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Periaktoi Writing Post

Volume 53
Issue 2

Single Visual Art Post

  • Essay
Lauren Baugh

I heard the door the slam, felt the house begin to rattle, and knew that Ronald must have gotten mad at me again. His heavy footsteps were coming closer to Lucy's bedroom, where I was pretending to play with Lucy, hoping that maybe he would avoid hitting me in front of her. I was wrong.

Ronald swung the door wide open and began yelling at me, "Why would you let you Lucy stay with Maggie again?"

"Because I've known her forever, I trust her, plus Lucy loves spending time with her. Plus, what is it to you? She's not even your daughter?," as soon as the words came out of my mouth, I saw a fire of rage light up within him and immediately regretted trying to stand my ground. I would think I had learned my lesson by now, after a year and a half of constant abuse. I just knew, deep down, that I couldn't let Ronald determine mine or Lucy's life. When he reared
back his fist toward me, I glimpsed at Lucy and saw the terror in her eyes. Right then I decided that I was done. We needed to escape his control, I just wasn't sure how.


When Lucy's mom left her with me three years ago, I had no clue how to be a parent. Ronald needed a place to stay, he was so good to Lucy, and at the time he was so good to me, but since then it's been nothing but down hill. I don't think Lucy's mom would have wanted her daughter to live in a life of fear, so I came up with a plan.

Tonight I when I put Lucy to bed, I would just stay in her room. I knew I couldn't set an alarm because Ronald would wake up and wonder what was going on, so I had to stay up all night. Around two o'clock, I would begin, quietly packing essentials. By three o'clock Lucy and I would be on our way to North Carolina.

I kept to myself the rest of the evening and kept the plan to myself because even though Lucy doesn't mean any harm, she doesn't understand the things she shouldn't tell Ronald. After dinner, Lucy told me she was ready to go to bed, so I picked her up from the couch and carried her to her bedroom. I made a small pallet in the floor next her bed. Around eleven o'clock, my eyelids began getting really heavy, but I fought the tiredness. At least I thought I did, but sometime in the middle of the morning, I woke up and knew it was past two. I clicked my phone on, and after being blinded by the bright light, the clocked showed four thirty. I panicked, but thought that we might could get out in time. I forgot about packing the bags and jumped up off the floor, but when I pulled Lucy comforter back, all that I saw was an empty bed.