To Love A Monster

6 Apr

By Lanessa Ramirez
Denver Online High School

It seemed as if in a blink of an eye life became so much harder and more complicated. Ultimately it became a living hell, like trying to swim in a pool full of ice. Soon life became cold for me, cold like ice.

You know my story don’t you? Everyone knows my story. All about my horrible amazing love for the monsters. Everyday was suddenly another word for making love with the monster.

I was lying down on my queen-size bed, under two blankets. It was one of those cold winter nights, cold with ice on the ground that will complicate your life early the next morning when you’re running late for work. I closed my eyes and lay on my side, my favorite sleeping position. Soon I was in a deep sleep. Everything turned black and my left leg twitched. I was awakened in a store. No one was in sight. I didn’t hear any sound. It was as if lighting struck me with confusion. What was I doing there? Why was I there? When did I get there? How?

I just continued to walk down the same aisle: Breakfast and Cereal Aisle #5 it said at the top. It appeared as if a tornado had taken place. The cereal was opened, frosted flakes covered the whole floor as if someone had dumped a whole bag. I kept walking because curiosity set in. I saw blood on the floor, on the frosted flakes, and all over the cereal boxes at the end of the aisle. How did the blood get there? My heart began to pound rapidly. I could hear it in my ears. Soon even my ears began to thump. My head started pounding too.

I heard a voice, but it was too far. I couldn’t understand what it was saying. Then I heard a scream. It got louder and louder. I saw a familiar face: it was my baby brother running towards me screaming, his face covered in horror like a little kid watching a scary movie for the first time. “RUN! GO! GO!” he screamed.

I stared with a blank look on my face. What was going on? What was I running from?

From the corner of my eye, I got a glimpse of a tall African-American guy running after him. I got a clear view of his jaw and saw that the left side was gone. How was he even living? I screamed, incapable of believing what I was seeing with my own eyes. I ran the other way.

I imagine I’m on the track field. “RUN!” Coach Fred screams. Fifteen seconds on the clock, I can make it. I’m sprinting. Nothing can stop me from reaching that finish line.

I heard Josh scream, “Emma!” Back to reality. We found an unlocked door. We ran through it and found ourselves in a dark storage room. It was dark and scary, but at least we were safe from the man-turned-monster. After a good thirty minutes, we had faith that he was gone.

We opened the door and looked around. We saw a door that looked like it led to a loading dock. We wanted to make sure we had some sort of weapon before walking through another door, since we weren’t sure what might lay behind it. We found a core bar. That would do. I opened the door, while Josh held the core bar so tightly in his hands I thought it might explode. My ears were ringing, my body rushed with emotions, my legs felt heavy. I slowly twisted the door knob, my hand shaking. Nothing was behind the mystery door, except a parking lot.

Josh and I took a deep breath as we realized there was nothing to be scared of. It was like the rainbow you see after the rain. There was a mini van, old but safer then just walking. We found a way in through the sun roof. There were no keys as I’d expected, even though part of me had hoped there would be. Josh explained that he knew how to hot wire a car, that knowing this had gotten him into Juvenile Hall. In this case, I guess you could say I was more thankful than angry that he knew how to do so.

But I insisted on driving.

Every street we drove down was empty. No little kids were running outside playing with soccer balls, basketballs, or dogs. Everything was so quiet. I passed the freeway. We were almost home. I felt butterflies , but then a lump grew in my throat. I pulled up in front of our gray, medium-size house with the beautiful red roses on the fence. We did a count down “1..2…3…Let’s go!”

We ran as fast as possible to the front door, and didn’t hesitate opening it. Everything was dark. My heart feels like a hammer is pounding it. Did the monsters get to my family before I did? I went into my mom’s room, then my sisters. Nothing. No one is there. I looked in the closets and little spaces where they could be hiding. I couldn’t find them. “Where are they?!” I shouted. Josh didn’t respond. Tears filled my eyes.

Then I remembered that this house was a little older then most. There was an attic. I found a chair, climbed onto it, reached up for the attic door and pushed it open. Sure enough, I saw a distant light. A part of me filled with hope. In a fairy tale, they would be up there, safe, waiting for Josh and me to come home. Josh helped me up with a push, and then I helped pull him up.

We heard voices whispering. They were soft like rose petals. I saw familiar faces again: they were my mom and my baby sister. Tears filled my eyes again, this time they are tears of joy. I run to them and hug them ever so tightly. I kiss my mom on the cheek and ask her what happened. She said she didn’t know.

My sister, Joy, began to tell us how mom and her had to fight the neighbors because they tried to eat our dog and then tried to eat them. Joy went into the story:

“Me and mom were in the kitchen when we hear Bella bark, and then she starts to cry. I see the neighbors jumping over the wood fence. They looked so hungry. I ran outside to yell at them to get on their side or I would call the cops. They ignored me, as if my screaming was as silent as a mouse. They kept trying to catch Bella. As soon as I saw their eyes were pitch black, I panicked. Bella ran inside as soon as I opened the door. Who knew an animal could show the emotion of fear? It’s like she knew she could’ve died. My heart was in my throat. I closed the doors as fast as I physically could. My body tingled, I was so scared. I ran into Mom’s arms crying, asking her what was wrong with them? She knew we needed to hide. She threw me and Bella up in the attic before she finally came up here.”

I glanced over at my mom, waiting to hear what she had to say. She stood quiet, blankness on her face, staring into space. I knew something was wrong. I saw her hand covering her neck. She never moved her hand that night. When she fell asleep I moved her hand gently, making sure not to wake her. I saw what she had wanted to hide so badly. It shattered my heart into pieces. Tears ran down my cheeks like raindrops on a windshield. My mom had been bitten by one of those monsters. My pain settled into my heart and eyes. I couldn’t help but cry, and cry. I knew about zombies. I knew what I was eventually going to have to do.

It was around three in the morning when we watched our loving mother transform into a monster. Even then she was beautiful. We could see she was resisting the change that was going to happen. After a long twenty minutes of tossing, turning and shouting, she finally gave in. She was fully changed, a stranger. Her warm, beautiful, gold heart was now black and cold like ice. She looked up at me and her face didn’t look any different. She had crinkles on her forehead and the most luscious long black hair. She smiled, but her eyes looked different. They were black. Her love for us wasn’t there anymore.

I couldn’t bring myself to face the fact that I had to kill the only person who ever put me before themselves. My eyes burned, my heart ached, and it was hard to breath. I felt hot. I felt intense. I didn’t want to be in this situation. Why? Why me? Why? I needed to hurry, quick.

“Grandpa used to keep a pistol hidden up here,” said Josh.

He scattered the dressers, searching in back of them, and sure enough there was a pistol, sleek, clean, and black.

“SIG Pro,” Josh said. “Grandpa sure loved to talk about his brand new pistol. Before he moved out he told me where he hid it. He told me if I ever needed protection, there it was.”

I looked my baby brother and sister in the eyes and said, “I’m so sorry for the way life turned out and for what your about to see. Please understand. I hope one day you forgive me.”

Memories flash. I remember my mom taking me to the park, where we swing till dawn.

She went after Josh. She was fast.

“Aaa! Someone get her off!” Josh screamed.

Joy didn’t hesitate. She ran and pulled her mom off of her own brother, pushing her with all the strength she had left. I needed to act quickly. BANG!

Afterward, silence filled the air.

I still picture the bullet slowing, going into the forehead of my only mother. It’s dark here, and cold. There are tiny white snowflakes. They’re beautiful and cold just like Mama. When I look into the mirror it is her face I see. Her right is my left. We are exact opposites, mom and me. She is cold and controlling. I’m codependent and cowardly. Good, bad. Left, right. She has always been there with open arms.

We stayed in the attic the rest of the night. I stood right by Mama’s side. I kissed her forehead and closed her eyes. I couldn’t sleep the whole night. I just tossed and turned and sobbed. I already missed her.

Early the next morning, I came to the realization that if the rest of my family stayed up in this attic we would not make it. I remembered the time mom and I went to see the boats that left for London. I knew what I had to do to save my baby brother and sister. I woke them from a deep sleep. You could see it on their faces, that they wished this was all bad nightmare. I told them we were leaving, we needed to go someplace elsewhere.

Joy began to cry.

I looked deeply into her eyes and told her, “NO! You need to stay strong.”

You can be on the only road you’ve ever known and WHAM! a semi comes from nowhere with no warning, rolls right over you. Sometimes you feel okay, sometimes it’s not so bad, but you know things will never be the same.

I was walking beside Joy and Josh as we were about to board the boat. We felt safe enough to talk and laugh. I saw a familiar face. I saw the hideous horrid monster out of the corner of my eye.

All of a sudden everything turned black. I felt pounding. My heart tingled and stung like it was dropped into a bucket of acid. My eyes burned, my knees trembled with the biggest fear of all: having to face the grotesque monster. My body started to turn cold like ice. I was not there. “Em!” I heard from a distance, but he was not far enough. My heart shattered as if it were made of glass. I hated that name.

Em died the first time she was forced to cope the best way she could, with daddy going to visit her in the night, back when she was only ten. No one understood what it was like growing up with a monster for a father.

Now the only way she’s able to feel some sort of solace is by binging on tasty food, food that I need to vomit exactly an hour later or it will settle into my thighs. I need to look “stunning for Daddy,” as he always used to say. The secrets I hide for others keep me coming to the call of the blade, and the blade answers. The razor is beautiful as it cuts through my thighs. And to fill the void I have inside my heart, I drink dad’s whiskey that he leaves in his closet. That’s not all. I smoke marijuana to relieve the crazy thoughts that never stop. And what used to be on occasion, but has now turned into everyday, I take his lovely Oxycontin.

 

CITATIONS: The series of Ellen Hopkins books inspired me to write this story.

 

 

 

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