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Innocence Lost

Nick stomped across the floor upstairs.
“Where is that little nigga?” Nick shouted.
Thunderous footsteps stomped down the stairs to the living room. The crack of the belt sent shivers of icy fear through my small frame.
“Please God, protect me,” I prayed as I folded my small hands together. As long as I could remember this had been my life. A life of fear at eight years old it seemed like this was normal.
A tall, large, dark figure swung open the door. Light poured into the closet. He yanked me from hiding spot. Hot tears poured from my eyes.
“Mommy-mommy,” I cried.
He struck me across my back with the leather belt. Mama picked up the can of half eaten sausages and began to eat them, ignoring my cries for help. Each blow sent shivers of pain through my body. He continued to beat me mercilessly around the living room and into the kitchen. The sting of the belt drew deep red welts upon my legs, back and arms. Each day I endured a pain no child should have to go through. I was beaten severely by mother’s crack addicted boyfriend, Nick. My ebony skin split, cracked and bled from the whippings. Nick tossed me on the floor of the kitchen like an old bag of garbage. I smashed into the kitchen table and folding chairs forcing them out from underneath the table. I swallowed hard, smothering my tears.
“Ahhh,” I cried in pain.
“Take your ass to bed,” Nick shouted. He was unmoved by my tears or my pain.
Tears blinded my eyes. I gazed around the room disoriented. Mama grabbed a forty ounce from the refrigerator. She guzzled it straight down while she left the crack pipe laying on top of the stove. The crack of the belt shocked me back to reality.
“Didn’t I tell you to move,” Nick shouted. “Thieving motherfucker.”
I pushed myself to stand up, hobbling towards the stairs with my head bowed.
“Hurry up—I said,” Nick said. “Get your ass to bed before I give you something to cry about for real.”


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