The day began as one of those cool crisp spring mornings. There was a slight breezy in the air, clouds scattered across the sky moving ever so slowly, with rays of sunshine piercing them. It seemed Like heaven. Tree's swaying gently back and forth, watering the grass below with drops of dew falling off the leaves, as if they were dancing to earth's song. Everything seemed so perfect.
Isabella was to see her father today, after many months. Her mother had kicked him out, his drinking had got out of control, he was increasingly becoming violent. He entered rehab as was set to be released, today. Her mother was very hesitant to let Anna see her dad, but she begged her mom almost daily, to let her see him, with severe hesitation, her mom finally agreed. He had been in rehab so many other times, she was doubtful this time really worked.
Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the school bell rang. Grabbing her things as fast as she could, Isabella quickly raced outside and there he was sitting in his car. Tears filled her eye as she ran to towards him. Jumping in the front seat, she hugged him tightly. He had shades on, breathe that smelled like peppermints, and the smell of cheap cologne, splattered on his clothes. But he was clean shaven, hair groomed and clothes neat and clean. So, she wasn't sure what to think. Was he back to his old self, or pretending to be someone he clearly wasn't just to please her? Nevertheless, she decided to go with the flow and enjoy this day.
She knew if she told her mom what she really thought, her mom would never let her see him ever again and that she couldn't handle Despite all his faults, he still was her dad. As Isabella threw her backpack in the back seat, she heard a clank as if it hit something hard. Looking out the window as they drove down the road, she closed her eyes silently praying." God, please don't let that be a bottle, "Amen. Maybe it was just an empty one from long ago, that was hidden or forgotten about, as her father was never good about cleaning out his car.
Isabella didn't want to say anything for fear he would get upset and would ruin their time together. She turned to look at him. He had taken his shades off, and she noticed he was looking a bit thin, His face was gaunt, with dark circles, his skin a little pale, and his wrinkles where deeper. His hair was a bit thinner and greyer. Was he eating, or able too? Was he sleeping or could he even? He didn't look well. She wanted to ask questions but knew that now was not the time.
Suddenly her dad pulled over, stopping at a lake. He uttered his first words of the day." Do you remember this place Isabella?" Looking around, she said "no."" Well, I used to take you as a young child to fish. We never caught much, then we would sneak off to get ice cream, before going home. "It was our special time, just you and me."
Isabella wondered why such a happy memory was blocked from her mind. Maybe because she was too little to remember, the bad memories consumed more of her childhood than the good ones.
They got up and left, neither saying much. The silence was awkward, so, Isabella made an excuse to get her backpack out of the back seat. Picking it up, she saw a brown paper bag with a bottle, it was half empty. she shoved it in her backpack, knowing that, yes, he had been drinking one again, it looked relatively new. Eventually she knew he would come looking for it and that moment would be the defining moment she needed to understand his lies and inability to stop. For now, she decided to act like she didn't know it was there or even existed at all.
Isabella knew once he realized it was gone things would go from good to bad fast. She was hoping it would be after, he dropped her at home later. She was afraid of his anger. He never beat her or her mom, but his anger scared her regardless. She hated confrontation but knew it would happen. Little did she know the night would turn out way differently than she could of every imagined.
Next stop they made was to a local diner on the edge of town. It was getting late and she knew their day together would soon end. As they sat down, she looked at her father from above the menu. She could see, he was visibly becoming ill. Sweat beaded of his brow. Taking tiny sips of the water, he said in a shaky voice ''I am not that hungry. You order whatever you want, ok?". I need to go lay down in the car and take some" medicine"
Isabella knew all too well what "medicine" he was referring to; he had abounded her more times then she could count, leaving her alone, not picking her up on time, or forgetting they had plans. Honestly, she was surprised he even showed up today.
She didn't understand why she let herself, go through this time and time again. He was her dad and she decided long ago to accept him as he was. That it was better for her to some semblance of a dad than none.
She sat in the diner eating food, wondering what he was doing in the car.? Time seemed to stand still as she was frozen with fear, glued to her seat by the sweat on her legs. She wanted to run away. The sound of the clock on the wall seemed to echo in her ears, "getting louder as the minutes passed.
Suddenly, the door to the diner flew open. Her father screamed "Isabella, "did you take my bottle of medicine?" As he stumbled towards her, waving a knife, he grabbed her by her hair dragging her out of the diner. People hid under the tables and those who tried to help couldn't get close enough as he was waving the knife around like a crazy person.
Throwing, Isabella in the front seat, he said "you try to escape, and I'll kill you., If I can't have you, your mother, can't either." Terrified she managed to buckle her seatbelt, burying her head in her lap, closing her eyes, crying and praying, knowing she was probably going die tonight.
His driving became very erratic and he was driving way to fast. "Please dad, please slow down and stop the car you're scaring me. In the distance he could hear sirens and see the flashing lights of the cop cars, chasing him. Reaching In the glove box, pulling out a bottle. She tried grabbing it from him, he wouldn't let it go, taking his hand of the steering wheel, the car began swerved into the next lane, Isabella began screaming at her dad. As she say the brightness of headlights coming towards them, stop dad stop she shouted but it was too late, they were going too fast and her dad had lost control of the car it hit the other car head on, causing both cars to flip over several times.
Her seat belt became unbuckled from the force of the accident, she was thrown from the car. She was lying amongst the wreckage from the accident, shattered glass lying all over her. Unable to move, or barely speak. she could feel the shards of glass piercing her skin. Feeling the warmth of the blood as it poured down her face. The pain was excruciating, and she was falling fast into the darkness.
She awoke just for a moment, hearing sirens in the distance. paramedics found her rushing and all the victims of this tragedy to the hospital. They gave her pains meds and I.V. trying to keep her calm and awake. They tried asking her name, but she could not speak. Her only thought was how was her dad? Almost immediately after began brought in the emergency room. They were rushing her into surgery taking her into took the doctors several hours to remove all the glass from her face and body. the Left side of her face sustained the most damage. The doctors knew that even though they did their best, even a plastic surgery couldn't help all injury to her face, she also suffered a broken leg and arm, a bad concussion and deep bruises and scrapes throughout her entire body.
Her mom got the call and rushed to the hospital, to be by her side, she told the nurses and doctor she was staying there and wouldn't leave her daughters side. She was in the middle of two tragedies, her husband being killed, and her daughter severally injures. She sat silently praying for strength to get through, It was the toughest challenge she would ever face in her life. Isabella soon realized her mom was there, reaching out her hand, her mom gently held it. Fighting back her tears, she told her" everything will be okay." Even though she honestly didn't believe it.
The doctor put his hand gently on her shoulder, saying" rest now we will talk tomorrow" he needed to tell her about her dad , but now was not the time, she was not well enough to handle the news just yet, so he wanted to hold off for as long as he could. she had been through enough for one day. When, she was better physically he would tell her the awful news.
A few days passed she had been in and of consciousness, heavily medicated to keep her pain at bay and help her heal. Changing her bandages daily, her face was slowly healing, but they knew eventually she would ask to see it, but they needed to hold her off as long as possible. The shock of seeing her scars on top of the news about her Dad, would be more than this young girl could handle.
Weeks passed and the day came, when they could no longer ignore Isabella's request to see her face and the many questions she had about her dad. They told her of the accident Which she barely could remember, her father passing away that night.
She began to cry hysterically, tears Soaking the bandages to the point they were sticking to her skin. As they gently began to remove them, as to not cause harm to the healing skin beneath. She requested a mirror, she wanted to see her face, even though the doctors were against it. She was warned it was bad and wanted to see for herself how bad. She knew the scars couldn't be fixed; they would be a constant reminder of the worse night of her life.
Holding the mirror, watching every second of the bandages coming off, slowly revealing the scars, she gasp in horror, at the sight of herself, she could never go back to school, see her friends or even venture out her door, she now was a prisoner to her scars, to her home. What life would she have? suddenly whishing she would of died In the accident that night.