As promised, here is the first of our three middle school winners in our first annual Tracy Hurley Memorial Writing Contest.
Our third-place winner is Abigail Wyrosdic, 12, from Causey Middle School.
By Abigail Wyrosdic
My name is Sara. My mom died in a car accident when I was five years old. A car pulled out in front of her and hit the front of her car, and it made the car behind her crash into her too.
My dad was very upset after my mom died. I guess that’s why he started beating on me. Whenever I felt sad, I tried to remember when my mom was still here and we would have good times together with my dad.
When I was eight, my dad married a beautiful woman named Karen. She had long, curly brown hair. I thought it was so much prettier than my straight blonde hair. At first, my dad was very happy with Karen, and he stopped abusing me. I even started to paint again like I used to do with my mom when she was alive and we used to paint and do crafts together. Then my dad and Karen had a baby, and things changed.
The baby was a boy named Kyle. I loved my little brother and felt responsible for him from the start, but I didn’t know why. Ever since he was born, I didn’t have much time to paint anymore because I had to help take care of him.
We didn’t have very much money, so I guess that’s why my dad decided to rob a bank. He didn’t get caught, but Karen knew he did it and got really mad.
“I did it because we needed the money,” Dad said.
“I don’t care if we only have a dollar!” Karen said. “There is no reason why you should rob a bank! I’m not staying with a man who would do something like that.”
Karen filed for divorce after that. She took Kyle with her when she left, but I had to stay with my dad. He started beating on me again after that, and when Kyle came over to stay with us on the weekends, my dad would beat on him too. I hated to think that my little brother had to feel the same way I did when I was growing up. Sometimes I would stay awake all night trying to think of ways to get my dad to stop beating us.
When school started, I had to wear long-sleeved shirts and pants so nobody would see the bruises on me, and sometimes I could hardly sit down. Sometimes I would cry because it hurt so bad, and my friends would ask me what was wrong. I wanted to tell them or my teachers, but my dad told me that if I ever told anybody what he did, he would beat me with a bat until I bled to death.
And we still didn’t have any money, so sometimes my dad wouldn’t feed us when Kyle was there. Sometimes we went days without food. If we got some, I tried to save it for Kyle.
I started to feel very depressed about everything. I wanted my mom back, but I knew I would never see her again, and I was afraid that my dad was going to kill me or my brother. People started to ask me about the scars on my arms and legs, but I was too afraid to tell them the truth. I couldn’t sleep at night, and I started to get sick.
One day I decided to paint a picture to see if it would make me feel better, and it did. I felt relaxed while I was painting, and everything didn’t seem so bad. I was able to think positive thoughts while I was painting.
When Kyle turned nine, he started asking why our dad hated us. I decided that he was old enough to know the truth.
“Daddy is like that because my momma died when I was little, and it made him sad and depressed. He was happy for a little while after he married your mom, but she left him too. He misses both of them, so he takes it out on us. And when he drinks, it’s even worse.”
I know my dad thinks he can forget about my mom and Karen when he drinks, but it doesn’t work. He just gets even more mad. One time after he had been drinking all day, he came home when I was painting. He cut up all my paintings, then he put them in the trash and burned them. I ran to try to stop him, but he hit me in the mouth. It made such a loud noise that Kyle heard it and came running.
“How could you hit her? She is your daughter!”
When Kyle said that, my dad fell to the ground and started crying. “Why me, Lord? What did I do to make everyone hate me? Why did my wife have to die?”
The next day, I painted another picture. It was of my dad and my mom holding me when I was a baby. My dad had been sleeping since the night before, so I knew he wasn’t drunk anymore. I took the picture to his room and showed it to him.
He said he remembered when my mom used to paint with me, and he even smiled. He told me how pretty the picture was and how much I reminded him of my mom.
Everything still isn’t perfect in my life, but my dad told me he loved my painting. He still hits me sometimes, but when he does, I just remember what he said about my painting, and I know it really means he loves me too.