by CHRISTOPHER A. MALONE
Kimberly Green sat against the headboard of her queen-sized, canopy bed. The moon’s ray shone through her window across her darkened bedroom, giving her the light she needed as she wrote in her diary. She held it up in the moon’s light. “You never repeated anything, but, always listened. Just like mom used to,” she sighed. She placed her memoir beneath her pillow. “I hope you will forgive me for what I’m about to do… I won’t be around to write inside you anymore,” Kimberly whispered. Gathering her strength, she scooted to the edge of her bed and looked around the room at all her awards and trophies.
The wind howled as a cold breeze snuck in through the cracks of her window and disturbed the warmth of her room. She hated the cold; it always reminded her of death. It was a cold and rainy day, the day her mother died; a drunken driver ran a red light. “Oh mom…” she said as her heart sunk again. She pulled her pink and green satin sheets up around her as she sat there. Her mind, again, went back to the last day of fun she had with her mother. It was a hot, sunny day in June. It was mother and daughter’s day out. She remembered because this was the same day she got Tigger, her pot-belly pig. A smile crept across her face. “I miss you, mom,” she cried, “I miss you.”
Kimberly looked around her room. Her eyes stopped at each trophy she had ever won, cheerleading, beauty pageants, dance, and track. Kimberly was quite the athlete and had everything a fifteen-year-old girl could ever want. “So many trophies. I never realized I had so many. Well, I hope I at least I made dad proud of me, during those times,” she murmured as she wiped her tears away. “Since I haven’t been able to lately.”
She slipped her feet into a pair of green, satin house shoes. They matched the green satin gown she wore – her favorite. She placed her hand on her chest; she felt a draft. Kimberly stood. She kept a hand on the edge of her bed to steady herself as she walked to the window.
The snow seemed to glow as it floated down from heaven against its black, silky background. How ironic it is that she hated the cold, yet, snow was always her most favorite thing in the world. Her mother had always said that she was as special and as different as a snowflake. She smiled at the thought and was happy to see that one little snowflake had, somehow, found its way to her bedroom window pane, as if to say hello to only her. But was she? Was she as special as that snowflake? She placed a fingertip against the glass, at the spot of the snowflake, and watched as it melted away from the warmth of her finger and fell as a teardrop.
Kimberly turned from the window and found herself staring into her mirror. The moon’s ray gave her plenty of light. She stared, momentarily, in the silence of her own company. She had always avoided looking into her mirror, since the incident. But, this time – this time Kimberly bravely walked to her mirror and defiantly stared into it. After a moment she wept. “No. That’s not me.” Her lips could barely sound out her words.
Suddenly, she placed her hand on the front of her hairline and pulled a beautiful long wig from her head, revealing massive hair loss. “No!” She screamed. She snatched a small trophy from her dresser. Kimberly drew the trophy back to smash the looking glass. She stopped. “Why me? I’m only fifteenyears-old. I tried to fight him off. I tried to,” she cried.
She dropped to her knees, crying even more as she crawled back to her bed. She pulled herself upon it. “I want to live. I want to live!” Her heart poured out as she pled. Kimberly looked up at her ceiling and dried her tears with her sheets. For a moment, Kimberly began to doubt if God would help her.
From her dresser, a bottle of pain pills caught her eyes. She stood. “If you won’t help me,” she said. “Then I’ll help myself!” Kimberly stormed to her dresser, grabbed the pill bottle and opened it. As she backed away from her dresser, she emptied the bottle into her hand. “No more stomachaches. No more headaches. No more vomiting,” she sobbed and slid down against her bed. She could end it all right now, she thought. She didn’t deserve this. She’s a good girl. She gets good grades. She obeyed her parents – so why? Why were bad things happening to her?
As tears streamed down her face, she dropped the empty bottle. She tilted her head backward and brought a fistful of pills to her mouth. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw that the moon’s ray had lit a path to the top of her dresser, where her Bible lay. Had it been there all along? Why hadn’t she noticed it before?
Her mother had given her that Bible the day she got baptized. She closed her eyes. Was she doing the right thing? Her mother had always told her that if she prayed and believed – believed in her heart; then God would hear her. He would answer her. After a minute, she opened her eyes and looked at her Bible. Could it be true, what her mother had told her?
Tears poured as she filled her mouth with the pills and lowered her head. “I prayed that my mom wouldn’t die. You didn’t save her,” Kimberly said. She pulled her knees in toward her chest, wrapped her arms around her legs and rested her forehead against her knees. Slowly, her eyes closed.
Her phone rang. Three times the phone rang.
Startled by the sound, Kimberly jumped, and her head struck the footboard behind her. “Wait a minute. Have I been here all night?” she thought.
Again, her phone rang.
“The phone,” Kimberly whispered. There’s a dryness in her mouth. She spits, and the pills fell to the floor, all thirty pills in the form of a tight white ball. “How is that possible?” She wondered. “The pills didn’t dissolve. Maybe mom was right. Maybe God did hear me.”
The phone. She was tired of hearing the phone. Everyone called to see how she was. If she needed anything? The ringing of the phone only served to drag her back into her deep despair, reminding her of how dark and hopeless things are for her.
“Just leave me alone,” she said in a small voice, “I’m dying… I’m dying of AIDS.” Kimberly covered her face with her hands as tears poured from her eyes. “He raped me…Zack raped me.” Something told her not to let him in that day; the way he was acting. But, he’s her god-brother. She went against her intuition; allowing him in. When he realized that she was alone, he knocked her down and raped her. She went over that day again and again in her head. “Why did I let him in?” she exhaled.
A knock at her door interrupted her thoughts.
“Kimberly, it’s dad. Can I come in?”
Kimberly pulled herself up onto her bed and got under her covers. “Come in.” She said.
Nathan, her father, entered and sat next to her on the bed. She laid with her back to him. He sat there quietly, as he looked around. His eyes rested on the emptied bottle on the floor next to his left foot. Then he saw the medication. “Oh Kimi, what have you done?” He said as he pulled his daughter close to him. “Please, Kimi, please talk to me. Don’t do this. I can’t lose you and your mother, honey.” He held her and wept uncontrollably.
“Dad,” she said, “don’t cry. I love you.” She hugged him.
“Thank you, baby! Thank you.” He held her tightly and rocked back and forth with her in his arms. “I will always be here for you, Kimi. We will go through this together. I promise you.”
Kimberly, knowing that she was loved and cared for, smiled, closed her eyes and went to sleep.
Nathan held his daughter close. He knew that the scars, forced upon her would be in their lives forever, that she would always need him and, in his heart, he knew that he would always need her. “I will find you the best doctors out there, honey. I will. And, I will take care of you with all that I am,” Nathan promised in a faint whisper. He kissed her forehead, sighed, and watched over her as she slept.