6:55am – Monday April 3rd, 2009.
I wake up, I can hear screaming already the day has really begun.
“Samira, finish getting ready!! We have to leave for school now!!” My mom screams at me with tears in her eyes and a bruised red face. “Bring me your backpack and grab your sister” she whispers to me, she packs away some clothes in my backpack for my sister Allissa, herself, and me.
As I make my way to my sister there, he is, holding her, assuring this isn’t an easy task he holds her strong. I ask nicely “may I have my sister?”. No response, a little louder “May I have my sister?”. Still nothing, so I go louder “GIVE ME MY SISTER!”.
“You’re just a kid, mind your business.” He responds sternly with a lack of emotion.
My mom enters the room.
“Give me my child! I have to go drop off Samira” my mom screams
“Lower your fucking voice people can hear you” he yells back “Here take your fucking child, you aren’t going anywhere when you’re so frantic” He ran to the door faster than I could think about moving.
“No stop I have to take her to school” my mom said as she ran to the door.
He grabbed her hair and threw her against the wall “I said no one is leaving” he grunted as he grabbed a drill and nail and drilled the door shut. “I’ll fucking kill all of you” he then unplugged the WIFI and phone cord out of the walls, went through my mom’s purse and snapped her flip phone in half.
Fear. I feel the tight feeling in my chest, eyes start watering, I’m scared with no one to help, nowhere to go. I was excited for school today; we had a trip for the whole fifth grade and now I’m going to miss it. It’s not fair, is this something all the other kids go through?
I wasn’t crying, I had to stay strong for some reason I believe if I don’t show him how scared I am this will all stop, Allissa is watching me too and with what’s happening with him and my mom I rather keep her calm and hopefully oblivious, I hope I can make things better for her by the time she can understand her surroundings.
My mom finally calmed down and told me to come to my room with her, me her and Allissa lay down together on my bed. The sheets are cold and crisp, the sunlight is beaming into my room, I hear people outside laughing, I wish that was me but there is no escape, this is all I’ve known. He enters the room, interrupting my daydream of a normal life with his dark aura, he craves this it gives him a rush to cause pain. He sits next to us on the bed, describing how he’s going to kill us, how easy it’ll be, how much joy it would bring him and how no one would notice we were gone, in his world he would get away with this gruesome act.
“I’ll take this knife and cut you each by your throats, starting with Allissa and Samira so you can watch” he says to my mom “then you’ll be next, I’ll leave the bodies here maybe when rent isn’t paid for a couple months someone will come in and notice, by then I’ll be far away no one will catch me, I’ll be well off.” He continued with details.
At this point I begin to cry, as any eight-year-old would, sometimes I wished he would go through with it, at least it would be the last time I endure this. Yet at the same time I wish I was strong enough to not show my fear or weakness, I wish I was strong enough to protect all of us, I wish I could put an end to this.
Evening comes, I think he’s calm. I peak from the corner of my room door, he sees me.
“let’s go grab some food” he suggests to my mom, she agrees.
We all put some clothes on, he plugs the internet back in unbolts the front door, I feel a sense of freedom as close to it as I can get, it feels easier to breath. We head to the mall, my mom buys a new phone, he grabs some food, and we sit to eat. A lady comes up to us
“you’re such a beautiful family” she says with joy
“Thank you so much” him and my mom reply gracefully
I hate this act, although it only seems as if I’m acting because him and my mom seem genuine. Are they crazy? How am I the only one left with fear and pain. I cannot only blame him as my mom invites it time and time again, every time I feel freedom and rid of him, she reopens her door to him and with that enters the suffering.
That night we go home and get to sleep early, a draining day deserves some sleep. As I doze off, I think about the fun my friends must’ve had on the trip today and think about what it would have been like to be there with them. I cry a little as I fall asleep.
7:25am – the next day
I wake up. Analyze the energy of the house before I leave my room, its calm. I go to use the bathroom and notice he is asleep. Get dressed, grab something for lunch, then me and my mom go downstairs with Allissa to drive me to school.
I get to school as I leave the car I feel fear, what if I don’t have a family when school is finished, what if he kills them while I’m gone? This thought stays at the back of my head all day. I walk into school, all my friends were talking about the trip, just the talk of it makes me excited I wish I was there.
“Where were you??” one kid screams at me
“Yeh! You should have been there. Where were you yesterday” other kids join in.
I panic. What do I say, I can’t say what I was actually doing or CPS will come, and I don’t want to be taken from my mom or Allissa? “Umm, I wasn’t feeling well” I finally spit out. They believe it and keep telling me about their day.
As class starts, I grab my bag so I can get my pencil case and of course. The clothes my mom packed for us to spend the night away are sitting there. I find my pencil case and shove the clothes to bottom of my bag. My mom probably forgot about them; I’m going to keep them here in case we can’t go home one day.
This brings back memories of how I actually spent yesterday, but I’m still scared, at lunch I tell my teacher I’m not feeling well and I need to speak to my mom, she allows me to call her. Each ring makes me more and more anxious, why would she take so long to answer, is she hurt, maybe he killed her, maybe he bolted the door again, maybe- she answered.
“Hello, who’s this?” my mom says
As soon as I heard her, I hung up. I didn’t want to be picked up because who knows when I won’t be able to come to school again but hearing her voice was reassuring.
School went on, I spoke to some friends, my friend tells me about what her and her family did for the weekend that had just passed, that sounds nice and relaxing I wish I had a family to do that with.
Home time comes I run to find my mom’s car, she’s there wearing sunglasses, she never wears sunglasses. He’s in the passenger seat, I get in the back my mom’s barely talking he’s telling her she better go home. She refuses we stop at the mall beside our home, I put Allissa in her stroller, my mom and I walk with her as he follows behind us whispering threats if we don’t get home now. His threats intensify I get scared because knowing my mom the typical thing of her to do is go home in hopes he’ll stop but this time was different.
She sped up her pace and walked into the police station. He looked at us with worry in his eye, this brought me some joy, finally the one causing all my suffering sees his future collapse before his eyes. My mom tells them some of what happened I followed her lead, by the way she was holding back I could tell this was no different from the other times. I fantasise of ways I can leave, maybe leave life as a whole, but I cannot leave Allissa alone.
I now know, he may go away for a little, but he will be let back in, because there is no escaping him.