Adapted from a story I wrote for FFN.

My father noticed that I was acting a lot differently. I've always hated school but I've been trying to get out of going a lot more often lately. It's only natural, knowing what's happening to me. Every single day I am suffering after school, which is why I get home late despite my loathing of school. So many things get on my nerves in that place; the teachers, the pupils, the work, just everything. My anger and frustration gets me into trouble so Mum and Dad have been getting phone calls about me, but I can't help it, and they can see that.

I know they can see it because they're not punishing me for my misbehaviour. They're on to me. Dad is always asking me what's wrong and mum looks concerned whenever she sees me. I always tell them that nothing is wrong because I can't tell. It'd be the end of me.

I'm told very often that I'm a lot like my dad. I look as well as act like him. We both have dark hair unlike my mum who has blonde hair, and we both have brown eyes, different to mum who has blue eyes. The shape of my face is feminine and lot like mum's, so I can relate to her in that way but my older brother looks like her more than I do. I have a short temper and so does he. Dad is always quick to snap at me whenever I mess about or disobey him. The people at school know I have a short temper and play it to their advantage. They know I'll react if they call me names, but it's all harmless fun to them.

Dad always tells me not to waste my time on them. He called them pests whenever I used mentioned them. I would still get angry though, but it isn't like that anymore. I'm not angry any more, I'm afraid and in despair. Dad can see this, he knows when I'm getting bullied, he knows me like he knows himself because we're so alike. The nagging never ends when he knows there's something wrong, he'll ask me what's wrong even when it's nothing to do with the conversation, for example that dinner time…

"Gerwain called today, he's coming home from university for a week." Mum said casually while we were eating. I could see the look of happiness on Dad's face. I could easily tell that my big brother Gerwain was always his favourite out of the two of us, but that wasn't surprising. Gerwain was perfect, always obeyed, always did well in school, get government grants to go to university for free. I understand why everyone likes him.

All of a sudden, Dad's expression changed when he saw me, he looked concerned again. "Gwen, I think you have a problem. Why are you so upset all of the time?" he asked softly. I felt slight anger build up in me, this subject was so irrelevant and here he was, brining it up again. I stopped eating and didn't say a word feeling fed up. "Please tell me." he was stressing now.

I shook my head. "There's nothing wrong," I said firmly.

"There is," Dad snapped, beginning to get frustrated, he slammed his fist onto the table. Feeling intimidated I pulled my chair back a bit get away from him.

"Alan, calm down, please," Mum said softly. "Gwen, it's obvious that there is something wrong with you. Please tell us what's bothering you… we can help."

I repeated myself, feeling frustrated like dad. "There's nothing wrong."

"You're being bullied again, aren't you?" Dad snapped. I was taken aback by this, I had nothing to say. "I'll get 'em, I'll get the scum that's doing this to you."

"Nothing's wrong!" I yelled at my father and got up from the table abruptly, pushing my chair out, making it squeak against the floor.

"Sit down," Dad commanded through gritted teeth. I defied him as always by crossing my arms and staying stood. "Do as I tell you, Gwen."

"Alan, just leave it," Mum scolded, noticing that dad was getting unnecessarily angry. "Gwen, will you please just sit down? We won't talk about this anymore if you do."

I obeyed Mum as I always did, and sat down. Dad was looking angrier than before seeing that I did what mum told me to. I knew it annoyed him when I did whatever mum said for me to do and never what he told me to do. I could see that it irritated him, which is why I did it.

Nothing more was said that mealtime. I ate up quickly and left the room feeling the tears come along. I had to get out before they came, I didn't want to show them. I knew mum and dad would talk about me once I had gone but it didn't care, I wanted to be alone.

I ran up the stairs, into my bedroom and slammed the door. I curled up on my bed and sobbed. They were really onto me now, my problem could be exposed and I'm not supposed to tell. I could be dead if I told. I didn't want to die and I know my parents didn't want me to die but their actions could have led to my death.

I wiped my eyes and took a deep breath, then I heard a knock on my bedroom door."Who is it?" I asked miserably.

"It's your father… I want to speak to you," Dad's voice was calm for once.

"Well I don't want to speak to you, you won't believe anything I say," I protested.

"Let me talk to you!" he roared.


"I'm coming in!" Dad yelled.

"I'll cry rape!"

"I'd never do that!"

"They don't know that, do they?" I said smartly feeling smug.

"You don't know what's best for your own good! I'm trying to help you!" Dad exclaimed, it seemed as if he would get the last word, but I wouldn't let him.

"Help me by believing what I say. Nothing is wrong," I yelled back, lying again. I sounded just as fed up father.

"Why are you so miserable then?"

"Why are you miserable, dad?" I said with crudely.

"That's… just the way I am," Dad stuttered, I could tell that he struggled to come up with an answer.

"There's your answer, now leave me alone!" I threw a pillow at the door and heard no more from him. I had got the last word and he was off my case, until the next day…

The events that transpired after school that subsequent day will never leave me. It was a turning point in my phase of suffering. It was time to head home and face my problem, my bully. I had to pass through a rough area to get home, the area that he always resided in. I stopped as I saw him in the distance, standing by a nearby building that was being unused. There was no way I could get past him without being seen, and he could see me today, he just couldn't.

As I walked closer, I found a way around the building, I could take a short detour around him. It was nerve racking going around and avoiding him, I knew he would be angry if he found out that I had avoided him. I jumped out of my skin when I saw him on the other side, he had seen me go around the building and now I was cornered in the alleyway.

It felt as if my heart had stopped when he walked over to me looking furious. The boy who was roughly my age pushed me against the rough wall and held me against it. He had dirty blond hair which was scruffy and unkempt and wore scruffy, ripped school uniform. "Trying to avoid me?" He hissed maliciously, it almost looked as if he was smiling through his anger. It was a look of cruel delight, he had a good reason to hurt me. The expression on his face sickened me, why should he get away with this?

It was time to tell him that this had to stop. "Look- my parents are getting onto me. They keep asking me what's going on… I can't keep this a secret anymore. I have to tell-" I threatened shakily.

"No! You'll be dead if anyone knows about this you whiny bitch! Where's my money?" he yelled in my face while holding me still. I was terrified, feeling my muscles lock up in fear I began to cry. I reached into my trouser pocket and chucked the coins of change at him.

The boy growled as the coins hit him. He bent down to pick them up and I tried to run away but he stepped on my foot knowing that I would try to escape. His large foot was pressing down onto mine so hard it hurt, and I couldn't move it. The bully straightened himself up once he picked up all of the coins.

"There's less than usual," he complained while looking at the coins in his large hand.

"I'm sorry. I was hungry so I had to buy something with this lunch money… that's all that's left from it-"

"You pathetic piece of crap! You have a debt to pay, now where's the rest!?" he spat in my face.

"I told you! I spent it!" I was sobbing.

"I want double tomorrow, or else," he growled and turned to leave.

"But I can't get double. My parents won't give me double without an explanation; I'll have to tell," I cried out, but he wasn't having any of it, still walking away he answered,

"Tell and you're dead-"


My bully was now keeling back in pain, holding his blooded nose. From around the corner came no one other than my dad! I slowly slid against the wall, down onto the floor and curled up in shame. He knew… and he had punched my bully in the face. My dad looked furious, he held the bully by the scruffs of his jumper sleeves and pushed him against the wall in the same was the bully had done to me.

"So this is why Gwen's has been fed up for the past month! You've been taking her money!" My father hissed through gritted teeth, he looked like a wolf that was growling, almost foaming at the mouth. The bully didn't look so tough now.

"She owes me a debt… I… h-helped her with some bullies… and n-now she owes me…" he trembled in fear.

"Did she ask for your bloody help!?" My dad snarled and banged him against the wall again. The boy shook his head. "Then she doesn't owe you nothing! You're nothing but a piece of scum!"

"Please don't hurt me! I'm sorry!"

"Gwen's gone through this for a month! You threatened to kill her, she's been starving each day because of you! Begging won't do no good!" Dad spat and punched him in the face again.

"I'm sorry!"

"Sorry you got caught!" Dad pushed him down on the floor. "You hurt my daughter, that's unforgivable!"

"Hey!" I heard a deep voice boom from across the street. I felt my heart drop when I saw a police officer run over. "Step away from the youth! You're coming with me!" the aggressive officer grabbed my father and put cuffs on him.

"He assaulted my daughter! It's him you should be after, not me!" my father said, sounding panicked. The officer didn't seem bothered with what my dad had to say.

"Don't worry kid. You're safe now, why don't you come with me… and make a statement. We can get this man locked up for assaulting you."

"But he was helping me!" I screamed from the floor "He's done nothing wrong, don't take my dad way from me."

"You'll have to back that up with evidence. Are there any witnesses?"

"Only… my dad." I was sobbing again.

"Well, I can't help you then," the officer sneered and left with my dad who was struggling and cursing.

The bully gave a sadistic smirk at me. I felt sickened and petrified when the bully turned to me. To make a silent statement by mouthing the word,

'Tomorrow' and running his finger across his neck, he then turned to leave with the police man. I had been left for dead, in a dark alleyway, beaten and abused. What had happened to justice? I'm the victim, not that thug! Now my father's been taken away… he could be locked away on false terms.

Lucy Labrador