Laura lay quietly; she could hear movement downstairs and didn’t want to attract attention to herself. She started to shake, not from cold but fear; she kept playing over and over in her head what had happened with her dad. He had been getting more and more unreasonable, since he had beaten her mother, she had been terrified of what he had done to her mother, and he had been out of control. The more she had thought of it the angrier it had made her, she was sick of hearing how it was all her mother’s fault and how things would have to change. The weeks whilst her mother had been in hospital had been hard for her, she had become the replacement to her mother, a skivvy, he always wanted something, a drink, a biscuit, his suit dry-cleaned, or a letter or package posted. She didn’t know how her mother had coped over the years and on reflection Wayne and she hadn’t been any better. The first day after she had taken her mother to the hospital had been a nightmare, she had to deal with the doctors, the police and Wayne wouldn’t answer his phone. Their dad had disappeared until that first evening when he had crawled back home. He had walked through the door as if nothing had happened, he had shouted for her mum, she could still hear him now, and the shouting had got louder and angrier, until she had come out of the bathroom, where she had just come out of a shower to get most of the blood off of her. He had almost pounced on her as she had opened the door, ‘where’s your mother?’ she had jumped with the shock and had angrily shouted back ‘in hospital you bastard, you nearly killed her!’ he had stepped back briefly with surprise at her response, enough for her to get past him; he had then turned and followed ‘what for?’ he spat as he grabbed out for her arm ‘What the fuck is she doing at the hospital?’ Laura had stopped not quite believing what he had dared to say, then spun round on him in fury shaking of his hand in the process ‘because you had left her unconscious and bleeding, she’s now in a coma’ and as he started turning red and heading towards her she looked him straight in the eye and said thinly whilst pointing at him ‘and the police want to talk to you’ his eyes had narrowed and his fist clenched as he stopped just in front of her, his face practically touching hers as he coldly spat ‘and I guess that’s your doing is it missy’ the anger rising more and more in her she stood slightly up on her toes and spat back ‘if I hadn’t, she would have been dead, You would have been a murderer’ as if slapped in the face he had backed off and slunk of down the stairs, shaking Laura had rushed to her bedroom, she felt sick and laid down on her bed and cried until she could cry no more.
That had been the start of her dads unreasonable behaviour, the interview with the police hadn’t gone well, though she had lied and said her mother had fallen they hadn’t really believed the story. Her dad had come home furious and had shouted at her constantly from then on after. He hadn’t let her clean the house, always shouting at her to leave it; he was obsessed with her mother returning home. Wayne had moved out, and she had thought about doing the same, the only thing stopping her had been the thought of leaving her mother to cope with his unreasonable behaviour. Each time they had visited the hospital, he had become more enraged, and when the police officer had told him he would be keeping an eye on him, he had agreed under pressure to let Annie recuperate by the sea. Her life had become very difficult, he wanted to know where she was, who she was with, and his demands were constant. It had made her worry about her mother coming back home, it frightened her, she no longer knew what he was capable of, he had turned from a miserable strict, father to an angry control freak. She had wanted to go and see her mother, but he had gone into such a rage when she had suggested it. The days turned into weeks and his temper got worse. She had spent a night out with her best friend Katie, it had been a relief to be away from the house and the only reason she had been able to meet Katie was because he had been late home, she had decided to take his anger when she got home, it was worth it just to get away for a couple of hours. Katie had been brilliant, listening to her it had made her feel calmer and on her way home she had decided to go and see her mother and persuade her not to come home for her own safety.
She had driven up the drive and before she had turned the engine of the front door had opened, her father stood his face red with fury, sighing she had got out of the car ready to face what was to come. Once she had got in the house he had locked the front door behind them, he immediately had started shouting ‘where the fuck have you been, I expect you here when I get back’ ignoring him she had walked into the kitchen put the kettle on. ‘I’m talking to you missy’ walking upstairs she dropped her handbag on the floor, and sat down on the bed, she ran her hands through her hair and felt suddenly weary of the shouting, she could hear him coming up the stairs. She wasn’t prepared for what happened after that. He had stormed into her bedroom with no consideration of her privacy, she could feel the anger rising in her as he shouted, paced and ranted at her. His words didn’t register all she could feel was the anger rising until in the end she had had enough and turned on him ‘shut the fuck up! Who do you think you are shouting at me all the time?’ he had stopped shouting and was staring at her in disbelief, then before she could react he had come towards her with his fist clenched and had hit her hard on her cheek, she had reeled back onto the bed, the pain making her eyes blur, putting a hand tentatively to her cheek she winced at the pain, she then felt him grab a handful of hair and dragging her up off the bed, trying to stand on tiptoes to avoid any more pain, screaming at him to stop. The tears fell hot down her cheek, all she could feel was pain as he hit out at her, she fell and felt her hair ripping out of her head, the pain of it unbelievable, curling into a ball was instinctive, she could hear his heavy breathing, and she laid as still as she could. Eventually he had walked away and she heard him clomping down the stairs, tentatively she had moved and tried to get up. Pain coursed through her, getting herself onto the bed, she pulled the duvet around her and laid crying, pain going through her in waves. Every time she heard a noise she flinched. She had fallen into an uneasy sleep and it was in the early hours of the morning she had finally got up and headed to the bathroom, looking at herself in the mirror she had recoiled in horror, her eye was so swollen and the bruising black, her cheek was bright red and very tender to touch. Running her hand through her hair was painful from the bruising on her scalp, and she cried as clumps of hair came away with her hand. Tiptoeing back into her bedroom she curled back under the quilt and cried herself to sleep. Then next day she had been woken by her father, he had walked into her room and stood over her. When he had seen the state she was in he had narrowed his eyes at her ‘see what you made me do, just like your mother’ she had been too frightened to say anything, she could feel herself shaking and getting clammy. He had left with strict instructions that she wasn’t to leave the house, she was in so much pain she just wanted to curl up and stay in bed, but most of all she wanted him to leave her alone. Once he had left the house, she had laid for a few hours terrified that he would come home and find her out of her bedroom. Eventually she headed to the bathroom, grabbing some pain killers and gently washing her face wincing as she massaged the water round her face. Nervously she had gone down to the kitchen and grabbed a cup of tea, she couldn’t face any food, taking her tea upstairs she sat on her bed, numb with shock and fear. She had laid back down on the bed, her mind was muzzy, thinking back on it she should have got out, called the police, called Katie, at the time though she had laid on the bed, scared and lonely in her pain. It hadn’t taken her father long to return, as the front door had opened the immense fear that had invaded her had left her breathless, her heart raced so fast it pulsated in her ears, she felt like she couldn’t breathe. Curling into a tight ball she hid herself under the duvet, she could hear him moving around downstairs, then he started to come upstairs, her whole body started to shake, her teeth chattered uncontrollably. Tensing as he came closer and closer to her bedroom, she closed her eyes tightly, the door flew open she jumped and curled tighter, he grabbed the duvet off of her, crying out ‘no’ in fear ‘get up and get dressed’ he growled at her, she lay there unable to move she felt paralysed in her fear.