Friday, November 9, 2012

You Are Beautiful

 
My name is Jasmine. Some days I wondered why life had to be the way it was. Life had been, well… it had been perfect. But then again, what is perfect? To me, at age six, it had meant a loving father and mother, a fun older brother and amazing friends. I was a little girl who loved to play with toy trucks along with her brother. That’s when my father had first beaten my mom. He had taken advantage of her and had then showed all of us that he wasn’t a real man. Just a coward that used force to get what he wanted.             

I had never expected something like that to happen to our family. No! These sort of things only happened on TV… those broken hearts and torn families were, to me, fictional. But then when something like that happens to you, it’s like a slap in the face to reality; a slap in the face to tell you that the world isn’t always picture perfect. When it had happened, I wasn’t sure what to do. My father had been 6 foot 3 and well built. What could a scrawny little six year old do? 

Jacob, my eight year old brother had thought differently. He had tried to pull my father off my mother while he had been beating her. He cried and screamed, telling him to stop. But my dad only shoved him into the wall and told him, “You don’t understand enough to know that this is the way it should be. Men are above women and deserve this control…” Then and there I had gained an eternal fear of my father. 

10 years later. 

I shook violently as I walked into the house after another horrible day at school. The kids had been teasing me again, pushing me into the wall and calling me a “prick”. Could things get worse? I shouldn’t have thought that as I saw my dad passed out drunk on the couch. I caught my breath with fright. Why was he home? I didn’t ponder on that question long enough as I quickly hurried to my room to get away from his lingering stench of alcohol. 

I shut my door behind me and fell to the floor crying. Everything hurt. My whole body ached from forcing myself to endure everything. My emotional state was too low for a normal person. I cried and cried, letting all the tears that I had been holding out just leave my trembling body. After I couldn’t cry any longer I just curled up into a ball on my floor and closed my eyes. I tried to shut everything out. I didn’t want to exist. I didn’t want to be here… That’s it. I opened my eyes and found my window open slightly, letting in a cool breeze. 

My breathing quickened. I could run away. I could leave, never come back. Looking at the door, I flinched. If my father found out, he’d beat me for sure. The fear coursed through my body and I licked my lips as I started to remember my previous beatings; the feel of his foot on my side, the roughness of his hand as he had slapped me. He rarely beat my brother, just my mother and I. We were lower. We didn’t matter. 

I looked over at the window again. If I could just leave without my father waking up… I could go to my friend’s house. He’d protect me. He was the only one that knew about my home life. His name was Tyler and he was simply amazing. Tyler was always there for me when I needed someone to talk to, he always listened. Though sometimes I wondered if he even understood how I really felt. I told him everything, but could he even comprehend it? 

I jumped up and ran over to the window. I had to leave. I couldn’t deal with another beating. Never again. I wouldn’t do it. I slid my window open and looked outside. My mom’s car was home. So was my brother’s. It was around 7 o’clock and the sun was beginning to lower. We lived in a one story house, so I could easily slip out. Freedom was right in front of me. I could reach it; all I needed to do was slowly lower myself out… That’s when my door opened to my room. 

My father stormed in, “Jasmine, I need…” He paused and saw me looking out the window with one leg hanging out. “What the heck are you doing?” His words were slurred together. 

Falling to the ground I stuttered out a response, “I-I was just… it was cool outside… I wanted to-” 

My father walked over to me and slapped me. “Get up Jasmine! Don’t you ever lie to me!” He stumbled and hit the wall as he tried to kick me. His foot grazed my side. I didn’t know what to do. I curled up into a ball and begged him to stop as he continued to hit me. “You were trying to run away! You will never get away! No one would accept you! Don’t even try. You are a worthless piece of crap! You should be happy I even feed you!” Time passed by slowly as the pain grew and grew every time he laid a finger on me. 

I didn’t know when he left but after a while I tried to get up and fell over. The world spun around me. I wanted to scream. I wanted to die. I couldn’t stand living anymore. Why would I want to live in a world that only continued to beat me up? Why would I want to keep trying? I crawled over to my bathroom until I reached the bathtub. The lights were off as I felt around for something. My hand rapped around it and I began to cry as I pulled it close to me. 

It was my razor. 

Slowly and carefully I pulled my sleeves up to uncover my bare wrists. What was I about to do? Cut myself! Why would I do something like that…? I was having inner battle with myself. Cut myself, don’t cut myself. I could barely think. Finally, the former thought won. I began to cut myself. The pain distracted me from the thoughts of home and school. It was a numbing release. I embraced it as I continued. It hardly seemed real as I watched as the blood dripped into the bathtub and down the drain. 

The next day at school I wore a jacket. I couldn’t let Tyler see what I had done. I could barely believe I had even done it! Never had I believed I would end up hurting myself… but to me, it was an outlet. It helped me forget my emotional pain for a few minutes. But I needed that. I accepted it. 

Tyler saw me and ran over. He noticed a bruise on my cheek. “Jasmine…” He put his hand on my face and looked into my eyes. “Your father again?” I could barely look at him. I tried to avert my eyes to the ground. Tyler lifted my face up. “Jasmine, you don’t have to take this. We can go to someone…” 

“No!” I jerked my face away. “No going to anyone! That wouldn’t help. You don’t understand…” I tried to walk away but Tyler grabbed my wrists, making my jacket sleeves slip up my arm, and he froze. 

I let him turn my arms over and I watched as his eyes widened with hurt and sadness. “Jasmine… when did you do this?” I didn’t answer him. He tugged me close and gave me a hug. “Please Jasmine, don’t do this. I don’t want you to hurt yourself. If you need someone to talk to… you know where to go to Jasmine!” 

“I tried.” 

My simple statement caught him by surprise. “What do you mean you tried?” He stepped back and looked at me. He acted like I would disappear right before his eyes. He wouldn’t let go of my hands as I told him what had happened the night before. I didn’t explain how I cut myself but I told him how I had tried to go to his house. When I finished Tyler bent down to look at me from eye level, “We need to talk. Skip class. Follow me.” His voice was firm and I didn’t want to fight against him. I was mentally and physically exhausted from the night before and I knew that trying to argue or fight with him wouldn’t do me any good. 

I let him drag me to outside of the school. We walked a ways out until we found a garden that the school had planted. He sat me down on the stone bench next to a rose bush. I kept staring at the sidewalk. I wasn’t sure what he wanted to say. His words wouldn’t make a difference. I would still be in pain at home, at school, with myself… it wouldn’t matter. I was worthless. If I did mean something to anyone or if I was worth something, then how could someone that was worth something deserve everything that was happening to me? Maybe my dad was right… I was just a piece of crap that he was forced to feed… 

“Jasmine, look at me right now.” I tilted my head up slightly and looked up from beneath my long black hair that had fallen into my face. He gently brushed it back and said, “You have that look that tells me you’re in deep thought… what are you thinking about?” I didn’t speak right away. I was afraid my voice would falter and that I would start crying. “Jasmine, you can tell me anything.” I bowed my head, 

"Tyler… I’m worthless.” 

I didn’t see the look on his face but I heard his sharp intake of breath. He sat there for a few seconds in silence before saying, “No you’re not.” 

“Tyler-” 

“No, listen to me Jasmine.” Taking another couple seconds to gather his thoughts, he began speaking; “Your life at home is hard. You shouldn’t have to go through this. You need to talk to someone.” Jerking up, I started to interrupt him but he held up a finger, “Just listen. Jasmine, if you continue to go home and deal with this,” he gestured to my bruise, “one day these cuts on your wrist will end up being a gunshot to your head.” I shook my head to protest and he grabbed my hand. “Jasmine… I don’t want to lose you, ever. You are my best friend. I will not let you kill yourself. Ever. I will do everything in my power to prevent that. Even if that means telling someone.” 

“No, please don’t…” 

“Whatever I need to do, I will. Now the next thing I need to tell you is… You. Are. Not. Worthless.” 

I looked down at the ground and started to cry again, “Yes I am. My father said that I am. He’s right, he’s always right…” 

“When has he ever been right?” When I didn’t answer he laughed, “See? He’s wrong. He’s always been wrong. What your dad does is unacceptable and when he tells you things like that… why believe him when you know he’s wrong?” He shook his head in exasperation, “Jasmine, I’m going to help you through this. You aren’t alone and you don’t have to crawl into a shell and do this by yourself. I’m going to help you.” I hugged Tyler and just began to cry. We talked for the rest of the school day. The more we talked, the more I realized that telling Tyler everything was an easier outlet for me. Sure my mind was continually on my emotional pain but telling him about it seemed to release it from me. It seemed to slowly raise my burdens off my shoulders as Tyler began to help me support them. 

As we began to leave, Tyler turned around and plucked a rose on the bush and handed it to me. Its delicate petals were a dark creamy red. I twirled it around as Tyler said, “You see this rose? It’s beautiful isn’t it… it reminds me of you.” I couldn't help but smile. “You are beautiful. You are unique. You are worth something. You are you. Jasmine, always remember that.”


1 Responses to “You Are Beautiful”

Anonymous said...
November 10, 2012 at 5:13 AM

:'( beautiful... reminds me of a lot of things i have been through... its a blessing to have a best friend <3


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