By Kiley Price
It’s morning and as i’m getting ready for school I hear my drunk step dad pounding on my bedroom door. I turn my camera on and film his behavior. As he is yelling at me to open the door, I tell him that I was recording everything that he does. I couldn’t take anymore of the yelling and abuse. I hear him walking away, his footsteps getting faint. After i’m done getting ready, I check up on my mother. She’s sitting upon her bed, struggling to breathe. She says hello in a weak, raspy voice. We start a small conversation until my brother Alex comes to pick me up. My brother is twenty three and i’m eighteen, he already has a fiance and a big house. He pulls up to the driveway and I get in his car with my camera hanging loosely at my side. He asks why I have the camera and I told him that I wanted to get custody of my mother. He looked away when I told him that. Alex left the house when he was nineteen, he couldn’t take anymore of step dad’s behavior either. We soon arrive at my highschool, I get out of my brother’s car and walk to my first class.
After the first few classes, I go outside to get a breath of fresh air and sit my stuff on the bleachers. I admire the sky for a while, filming it. I was thinking about how good of a day it is but I spoke too soon. A guy comes up to me and asks why im filming. Before I can say anything he gets closer to me and punches me right in the eye, which knocks me backwards into the fence at the top of the bleachers. He walks away, smirking. I could hear cheerleaders laughing at me in the distance. More guys start coming towards me, I grab my stuff and run to the boy’s restroom. I glance into the mirror quickly, I notice my eye turning dark and starting to swell up. I hear their footsteps getting closer and I make myself invisible. Their shoes were scuffling as they were trying to find me, I hear them all asking where I was. The bell suddenly rings and they run out of the restroom. I sigh and walk back inside after they’re gone. I noticed that my camera was doing something weird so I fixed it in my last few classes. I’ve always wanted to be a cameraman since I was little. Before my real dad passed away, he showed me a few tips and tricks on how to hold the camera and how to work all the buttons. For my birthday he bought me a camera and I never stopped using it since.
After the bell rings, I wait outside. I look around for my brother’s car. I swipe my hair to the side, hiding my black eye. I find him in his car, texting his fiance. I get in his car and we leave. I stare up at the sky as Alex is taking me home. As soon as I get home I go to my room, locking it. I start to upload what I filmed today. I hear my step dad pounding on my door again. I sigh and unlock my door, sitting back down in my chair, continuing to upload what I filmed.
A burning sensation covered my cheek and I fell out of my chair, onto my bedroom floor.
My step dad cursed at me to open the door next time.
He looks up at me, kicks me, then calls me weak. He starts heading out of my room.
I looked at the camera as it was still recording.
I turn it off and get back up slowly.
I hear honking outside, I get up and look out of the window. I see Alex waiting outside of his car. I go outside, hiding my camera in my hoodie. He demanded that I was to go to a party with him. I’ve never really been to a party before, I never saw a point in going to one. I never drank alcohol or smoked and I never plan on doing so. I’m not really much of a dancer either. I started walking away but he grabs my wrist, my hair uncovers my black eye. He looks at my eye, I swipe my hair in front of my eye to hide it again.
“Who did this to you?” I stay silent and stare at the ground.
“Jake…” He clenches his jaws and his face turns red.
“It doesn’t matter…lets just go to the party” I say silently.
He stares at me intensely, it felt like his eyes were lasers, burning a hole through me. I get in his car, not saying a word the whole way there. I stared out at the evening sky. Alex knew that I could’ve used my powers to defend myself but I didn’t want to hurt anyone or cause any attention. When we arrive, he goes inside and disappears into the crowd. I walk around and film the dumb stuff people do at parties. The same guy that gave me the black eye was walking towards me. He asked me if I was filming his girlfriend. I shook my head no but I knew he was going to do something to me again, I could see it in his eyes. I couldn’t just make myself invisible right in front of him or fight back. A crowd was starting to form. He grabs a hold of my hoodie and throws me against a wall. I hit my head pretty hard, my vision started to fade.
After that incident I go outside, it felt like I was in Antarctica. I lay down onto the cold, hard ground. I stare at the night sky and try to visualize pictures with the stars. I think of my dad and all of the memories I had of him. Tears started to fall down my cheeks, like a flowing river. I start to drift off to sleep. About two hours later I could hear Alex calling my name. I wake up and tell him about what happened at the party. He tells me to stay where I am but I told him no. I knew what he was going to do. Alex has had anger problems ever since my mom married my step dad. He chased a guy down and broke his nose one time, a guy tried to kidnap me. I was only ten years old at the time. My brother was a very strong kid, he worked out at the gym everyday. I asked him if he could take me home, he sighed and nodded. We walk to his car and he takes me home.
I hear my mother screaming in pain, I run to her room and try to comfort her, after that my dad starts yelling at me because he wanted to know where I was. I told him to mind his own business, he starts to rage and ends up slapping me. I decided to fight back, I was tired of him yelling and slapping me. I punch him in the stomach, watching as it takes his breath away. I pick him up with my superpowers and throw him against a wall. I drag him out of my room and lock my door.
The next day I’m at school, I go to my locker and that guy comes over and pushes me into the wall roughly and he walks away. I call him over and punch him right in the mouth, it starts gushing blood and he starts spitting out teeth. When I get home from school my mother is screaming in pain again. I noticed that she was out of her medicine. Alex pulls up into the driveway but I dont have the time to talk to him. I steal my step dad’s money and I run to grab my mother’s prescription. The lady behind the counter said it costs seven hundred dollars, my father only had five hundred dollars. I decided to try to distract her while grabbing my mothers prescription with my superpowers. I run home and set her medicine upon the table beside her bed. I walk out of her room and see my stepdad passed out on the couch. I go to my room and call to see what Alex wanted but he didn’t answer his phone. I lay on my bed and start to fall asleep.
After I woke up I hear knocking at my door, I groan and roll over. The knocking gets faster and louder. I yell for them to go away. I hear Alex’s voice so I get up. I unlock my door and open it. Alex’s facial expression looks surprised. I asked what was up and he told me that he signed me up for a cameraman course. I asked when I could go and he told me that I had to wait for the phone call. I smile and fall backwards onto my bed, going back to sleep. I’ve been waiting for a few days now, they finally decided to call. I was so excited to hear back from them, my cheeks were hurting from smiling. When I first went there, I was nervous but happy. I got used to it a few days after that. I was distant from everyone at home and I started hanging out with the people there. Everything was perfect, I ended up making friends. They made me forget about all the bad days at school. I hung out with them after school each day. One day, all of that changed. My stepdad had called me and I ignored it. He left a voicemail. His voice was shaky at the beginning and he paused in between words. My mother had passed away in her sleep. When I heard that, it felt like I was drowning and running out of oxygen. I went home, I had been at my friend’s house for a few days. I went to my mother’s room, searching for pictures of her and my father. I took them, and packed all my stuff. I went to my brother’s house and told him the news. We stood there, hugging and crying for about ten minutes. I wanted to give up, I failed trying to make my mother happier and healthier. My brother told me that she’d be happy for me if I continued my dreams, so that’s what I did.
Jeffersonville High School, 2019