8.8.11

The little girl curls up in her bed, squeezing herself together under the covers, closing her eyes with her hands over her ears. Every night, she tries her best to block out the horrors she hears from the next room, but, try as she might, she fails. Every muffled scream, thump, breath, and crack comes through the thin wall dividing the rooms, and the physical evidence of what goes on cannot be ignored.

She sits up in bed, keeping her small hands over her ears, and backs up into the corner, making herself as small as possible and pulling the sheets over her head, leaving nothing in sight but bunched up sheets in the corner. She starts to cry, the tears silently sliding down her face and falling off her chin to the same spot they always do on her worn old shirt.

The girl doesn't bother to wipe the tears away; her face will have dried by morning, and her tears are cleaner than the water she will be given to wipe her face.

After some time, as usual, the sounds stop, and she soon hears the door open and shut. She quickly reverts to her original position, face near the wall so her tears are not seen. By the time her mother comes in from the other room and lies down next to her, pinching herself to keep from crying, the girl's breathing is slowed and even. In the morning, neither the girl nor her mother will acknowledge that this night has happened.