The silence spoke to her. It was the only thing that spoke to her. Her room was completely dark. The only light shining through was the full moon. Papers scattered on her desk. The clock read 1:30am. As she pulled the covers over her head, she heard the front door slam shut. She sat up quickly, and waited. She was always waiting. A scream was heard; she stayed still. The clock read 1:35am, and the house became silent once again. She hesitated at first, but slowly got out of bed. creek. She frantically tried to cover up the noise. It was too late. Footsteps were heard coming up the stairs. She held her breath, the clock read 1:40am. The moon shined on her face. It was wet, she was crying, "Maeve, I know you're in there" She could hear the slurring of his words. He's twenty minute early, she thought. The moon shined on the doorknob, as it started to turn. She quietly inhaled, and remembered she locked the door, "God damn it, open this door" His voice was filled with violence, and desperation. She slid underneath her desk, "Maeve, my precious Maeve" He started to bang on the door. The sounds became louder, and more frantic. She wished it was silent again. The banging stopped, and she slid from underneath her desk. She walked towards her bed, it's too quiet, she thought. Suddenly, the door swang open, "Gotcha" His smile flashed in her eyes. His front tooth was knocked out, and he smelt of alcohol and cigarettes. She stayed completely still, as he walked towards her, "You think you can just" He paused for a moment, "disobey me" He grabbed one strand of her hair, and smelt it. He chuckled, "Did you get all dress up for me?" She was wearing a gown, that barely went over her knees. She tried to walk away, but he pulled her close. He leaned into her ear, and whispered, "You're mother is sleeping. How about you stay quiet, and daddy will give you a reward" He felt up her leg, as tears streamed down her face. The clock read, 1:55am. She closed her eyes, as his hands explored her body. He laid her down on the bed, and got over top her, "Beautiful, so beautiful" He whispered, placing tiny kisses around her body. She held her breath, and counted to five. This was the moment, she thought. She reached to the side of her bed, and felt the handle. She quickly grabbed the knife, and stabbed him in the back. A staggering cry was heard, as he fell to the floor, "You ungrateful little bitch" He howled. He started to chase her. She ran out the room, and down the hall. The hall was completely dark, the only thing visible was a childs smile. She heard his footsteps get closer, as she ran down the steps. She looked up from behind, and there he was. Standing at the top of the steps, in his glory, "Are you happy?" She cried, "You did this." He looked at her with death in his eyes. As he made his ways down the steps, she grabbed the family portrait , and threw it at him. She closed her eyes, and heard thumps as his body fell down the steps. Broken glass, a family portrait, and her father laid on the floor, "Father" Her voice was quiet, "Father, wake up please" She was pleading, "Father" She beat his chest, but he did not move. It was silent again. Silent. She shock her father for one last time, "I'm sorry, I have failed you". Without looking back, she walked out the door. The last sound she heard, was the door slamming shut. this is it, she thought, i can never go back now. It was a cold, bitter night, when she stepped outside. The coldness clinched to her skin; she felt wanted, and alive. She hugged her body in an attempt to stay warm. Her feet were turning red, as she walked on the rough asphalt. The moon silhouette filled the sky, as her shadow was shown beside her. As she walked, the moon stayed by her side. It was shining its light, likw a path towards the truth. Truth. The word was vile to her. It was true, that her father was a sick man. It was true, that her mother knew, and did nothing about it. It was true, that it happened every night for the past two years. It was true, that she felt worthless, and cold. One thing that was not true, was that she was happy. She hasn't felt happiness in a long time. She remembered when she was thirteen years old, her father bought her a new bike. The bike was red, and white. It reminded her of the way the sheets looked, after he raped her the first time. She didn't know when it began; when she started to feel empty. As much as she wanted to hate her father, she couldnt. This made her angry, and she hated herself for it. She continued walking, walking. It seemed like hours passed, until she saw a cars headlight shine from behind her. The sound moved in closer, and she could hear the car pulling over, "Hey". The man shouted, "Are you okay?" She turned back, and looked at him. The man looked about 5'8, he was slim, and his nose was crooked. One thing that stuck out were his eyes. They seemed to shine in the light. She walked towards the man, "Isn't it too late for you to be out here?"
She just nodded her head, and got into the pickup truck. The truck was rusted around the egdes. There was one strip that was blue, and the rest of the truck was green. The muffler sounded like the truck was humming, and the rearview mirror was half detached. The man understood, and got back into the car. He started the car up, and looked at the girl, "My name is Josiah. What's yours?" The girl looked at him through the mirror, and quietly said, "Maeve."
"Maeve, that's a pretty name." Josiah had a southern accent, but his air was comforting, "Look at the little clothes you have on. You must be cold. He reached into the back, and grabbed a jacket, "Take this, it should keep you warm for now." It reeked of smoke, and fried food. Maeve took the jacket, and put it on. The car started moving, and Maeve closed her eyes. The radio was playing in the background, it was an old spiritual song.
Children, we all shall be free
When the Lord shall appear
"Well Maeve, where you need to go?" Maeve opened her eyes, "I'm going nowhere." Josiah paused for a moment, it seemed as if he was trying to come up with the right thing to say, "Young lady, what do you mean by nowhere. Everyone got to be going somewhere." Silence filled the car, when the heat kicked in. Maeve looked at the mirror, and saw a chain, she followed it and saw the cross, as well as a picture of a little girl, "Who is that in the picture?"
"Oh, this one?" Josiah grabbed the chain, and held it. He pointed to the little girl, and smiled, "That is my daughter. Ain't she precious?" The way he talked about the girl, made Maeve feel like she knew her, "How old is she now?" Maeve questioned. Josiah grew silence, as the radio changed songs, "She dead now," He mumbled, "She was only eight years old, when her, and her mother got into a car accident. The man was a drunk driver, it was a hit and run." As Josiah spoke, it was like the scene was happening over again in his head. Maeve sharply intook her breath, when the word drunk came out, "I'm sorry, I didnt mean to bring it up" Maeve said, she looked down at her lap.
"No it's fine, it's good for me to talk about it." Josiah looked at the picture for the last time, then looked towards the road, "I just wish they were able to find the man. If I could say one thing to him, it would be why." Maeve felt tears forming in her eyes, Josiah looked at her, "Don't cry, I'm sorry." He chuckled, "It's all good now, it happened two years ago." Maeve paused when she heard two years. two years, two years. Josiah continued to drive, as Maeve looked out the window. The land looked dead. There were only cornfields, and grass. A few cows were out, but they just looked like rocks. The clock read, 3:50am. Minutes passed before Maeve spoke, "Could you tell me what happened, if you don't mind me asking?"
"I don't know what you mean." Josiah said.
"Could you tell me the moments that led up to your families death?"
Josiah was quiet, "Talking does help doesn't it?" It seemed like he was trying to convince himself. "You don't have to talk about it," Maeve stuttered, "I-i was being foolish." Maeve said, she played with her fingers.
Josiah thought about it, "Actually I will tell you. It was June 24th, 2001."
As a boy, around the age of eight, all I can really remember is goin'n to church. I remember sitting at the dining room table Saturday even'n. I was anxious, and jittery. Mama would tell me to set up the table, clean the dishes, and make sure none of the food was burnt. I was running around like a maniac on pixie stixs. When Mama was done cooking she would serve up her worlds famous country ham, buttermilk biscuits, and cranberry sauce. Mama would make her way round the table, and look me straight in the eye and say, "Josiah, you betta stay still, boy." After dinna was over, my older brother John would help clean up. As a child, I saw John as a role model. He was four years older than me. I would do whatever he asked me, "Hey Josiah," He would always whisper that when Mama went down the hall into her room, "I'll give ya two dollas if you clean these dishes?" John would pull the money from his pockets, waving it round and round. I would rush right ova to dem dishes, and clean dem in record timing. John would sit and watch from the dining room table. After I was finished, he would hand me the bills, "Thanks little bro, what would I do without ya?" He would ruffle my hair, we would walk to our rooms together. The house was one floor. Before we turned into our rooms, John would say, "Stick em." I would turn around, and transform my fingers into a gun, "Boom, boom." Whoever got shot first would win. That night I won, but it wouldn't be the last time a gun shot would be heard. I walked into my room, the walls filled with posters of superman, and batman fighting evil. My bed was towards the left side of my room. My sheets were scattered and clothes were laying on the floor. My walls were never painted, they stayed the original color. White. Right above my bed, was the cross. Every night before I went to sleep, I would hold that cross in my hands and pray. Whenever I prayed, I was filled with excitement. My mama told me God was always listen'n. Some nights I would pray for my Mama to have a good day, or for my brother to meet the girl of his dreams. When I look at it now, I ain't know who God was. My mama would always tell me, "It don't matter if you know God or not. What matters is dat he know you."
That sunday mornin'n, I would wake up bright and early. Mama would be downstairs in the kitchen, cooking breakfast. Mama always wore her hair in a satin bonnet. I remember the sweat dripping from her face, as she cut, fried and baked food. On sundays, she always made cakes and pies for the church, "Mama, how come you make all this food?" Mama would stop what she was doing, "Fetch me a towel and I'll tell ya." I ran down the hall, and got the towel as quick as possible. We would settle down at the dining room table. Mama dapped her face, and placed the towel in her lap, "I make all this food not only for the people at the church, but because it is my callin." I rememba making a face of confusion. Mama would grin, but she never smiled, "Wake ya brova up. We leaving for church in twenty minutes." Mama would wack my butt, and I'd run off to wake up John.
I quietly creepied into John's room, "Johnathan, wake up. Mama said we leaving for church in twenty minutes." John would moan in bed, and roll around. I stayed in his room, until I knew he was completely up, "John, you have to get up." I didn't want to miss church because of him. In desperate attempts to wake him up, my last option was to jump on his bed. This always made him angry.
John would yell, "Get out my room, church boy." Mama would always appear after he said that, "Yous a church boy too. If you don't get out this bed, I swear to God you will regret it. Do you want a whopping?" John would rise up quickly, "No mam." Mama would scoff underneath her breath, "These children, help me Jesus." After Mama left the room, John would point at me and say, "Church boy."
We would arrive at church ten minutes before service started. Mama liked to wear lilac color dresses in the spring, and pin her hair in an updo. Mamas face was round, which complimented her plump body. Her cheekbones were high, and her nose seemed to take away the notice of her lazy eye. To me, Mama was the most beautifulest women I've seen. We would walk into church with bags of food Mama cooked that morning. The choir would help us put the food on the table. They always praised Mama, but Mama would never take it, "Y'all stop complimenting me now. I don't need it."
Church started five minutes late every service. Since it was the spring, the pastor left the doors open. The smell of freshly bloomed flowers would fill the entire church, "You smell these flowers?" The pastor questioned, "These flowers are like y'all. God planted us in this earth, and it is our duty to bloom, and spread his word," The church began to clap, "Can I get an amen." A man name Levy Johnson stood up and shouted, "Amen, my brotha."
When I entered senior high, most kids knew me because my brother was a junior. Some of his friends would wave, while others didn't even look at me. Johnathan despise going to school with me. Whenever we would pass each other in the halls, he would look the other way, while I would looked down. Beside those factors, senior high was a great experience. Once my brother graduated, I was allowed to create my own image. My senior year, I was the top of my class, and ran the schools bible study. It was a Thursday after school, I remember sitting at a desk in Mr. Johnson class room, waiting for students to come in for bible study. I was looking over a few notes I written, when Sheila Jones walked in my life.
"Excuse me, is this the right classroom?" Sheila was a petite girl, atleast 5'2. She had the prettiest curls, and a beautiful smile. Sheila skin was a milk chocolate, and her dimples came out when she smiled. Her eyes were a oval shape, and her nose was the right size. At the moment, I stood up quickly, and hit my leg against the desk, "oww." I shouted. Sheila rushed over to me, and bented down, "Oh my gosh, are you okay?" That's how I knew, I found the girl of my dreams.
"Yeah, I'm fine." I tried to shake it off, but I was really hurting, "No, it really doesn't seem like you're fine," Sheila sounded concern, "I'll go to the nurse." Sheila was walking away, when I grabbed her arm, "No, it's fine, I am perfectly fine." I tried to stand up, but pain shot right up my leg. I sat back down, but my hand was still on Sheila arm. Sheila turned around, and my hand fell back to my side.
"I am just so troublesome." Sheila was hiding her face with her hands. Her hands were so tiny, they looked fragile. I laughed, and Sheila looked up, "What's funny?"
I continue to laugh, "It's just you didn't do anything. I was just shocked by your beauty, thats why I got hurt."
Sheila began to blush, she giggled, "Thanks." We sat in silence for a few seconds, "By the way, my name is Sheila."
"My name is Josiah." Suddenly, people began to come into bible study. Sheila looked at me and mouthed, "I guess I'm in the right place." I smiled, and she sat down. Before starting service I welcomed Sheila to the group, "Hello everyone. We have a new member, her name is Sheila." Everyone in the group said hello, and Sheila waved.
Bible study ended by three thirty. I was packing up, when I felt someone touch my shoulder. I turned around, and it was Sheila, "I wanted to say thanks for welcoming me into the group." I noticed that her eyes were bright brown, "No problem."
Sheila lingered around until everything was packed up. Before I locked Mr. Johnson room, I looked at Sheila, "I was just wonde-." Before I could even finish my sentence, Sheila gave me a tiny piece a paper that was folded. I couldn't even ask what it said, before she walked out the class. I stood in the middle of the classroom, afraid to open up a stupid piece of paper. I took a deep breath, and unfolded the paper, "Hey it Sheila. Here's my number."
My mouth dropped open, it was soon replaced with a huge smile. I quickly gathered my things, and ran out the class. I raced down the hall way, hoping to run into Sheila. I made it out to the parking lot, but it was too late, she was gone. I got into my car, and drove home.
"Mama!" I shouted, throwing my things down on the couch. A lot has changed in the household. Since mama is older, she doesn't work anymore. I looked inside the dining room, she was sitting at the table cutting some carrots, "Why you making all that noise?"
I smiled, and gave her a big kiss. She backed her face away, "Boy, why you so happy?"
"Mama, I think I'm in love." Mama looked at me like I was crazy, "Love?"
"Yes mama, love." She stared at me in disbelief, "Well if you in love, whats the girls name?"
Mama smiled, some of her teeth were gone, "Invite her over then, I want to meet ha."