Monday, October 15, 2007
A Floor Speaks
By Carrie Holmes
Her face became blurry as salty tears filled my eyes. I should have known better than to think that I could find a home in a stranger’s house.
“I never wanted you anyway. You ain’t anything but another check.”
It wasn't the first time that I had heard something like that. Foster home after foster home, they are all the same. It’s like the government pays these people to kick my butt. It all becomes second nature to me.
“You hear me? You ain”t nothing! You ain't never gonna be nothing!”
I thought to myself that if I ain't never gonna be nothing, then I was gonna be something because that’s a double negative. But I dared not say that to her face. Correct her? Please, I'd be picking up my teeth.
I struggled off the cold hard floor, trying to regain my composure, when I felt another kick in my back. Face first I fell straight into the smear of dried blood that had accumulated there from a previous beating. The door slammed. I felt as if even my heart was not enough life support.
I tried again to get up. This time I managed to make it to my feet. I quickly glanced around the room. I was looking for my foster mother, trying to avoid another blow, when suddenly the thick grey clouds, and foggy air, drew my attention to the window. It was the middle of the summer. Weather like this was very uncommon.
Instantly, the phone began to ring. It wouldn’t stop. The pictures on the wall rocked from side to side. Everything in the room began to shake. I struggled to stand. I turned around looking for something to hold onto. I fell.
“The floor is really popular today,” I thought to myself. The floor began shaking harder and harder. The sound of dropping items and shattered glass filled the room. This was no earthquake. This was something beyond geography.
Suddenly a loud screech pierced the air as a crack formed in the floor. It was the sound of war. There was nowhere to move without falling through the huge space that had opened.
I heard a loud, demanding voice.
I looked around, but no one was there.
“Get up,” the voice commanded again.
The voice became louder and louder. Soon I realized the voice was coming from the crack in the floor. I couldn’t believe it. I got as close to the crack as I could without falling in. I leaned over the floor to see who owned the voice. I saw someone, someone strange yet very familiar too.
I saw me.
“Let me out,” The voice said.
“Let me out. I have been trapped inside you for so many years. The abuse you got, I got. The tears you cried, I cried. The pain you felt, I felt. It’s time to put a stop to this. Let me out!”
How was this possible? I was asking myself to let me out. It made no sense. But then, life doesn't make any sense.
“How? How do you want me to do it?” I whispered.
“Trust yourself. All your life you have let others take advantage of us. Now it’s time for us to be happy. Trust yourself! Love yourself! Defend yourself!”
“Trust myself? Defend myself?" You must be crazy, I thought to myself.
So I did.
I picked myself up off the floor.
Carrie Holmes, a freshman at the University at Albany, State University of New York, grew up in New York City.