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Annie's New Song
by Pam Kumpe
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Annie's New Song

(This is a true story, names have been changed.)

A little girl, 6 years old. Brown hair. Fair skin. Petite.

Annie climbed the ladder on the play ground.

After school, she spent most afternoons with a baby sitter at a day care until her mother got off from work.

Way up high, perched on the warm metal frame, she crossed her legs. She held onto the top of the rail with both hands and closed her eyes.

The warm sun heated her face. She felt safe. No one could touch her. Not even him.

Soon the metal slide burned her skin. She slid down, landing in the sand at the base of the slide.

She fell. Then, stood up and brushed off her knees. The gritty grains of sand coated her legs.

"Remember our secret. Never tell." A hand squeezed Annie's face and the old man smirked.

She cringed, stepping backwards, falling over the base of the slide.

Running, Annie hurried to the gazebo. The structure stood only about 4 feet tall; she loved to hide in it.

It was her safe haven, a place for her to escape.

Annie knew she could not stay in the gazebo forever, because soon it would be time for supper.

Opening the door, she walked past the man who sat in the rocker in the living room. She did not look at him. But, she felt his glare.

As the children ate, Annie picked at the food on her plate. She fidgeted, watching for him. She inhaled taking deep breaths.

One by one, the kids were picked up by their parents. Dreading this part of the day she shook.

Since she was often the last picked up, she felt helpless and alone.

He called her name. She looked at him. He motioned her to come to him.

Shaking, she started to leave, stood, but he grabbed her arm.

He touched her. She felt dirty. She knew it was wrong. He held onto her with a grip, leaving a bruise, violating her innocence.

Many afternoons. Week after week. Most of the school year, she endured the abuse from the babysitters' husband.

She cried. She sobbed. She shook with fear.

The man heard a car door slamming in the driveway. He released her, but as she fled, he pointed his finger at her, repeating the threat. "I mean it, and this is our secret. I will hurt you."

She hurried to the car and climbed inside the back seat holding back the tears.

Annie was quiet that night. She was quiet most nights.

Doing as she was told, Annie kept the awful secret. She was only 6 after all.

She grew up, went to college, got married and had kids.

She eventually talked to God, giving him her pain and finding comfort in his love.

She learned God loved her before she was born, and loved her unconditionally.

Annie remembers the fence around the babysitter's yard. She remembers the slide. She remembers hiding. She remembers the boots that signaled the pain to come.

She does regret not telling anyone. She worried other children were abused by this man, too.

Still, she is pressing on. She has stopped counting all that she has lost, and is beginning to count all she has left.

Love is melting away her scars, healing her wounds and quieting her fears.

She no longer hides inside of a gazebo. Annie has a life worth living, and it's hers.

No more abuse. No more pain. She has been set free.

If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

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Member Comments
Member Date
Dori Knight 23 Dec 2004
Hello Pam! This was a difficult piece to read, and not my favorite subject. However, I believe that there are many women out there that struggle with these memories, and I'm sure this will strike a chord with them. You've painted a very effective scene, which is what you set out to do, I assume. It is a bit halting, especially in the beginning, but I suspect you used this style purposefully. I think your piece might benefit from a better sense of flow. Other than a personal discomfort with the content, and the issue of flow, this was excellently written. Keep up the great work! Blessings ~ Dori
Debbie OConnor 23 Dec 2004
Pam, this was very well done. I agree with Dori's comment regarding the style being a bit halting at first, but by the end I found it very effective. Seemed to go with the subject matter. I like the title. This has the potential to give hope to those in very difficult situations.
Deborah Porter  22 Dec 2004
Oh Pam, this hurt to read. I felt so angry with that man - even more so knowing that he is real, and even if Annie's story wasn't real, it is real for so many others. "Annie" has come through by God's grace, but how many don't? Anyway, the fact that this caused such a tidal wave of emotion to rise within me is testimony to the fact that you told it well. With love, Deb


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