The door slammed shut as the final blow, her grey eyes stinging as she hurriedly swept away the bitter tears that burned like fire on her cheeks. She could still hear the echos of the fight ringing in her ears, the sound of her feet hitting the concrete walkway doing nothing to distract from the vivid memory still fresh in her mind. She knew her mother's car would round the corner any minute as it always did, her brother having called during the screaming match's preliminary rounds.
As the bright headlights came into view, the door swung shut once again, bringing the wordless conversation that often accompanied her little brother on nights such as this one. A strange calm briefly swept over her when she climbed inside the old green Crown Victoria, only to be forced aside by the wave of anger that bubbled up as she glimpsed the small red house in the rear view mirror. An ugly sneer scarred her face, in her eyes the prison engulfed in a fiery blaze.
It was a vision that often came to mind when thinking about her father. A stubborn, lonely, and angry man, he took to drinking each night, which only worsened his temper. Her little brother never seemed to provoke his wrath as much as she did, being much more passive-aggressive compered to her usually outspoken nature, which often caused her and her father to butt heads, Peace was only known as a mythic idea in that realm, although she always strived for it, longed for it to calm the charged atmosphere. She had great dreams for the house, dreams to make it a happier place, to make it a home, but she and her father rarely saw eye to eye about such things. Thus the house was in constant turmoil, a struggle between two equally stubborn and opinionated forces, neither wishing to comply or compromise.
She gazed longingly out the dark bedroom window, yet again daydreaming of a better life and a happier family. Her brother always told her that those dreams were foolish and that she should give up on such fancies, but she held on with an iron grip to the image burned into her mind. She knew, deep down, that is was an unrealistic goal, but the effort of trying kept her mind away from her grim reality. Succumbing to her father's mindset seemed worse than death.
It was during one of these moments when her mother quietly stepped into her doorway and pressed the button to turn on the bedroom light. She sat down next to her emotionally frustrated daughter, gingerly placing a hand on her shouler to gain her attention. When she turned but did not speak, questioning curiosity written in her eyes, her mother broke the silence.
"Your dad just called… Someone reported him to Child Protective Services," she stated bluntly, feeling as confused as the new look on her child's face. After a quiet pause, she continued. "He asked for you several times."
The girl's eyes widened, unsure of whether to be angry at what was probably his immediate accusation, or merely surprised. "What, so he thinks I have something to do with this?" she questioned.
Solemnly, her mother nodded. "He wanted to know if you told anyone anything. He thinks you made up something to make sure you live with me."
A quick flash of anger lit up the girl's eyes as she stood at the foot f the bed. "Oh, so he does blame me, then! Where does he get off thinking I'd do that? Does he not remember all the times he's insulted me? Or when he shook me and actually bruised my shoulders? Does he have any idea how emotionally abusive that is?" The accusation had put her into full-fledged ranting mode, finally allowing her to let out every ounce of pain, frustration, and suffering her father had delt her. By the time she was finished, her lips had formed a grim line as she tried not to give into the wet pools that threatened to overflow her flushed cheeks. To her mother's surprise, the teenager bolted downstairs with an urgency, feeling the sudden need for fresh air.
The door The door swung shut with a bang as she pressed all her weight against its frame, needing the sure feel of something solid next to her. She took a moment to let herself calm down, or as well as she could at her present circumstances, and stared out at the wet sidewalk, breathing deeply to sedate her racing thoughts.
She couldn't stop the guilty feeling from creeping up at the back of her mind. The idea that this really was all her fault made her head reel anxiously, knowing that her father would surely give her hell tomorrow for the current situation. He thoroughly despised the thought of being watched by the government, but still more the thought of being betrayed by kin.
In a way, she did feel at blame for it all. If she hadn't confessed all her troubles to her teacher and peers, the entire problem would most likely never have arisen. She shakily wrung her hands, twisting over and over again the ring her best friend had given her some time back, a nervous habit she had become accustomed to. Looking down, she silently read the words engraved in the metal. Give peace a chance. Letting the calming words sink in, she closed her eyes and took another deep breath, murmuring to herself, "Whisper words of wisdom, let it be..."
She knew it wasn't her fault, that placing all the blame on herself was a corrupt way of thinking, and reopened her eyes. She stepped off the porch into the light rain, walking down the slippery sidewalk to the corner street light and stopped, the water cooling her stressed mind.
The next morning, she walked out once again into the crisp spring air, the clouds now cleared from the sky. Although she still dreaded the though of returning to that house, she tried not to let it distract her through the day. She had nearly forgotten the whole ordeal until, to her surprise, she was called into the counseling office near the end of her last class and was approached by a social worker. To say the least, she found the meeting quite awkward and wished nothing more to get out of the small, cramped room, yet she had no luck until the period was nearly halfway over. As she slowly walked home afterward, dragging her feet in no such hurry, images of what was to come flooded her brain, making everything a jumbled mess of emotion and worry inside her mind. She tried everything to calm herself, to let herself breathe, and just barely succeeded before walking up the faded green lawn to her father's door. Nearing the entry, she could clearly hear the sound of both her parents attempting to speak over one another. She cringed when she heard her father's harsh voice.
"Look, I'll move out, and you can move in with the kids, okay?" Wait, what? The girl blinked multiple times, caught off guard. Did he actually just suggest that?
"I know I haven't done a good job with them, and it's no secret they'd rather stay with you than with me." She looked away at the words, knowing but still wishing they weren't true. Even though she hated the man with a passion, it was no lie that he was her father, and she had to love him for that. Still, it didn't mean she had to like him. "I'll move out as soon as I can, but it'll take a while. I don't know when I'll be able to."
The rest of the conversation was just a blur to her as she sat outside the front window. Her dad, actually suggesting to move out for her and her brother's sake? It seemed so unlikely, but she'd heard it first-hand, and she felt she had no choice but to believe it. The entire idea was too outrageous for her to fully comprehend at the moment, and she sat quietly to wait for her mother and sibling to walk out.
When they finally did, she looked up at them confusedly. Wordlessly, her mother beckoned her to follow to the car, and she complied, still numb of mind. The drive back home was a quiet one, excluding the radio. No one seemed to know what to make of the situation, yet they all could feel it was a blessing in disguise. Once back inside, the teenage girl silently crept up to her room and picked up her beloved guitar, needing the comforting feel of it in her hands. As she gazed out the window, the sky having now cleared of the rain clouds, her fingers roamed freely across the fretboard, picking up on the familiar dance they often shared. She sang softly to herself and to the world around her, a song she felt close to, one she related with.
Blackbird singing in the dead of night, take these broken wings and learn to fly. All your life, you were only waiting for this moment to arise. Blackbird singing in the dead of night, take these sunken eyes and learn to see. All your life, you were only waiting for this moment to be free. Blackbird fly… Blackbird fly… Into the light of the dark black night.