Sophie hears the front door open, fear takes over her innocence, heavy footsteps in the hallway only can mean one thing, He’s Home! She whispers to her dolls to be quiet as she cleans up any evidence that a few minutes earlier she was enjoying a tea party with her imaginary friends Peter and Claudia. She hugs her teddy bear close to her chest hoping that today would be different, but as soon as that thought crosses her mind she hears her stepfather yelling at her mother. “You BITCH, I told you I wanted this house clean when I got home. Your little brats constantly leave their crap all over this house”. She hears one of her brothers’ toys crash against the wall and break into little pieces.
She hears them arguing, voices escalating… momma always has the house so clean I don’t know why it’s never good enough for him. “Please make them stop” she whispers to her teddy.
Sophie stares out her bedroom window wanting to escape the wrath that is her stepfather, she looks at the rusty old merry-go-round that sits in front of the laundry mat, she puts on her sandals and quietly opens her bedroom door …tiptoeing down the hallway, she can hear muffled arguing coming from her parents’ bedroom. …she opens the front door and escapes the nightmare that she currently lives.
“Look both ways” she tells herself. As soon as the cars pass she crosses the street with care and finds herself next to her brightly colored friends, Mr. Frog is her favorite. She imagines them all coming to life, her friends Claudia and Peter instantly appear. She climbs on the back of the orange striped tiger who she named Cliff and he takes her away to a land that she visits often. She no longer feels scared, they all remind her that they are there to protect her and nothing can harm her now. She loves escaping to this beautiful place, green rolling hills, flowers taller than her, she enjoys playing hide-n-seek with all her friends. It seems like hours have gone by that she has been able to enjoy this freedom but somewhere deep inside she knows it has just been a few minutes. She climbs on top of Jerry the Giraffe and he takes her to an ice cream covered mountain overlooking a chocolate filled sea. “I wish I can stay here forever” she says to her all her friends.
“Get the hell out of here!!! ” with the sound her of mother’s voice she is suddenly thrown back to reality. She can hear her step father yelling from across the street. Sophie waits patiently next to Mr. Frog hoping to hear the loud roar of the monsters truck pulling away from the apartment complex. “Don’t ever come back and if you do you will be sorry”. Sophie has heard these words come out of her mother’s mouth before only to welcome the monster back with “I’m sorry, please forgive me, I love you” more times then she can remember.
“Sophie, Sophie!!!” She sees her mom come towards her, a worried look on her face. Her mother has come to know where to find her sweet daughter when things get out of control in the home…..tears running down her mother’s face she bends down and hugs her daughter. “I’m sorry momma, I’m sorry for not picking up Jacks toy, it’s all my fault” …her mother hugs her tighter and tells her that he is never coming back. “Are you sure momma?” as she looks into her mother’s eyes she sees that one eye is swollen….she gently kisses it and smiles “it’s all better momma…it will be all better soon”. Her mom smiles back “yes, honey it will be better soon. I promise. I promise never to put you or your brother in that situation ever again. I’m so sorry”. She grabs her daughter’s hand and they head back home…… as they cross the street; Sophie looks back and gives a little wave to her friends that sit patiently on the rusty yellow merry-go-round for her return.
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