My mommy calls me a "bitch" a lot.

I don't really know what it means, but apparently it's a bad word, and I am one. A bad word.

She screams it at me from the kitchen table, usually after she drinks a few small glasses of water. I guess that's what it is, because it's real clear, but it sure don't smell like it. I tasted it once, when mommy went to the bathroom, but it burned my mouth and made me sick. I didn't do it no more after that. I guess I deserved that burn because my mommy says I'm a bad word, but I don't ever change. It makes me cry sometimes.

It hurts a lot when she calls me that word. I don't know what it means, but I know her tone makes me want to cry. I try to be good, but it doesn't work. When she calls me that, something hurts inside my chest. I thought that maybe that was the thing that makes me be bad, made me deserved to be called that, fluttering to attention and trying to make me bad again.

At dinner one day a long time ago, I watched mommy cutting up a chicken with a knife. She took some of the parts from inside and threw them away. I asked her why. She hadn't had any burning water today, so she didn't call me a bitch, and she spoke real nice to me. She said she threw them away because they weren't good parts.

That hurt in my chest wasn't good, and it tried to make me be bad. So I took a knife from the dish washer one day and tried to take out the badness like mommy did to that chicken. It hurt a lot though, and I started screaming and crying and mommy ran in. Her eyes got all wide, and she started screaming, but things started to get fuzzy. I remember she took me to the hospital and some nice man in a white coat made the pain go away. I thought that meant I'd gotten the badness out.

But when I went home, my mommy screamed at me some more after her burning water, so I guess that meant it didn't work, and I was still bad.

"You want to cut yourself you little bitch!?" she had screamed. "You want to start early!? Fine! Go ahead and start early, but see if I take you to the hospital next time!"

She got a butter knife out of the drawer that holds our silverware and threw it at me. But it was okay, because it hit my chest long-ways and didn't hurt. Still, I started to cry again. I knew my mommy loved me but I was making her mad because I just couldn't be good. I wanted to be.

I know she loves me because sometimes I'll have nightmares and the dark will seem so much darker, and there will be things moving in the shadows, wanting to grab me and eat me up. I get real scared to run across the house, with so many shadows leering at me, but I do anyway, and I run into my mommy's room. She'll wake up, and I'll cry and say that I'm scared, and she'll open her arms and I'll crawl into them. And then it will be okay, because nothing hurts you when your mommy is there. The monsters crawl back to go eat somebody else.

Mommy doesn't get out of her bed somedays too. Maybe she's scared of the monsters as well, just during the day time. Somedays, she'll just lay there staring at the ceiling. She'll put on sad music so loud I can hear it no matter where I am and just not get dressed; stare, staring. I'll walk in and lay my head on her shoulder, trying to make her less sad, but she doesn't look at me. Sometimes she'll talk though.

"I miss your father so much," she'll whisper, and then she'll start to cry, and I'll start to cry too because she is. I don't know who my father is. Apparently he died when I was born, in a car crash on his way to come see me and mommy. I don't really know what dead means, but I know I've never seen him, so I guess that just means he's not here.

One day she was lying there, and I laid with her. "If he's not here, you should go find him," I told her, trying to make her happy. If she could find him, she'd be happy, and maybe she wouldn't call me a bitch anymore, or drink the burning water that made me sick, or throw knives at me, or cry in her bed.

For the first time, she turned to look at me. "Maybe I should," she murmured. "It's your fault anyway…"

I didn't really know what she meant, but I cried anyway, because I tried to be good, but I was just bad again. Something was my fault, and I didn't even know I did anything, but I guess I did. Mommy knows best.

The next day I woke up, and I went to mommy's room to see if she needed company, because her sad music was on high. But she wasn't in there. A paper was on her pillow, and I clambered up to read it.

I couldn't though. I was little, and didn't know how to read. Still, words jumped out at me, even if I couldn't understand them. G-O-N-E. F-A-R A-W-A-Y. S-U-I-C-I-D-E. G-O-O-D-B-Y-E.

I was confused and went to the couch to sit down and wait.

I've been waiting for three days now, but mommy's yet to come home. I eat cereal when I get hungry, but we're running out of milk. I'll move on to something else I guess. When mommy gets home, we'll have to go to the grocery store.

At night, though, I've been crying. I can't help sometimes but to think bad things. How mommy yells at me, how she threw a knife at me, how she laid in bed and said something was my fault.

I love my mommy, but I wake up crying at night because I have a dream where I wish that she just never comes back.

And I don't want to betray her like that. Because my mommy loves me.