Grandpa has two big barns behind his house. In one I am not allowed and in the other are the animals. They are barn animals. They are in cages and once I was allowed to feed them but it didn't go well. I dropped the bowl with the food and then I fled into the house. I climbed up all the stairs so I could hide in the attic. There I was hiding in a dark corner. Only my heart could be heard pounding.
My friend Carolien's grandfather also has a barn with animals. Those animals are rabbits and, like my grandfather, he has lots of them. Caroline and I always get to help him and also look at the baby bunnies. I like it there. Animals are fun and even though Caroline's grandfather doesn't say much he is nice. I think he's older than my grandpa or maybe he's sick? There is no grandmother.
My grandpa is dead now and dad is gone. There is now no one to tell my mother to act normal. Daddy said he will come back to get me when I grow up but when will I grow up? Growing up takes a long time and I don't think I will ever grow up because my mother says she would like me to be dead. I am scared. Afraid of my mother, afraid that I will never die, afraid that I will always be beaten and kicked by her. Auntie doesn't come anymore and my mother fights with everyone. I hear her screaming at the housekeeper and shouting through the phone at grandmother.
Grandmother now lives alone in the big house. I think she is happy to be alone. She only has phone in grandpa's office. She does not have to talk to anyone and when my mother calls her, she can just pretend she is not at home.
My mother rants and raves and tells me to pack my things.
I'll put you on the train to your father, she roars. I don't care because I don't want to be with her anyway. I think of the animals in grandpa's barn. Suddenly they were gone and no one asked where they went.
If I'm gone then I'm so forgotten too.
Fine, I say, and want to walk down the stairs. My mother grabs me by my shoulder and shouts: I will never forgive you for this. I feel her splatter spit in my face as she shouts those words. I don't care I don't want to be with her, much less take care of her.
Take care of your mother, was the last thing dad said to me before he walked down the stairs and out the front door to drive away in grandpa's Mercedes.
I don't have to take good care of her I am a child. I'm not married to her either that's him. I am not going to cry because I can't. There's no way out. She yells at me as she pushed me off the stairs. It's fine if I'm dead since she will never put me on a train. She loves beating me up.
November 11, 2022
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