Chapter 1: Perfectly Shattered Dreams

My family was always thought to be perfect. A sitcom family, if you will. We were the Brady Bunch of our town.

My father liked everyone to think that we had a perfect family. When we'd be in the car driving to some big dinner for my father's work, or even if he was just dropping us off at school, he'd snap at us to keep our mouths shut about things that weren't meant for others to hear. My father told us to fabricate stories for the things others would not brush off as ordinary. Everyone bought our stories.

My father, William Shaw, was a successful real estate agent who believed that your work-life should always come before everything else. He always strived to have everything work out perfectly. He wanted to have a perfect life.

Perfect was his favorite word.

My mother, Sandy Shaw, was everything someone like my father could ever hope to have. She was in love with the world. She had a way of making everyone's day brighter, just by walking in the room. She made anyone she talked to feel special. There was an aura around her that reeked of happiness. Nothing ever took it away from her, nothing at all.

My three siblings and I destroyed my father's dream of perfection.

I was the first to come. Cameron Shaw. I'm now sixteen and a junior in high school. My brother, Berk, is thirteen and in the eighth grade. My two younger siblings, Tessa and Kylie, are only four and two and a half.

As children we were always taught to give off an image of perfection, even if perfection wasn't obtainable. We were taught that everything could, and would, come crashing down if we let people think we weren't what we were meant to be.


There were many things that went on inside the Shaw house that no one knew of. Things my father would do anything to keep from leaving our home. He would often threaten us if he thought we might tell someone of the things that had happened. He could just imagine the looks he would get if someone found out what his family had done.

His perfect family.

We were far from being the perfect family. My only reasoning for all the abnormalities in our household was that we were striving so hard to be that perfect family we weren't, that we only had the chance to vent on ourselves and each other. Because of this, fights erupted all the time. There was violence, hatred, screaming, beating…..incest.

I sometimes wondered how no one could see the extent of our family's problems.

My father was an angry person, and I assumed that's why he got angry over the simplest things.

Like forgetting to take out the trash.

He was violent, and he once told me that beating sense into someone is the only way to teach. I felt badly for Berk, Tessa, and Kylie, having to grow up in such a violent home. It hurt me to think that they hated their life, or that they might one day grow to.

Not that I blamed them, if they did, but it's so hard to explain to a two and four year old why Daddy hit them.

In the end, all the pain and anger and hatred that occurred in our house, stayed in our house. When we left home, we were the perfect family.

As I said, we were the Brady Bunch.

Then, after years of this constant routine, something happened that jeopardized our perfect appearance.

Something we couldn't hide with lies.

My mother was diagnosed with cancer. Our first reaction was to have it all removed, and everything would once again be perfect, but the doctors informed us that they didn't catch it in time, and it had already started spreading throughout her body.

My mother decided to turn down chemotherapy and just let the cancer eat away at her.

My father was furious.

He waited until we arrived back home before reacting. He yelled and kicked and punched every one of us. Normally, he reserved his excessive violence for me, and sometimes my mother, but he was in such a rage that had he gotten the chance, he would have hit any one of us.

That was the beginning of what felt like a whole new life for our family. Nothing was ever going to be the same; it was all different. I could almost feel everything I had been working to keep secret slowly seeping out for public eyes to see.

A/N: I'm going through the process of editing this story. Hopefully once I'm done I'll write a new chapter. Anyway, this is the chapter edited and slightly rewritten. Please review if you have not yet.