Everything In Its Place
September 4, 2011
Don’t stop to help me. It will only get both of us hurt. Just move along, deal with your conscience later. It’ll hurt a lot less, believe me.
Everything in its place. Knife on the right. Fork on the left, atop the linen napkin. You don’t think rich kids get abused? Water glass at one o’clock, wine glass at two o’clock. Just the way he likes it. I’ve got the bruises to remind me how it’s supposed to be. Why would I mess it up now?
Yes, it’s horrible. I know it. I live it. You act like you’re the one abused. Do you think I need a knight in shining armor? Fuck off before you get me beaten again. Look away. Avert your eyes. He doesn’t want to be noticed. He wants to pretend no one knows, that it’s our little secret. He wants to pretend he’s doing what’s best for me. That’s what he says, afterward. It’s what’s best for me. He’s trying to teach me a lesson, help me understand how to get along in life. Father of the year. But, if you butt in, trying to score points, trying to make yourself feel good, make yourself look good with your bleeding-heart friends, tell them how you rescued the poor abused rich girl from her tyrant father, you know it won’t work. It’ll get me another broken rib. And you’ll just get frustrated and keep trying in your clumsy, stupid way, keep getting me hurt.
Don’t you get it? He’s not stupid, and he’s rich. He’s got lawyers. He’s got private doctors. He knows where to hit me so that it doesn’t show in public. He’s mean as hell, but he’s smart as the devil himself. You can’t beat him, and your trying will only make it worse for me. So, fuck off and mind your own business. You think I give a shit about how bad it makes you feel to see me suffering, to see it in my eyes?
Everything in its place. He gives me rules, I know, so that I will break them and he’ll have an excuse to beat me. Not that he needs an excuse. When everything is an excuse, excuses don’t matter, do they? Knife here, fork there. Bed made just so. Books arranged neatly. Then it was by size. Then by author. Shoes in the closet, but boots in the garage. Who cares? Just beat me and leave, so I can get on with the things I have to do.
I don’t need your help. He’s preparing me for life, he says. He’s right, though he’s lying to himself. I’ve had so many broken ribs, bruised muscles, cuts and welts and whippings, I don’t feel them anymore. I’m stronger now. See, he’s blind to it. He thinks I’m still his little girl. Mom died, he blamed himself, he takes it out on me. But, I’m not a little girl anymore. Make a kid so she doesn’t feel pain anymore, lie to yourself so you don’t see clearly anymore, and give the kid a reason to kill. Everything in its place.
So, don’t stop to help me. You can’t. And, let’s be honest here, you can’t stomach the solution. You still feel too much. You don’t have a reason, even if you think you do. You might not like to see it, but you have no idea what it’s like to live it, to feel it every day. You have no idea what I go through, and you have no idea what I’m planning.
It will be quick. It will be neat. It will be clinical. And then it will be over.
I’m my father’s daughter. He’s taught me more than he intended. And I’m not a little girl anymore.
Everything is in its place.
Copyright © 2011 by Kevin Aldrich