Monday, May 2, 2011

Short Story: Remember, You Are Loved

Remember, You Are Loved
by Nikki Layne

Some people get lucky in life. They get handed a perfect hand of cards. However, this was not the case for Hailey Rogers. Hailey lived a very complicated life, which began twenty-six years ago. She never had it easy. She had a rough life, but she tried to make it out alive. Unfortunately, that was not the end result.

Hailey was a decently pretty girl. She was a petite girl, only standing at about 5'3 and weighing in at about 120lbs. She had long, brown hair and brown eyes. She was fair-skinned, very rarely tanned. She always thought of herself as plain. She never felt as though there was anything special about her. However, anyone who lived a day in her shoes just might feel the same.

She grew up in a small town in Massachusetts with a family she would have much rather forgotten. Her mother was very rarely around. She lived with her father. The abuse she took from her father growing up was unforgivable. She had memories of his abuse from when she was very young.

It began when she was four or five years old. If she got smart, as any young child would, he would really hurt her. Her father broke four of her fingers when she was six. It was thundering and she said, “What the hell was that?” She was only repeating what she had heard him once say. He then slammed a door against her hand. When she was eight, she got kept home from school for a week. She wasn't sick. Her father got drunk and ended up giving her a black eye. Of course, he didn't want her to tell anyone the truth. So, he kept her home from school until her black eye healed. When she went back to school, she lied to everyone saying she was home sick with the flu.

Her father was always drunk. Most of her memories of him are from when he was drunk. She witnessed many broken windshields, picture frames, and more from his drunken nights. She, however, can't count the times she was abused by his drunken rage. She could look at him wrong and he'd throw her into a wall. She always dreaded going home from school because she never knew if he'd be drunk of not. If he wasn't yet, there was a good chance he would be later. He gave her many bruises, fractured, and broken bones from his drunken rage. She had to repeat the sixth grade because she missed too much school. He gave her many visible bruises that year and he wouldn't allow her to go to school like that.

When Hailey was in the seventh grade, her mother died of cancer. Hailey didn't even know her mother was sick. Nobody told her until it was too late. She never really knew her mother because she was always away on what she thought was business. However, she soon found out that the reason her mother was always gone was for her treatments. She was gone so much to try to get better and yet she still died. Hailey resented her mother for many years. She felt like her mother had wasted her time trying to get better when she could have gotten to know her instead. Hailey knew nothing about her mother. She had quite obviously been battling cancer for quite some time. Hailey couldn't remember when her mother started to not be around much. She thought maybe she was in the first grade when it all began.

From the time Hailey's mother died, she stopped trusting anyone she was related to. Everyone hid her mother's sickness from her. She had no idea what else they would hide from her or what they may even choose to lie to her about. Hailey held a lot of anger surrounding her mother's death.

After Hailey's mother died, things at home with her father got much worse. Not only did he abuse her physically, but emotionally too. He started telling her that her mother never wanted her. He said that her mother drank and smoked marijuana her entire pregnancy with her in hopes she would never be born. This killed Hailey. She wished so much she could have had a relationship with her mother. She wondered if there was any truth in this. So, she began doing some research.

She started by finding her grandmother's phone number. Not only did Hailey not have a relationship with her mother, but she didn't know her mother's family either. She knew her mother's father had died a long time ago, but she knew her mother's name. Natalie Edwards. So, she looked up her phone number and gave her a call.

Hello,” answered the grandmother?
H-hi, this is Hailey. Hailey Rogers,” Hailey responded. “I am Naomi's daughter.”
Daughter? Naomi didn't have a daughter,” replied the grandmother rather shocked.
Yes, she did. I am her. I am her daughter. She just recently died of cancer, but I won't bother you anymore since you know nothing about me,” Hailey replied before hanging up.

She couldn't believe her mother never talked about her. She was beginning to believe what her father had said. Hailey realized she wasn't going to get anywhere with her research. Since her mother never told her own mother that she had a daughter, she really thought what her father told her had the possibility of being true. Hailey decided to not fully believe it, but also not fully rule it out. It was one of those things she knew she would never know for sure.

Hailey sat on her bed in tears after her attempted phone call. She couldn't believe her mother didn't talk about her. She didn't understand it. Even though Hailey didn't know her mother, she still talked about her. She just couldn't believe this. She felt like her mother was ashamed of her. She felt hated. As the tears rolled down her cheek, she had convinced herself that it were true. Her mother never wanted her. She had ruined her mother's life and now her mother was dead. This weighed heavily on Hailey's mind for the rest of her life.

Hailey's grades began dropping throughout middle school and high school. She couldn't seem to concentrate. Her father abused her almost nightly. He broke her down emotionally. He told her she was ugly and called her fat. Hailey believed every word he spoke. She tried not to, but she couldn't help it. She began wearing makeup and dying her hair. She also put herself on a diet. None of this changed her father's words.

Hailey didn't really have any friends. She was very quiet and reserved in school. She didn't want anyone to know anything about her or her life. Plus, there was no way she would ever bring a friend home to her father. With her father constantly being drunk, Hailey didn't want to risk him hurting anyone else. So, she remained the quiet, social outcast. Sometimes she wished she had someone to talk to, someone she could trust. She let her wishes go because she knew that it just wasn't possible with the way her father was.

With everything Hailey dealt with at home, she could barely pass her classes. She literally passed them by the skin of her teeth. The only class she ever passed with flying colors was English. She loved to write. She wrote in her spare time. Poetry was her favorite. It was her way of expressing herself. She would write for hours after school when she was supposed to be doing her homework.

In high school, Hailey decided to try and make friends. She did it the wrong way. She changed her wardrobe and made herself more appealing to the male population. She took her issues with her father and made it her goal to try and find someone to love her. She went through boyfriends like most people go through underwear. She had no idea how much this was hurting her. She had no idea what kind of reputation she had made for herself.

Hailey became the popular girl for all the wrong reasons. She was invited to every party. She drank away her problems at these parties. At one party, she was offered marijuana and cocaine. She tried both. She found her happiness with them both. Hailey always had trouble sleeping and mellowing out from her emotions, but the marijuana made it so this was no longer an issue for her. Cocaine made her happy. Hailey could no longer survive without them. They were her two best friends.

Hailey's father never figured out her habits. He didn't really care what Hailey did as long as she got good grades. Her grades began to slip even more with her newly formed habits. It was her senior year. She was failing everything, including English. Her father made sure she knew exactly how he felt about her once he saw how poorly she was doing.

You are a waste of space. You can't even do well in school. You're pathetic, a disgrace. You're the child I never wanted. It's no wonder your mother never wanted you. Look at you! You're a fuck up, a nothing, a nobody. That's all you'll ever be. You'll never succeed at anything,” her father screamed at her.

All Hailey could do was cry. There were only five months left in her senior year. She knew she was messing up. She couldn't believe her father's words. He never helped her. He never offered. Of course, he was always too drunk to. He never taught her anything. He didn't teach her about doing well in school, the types of guys to watch out for, or how to make it in the real world. She was pretty much thrown to the wolves in the end.

Hailey realized where she was at in her life. She knew she couldn't depend on her father to help her. So, she decided to clean up her act on her own. She threw away the last bit of marijuana and cocaine she had left. She quit drinking altogether. She began dressing more conservatively. Hailey even got herself into some substance abuse counseling and got a job. Hailey did all the extra work she could to just pass her classes.

She had decided that at the end of the year she was going to move away from her father. All he had done was abuse her and break her down. He didn't do one good thing for her. So, Hailey decided she would leave at the end of the year and never look back.

By the end of the year, she had managed to bring up all of her grades to C's. She was pretty proud of herself. She had also saved up $3,000 by the end of the school year from working as a waitress. She no longer craved the drugs or alcohol. As a whole, Hailey had made a good turnaround.

Hailey took her money and moved to a town two hours away. She didn't tell her father where she was going, she just went. She wanted nothing to do with him and his abuse anymore. She was done. He had destroyed her emotionally and she wanted to finally live a life away from his abuse.

She got herself established in her new town with an apartment and a job. She met a guy at work named Avery. It was love at first sight. They were inseparable once they started dating. Within six months they were living together, talking about babies, and getting married. Hailey had never been so happy in her life. She finally felt like maybe she was getting something good in her life. She couldn't have been happier.

A year into their relationship, they welcomed the birth of their first son. They named him Jayden Allen. He was their little boy. They loved him more than anything. Hailey started staying home and only Avery worked. A year later, they added number two to their family. They had another boy, named Kaleb Bryce.

Then one day Avery made a change for the worst. He became Hailey's father over night. He began putting her down and telling about all the things she was bad at. He stopped having nice things to say. He degraded her every chance he got. Who he had become came out of left field.

Hailey was so in love with him. Over time, she realized she loved him more than he loved her. She hoped and prayed he would change. She wanted the sweet guy she knew he could be back. She was willing to do anything to get back to that point.

Unfortunately, Avery wouldn't hear anything about the things he was doing. In his eyes he was perfect, there was nothing wrong with him. Nobody could convince him any different. He would constantly yell at Hailey and push her around. It was almost as if he was letting her know he was boss. He was right and she was wrong, no matter what. Hailey took it. She tried changing what he complained about. She tried to make him happy, but nothing made him happy. Nothing.

You're getting fat,” Avery said. “You need a diet and a serious workout plan.”

Hailey sobbed as she got down on herself when she looked in the mirror. She just nodded her head.

Hailey got up every morning and ran. She only ate fruits and vegetables, but in very minimal portions. She was trying to make him happy. She lost the weight he was unhappy about. It took her about four months, but she did it and she kept it off.

The house is not being cleaned to my standards,” Avery said.

Hailey was a stay at home mom. They had two little boys under two years old. Avery didn't seem to understand this. Hailey had also begun working online to help with in between paychecks. All Avery seemed to care about was the house not being clean enough. Hailey wanted him to be happy, so she became a cleaning freak. She spent that weekend cleaning the house from head to toe. She spent every night cleaning up after the kids as well as working online. She got very little sleep, but she did everything Avery wanted so he couldn't complain anymore.

Avery always had something to complain about. If it wasn't one thing, it was another. He really broke her down. Every night ended with Hailey in tears. She stopped crying in front of Avery when he said she was acting like a baby. She didn't get any emotional support from him at all. He felt as though since he worked to maintain the house and bills that was all he had to do. Hailey paid the bills, cleaned the house, and did all the duties of a stay-at-home mom.

One month she was looking over their cell phone bill only to see Avery was texting and calling one unknown number quite a bit. Hailey was pretty certain he was cheating on her. However, to be certain; she called the number.

Hello,” said a woman's voice.
Who is this,” asked Hailey.
Ashley. Who is this,” asked the other woman?
My name is Hailey. What is your relationship with Avery Callahan,” asked Hailey fighting back tears?
He's my boyfriend,” replied the woman.

Hailey hung up the phone. When Avery got home that night Hailey questioned him.

Who is Ashley,” asked Hailey?
Who,” replied Avery?
Don't play stupid, Avery. Just tell me the truth,” said Hailey.

Avery got extremely angry. He got up from the table, grabbed Hailey, and threw her against the wall. He grabbed her by the throat.

If you ever accuse me of cheating again, I will kill you,” Avery screamed at Hailey.

Hailey was more scared than she had ever been. She loved Avery. This wasn't the first time he had put his hands on her, though. There had been a few other incidents.

Hailey began thinking about her life that night. Her mother never wanted her. Her father hated her. Avery cheated on her. She was unlovable. All she cared about were her children. She just didn't know if she could stick around anymore. She clung to them like glue that night. She knew they were the only ones who loved her unconditionally. She loved them more than life itself. Literally.

Hailey had one friend. Her name was Anna. She was her best friend, but she only knew her online. They had been talking online for about five years. Hailey called Anna and asked her if she could take the kids for her. Hailey had a plan in her head, but she wanted to be sure her kids were taken care of.

Hey Hailey,” said Anna.
Hi,” sobbed Hailey.
What's wrong? Why are you crying,” asked Anna.
I don't really want to talk about it, but I was wondering if I could bring my kids to you,” said Hailey.
Of course,” said Anna.

That night, Hailey loved her kids more than anything. She hugged them tighter. She even slept in their room that night. The next day, she drove them to New Jersey to be with Anna. Hailey sobbed as she was leaving.

I love you, boys. Please don't ever forget that. I have always loved you and I always will. You're good boys. Just don't ever grow up to be like your dad,” Hailey sobbed.

Anna, I can never thank you enough. I love you like a sister,” said Hailey.
What's going,” asked Anna.
I can't explain,” said Hailey.

Hailey got in her car and drove away. She drove back home after picking up a bottle of vodka.

She went into the bedroom and drank her vodka. She thought about her entire life. She let it all flash before her eyes one last time. Then she slit her wrists with a butcher knife. She couldn't take any more pain. She watched herself bleed as she had a conversation with God. She prayed to God for her boys. She prayed they would be loved. She prayed they knew how much she loved them. She knew what she was doing was against everything God deemed as acceptable. She felt like she had no other choice. Then she hung herself for Avery to find.

When Hailey died, God spoke to her. God spoke to her boys. God spoke to Avery.

Remember, you are loved,” He said to them.

Hailey went to Heaven. God felt like her time on Earth was hell. He wanted to show her how much He loved her. He made certain her boys never forgot her. He made certain Avery never forgot her.

Avery came home and found Hailey in the bedroom. He fell to his knees. He blamed himself. He laid there and cried. He took Hailey's death as a sign he needed to change. However, he knew it was too late because the woman who loved him more than he could ever comprehend was gone. She had gone to a better place. She had gone to be loved.

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-Nikki Layne