Sarah's Story

By SANDI HILL | Published: August 31, 2010

(c) This is the original work of author Sandra K. Hill and is not to be copied or replicated by anyone without permission from the author.

Sarah’s Story

Sarah lay under her soft warm quilt looking at the ceiling. She was remembering the wonderful afternoon she had with her boyfriend Scott. Sarah had told her mother she was going to the mall with her best friend Stacy. Stacy was Sarah’s only friend. In reality Sarah was going to see her boyfriend. The Navy scheduled Scott to go out to sea for six months so Sarah would not get to see him for what seemed like a long time.

Sarah and Scott met at the mall and left in his red Chevy Truck. They drove to a motel that Scott had reserved for them. They walked into the warm motel room and out of the shivering cold. The king sized bed had red rose petals all over and on the bedside table was a vase full of red roses. Sarah sat down on the end of the bed while Scott proceeded to light the many white candles he had placed around the room earlier.

“It’s our last time together. I want this night to be special. Sarah, we may not see each other for a long time.” Scott’s words made Sarah feel heartbroken.

“If my dad ever finds out I have been seeing you we will both be in trouble.” was all Sarah could say. Scott came over to her and wrapped his arms around her and kissed her tenderly.

Later, Scott drove Sarah back to the mall where her mom came to pick her up. She had told her mom that Stacy’s mom had already picked her up because Stacy’s brother had a ball game. Sarah had bought a shirt from the store for big women so her parents would think she had really been shopping.

The night air was cold and the wind brushed the tree limb against the window. Tears filled Sarah’s eyes as she thought about Scott being gone for so long. Sarah’s father did not like Scott and forbid Sarah to see him. “I can’t believe someone like Scott would even want to be with a fat slob like you.” Sarah’s father would say. These thoughts made Sarah cry even harder.

The next morning Sarah woke to the alarm going off. It was 6 a.m. and time to get dressed for school. Sarah put on her new shirt she had bought the day before and brushed her hair. She did not weigh herself today because she was afraid she had not lost any more weight. For the past four months Sarah had been trying to loose weight. She was tired of her father making fat comments about her. She was tired of the kids at school teasing her because of her size. When Sarah attended Gym class, she did not dress up. She was embarrassed by the way the shorts showed the fat on her legs. Sarah went into the kitchen and sat down at the table. Her father was not in the kitchen but she knew he would come in and make some kind of cruel comment.

Watching her mother dish up the oatmeal and sitting it on the table, he father walked in. “Darling, don’t fill the fat girl’s bowl full. She doesn’t need to eat more than half a bowl.” Her father said with a smirk on his face. He sat down in his chair at the end of the table. He started to butter a piece of toast as Sarah’s mother placed a stack of pancakes in front of him. Loading the butter on his pancakes and drenching them in syrup he stated, “Sarah, doesn’t this look scrumptious? Your mom made them just for me. Fat girls don’t get wonderful food like this because they get fatter.” Her father started to laugh. Sarah took a bite of her oatmeal and excused herself from the table. Grabbing her books, Sarah headed out the door to catch the bus to school.

Sarah was only fourteen years old. She did have long dark hair that reached her waist till her father made her cut it. She weighed more than the average fourteen year old. She had been trying over and over to lose weight but she never seemed to be able to. Sarah weighed 210 pounds and was a freshman in high school. She only had one friend and that was Stacy Richmond. Sarah met her boyfriend at school and made the mistake of saying something to her father about him in hopes her father would not think of her as a loser. The moment he heard about the boyfriend, he told her she was not allowed to even speak to boys let alone go out with one. Scott and Sarah would sit together at lunch and sometimes sneak away behind the tennis courts to have alone time. When Sarah’s parents finally let her go to the mall with Stacy, she started to meet Scott there. Since Scott drove, they would leave the mall and go to motels and other places to be alone.

During a lunch break last year Scott told Sarah, “I am tried of hiding from your parents. I am joining the navy and make something out of my life. I will come back and take you away from all of this bull shit.” Scott was a senior this year and would graduate this fall. His grades were excellent. He went to the navy recruit office for information and then signed up. He would be leaving one week after he graduated.

Sarah sat in her first hour class listening to her English teacher giving out the assignment. The bell rang and students rushed to get out the door. Someone bumped into her and said, “Move your fat ass bitch.” Sarah stepped back and let him through.

“Watch it bitch that was my boyfriend you bumped into.” The girl snarled as she pushed on through. Sarah stepped into the hallway making sure she did not bump into anyone else. At her locker she had trouble working the combination lock. Finally she opened her locker and found the textbooks she needed and headed to her next class.

Lunch time could not come fast enough. The lunch line was long and Sarah only had thirty minutes to eat. She went to the vending machine and bought some chips and a soda. Sitting down at the table in the corner of the lunchroom, she waited for Scott.

“I have missed you so much,” was the familiar voice. “May I sit by you?” Sarah looked up and Scott was standing there smiling.

“Sure if you don’t tell my boyfriend.” She said as she giggled like an elementary school girl.

Scott looked like he had something to say. Sarah waited for Scott to say what was on his mind; instead a scream came from across the room. Two girls were fighting. You could only see students standing around in a circle cheering their choice of friend on.

“I know your father will not let you go to the prom with me. I wanted to ask you any way because I love you and at least you can say you were asked.” Scott said trying to be heard over the noise.

“He would never let me go epically with you, unless….” Sarah’s voice trailed off as she held up a finger as thoughts raced through her mind.

Scott knew that look and said, “Unless what? What are you up to Sarah?” Before Scott could say anything else the bell rang and it was time to go back to class. Sarah walked with Scott to empty his lunch trey. Scott gave Sarah a kiss and said, “I love you and will see you soon.” And he walked off down the hallway.

Sarah walked into home room and saw Stacy finishing up her math homework. “Hey, I really need to talk to you.” Sarah said with urgency in her voice. “Have you been asked to the Prom?”

“No, are you crazy? Who would ask me to the Prom?” Stacy said with sarcasm. Both girls laughed.

“Scott asked me but as you know my parents would never let me go. I was wondering if maybe you and I can go together that way my parents would never know.”

“They would not believe us because we are not seniors.” Stacy’s words were disappointing.

“You are right,” said Sarah. “I guess I must be crazy to even think that way.”

The ride on the bus home was to short for Sarah. Stepping off the bus, Sarah noticed her father was not home. She was thankful for all the time he had been spending at work on overtime. Walking in the front door Sarah saw her mom dusting the furniture and putting things back in their place. How could mom not say anything when dad put me down? Sarah’s thoughts were haunting her again. “Hi mom, I am home.” Sarah said trying to sound happy.

“How was your day dear?” Her mom asked never looked up from dusting.

“I’m Fine.” Sarah said as she quickly walked past her mom into her bedroom.

She took off her coat and hung it in her closet. She walked over to her bed and sat down to start her homework. Pulling out her English book she found the paper she had been writing her assignment on. Sarah read the paper over and over but could not concentrate enough to understand the assignment. Putting the paper back in her English book, Sarah lay back on her bed and fell asleep.

Early the next morning the pounding woke Sarah. “Get you fat ass out of bed. No wonder you are so fat. All you do is eat, sleep and sit around. You are just a lazy fat slob!” Her father’s voice boomed from behind the door. Sarah slowly stretched waiting till she heard her father’s foot steps go down the hall way. She quickly got dressed and headed for the kitchen.

“Good Morning.” She heard her mother say. Sarah noticed her mother did not turn around when she spoke. “Breakfast will be a little late, I over slept.” With a sniffle her mother laid the food on the kitchen counter and walked out. Sarah waited for her father to enter the kitchen but he never did. She grabbed a slice of toast with butter and her book bag. Sarah ran out the back door to avoid any conflict and walked around to the front yard. She noticed the car was already gone. Things were not the same as usual this morning.

Sitting next to Stacy on the bus, Sarah started to tell her about how the morning went. Then Sarah noticed that Stacy was acting strange too. “What is wrong with everyone? You all are acting like the world is coming to and end.” Said Sarah as her voice became louder.

“Your mother called my mom this morning, she was crying.” Stacy did not even look Sarah’s way. “I overheard my mom ask if your mom was alright.”

Sarah became worried and asked, “What else did you hear?”

“Mom just told her if she needed anything to call, and that she was sorry to hear about what had happened.” Stacy’s voice showed that she was worried too.

“I wonder what is going on? What happened?” Sarah questioned.

The bus pulled up to the school and teens were scattered everywhere. Sarah and Stacy stepped off the bus and headed toward the front doors of the school. Inside the girls went to their lockers together. Everything seemed normal in the school. Kids were huddled in different groups talking about cheerleading tryouts, the football game next week and even about the color of lipstick. The sound of lockers slamming up and down the hall way brought back memories. Sarah had English class first and Stacy had U.S. Government. The bell rang and everyone scattered even Sarah and Stacy. “See you next hour. Don’t worry, I am sure it was nothing, you know the phone call?” Stacy said as she walked down the hall to her class. Sarah said nothing and walked the opposite way.

In English class, Sarah could not concentrate on the assignment. Mrs. Cass called her name to answer a question and Sarah did not respond. “Sarah, are you alright?” asked Mrs. Cass.

“Yes, just a little tired. I didn’t get much sleep last night. Sorry.” Sarah said as she went back to wondering what was going on at home.

The teacher began to talk about homework due next Monday. She asked everyone to write a paper about, ‘How to Handle an Angry Child.’ The only thing Sarah heard her say was, “Angry.” The word stuck in her head and she could hear her teacher saying it over and over.

The principle walked into the room and said something to Mrs. Cass. She walked down the row toward Sarah’s desk and asked her, “Would you please go with Mr. Smith, Sarah?” Sarah closed her book, picked up her things and followed Mr. Smith out of the room.

In the hall way Sarah asked, “Did I do something wrong?”

“No, I just want to talk to you for a few moments.” Is all the said as they walked down the hall way to his office..

Entering into the principles office he motioned for her to sit down. “Sarah, I have a few questions I would like to ask you. If you don’t want to answer any of the questions that’s fine.” The principal sounded concerned. “Was there any trouble at your house this morning before you came to school?”

“No.” she told him. “At least I didn’t think there was. What is this all about?” Sarah’s voice became demanding. Sarah was remembering the things Stacy had told her about the phone call.

“I had a phone call from Social Services about an incident that took place at your home this morning. Your mother made a call and went to the hospital to be checked out. Did you not know about this?” his voice seemed puzzled.

Sarah jumped up from the chair and hollered, “Is my mom alright? What happened? I don’t know anything about what you are talking about.” Sarah began to cry.

“Your mom is alright.” Principal Smith said as he came over to where Sarah was standing to help calm her down. “She had some bruises and a sprained wrist is all. Have you ever seen your father hit or hurt your mom? Or has he ever physically hurt you?” The principal asked as Sarah sat down again.

“No, my father yells a lot and calls me and my mom names but he has never hit me. I have never seen him hit my mom either. If I ever see him hurt my mom…..!” Sarah could not believe what she was hearing.

“Your mother told the police that she had fallen over a load of laundry and hit her head. The authorities asked me if they could come to the school and ask you a few questions. I told them I would have a talk to you and report back to them. Would that be alright for them to come and talk to you?” His voice was reassuring.

“Sure, I guess. May I go now?” Sarah had heard enough.

When Sarah got home, she walked into the living room and laid her coat across the arm of the couch. Her eyes were still swollen from crying during the day. He mother was in the laundry room loading the washing machine when she turned around. “Sarah! How was your day at school? Sarah’s mother sounded surprised. “You startled me; I did not know you were there.” Sarah noticed the bandage above her mother’s eye and her eye was turning black and blue.

“It was fine,” stated Sarah. “Mom, what is going on? The police came and asked me all kinds of questions about you and dad.” Sarah started to tear up again but did not want to cry. “They wanted to know if dad had ever hit either one of us. Did dad do that to you?”

Emily, Sarah’s mom, started shaking, “What did you tell them?”

“I have never seen dad hit you and he has never hit me just called us names.” She said as she looked at the floor. “I told them no I have never been hit and never seen him hit you.” Sarah’s voice gave away the embarrassment she felt.

Emily brushed her hair out of her face and started to pick up the dirty cloths. “Now we are going to drop all of this nonsense and not say a word to your dad. Go and get your homework done.” She acted like nothing had ever happened. She continued working on the laundry. Sarah walked over to pick up her coat and down the hall toward her bedroom.

Sarah knew not to say anything to her dad because things would just get worse. She still could not believe what was happening. She put her homework away and put her dirty cloths in the hamper. Shutting her bedroom door and heading to the kitchen for dinner, she could hear her dad talking in the kitchen to her mom. “What do you mean they went to the school?” his voice was full of anger. “What did she tell them? Do you think she knows or did you tell her? Emily I bet you told Sarah everything!” His questions seemed to never end. Sarah’s mother did not respond and her father became more upset. “Woman, I asked you a question and I want an answer!” The sounds of things being thrown was all Sarah could hear. The image of her mother being hit and thrown to the floor flooded Sarah’s mind. No one said another word about the incident and very little was said from either Sarah or her mother. The only one in the family that spoke after that was her father.

Christmas had come and past. The New Year was not looking better than the last. Her father had become more violent.” Where is the fat bitch?” was her father’s voice.

Sarah immediately said, “I’m right hear dad.” She stood up from sitting on the living room floor where she was working on a school project..

“Remember about three months ago when the police asked you about me?” her dad asked.

“Yes I remember.” Sarah answered. She was scared to death about what might happen next.

“I received a letter in the mail telling me I have to go to court about it. They are calling it, ‘Domestic Violence’.” He said sarcastically and stared straight into Sarah’s eyes. “I think you told them lies about me. If you did they will take your fucking fat ass out of the house and you will never see your mom again.” His voice became more threatening. Sarah did not know what to say. Her father took a step toward her and started yelling, “Did you hear me Bitch?” her father ordered. Sarah felt a sting across her face and she lost her balance. She fell to the floor and her arm hit the coffee table. She did not move for fear he would hit her again. She felt sharp pains as her ribs cracked under the pressure of her fathers’ boots. She could not catch her breath and when she did the pain shot clear through her body. She was afraid her father was never going to stop hurting her and he was going to kill her.

Sarah woke up in her bed with a headache and every breath she took hurt. Her mother came into the room and sat down on the side of the bed. “How are you feeling?” said her mother as she looked around the room. She was scared and wanted to make sure no one else was there. “Sweetie, what happened a little while ago your father did not mean. He was upset and he knows that no one said anything against him. He just lost his temper. He is sorry.” She said as she apologized for Sarah’s father. Sarah turned her back to her mom and stared out the window.

Sarah knew she had to go to school the next day. She also knew that Scott would be leaving in a few months. She had not spoken to him in several days. He did not know about what had happened to her mother and she sure was not going to tell him about what happened to her. There was nothing he could do to stop the problem. She didn’t want him to worry while he was gone.

The next morning Sarah started to get dressed but had to make a run for the bathroom. Her stomach was turning and she started to throw up. Her mother came to the bathroom door and asked, “Are you alright?”

Clearing her throat Sarah responded,” Yes, I think I have a touch of the flu bug.” Sarah was sure it was from being kicked over and over.

“Maybe you should stay home from school.” Her mom suggested.

“I will be fine. I don’t have a fever so I will be okay.” Sarah did not want to stay home because she was afraid her father would go off again. Sarah cleaned herself up and got dressed. She was running late and almost missed her bus.

Sarah sat in her English class and tried to pay attention. She kept catching herself drifting off to sleep. She could not figure out why she was so tired. The only think she could think that was making her tired was all the stress. The bell rang and Sarah headed to her next class. She was stopped by Scott in the hall way. “How are things going sweetie?” Scott asked as he gave her a kiss on the forehead.

Sarah did not like lying to Scott but answered his question. “I am good and how are you doing?” she tried to sound cheerful.

“I am doing fine, but worried a little bit about going out to sea.” Scott chuckled nervously. “I will be back and then we can be together. It will not matter what your parents say then.” Scott’s words comforted Sarah. “I have to go to class. I love you and will see you soon.” Scott turned and walked down the hall way.

Sarah would not be graduating for another two years. She planned to look for a job during the summer. The money would be useful for her and Scott to start their lives together. She would still be going to school during the fall and would graduate in the winter of her senior year. The only obstacle in the way was her father. Would he let her work?

Sarah’s diet was not going well. She had gained ten pounds in the last month even though food did not look good to her. And she did not have an appetite. Sarah could not figure out why she was gaining weight when she was not eating. Sarah’s mother had taken her to the doctors in February because she thought her daughter had something seriously wrong. The doctor reassured Emily that the stress that Sarah had been under was the cause of the weight gain.

The month of April rolled around and things at school were busy. Sarah was working on the yearbook with other class mates. Stacy was helping with the photography and others were getting interviews from the senior students. There were only two more months till senior graduation and all the students from all the grades were helping. A committee was sat up for prom decoration. Freshmen students were the ones who were going to decorate. The seniors were picking out the theme and decorations.

Stacy and Sarah were taking some pictures of students in the hall for the yearbook when Sarah fell to the floor. Stacy screamed and other students and staff came running. Sarah came to and was dizzy. “How are you feeling right now?” asked the school nurse.

“I’m alright, I just got to hot and should have sat down.” Sarah said, wondering what really happened. The nurse helped Sarah stand to her feet.

“Are you sure you don’t want me to call your parents to come and pick you up?” the nurse asked with concern.

“No! I said I was fine.” Sarah said with an attitude. The nurse stepped back and let Sarah take a few steps.

“If you continue to feel this way just come and see me. We can call your parents if you are not doing better later.” The nurse walked back to her room.

“What happened?” Stacy asked.

“I don’t know. I really think I am just over tired and stressed. I should be going to bed earlier than I do.” Sarah used this as an excuse. Sarah brushed herself off and the girls continued to take pictures of students and the activities that were going on.

“The school nurse called today and said you fainted in the hall way.” Sarah’s mother said with concern.

“What the fuck, trying to make more bills for us. You don’t need to go to the doctor again. The last time your mother took you it cost us a fortune just for him to tell us you were to fat.” Sarah’s father said as he took a bite of his dinner.

“Earl, the doctor told us it was stress not because she was big.” Emily replied as she stood up for her daughter.

Infuriated, her father started to scream, “Bitch, you know that Sarah’s problem is from eating behind our backs. Look at her, Two Ton Tessie.” Sarah pushed her self away from the table and ran out of the kitchen to her room.

Everything was planned and ready to be put together. In four more days prom would take place and graduation in two weeks. Time was going fast. Sarah avoided her parents as much as possible. She would skip breakfast using the excuse of a diet. He father would still make cruel comments about her weight. After school Sarah and Stacy would work on the loose ends of the prom and graduation with the seniors. Everything seemed to be going good. Sarah did not see Scott at all. He was busy getting ready for the navy and graduation himself.

Finally, Prom Night was here. May 8, 1960. The banner over the gym doors read, ”Welcome to the Stars of Heaven.” The prom was for the seniors but the other students that helped put it together were invited too. Sarah’s father refused to let her go. The phone rang and Sarah answered. It was Stacy wanting to know if Sarah’s father had changed his mind. As far as her father was concerned, Sarah was his prisoner.

“Take lots of pictures.” Sarah told Stacy. “I want to feel like I was able to be there.”

Sarah hung up the phone and went back to her room. She turned on the radio and lay back on her bed. Her stomach kept rumbling but she knew she was not hungry. At dinner time she had a salad and soup. Sarah got up and took a shower and dressed for bed. Wondering how the prom was going, Sarah lay back down and drifted off to sleep.

The door bell rang and Sarah jumped up from her bed and pulled on her robe. She walked down the hallway wondering who could be at the door this time of the morning. She opened the door and there stood Stacy. She looked as though she had just come from the prom and had only taken the time to change her cloths. “What are you doing here at this time of the morning?” she asked as she rubbed the sleep from her eyes.

“I wanted to bring my camera over so you could see the pictures.” As she spoke she was pulling out her camera out of her tote bag.

Sarah had just fixed her computer so the two girls hooked up the camera and downloaded the pictures. The beautiful red and gold streamers hung from the ceiling. Gold table cloths were covering the long tables. Red candles were sat evenly apart on the tables that cast a glow around the room. Stacy had on a long strapless, red dress. The top part was covered in gold sequins. Sarah had never seen Stacy so beautiful. Her long red hair hung in curls all around her face and back. Other class mates were dress in different styles of dresses and suites. One of the pictures was of all the seniors standing in front of the red crystal ball that was used for decoration. There were pictures of couples dancing. Stacy had someone take a picture of her and Todd, her boyfriend. Sarah was looking at a picture of a girl who she helped put the decorations up. In the background of the picture Sarah saw Scott. He had on a dark blue suite. He looked so handsome. Sarah continued to stare at the picture and tears came to her eyes.

“What is wrong Sarah?” Stacy asked as she looked at the picture “Isn’t that the girl you helped decorated with?”

“Yes and she looks so beautiful in that dress.” Tears started to flow down Sarah’s cheeks as she spoke. “Look close at the picture, there in the background.” She pointed at the picture.

“Is that Scott?” asked Stacy.

“Yes and look closely. He is dancing with Clara, his ex-girlfriend. They are dancing so close that it looks like he is about to kiss her.” Sarah burst into tears.

Stacy clicked out of the pictures and took the disc out of the computer. “I think that is enough of looking at the pictures. David, Jessica’s boyfriend, was dancing a fast dance and fell on the table with the punch. Punch went everywhere even on Jessica’s white dress.” Stacy placed her arm around Sarah, “I am just trying to make you smile. I am sure there is nothing going on between Scott and Clara. She is his ex-girlfriend right?” Stacy could not think of anything else to say.

Sarah’s stomach was feeling strange. She knew it was because she was upset. “Yes she is his ex-girlfriend but you saw her. She is just like a Barbie Doll. She has the perfect body and long blond hair. He talks about her all the time. He mentions that she was over protective and had to know every thing he did and everywhere he was. That is the reason he dropped the relation ship. He believes that a relationship should be a two way street.” Sarah found a Kleenex and wiped her eyes and blew her nose.

“Well I had better be going. I told my mom I was not going to be gone long. I just wanted to bring the pictures over. I had not seen them yet either and thought it would be fun. I am sorry Sarah.” She said as she picked up her bag and put the DVD in it.

“It’s okay Stacy; he is leaving in a few weeks. I just hope he does love me and keeps his promise. I just want him to come home safe.” Sarah said.

Walking Stacy to the door she said her goodbyes and gave her a hug. Heading back to her room she ran into her father coming down the hall. “What the hell are you doing?

It’s bad enough to see you in your fat cloths let alone your robe. You probably don’t even have any night cloths on over that fucking fat.” He spoke as he pushed his way past Sarah.

She reached her bedroom door and went inside. She wanted to slam the door as hard as she could but she knew it would bring her father back and with more cruel words and even the punishment of being defiled again.

Scott was chosen to make a speech at graduation. Sarah was no allowed to attend this function either. Stacy’s father made a video of the ceremony since Stacy’s brother was graduating too. Sarah and Stacy watched the part in the video of Scott making his speech. It talked about the achievements made by students in the past year. He spoke about his future in the Navy and his plans for the future after he was done. None of which mentioned his future with Sarah. Sarah felt numb after watching the video and could not think of anything to say. The girls walked to the kitchen and grabbed a soda from the refrigerator and went outside to sit in the sun and listen to the radio.

The last day of school, all the seniors were already gone. They were let out two days before the other grades. Scott was leaving today. He had left a message on Sarah’s e-mail. The e-mail didn’t say much, “I will miss you. As soon as I get back we will be together. Hugs and Kisses to you.” Sarah continued to read the message over and over. She hoped that there would be more. But every time she read the message it was the same. She remembered Scott’s speech and how he never said anything about a future which would or could include her. Sarah took the rest of her things out of the locker and put them in her book bag. Walking down the hall, she found Stacy and they walked to the bus together.

The ride home seemed longer than usual. “What are you going to do this summer?” Sarah asked Stacy who was sitting next to her. Stacy was staring out the window and the look on her face was as though her thoughts were far away.

Stacy turned from the window and replied, “I have to go to my Aunts next week and will be gone for a month. My mom is working during the day and my dad will be driving on the road this summer. She does not want me to be home by myself. Aunt Becky owns a ranch and wants me to come and help her.” Her voice trailed off as she stared out the window again.

Sarah started art classes at the local YWCA. The classes were held every day from noon to three p.m. The first lesson was done in chalk. Sarah did a picture of a tree with a tire swing. The picture reminded her of the swing that Scott had made for her. They had put it in their secret hiding place. It was just down the path behind her house. The path lead in to a bunch of trees and there was a clearing about half a mile into the woods. Her father would never go down there because he was terrified of snakes and spiders.

All summer long, Sarah drew and made pictures of places she would like to be. She even drew an awesome picture of butterflies of every color that covered the entire canvas. Sarah’s art teacher asked her one day if she would mind having her picture displayed in an art gallery. Sarah agreed hoping that some day her drawings would be a career. She also started a journal. Each day she would write in her journal about how she missed Scott. She wrote things like short stories about fantasies and castles.

Sarah wrote in her journal that evening, she wrote about her picture that would be displayed in one of the most famous art galleries. The colors represented all the mixed feelings she had been having. The butterflies reminded her of how she always felt like she had butterflies in her stomach. The bright and beautiful colors were the feelings she wanted to have. She knew all those feelings came because of her father. If she could avoid her father it was a good day. If she ran into her father, there were always degrading words. She was always afraid if she saw him at anytime he would start in and abuse her more.

The fourth of July was awesome. Sarah’s parents let her go with Stacy to the fireworks display that was being held downtown. Stacy and her parents picked Sarah up in the early afternoon so she could have a cook out with them. Stacy came to the door and as Sarah was getting her things and walking out the door her father said, “Stacy thank you for feeding the fat cow. She has been eating us out of house and home.” He pushed the girls right out of the door and slammed it behind them.

Stacy’s father pulled the grill out of the shed and put charcoal in it. Her mother was in the house getting the steaks ready for the grill. The girls shot firecrackers off while they waited for lunch. “Sarah, I am so glad you were able to come. I was afraid you father would not let you.” Stacy said as she threw another firecracker.

“I was afraid he wasn’t going to let me come either. He makes me nervous. Every time I hear him in the house or walking by my bedroom door, I get nervous and butterflies in my stomach. There are times I just want to throw up.” She said as she made gagging sounds. Both girls started to laugh. Stacy’s mother brought out the steaks and her father put them on the grill. The sizzling sound they made was the beginning of a wonderful meal. After lunch, they continued to shoot off firecrackers and listen to music.. It started to get dark and the girls were anxious to go see the fire works at the fair grounds. On the ride, Stacy mentioned the fireworks that her father had bought for them to shot off after the main fireworks. He had bought roman candles, and other interesting things.

At the fair grounds, Sarah and Stacy ran into a couple of classmates. They sat together and watch as the firemen finished setting up the display. A loud bang and the firework display began. There were ones that went high in the air. The ground display was awesome. The blue and gold colors reminded Sarah of the pictures of the prom. Then she remembered the one with Scott and Clara. Her mind wandered and in the conclusion of her mind, she decided that she was not going to worry about Scott she was going to go on with her future too. The next thoughts in her mind were of how big she was. No one would want a so called ‘fat cow’. She was still losing weight but only about two pounds a month. She still weighed 183 pounds. She was short so that made her weight look bigger on her body. The sound of a loud firework brought Sarah back to the real world. The group of kids enjoyed the exhibition and was ready to shot off the ones they had bought.

Stacy started to fire off a roman candle when she heard a loud scream. She looked around and saw Sarah running toward a group of people. A little girl, about six years old, was lying on the ground. Her mother was yelling for help even though there were at least a dozen people already there. Stacy ran to where Sarah was and found her kneeling down next to the little girl. She was checking to see if the little girl was breathing. The next thing Stacy heard was Sarah hollered out for some one to call emergency dispatch.

Sarah could not feel any breath coming out of the little girl. She tapped the girl on the shoulders and said, “Can you hear me?” There was no response. Sarah tilted the girls head back and started CPR. She continued and as she was administering the CPR she thought about death. What would the girls mother do is she didn’t make it. How long could she keep this up? When will the ambulance get here? Where the hell are they? Were the mixed thoughts in Sarah’s mind. Sarah heard the sounds of the emergency vehicles but kept up the CPR. She checked for breathing again and with in a matter of seconds the little girl started coughing and crying.

She sat up and grabbed Sarah around the neck and cried, “I want my mommy.”

“Your mommy is right here.” Sarah said as the little girl’s mommy knelt down beside the both of them. All three were in a big bear hug. The paramedic checked out the girl and was getting ready to put her in the ambulance. “Is she going to be alright?” asked Sarah as the paramedic picked up the girl and placed her on the gurney.

“Yes, we are going to take her to the hospital just to make sure there is nothing we missed. You did a wonderful job. If it wasn’t for you this little girl would not be alive right now.” He said with a smile. The mother climbed into the ambulance behind her daughter and the ambulance drove away.

Sarah felt the butterflies again in her stomach, this time more than normal. ”I just saved a life, a life of a little girl.” She whispered to her self. Sarah walked over to the car and leaned up against it. Stacy came over and put her arms around Sarah.

“Are you okay? That was an awesome thing you just did.” She said with excitement.

“I did not even realize I had run over to her. I remember seeing her fall down and the next thing I realized, I was giving her CPR. A lady approached the can and held out her hand to shake Sarah’s.

“I am Lilly’s aunt. Thank you for what you did. I didn’t think anyone was going to do anything. They were just standing around. Then here you come running and save her life. I want to thank you again. I know her parents would love to thank you too. What is your name?”

“Sarah, Sarah Fisher.” Sarah said. Stacy’s dad came over and spoke with the aunt. They shook hands and she left.

“Come on girls, I think we have had enough celebration for one night.” Stacy’s father opened the car door for the girls to get in. He opened the front car door for his wife. The drive home was full of excitement of the night not just the fireworks but of the way Sarah saved the little girl.

Stacy’s dad walked Sarah to the door. When Sarah opened it her father was standing there. “Mr. Fisher, thank you for letting Sarah come with us this evening. If it wasn’t for her a little girl would have lost her life.” He said proudly.

“What did she do? Fall on the girl and about smother her? He asked chuckling.

Sarah walked through the door and ran to her room. Mr. Richmond said, “Good Night Mr. Fisher, and thank you again. You have a wonderful and beautiful daughter.” Stacy’s dad took the door handle and pulled the door shut. Walking back to his car he wondered what happened to make a man be so crewel.

Sarah woke up to loud sounds coming from the kitchen. He mother was banging around pans and plates. “Just look at this shit.” She could hear her father say. “This is going to make me the laughing stock of my job. This shows her fat ass sticking up in the air. She should have just let someone else save the little brat. Damn, what the hell am I going to do? This is a big disgrace. Sarah Leslie Fisher! Get your fat ass up and get in this kitchen right now!” his voice was loud enough the neighbors could have heard.

Sarah jumped up and dressed. She walked into the kitchen and stopped in the door way. She didn’t have to say anything. The look on her fathers face said it all.
“What in the hell were you thinking?” her father stated.

“I didn’t even know I was doing it till I had already started.” Sarah’s voice was apologetic as she stood there shaking in fear..

“You fucking never think. I think all that fat on you has run out of room and has now gone to your brain. Get the fuck out of my kitchen. From the looks in this picture it would not hurt for you to miss a few meals.” Her father turned the newspaper to another page and began reading the sports.

Sarah sat on the edge of her bed doubled over with stomach cramps. She wasn’t sure if it was getting close to that time of the month or if it was from being scared of what her father was going to do. Sarah was always irregular and would go months without one. She was hoping that she would not have one at least till school started again. She wanted to go swimming in Stacy’s pool at least once. It was only going to be Stacy and her. Stacy’s parents were going out to dinner and to a movie. This would be about the only time Sarah would not be embarrassed. The cramps became worse. Sarah did not know if she was going to make it to the bathroom in time. After sitting there for a while she started feeling better. She went back to her bedroom and called Stacy to see if the swimming was still on.

Sitting by the pool, Stacy and Sarah drank some lemonade. Their hair was wet from just getting out of the pool. “Sarah, what do you think I should do? Should I cut my hair short or should I just get it trimmed?” Stacy asked for advice.

“Just get it trimmed. Last year you cut it short and you were mad at yourself for months.” Both girls started laughing. “I can’t believe school is starting Monday. I don’t even have all my supplies. Mom was going to take me shopping for new cloths but I don’t think my dad will let her now.” Sarah sounded worried. “He is still infuriated about the pictures the news paper printed about me and the little girl.”

“I was afraid he would be. I was hoping they would not print anything.” Stacy said. “I don’t have all my things yet either. I do have a few new cloths already. My old outfits will do just fine for a few months still.” Stacy was trying to make Sarah feel better.

The girls heard the car pull in the driveway. “Well I guess I had better get my things gathered up and have your dad take me home. I sure don’t want to piss my father off anymore than he already is.” Sarah said. Sarah picked up the bag and went into the house to change.

Stacy’s father drove Sarah home. Thanking him for having her over, Sarah reached into her bag and pulled out the front door key. Walking up the front door and unlocking it, Sarah turned and waved to Mr.Richmond to let him know she was able to get in. The house was empty and Sarah was glad. She went to the kitchen and made herself a sandwich and took it to her room. She checked her e-mail and ate her sandwich. She had received an e-mail that welcomed her back to school and had her schedule for classes. Art was the first hour class. Sarah was happy because the teacher of the class was from a collage that she hoped someday to attend. Turning the computer off, Sarah picked up her dirty plate and took it into the kitchen. She rinsed off the plate and put it in the dishwasher. She heard her mom and father pull in. She rushed to get back to her room and climbed into bed. She pulled the covers up and pretended to be asleep. The last thing she wanted to do was have a run on with her father.

It was the first day of school and she had those butterflies in her stomach again. The halls were crowded with kids from last year and a lot of new students. Stacy and Sarah were sharing a locker this year because there were not enough to go around. They had almost every class together this year except different Science classes; the hours were the same but different teachers. School was in secession for only a couple of days and then a four day weekend. It was Labor Day weekend. Most people were going to the lake for the last time this year. Others were spending time with other family members. Sarah and her parents were doing absolutely nothing.

Sarah decided to get assignments on extra credit before the weekend so she would have an excuse not to be bothered. That was fine with her father; he didn’t want to see her anyway. One of the extra credits was writing a paper on what ever subject she wanted to. She pondered on what to write about and finally came up with a subject she knew a lot about from experience. The life of a fat child was the subject. Sarah looked up stories from other children who were overweight. She even read an article of how a mother coped with the death of her overweight daughter. It was sad to read the stories of how other people coped with being over weight.

Sarah was coming back from lunch and was going to her locker to get her books. She noticed something on the floor. She bent down to pick what ever it was up and everything went black. She felt a hot feeling go all through her body. She could hear Stacy asking if she was okay but she could not answer or see her. Then she could hear or see nothing.

Sarah woke up and looked all around. The surrounding was not familiar. She shook her head and tried to sit up. She felt a tug on her arm and looked over to see what was tugging on her. She then realized she was in the hospital. What had happened, she could not remember. “How are you feeling young lady?” a voice came from the far side of the room. It was a nurse carrying a trey with food on it. “I thought you might be hungry. The fluid in the IV’s just don’t hit the spot.” She said as she sat the trey down on the rolling table beside Sarah’s bed.

“What happened?” asked Sarah. “Why am I in here? I bet my father is furious.”

“Your parents were here a couple of hours ago. They left and said they would be back around six.” The nurse took the top off of the plate and the smell of the food made Sarah sick. “You eat what you can and I will be back after while and take the trey for you.” The nurse was raising the bed so Sarah could be comfortable while she ate. The nurse left the room and Sarah placed the top back on the plate and picked up the cup of juice. Drinking it slow, she began to remember coming back from the lunch room heading to her locker. She remembered seeing an object on the floor, bending over and that was all she remembered till she woke up here in the hospital.

“Well you have managed to get more attention only this time at my cost.” Her father said as him and her mother walked into the room. “What the hell do you think you are doing? Didn’t you get enough attention from your fat ass saving that little ungrateful brat?”

Sarah did not say a word. She didn’t even talk to her mother she just turned her head away from her parents. Sarah did notice her mother had a bruise on the side of her face. It wasn’t there last night when Sarah went to bed. Sarah’s fear of how it got there was a fear she would continue to have for a long time. She was sure her father had abused her mother again.

The Doctor came in a few minutes later and said, “Young lady, we are going to take the IV out and you can get dressed and let your parents take you home.” The doctor looked over at my mom and then my father. The look he gave my father was not kind. Sarah was sure her father threw a fit about her being in here and how they had no insurance. “You make sure you drink lots of liquids. You fainted because you were dehydrated.” The doctor handed some papers to my father and left the room.

“Well get you ass up and get dressed. I am missing the game on television. When we get home I want you to stay in your room. I don’t want to see your self centered fat ass.” Sarah’s father left the room with the bitter taste of the words left behind.

The car ride home was silent. Sarah was glad. She thought she was going to get chewed out again and lectured about the money she was costing her father. Back at home Sarah headed straight to her room. She was still tired and weak so she laid down on her bed and fell asleep again. The knock at her door woke her.

“Honey, may I come in? I have some dinner for you.” Her mother’s voice was coming from behind the door.

Sarah looked over at the clock and realized she had been asleep for over three hours. “Sure” Sarah said in a weak voice. He mother entered the room. She didn’t say another word and sat the food down on Sarah’s night stand.

It looked like she wanted to say something but she continued to look back toward the door as though saying, “I can’t talk because of your father.” Her mother kissed Sarah on the forehead; she turned and walked out the door closing it behind her.

Sarah was starved and ate the soup her mother made from scratch. The grilled cheese sandwich melted in her mouth. The cold milk topped off the dinner. Sarah was still worried about how much the hospital visit cost her father. She turned on her television and lay back down. Soon she was fast asleep.

Sarah woke with a jerk. Sweat was poring from her forehead. The bed was drenched from sweat. Sarah got up and changed her cloths. She went down the hall to the closet where her mother kept the clean linens. Pulling out another set of sheets, Sarah noticed something lying under that last set of sheets. She lifted up the sheets and stared at the object. A gun and bullets were laying there. Sarah did not know what to do. Her fear raced because she knew her father had a temper. Her first thoughts were to take and hide the gun. If she got caught her father may lose it and shoot her. Another terrible thought went threw her head, what if her father got mad enough to shoot her mother. Or worse yet, kill all of them. She had read a story about a man who killed his family and then turned the gun on himself. Sarah put the sheets back down over the gun and hurried to her room. After changing the sheets she laid in her bed afraid to go to sleep knowing what was in the closet.

When Sarah woke up again, her alarm clock read 1:30 a.m. Her stomach was cramping again. “Damn, it must be getting close to that time of the month again.” she whispered to herself. Grabbing a pillow, she rolled over on her side and wedged it under her stomach. Soon Sarah fell asleep again only to have terrifying dreams about the gun.

The clock said 10:30 a.m. Sarah had slept in for the first time in a long time. Her head was throbbing and her stomach was cramping. She felt like she had a knot in the middle of her stomach. She sat up on the side of the bed to see if it would help. She stood up and about fell because her balance was off. Making it down the hall to the bathroom she had to hold on to the wall. Hoping she would not run into either one of her parents.

The bathroom seemed cold as she brushed her hair and teeth. Feeling some what better, Sarah went back to her room and put on a pair of sweat pants and a t-shirt. Making her bed and picking up her dirty cloths, Sarah could not keep her thoughts from the findings of last night. Was it even real?

Taking the cloths to the laundry room she started feeling sick again and the cramps came back. She did not want to tell her parents because she was sure it was just one of those strange and painful periods getting ready to start. A friend of hers had this happen right before her period and they found out she had something that caused her to have surgery. Lord forbid if this was the case for Sarah. Sarah’s fears of her father getting mad and maybe not even letting her go to the doctors knocked the pain away. She started her laundry and headed for the kitchen for a bite to eat.

The dishes were done and the counters were cleaned off. On the refrigerator was a note from her mom:

Dear Sarah:

Your father and I have gone shopping. He needs a few things for a fishing trip the company is sponsoring. Please do not forget to do your laundry and go through your closet for the cloths you have out grown. I will be taking them down to the DAV in the morning and drop them off.

Love Mom

Sarah crumpled up the note and tossed it in the trash. She made some toast and drank a glass of milk. She sat down at the kitchen table and picked up the half read news paper. A sharp pain took over the cramping feeling and Sarah doubled over in the chair. She could hardly catch her breath the pain was so bad. Waiting a few minutes the pain eased and Sarah was able to sit up straight. She was starting to get really scared. She walked over to the phone can called Stacy.

“Stacy, Hi, What are you doing right now? She asked trying not to sound desperate.

“Nothing, was just trying to figure out what I was going to do today. What are you doing?

“I need you to come over and spend the day with me.” Her voice started to sound a little scared.

“That would be fun. We haven’t done that in a while. Is your dad home? she asked with hesitation.

“No, I am alone for now. He is getting ready to go on a fishing trip. Can you believe that, my father on a fishing trip?” she tried to laugh but couldn’t because her stomach started to hurt again.

“Let me get dressed and I will have my mom drive me over. See you soon.” The words faded as Stacy hung up the phone.

Sarah continued to hold the phone to her ear as though she was not finished with her conversation. As soon as the pain eased of, Sarah hung up the phone and washed out her glass. Putting the glass away and wiping off the counter Sarah’s thought went back to the gun in the linen closet.

The door bell rang and Sarah rushed to the door. Stacy was there with music cd’s in her hand ready to listen to music. Stacy waved good bye to her mother and shut the door behind her. The girls walked into the living room where Sarah picked up a couple of her magazines and then both girls went down the hall to Sarah’s bedroom.

“You look terrible.” stated Stacy. “Are you feeling alright?” there was concern in her voice.

“I don’t know.” Sarah said as she started to cry.

Stacy became really scared and demanded to know what was wrong. Sarah wiped her tears and started to tell Stacy about last night and finding the gun. Stacy was in shock. She knew how mean Sarah’s father could be and knew that he has been abusive.

“What are you going to do?” asked Stacy. “Are you going to tell your mother? She has a right to know. Or does she already know?” her words started to run together.

“I don’t know. Every time I think about the gun or about my father, my stomach starts hurting.” Sarah grabbed her stomach again as the pain was sharp and took away her breath.

“Sarah! What is wrong?” Stacy yelled in panic.

“My stomach, it hurts so bad I can hardly breathe.” As the words flowed out of Sarah’s mouth she fell to the floor doubled up.

Stacy bent down beside her and tried to comfort her. “What do you want me to do? It will be alright. Is there a number I can call your mom?” she said as she looked around the room not knowing what she was looking for.

“I will be fine.” Sarah said as the pain started to ease. “See every time I think…” her voice trailed off afraid to say or think about it because she did not want her stomach to hurt anymore.

The girls sat on the bed and listened to music. It seemed like the pain Sarah had been having had stopped. Of course neither one of them talked nor tried not to think about what was in the house. They heard the front door open and the sound of sacks rattling.

“Damn, I should get a raise since this was a mandatory thing. I have never heard of a mandatory fishing trip. What the fuck do these guys think?” The girls heard Sarah’s father complaining.

“Sarah, are you home?” her mother hollered down the hall way.

“Yes, and Stacy came over so we could listen to music and work on our papers for school.” she said so her father would think that she was doing something productive and not just playing around. The sound of the sacks continued but faded away as her parents carried them into the kitchen.

“When does your dad leave for this stupid trip?” asked Stacy.

“Soon I hope.” Sarah responded.

“Are you going to say something to your mom after he leaves?” Stacy’s words sounded as though she herself was becoming scared of what could happen. “Are you sure you were not dreaming? You said you had bad dreams all night.” she reminded Sarah.

“I really don’t know. Maybe we should go check the closet and make sure. I could have sworn there was a gun in the clo……” Sarah’s words stopped as they turned into screams of pain.

Her mother came running down the hall and threw open the door to find Sarah in a curled up ball on the floor and Stacy standing above her with a terrified look on her face.

“What the hell happened?” her mother said as she knelt down beside Sarah.

“She has been having stomach pains off and on ever since I arrived.” Stacy was afraid to say too much because she did not know what Sarah wanted her parents to know.

“Earl, come quick!” screamed her mom. “There is something wrong with Sarah.”

As Sarah’s father came into the room his eye grew wide in fright then they turned to a taunting look. “What the fuck is wrong now?” he snarled.

“We need to get her to the hospital now!” her mom cried in hysterics.

“What the fuck ever. Won’t you ever learn bitch that she is just pulling your let. Good acting Sarah.” He said as he walked out of the room to get the car.

Sarah’s mom and Stacy helped Sarah up and to the edge of the bed. Stacy grabbed her things and pulled out her cell phone to call her mom. She told her what was going on and her mother said she would be right there to pick her up. Hanging up, Stacy sat down on the edge of the bed and asked Sarah, “Are you going to tell your mom about what you think is in the closet?”

Sarah looked up at her mother with tears in her eyes and told her mom about the gun. Emily left the room and the girls could hear the linen closet door open. The next thing they heard was, “Oh my God.” The closet door slammed and Sarah’s mom walked quickly past the room and hesitated just long enough to say, “I will be right back.” And down the hall she stomped. Both girls looked at each other and knew that what Sarah thought she saw was real. The back screen door slammed and her mother came back into her room. “I will deal with that issue later. We need to get you to the hospital now.” The words were gasps from her mother being out of breath.

Stacy hugged Sarah and told her it would be aright. She got into the car and her mother drove away. Sitting in the back seat of the car Sarah could feel the tension of her father being mad because of the money he would have to spend on this trip to the hospital. Her mother fuming about what Sarah had found.

Sarah had a couple of more episodes, of sharp pain, on the way to the hospital. When they arrived, Sarah and her mother walked in and up to the reception desk. Sarah’s father was parking the car. “How can I help you?” a young lady dressed in blue scrubs asked Sarah’s mother.

“My daughter is having bad pains in her stomach. They are bad enough that she doubles up and falls to the floor.”

“Is she running a fever?” another question asked by the nurse.

“I don’t think so.” Sarah’s mother said looking at Sarah for some answers.

Sarah leaned over and held herself up by the counter. “I…don’t think…I have been running….a fever.” she said between breaths. Sarah felt sick and a man walked up behind her with a wheel chair and helped guided her to sit down.

The room they put Sarah in was cold. A nurse brought in a blanket to keep her warm.

“I wonder how much this is going to cost us. Not only that I need to be leaving in an hour for the fishing trip. I guess I could use this as an excuse not to go. But I am not like you Sarah. You are fat and fucking lazy. You would do anything just to get out of work.” Her father’s words were cold and unfair.

“Earl, you need to be a little nicer. This is not Sarah’s fault she is sick.” Sarah’s mom said standing up for her daughter.

“Fuck you and her, the little bitch. I have something to make her better when I get home.” his face was red and his eyes had an evil look in them. Sarah’s father turned to walk out the door and there stood the doctor. The furious look stood out on his face. He had heard most of the conversation.

“Mr. and Mrs. Fisher?” the doctor questioned.

“Yes, we are Sarah’s parents.” her mother confirmed.

The Doctor walked over to the bed where Sarah laid huddled up in a ball because her stomach was hurting again, the doctor touched her shoulder making Sarah feel a little safer. When Sarah turned over to face the doctor, he could see the pain and fear in her eyes. “I am Doctor Phillips. I am the doctor on call today. What seems to be the problem?” he asked Sarah.

Sarah’s father piped in again getting his spineless courage back. “I am her father and she has a tendency to act like she is sick when she is not. I can guarantee you she is just faking.”

The doctor turned around and glared at her father then turned back around toward Sarah. “I am going to examine you and take some tests. I am sure it is nothing and we will get you home soon.” With a wink he said sarcastically, “Even in time for your father to go on his fishing trip. Sarah grinned knowing her father could not see her face because the doctor was blocking it.

The doctor asked both of her parents to leave the room while he examined Sarah. The nurse came in and helped Sarah slip off her cloths and into a hospital gown. All Sarah could think about was how mad her father was and the gun that she had told her mom about. She was wondering what mom had done with the gun? Did her mom hide the gun so she herself could use it on her father? It would serve him right. But then her mother would go to jail and there would be no one there for her.

The doctor asked Sarah to lie down and place her feet in the stirrups. As he started to examine her he stopped suddenly. He looked at the nurse and smiled. “Sarah, have you been sexually active?” the question startled Sarah.

“A long time ago, my boyfriend, I mean ex-boyfriend, left to go into the navy and has gone out to sea. Why do I have a STD?” she said with fright.

“No, how old are you Sarah?” the doctor asked.

“I will be 16 in two months. Why?” Sarah wanted to know what was wrong.

“I think your parents should be in here or at least your mom. Would that be okay?” asked the doctor as he looked at the nurse.

“No not until I know what is wrong. I don’t want my mother to know about me having sex with Scott. And if my father found out he just might use the gu……” Sarah stopped again in mid sentence. She had almost given away the secret about the gun. “Just tell me what is wrong!” demanded Sarah. Sarah’s pains were getting worse and she doubled up again as the nurse left the room. “Sh



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