Ugly by Margaret McHeyzer
Release Date: October 2015
If I were dead, I wouldn’t be able to see.
If I were dead, I wouldn’t be able to feel.
If I were dead, he’d never raise his hand to me again.
If I were dead, his words wouldn’t cut as deep as they do.
If I were dead, I’d be beautiful and I wouldn’t be so…ugly.
I’m not dead…but I wish I was.
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I feel him walking around the house. The floorboards creak, moving with his footsteps. Vibrations are traveling through the floor to where I’m sitting. I close my eyes tighter, and try and hum as quietly as I can.
Please go away, Daddy. Please go away.
My heart is beating fast, and my hands are shaking. I’m trying really hard not to think about what’s going to happen the minute he opens the door.
It’s so quiet now. The only sound is my heart thrumming in my ears. Nothing else. Not a whisper, not a rattle…nothing.
Maybe Daddy’s left, maybe he’s gone to the pub to have a few drinks. Maybe, just maybe, he’s left…forever.
I take a deep breath and just relax for a moment. My shoulders drop and I finally stop rocking. Slowly, I take my hands down from my ears, and I’m so happy because I can’t hear him yelling at me. I can’t hear him at all.
Gradually I begin to unscrunch my eyes from the way I’ve tightly closed them. But something’s not right. There’s light coming into the cupboard.
I don’t even get a chance to open my eyes fully when a rough hand reaches in, latches onto my ponytail and rips me out of the cupboard.
“I told you it’d be worse for you if I had to find you,” Dad says as he drags me by my hair. I’m desperately trying to hold onto my head so he doesn’t rip my hair out, while my feet try to find traction on the dirty floorboards.
“Please, Daddy. Please. You’re hurting me,” I begin sobbing, pleading with him to stop.
“Then your ugly ass should’ve come when I called you. You stupid bitch, you’re a fucking worthless, ugly idiot,” he says. But now his voice is calm as he continues to drag me toward the family room.
That’s when he’s most scary. When his voice is low and his eyes are filled with hate. He throws me against the side of the sofa and takes a step back to look at me.
I look up and can see he’s angrier than I’ve ever seen him. “You dumb, ugly piece of shit,” he says as he paces back and forth in front of me.
“Sorry, Daddy. Whatever I did, I’m so sorry.” I curl into myself, defensively trying to make myself as small as possible.
“You’re just fucking stupid, aren’t you?” he spits toward me, as he brings his hand up to scratch at his chin.
“I’m sorry,” I say again, tears falling hot and fast down my cheeks. My head hurts from where he pulled my hair but I don’t dare try and rub the spot.
“You ugly fuck.” He aims a boot at my leg. The pain is instant and my leg feels like it’s shattered.
“Please, Daddy,” I beg again as I bury my face into my hands. But ‘please’ never seems to work.
I’ve just got to take the beatings, because that’s what stupid, ugly twelve-year old girls do.