I always spend my whole day planning for how it will be when I see Daddy. I think and think about what to tell him when he walks into our dark apartment. I never say the right thing. I always make him mad. One day, though, I'll tell him something that will make him happy, and he won't hurt me.

I can always tell when I say something bad, 'cause his eyes get all mean, and he yells and starts hitting me. Sometimes, if he's had a good day, he'll stop soon and leave. On those days, I even get to eat something for supper, 'cause he's not home and won't get mad.

My Daddy loves me. Sometimes, he'll even call me princess after he stops hitting me. "Get out of my sight, princess," he'll spit. And I'll limp away to the closet in the hallway, where I sleep. I live for those days when he calls me that.

Yesterday was my first day of kindergarten. I didn't know what it was, but Freddy-the-Big-Kid, who lives across the hallway, said that a long yellow car would pick me up in front of our apartment building, and take me there. He said kindergarten was fun. He also told me that it wasn't a place where kinders grow, and that no, kinders aren't flowers. I thought he was wrong. I bet that kindergarten was a big field with lots of kinder flowers in all different colors. Yesterday, I found out it wasn't, but Freddy-the-Big-Kid reminded me that, even though there weren't any flowers, there were crayons and nap time. And they're just as fun.

Today was even better than yesterday at school. We got to talk about our favorite colors and mommies and daddies. I didn't know what a mommy was. I don't have one. I don't need one, though. I have Daddy. He loves me, and I don't need someone else to share him with. "We talked about daddies today in kindergarten." I told him when he came home that night. His eyes got all angry, and he started stompin' around like he was tryin' to kill bugs or somethin'.

"Yeah, bitch, and what'd you say? Huh? You tell 'em I'm mean, huh? I hit you? I drink? Huh? Did you tell 'em that?" He started screaming, and threw his empty bottle at the wall, dropping sharp glass on me. "It's your fault I do what I do. If you were good enough, I wouldn't. You always have to be taught a lesson."

He hit me on the cheek with the back of his hand, doing it just like he always did so no one would be able to tell. "No, Daddy. I told them that I loved you, and my favorite color is purple, and that I don't know what a mommy is. I didn't say anything bad! Promise!"

"That's right, bitch. You don't have a mommy. You know why? You weren't good enough for her. You're not good enough for me either. I don't know why I kept you around this long, you good-for-nothing whore." He punched me.

"But Daddy, I'm your princess!" He hit me again, harder, this time in the stomach.

The grimy apartment started fading in and out, slowly going black. He hit me again, harder than he ever had before, and I could feel the blood pooling in the corner of my mouth before I slammed against the wall. I slowly slid down, closing my eyes as the world went out of focus forever.

"I'm your princess..."