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Topic: Failure (03/01/04)
By Corinne Smelker
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“You little whore! Bitch!” Spittle landed on her face as he railed on her. She stared emotionlessly at him. The words washed over her, streaming into her heart, but with little understanding now of what they meant.
“I can’t believe you did this! What will people think? How dare you?”
I wonder why his face gets so red when he gets angry? And look, that vein is popping out. I’ve never seen that before.
She shifted her feet in discomfort. Her skirt was ripped and torn with blood on the waistband where it had cut into her. He seemed not to notice. Her golden hair, which earlier that day had been neatly pushed back from her face with a headband, was now disheveled, with grass sticking out here and there. The fringe had crept down over her gray-blue eyes, obstructing her view of him. She blew it away listlessly, but it immediately settled back over her eyes.
Suddenly the yells turned to rage, the volume even louder, and he grabbed her by the shoulders, shaking her until her teeth jarred in her head. “Do you hear me? You’re nothing but a tramp! Don’t you understand, you have brought shame on us?” He threw her down like a dirty old rag doll, and towered over her, hands on hips, fists clenched as though to punch her.
She gazed up at him, tears forming in those eyes that just a few hours earlier twinkled in joy. Even now, she was silent, ever silent. She moved her body painfully, and slowly, excruciatingly she brought her knees up to rest her chin on them.
“I don’t know what to do with you! As far as I’m concerned, you are a whore, and don’t deserve anything!” With these final words, he strode out of the living-room, leaving her rocking on the floor.
Tears flowed, warm and salty to the taste. She yet comprehended little of what was yelled at her. She closed her eyes, in a futile attempt to block out the memory of the last two hours. She was abandoned and alone, and couldn’t figure out why she was the one getting punished.
It’ll be all right! I’ll be all right. I won’t be scared. I’ll get through. Oh God, help me. You say you love me, help me!
She was seven years old, and had just been raped. The failure of a man yelling at her was her father.