When fifteen year old Bella woke up she felt like she was going to be sick. It happened a lot lately. She wasn’t sure how much more she could take. The name calling, the spitting, the threats of violence, the actual violence. All her ‘friends’ had deserted her, and she spent her days being an outcast. Her attempt at suicide hadn’t paid off, so here she was again getting ready for school. She hated her life, she hated school and she absolutely, completely and utterly hated the village. Why had they had to move to this shithole? She longed to be back in London, with her real friends, but that wasn’t about to happen any time soon.
Bella came down stairs and surveyed the living room nervously. He’d had a heavy drinking session last night and was in a foul mood. She knew she was best off just ignoring him, eating her breakfast and leaving the house as quickly as possible. He was being cruel though and before she knew what was happening the words ‘I hate you, you fat slob’ just poured from her mouth. Quick as a flash he jumped angrily out of his chair and punched her in the face. Pain surged through her entire body, and the shock of it made her tremble. He was an emotional bully for sure, but hadn’t hit her that hard since she was eight years old and had run off into the forest without telling him where she was going.
There was blood everywhere. The room started spinning and everything felt like it was happening in slow motion for a while. Her mother helped clean her up in the bathroom sobbing ‘I’m sorry, I should have stopped him’. She needed to get out of the house, so walked to the local park. Her white school shirt was covered in blood, making her look like an extra from a zombie film. The pain had dulled down by now and although her nose was still dripping, it thankfully didn’t appear to be broken. Sitting on the swing in the freezing cold January morning she realised she was in possession of an ace card. This was her chance, she could either grab it with both hands or let it pass her by and allow this to become her life.
When she got home the air was thick with remorse. ‘I don’t care how sorry you are, I’ve had enough’ Bella announced to both of them. Then she addressed her mother only and said the words that no mother would ever want to hear from her fifteen year old child. ‘You can either drive me to London and still have a daughter, or I’ll go anyway and you won’t see me ever again’. Her mother knew she meant it, and reluctantly agreed. She set about packing her essentials, formulating a plan in her head of where to stay and what she would do. This was the first day of the rest of her life. A brand new beginning.
The drive to her aunt’s place passed by in a haze of emotion. Her mother was distraught, but she knew she couldn’t force her firstborn to stay against her will. When they parted company she went back to her car, sat for a while and wept. She didn’t have babies for them to go off into the big bad world at such a young age. She had failed her daughter miserably, but she knew that Bella was a smart cookie, and had no doubt in her mind that she would make a success of her life regardless. She started the car and prepared herself for the long drive home, resolving to ensure she did a better job with her other two kids.
This story was inspired by true life events from my own childhood. If you are interested in reading more, check out my book Become the Best You