My life wasn't what a normal 14 year old girl would expect. Sure, it had its good times, its bad times, times that made me wanna cry and times that made me wanna laugh. But, what it all comes down to is that I was just a poor, 14 year old girl who lived in Sweetville, Kentucky, whose father was a Construction Worker downtown. We struggled to make ends meet, but always found time for my education.
I had long, wavy black hair and white skin. My blue eyes came from my mama, though. Everyone said I had my mama's eyes and my daddy's hair. I was average height, my white skin was so pale you could see my blood veins, and my ears stuck out like sore thumbs. I always hated my ears.
When I was in pre- K, the kids in my class teased me about my ears. I started crying so hard my mama had to leave work to come and calm me down. She said that my ears were apart of whom I am, and I was to be proud of whom I am, instead of being ashamed.
That was the last time I ever saw my mama.
I remember that at the end of the day, when all of the other kid's parents came to take them home, my mama never showed up. After a half hour I started to cry again, because I was worried she would never come to get me and I would be stuck at the school for the rest of my life. Such a silly thought, now. The teachers phoned both my parents, but they didn't answer. Eventually, one of the teachers drove me too my house. Virgil, my father, answered the door and insisted that everything was alright and my mama was just late from work.
I remember he took me inside and sat me down on the counter. He told me not to move from that spot or he would take out a belt, I hated the belts. He went up stairs, I heard the big leather boots hit the soft carpet as I thought mama would yell at him for wearing shoes in the house.
After a few minutes I got curious as to what all that noise was upstairs. I slipped off the counter and landed with a thud on the tile kitchen flooring. I crawled up the stairs and tried to be as quiet as possible, as if I was trying to catch Virgil at doing something bad. I remember what the matted carpet felt on my bare skin, soft with clumps of brown dirt. I remember the white walls glistening in the sun as if they were freshly painted. I remember the odd smell of blood that lingered as I got further and further up stairs. The smell I remembered from when my mama prepared the turkey on Thanksgiving. I hated that smell.
I tiptoed down the dark hall with much curiosity. For some reason, as I grow older and this part of the memory hazes over in a fog, the hallway always seems fifty feet long, though in reality it really isn't that long at all. There was a door at the end of the hallway, the door led to my parents' bedroom. It was a small bedroom, with its own bathroom. I remember always wanting a bathroom that connected to my bedroom, but Virgil had always said I was too young to have my own bathroom.
The door wasn't fully closed, so I crawled inside. The window was closed, but light shined through the glass. I felt the heat hit my face as I neared the bathroom, keeping as quiet as a deer mouse. The bathroom door was half open, but I could tell there was someone inside so I did not enter. Instead, I peered through and looked at the reflection in the huge mirror, displaying most of the room.
My daddy's back was facing the mirror, bent down and fumbling with something on the floor. I crept closer, trying to see what he was messing with. I couldn't help but notice the new shower curtain that hung over the bathtub. It was clear, with blue fish that seemed to swim within the plastic. Then I noticed the blood that was splattered all over that shower curtain.
It was almost just a faint, light red liquid that dripped down like water, but as I looked at it more and more, I saw blonde hairs that splintered throughout the liquid. My mama had blonde hair.
I remember Virgil standing up and turning around, looking at the mirror and seeing my reflection. His eyes widened in rage and stormed out the door, catching my arm before I could flee.
"SAVANNAH!" he roared. I squirmed out of his grasp and flew towards the door, shutting it behind me. I remember thinking that my feet were being weighed down by something, making me slower as I ran down the stairs, skipping every two steps, and out the front door.
I ran behind the house and into the huge creek that snaked for miles through the pine forests. I ran as fast as my short little legs could take me, through spider's webs and into tree trunks. I jumped from log to log and though stream from stream, trying to put as much distance behind me as possible. I heard my father yelling my name behind me, but the farther I ran, the fainter the yelling came, until I ceased to hear it.
I stayed in those woods for three days, sleeping on logs or in the trunks of trees; I ate from secret berry bushes that I had hidden for months. But soon enough, I slowly made my way back to my house, with an expecting and angry Virgil waiting.
What I didn't know was that last day I saw my mama, that last day my mama was part of my life, would be the day that my life would be changed, permanently.