Playing God

Sometimes we think we're alone. It's selfish to think that way, really, but we're selfish creatures, humans. It's easy to forget that we have people behind us, backing us up. It's easy to get swallowed by our self-pity. Maybe, if we could just remember that people care about us, that there are people who will listen, we can get this depression we hide out of our hearts. Maybe we can stop thinking about it; maybe we can be happy.

When I hear the pounding of water against the shower at night, I lock myself in my room and stay there until I absolutely have no way of avoiding leaving. I know that when I open that door, a cloud of Axe will waft into my breathing space, suffocating me as it does so. I hate the smell of Axe, something I first remember consciously thinking in sixth grade during science class.

It really is a silly reaction to the substance, but whenever I smell it, my heart clenches in fear and I feel like I can't breathe. My breaths come in short gasps and I feel close to tears. I avoid it for this very reason. But I cannot say that the reaction is unfounded.

If God's the game that you're playing

Well, we must get more acquainted,

After my mother and father divorced, my mother immediately began dating Jason. And when I say immediately, I mean it. He seemed to live with us right away, and my dislike of him stemmed from this, and grew with events that followed.

The memory is fuzzy, and I don't remember the comments exactly, but I had gotten up in the night for some water. The stairs to the bottom of the condo had spaces in between them, perfect for little faces to peer through. I heard voices as I was creeping slowly down the stairs and I shoved my head through the space, watching as Jason, still currently her boyfriend, was playing chess or some board game with my mom. And he was saying really mean things about me, calling me a brat and telling her that she needed to keep me under control. I slipped back upstairs with tears trailing down my cheeks.

When they got married, I remember being the flower girl. I remember where it was held, but most things I cannot recall. I do remember crying that night, tears making wet spots on my pillow. I cried a lot back then.

Because it has to be so lonely

To be the only one who's holy

He would play with us, although the bruises that I got from wrestling were far too frequent and big to be accidental. He played a little too rough with me; when I cried he didn't stop. However, he hurt me the most through his words. He would snicker when I spoke, he told me that my opinions didn't matter; he dismissed me when he knew I was right. I hated him.

"Happy Dirt-day, Buttley," He said to me on the morning of my sixteenth birthday. It hurt. I expected him to be nice to me at least on my birthday. He laughed. My mom was standing there and she also seemed to think it was funny. I went into my room and I cried.

"Happy birthday to me..."

And I would get comments like this all the time and the worst would come when my mother was not around. I was in a world of pain and agony, just wondering why he'd decided to pick on me, of all people.

"And pick them all up!" I heard from across the house. Jason storms out, usually red face crimson and his hands balled up into fists. He clenches his teeth and stomps into the kitchen like a child who didn't get candy. He starts complaining to my mother about my little sister, Jordan. He says that she knocked over all of the beads for a Christmas present she was making.

"Did she do it on purpose?" My mother asked. He replied in the negative. I couldn't help the words when they just spilled from my mouth.

"I don't think she deserves to be yelled at if it was an accident." Those were the magic words, like the final chomp of a beaver's teeth, and the tree comes crashing down. He screamed at me, pushing his beet red sausage of a finger into my face. Spittle flew from the edges of his lips, although I don't think he noticed in his rage. He told me that I can't tell him how to parent, that no one cared what I thought. It was the usual, but he seemed different.

And I think I knew what that difference was at dinner later. I said few words, stopping to try to defend myself, tears carving rivers down my cheeks. He made fun of me for my ability to cry so easily.

"Who's the one that's upset? My daughter's not crying. My kids won't be wimps like that," He said, although they already were wimpy and scared from the constant yelling. They were frightened and they didn't know how to respond to gentle, kind words. I told him as much, I told him that he was psychologically damaging those poor children. He responded by telling me that I shouldn't bring his policies for raising children from over there into his house. He repeatedly told me that my opinions don't matter and that nobody gives a damn what I think.

It's just my humble opinion,

But it's one that I believe in,

Oh. Oh my. He's afraid of my father. I gave a secret, silent smirk to myself, but kept this new information to myself as he continued screaming at me.

My mom did try to interject, don't be too harsh on her. She said that she agreed that he yelled too much, and Jordan defended me too. He began to act like a cornered bull. He attacked everybody.

"Why am I not allowed to have my own opinion? Every time I disagree with you, you reject my ideas. Why?" There it was, the big question. I'd always wondered. And then he told me that nobody cares about what I think, again. But still, no words can describe how scared I was to have a six foot, red-faced, monster looming over me and no way to choke out words behind the fear that he'll hurt me again. This was only the second incident in two days.

The day before, he had been driving Jackie, the youngest at only three, to the edge of tears by holding her build-a-bear over her head. She's just made it that day, and I could tell that it was going too far. So I interfered. I tried to grab the bear from his hands, and he snickered and said something sinister.

I can't remember exactly what he said, but after he did, he pulled my arm back behind my back, causing me to release the stuffed animal. He pulled it back behind his back, and twisted it. I cried out, and he twisted harder. I bit his upper arm in a desperate attempt to get him to release me, but he only twisted more.

"Keep biting me and I'll break your damn wrist," He sneered, twisting more and more. I kept biting, but let go after he tightened it once more.

I started to cry, rubbing my red, sore wrist. I walked into the kitchen, and ran some cold water over the burning skin, rubbing the inflamed skin, trying to rid my skin of his grime. Behind me, he lied to my mother, telling me that he only did it because I bit him first. He pulled up his sleeve and showed her some bite marks on his wrist, from a mouth too big to be mine.

"Oh, there are bite marks," My mom said.

"No. I only bit him," I said, "because he twisted my arm behind my back first. I was trying to get him to let go. I bit him on the upper arm, anyways. And I was just trying to help Jackie."

"Hah," He snickers, and rage boils in my chest. I hate that snicker. I hate him. I hate him. I HATE HIM. "Whatever. If you can't play rough, don't play with us at all. "

My own mother agreed.

I was all alone, I thought. And sometimes, I still feel that way. Although, I know I have people who care about me. And I know that I have only a year and a half before I'm out, and I know I have a lot to be thankful. I know I shouldn't dwell on the negative. I know that when I'm in the shower I scrub that wrist twice as hard as anywhere else, and the tune Playing God by Paramore floats through my skull. And I'm not alone. I don't know the future, and that's okay.

You don't deserve a point of view

If the only thing you see is you.

A/N: This is another piece for my new creative writing class. This time it's creative nonfiction. I hope you like it! Tell me your thoughts please, so that I can edit it fully before I turn it in!