer some money to your bank account every two weeks to help out. I'm sure that, combined with the money you already have, it'll give you enough time to work things out."
"Oh, mom, it will be more than enough. Thank you," she breathed, tears softly trickled down her eyes."
"Go find your strength," her mother whispered as she backed away from the embrace, turned and left the room.
She placed the Bible into her backpack; looked around, making sure she had everything, closed the backpack and walked out of the room.
She found her mother in the hallway. Her mother's wore a blank expression, but her face was stained with the tears she had cried. The quick change in her mother was something she had grown accustomed to. It was the change her depression and her medication brought unto her.
"Maybe things will be better if you leave. Maybe then I'll finally have peace and quiet and maybe your father will settle down."
She turned and walked into her room, not seeing the heartbroken expression on her daughter's face.
'It's the pills. Don't let it get to you she is not herself,' she reasoned with herself.
She grabbed the keys to her motorcycle and walked out the door. As she climbed onto her motorcycle, she looked at her surroundings one last time.
"Goodbye," she whispered.
* * * * *