Not As It Seems Chapters 3 to Eight

Three:

“Helen and Heather are you okay?” I asked. They had grown quieter than normal and I saw silent tears falling from their eyes.

They just shook their head yes, no audible answer, and I could see they were far from okay.

“Are you sure?” I asked, hoping for something more than a nod, but not getting it.

Lord I am there teacher, why can’t I get through to them? What is going on? How do I help them if they refuse to be helped. They are so young, yet it looks like they carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. Seven year old children should not feel this way Lord, they should be playing with dolls, going to church, playing with friends. They should not feel as if they have to carry the weight of the world on their shoulders Lord, they should be children.“If you need to talk I am here.” I told the girls not knowing what else to say.

 

Again I got nothing but a nod. It seemed all their answers were coming in nods today. Some days they would at least whisper to me.

I really did not know who to talk to about these children, save for the Lord. I was grateful for my faith, because I would have a hard time getting through my year with these two had I not had that relationship with the Lord. It was that decision to come to Christ, when I was just a few years older than girls that helped to turn my life around and I was so glad for that. I knew that I would not have made it this far without the Lord, and I was glad that I had him to lean on.

I closed my eyes going back for a moment to standing in front of the Congregation as I accepted the Lord as my Savior, as I gave my heart to Christ. I had felt so at peace then, but as I sat in front of my classroom looking at these two beautiful little girls I did not feel so at peace, I felt conflicted. I did not know what do, but one thing was for certain I needed to set up a meeting with their parents.

I did not know what the meeting would lead to, but I could pray I would get some answers. Perhaps I would find out they had been little chatterboxes before their sister died, and once she was gone, they just shut down. They were young when she died, but not so young that they would not see eventually that she would never come back, that she had gone to be with Jesus.

I want to do the right thing Lord, I hope this meeting is the right thing, I just don’t know what to do any more, but if there is problems at home, I don’t want to make things worse for them, and I certainly don’t want there parents thinking they are any trouble, they are good students but Lord they need to be more active in class, they need to work with others more, and I can not understand why they don’t.

Chapter Four:

Why isn’t Kristine talking, or crying?” Heather whispered to Helen in the dark.

Chapter Five:

Heather slowly made her way up to my desk and handed me the note their parents had signed. Helen sat quietly at her desk, head bowed as if she was praying. Maybe she was.

“Are we in trouble?” Heather asked me her voice barely audible.

“No you haven’t done anything wrong. I just want to help you.”

“If we were bad, were sorry, we won’t be bad again, we will try and be extra good.”

I could see Heather was on the verge of crying and this child, both of these children had experienced enough sorrow in their lives and I did not want them feeling as if they had to feel any worse about themselves. They were not in trouble, but they needed help and I did not know how to reach out, I could not begin to understand how to reach out because they had closed themselves so deep in their shells, I did not know where to begin.

Lord I need your help with these children, I want to make things better for them Lord, but I don’t know how. Let this meeting help with that please Lord, and let me be able to better reach out to them, but I know it is going to take your hand to be able to do that.“You weren’t bad at all, you are both very good, but I just worry because you don’t like to join in with the other kids. Don’t you ever get lonely?”

 

Heather just shrugged not wanting to say anything, yes they had each other, and I was glad for that, but I thought they needed to make more friends as well. They needed to break out of their shells. I knew that, because if they didn’t it was going to affect them for the rest of their lives, and I did not want these children growing up feeling like they had to hide everything from the world. Had to hide themselves from the world.

I was going to reach out to these kids, at least do my very best to reach out to them, because the truth of the matter was I felt as their teacher and as a concerned adult I had to.

Something was different about the house, I sensed it as soon as I pulled into the driveway, it was like something was being hidden. I did not know what and I could not judge because I had not stepped in the doorway yet, but something was different, that much I knew.

But even as I walked up the doorway, I found myself praying, this house seemed to carry sadness, sadness and secrets, little did I know how deep those secrets would run.

I saw the pictures that were framed in the entryway, happy smiling children, the oldest I figured was Kristine, a reminder, something to hold on to of the Child that they had lost. The smiles though at least to me could not hide the sadness in these children’s eyes, at least not to me.

I could not point my finger on it, but something was different about this family. All the children were shy, timid, almost afraid to speak, and the Father did all the talking. It seemed the Mother was lost in her own world. I wondered if things had been different, before they lost their oldest daughter. I wondered if these children would have known joy if they had not lost their older sister, and their Mother would not seem as if she had shut herself off to the world. I could tell immediately something was not right in this home, but I could not put my finger on it after only one visit. I just had to make sure that I somehow got to understand Helen and Heather but I didn’t seem to get many answers from the parents either. The Father was cordial enough, but I sensed something different about him, something that made me feel uncomfortable.

Lord I do not want to judge these people but why am I feeling this way?I felt a little let down after I left the house, because I felt had gotten nowhere. I wanted to be able to help these children, but it seemed even their parents were shutting themselves away from everyone and I did not know where to begin. I could not do this alone, but I was grateful I was not alone I had found the Lord, I had found faith.

 

Lord if it weren’t for you I would not be where I am at today, I would still be like those scared children, and Lord I know you have already given me more than I deserve but please help me in this, please help me to reach out to these children. I want to help them, but I don’t really know how to, I can’t go forward without you Lord, I know that, and I am grateful that you have got me this far.I was grateful that the Lord had got me this far, grateful that I was now able to sit in front of a classroom and teach, but it had not always been that way, I was scared like these little girls at one time. Well maybe not the same type of fear, but it was paralyzing none the less.

 

Later after arriving home and collecting my thoughts I called my Mother. I knew I could talk to her about anything and I was grateful for that. So different from these little girls Mother who seemed to shut even her own children out and I was glad that my Mother was not like that, I was grateful for what I had been given. I had been blessed and I knew that, my parents loved me unconditionally and I had never been given a reason to fear my Father the way these girls seemed to fear there’s.

“Mom I don’t know what to do, these girls, they seemed so scared all the time. I feel something is wrong, but I don’t want to persecute this man unnecessarily.”

“Pray about it Gina, and go where the Lord directs you. I don’t know this family or the situation, but if you suspect something is wrong, there is a good chance there is, and from what you said, I have a feeling there is, so I would not remain quiet. I would say something, it’s better for you to be wrong and have to apologize, then you be right, and these children be put in danger.”

I had not even told Mom about the older sister who had died, but I knew Mom was right. I needed to say something, but what if I was wrong, what if I said something and this family was persecuted for no reason. I did not want to stir up something if I was only going to be throwing false accusations.

Lord I am so confused. I do not know what I am going to do.

Chapter Six:

Daddies crying over a casket, draped in yellow, and pink roses, those were Kristine favorites,

Chapter Seven:

“Class I would like you to get up and read your reports on your favorite person. Would Helen and Heather like to start?” I asked, they both shook their head no, and I knew once again I was going to have to fight to get them involved.

“They didn’t do their homework!” Another child accused.

“They are scaredy cats.”

“I did not ask for your help, you two want to get detention?” I asked the little girl and boy in the back row who were causing all the trouble. Meg and Kyle, they were kind of the bullies of the class and I was not going to take that.

“No. We didn’t do anything, we can’t get detention.”

“Keep it up Kyle and you will get detention. You don’t talk back to your teacher.”

Finally Kyle and Meg began listening and being quiet, though Kyle would give me a dirty look from time to time. I did not want to even acknowledge it though, because I know that would only draw more attention to him and I knew Kyle well enough to know that is exactly what he was seeking. He and Meg always seemed to want to be the center of attention even at the expense of the other children and I was not going to tolerate that. These two were going to find out I was going to stand my ground.

I had already had one incident with these two when they thought that somehow because of my disability I could not stand up for myself. That I was not going to stand my ground. I was not going to be smart mouthed by a couple of seven year olds who thought they had an advantage over me, because they could move faster than I could.

I had fought hard to show the world that I could teach, that somehow the fact that my legs did not work right did not mean I could not handle a classroom. And I had not always been “disabled” a term I did not really care for, but an accident when I was seventeen had changed my life forever and had it not been for my faith and God’s divine grace, I probably would not have gotten as far as I had. In fact there was no probably about it I would not have.

Lord I am so glad you got me this far, and I am glad you give me the strength to make it through all I have, but I have a feeling that what I have been through does not begin to compare to what these poor little girls go through, and I can not tolerate seeing the other students hurting them any more than they already have been, they are already scared and timid enough and I don’t know where to begin to help them.“Are you two sure you don’t want to share your report about your favorite person?” I asked Helen and Heather once again.

 

“Will you share it with me after class then?” I asked.

They nodded their heads in agreement. I hoped they would talk to me instead of just standing there quietly after class. But I did not know, they never really talked to anyone. It was sad to see two little girls so shy and scared, and I knew there had to be a reason behind it, but even after being in there home I did not know. I just noticed how the father kept staring at me as if I was alien or something, like he had never seen a teacher before, or perhaps it was a teacher in a chair. It did not matter though, I was there teacher and I was going to do my best to get to the bottom of this. Something was off about this house, about this family, but I could not begin to understand what it was, at least not at that point in time. Maybe in time I would understand better, but not right now. I just needed to help them get through each day.

Lord I want to get to the bottom of this, but I don’t know where to begin, I don’t want to falsely judge someone because I know how that feels, but if these children are in danger, I need to do something, still I have no real proof. Lord what am I going to do?“They got in trouble they have to stay after class.” Kyle started again.

 

“And you are going to the principals office, and you will have detention for the next week. I warned you.”

“You can’t make me do anything.”

“I am your teacher.”

“So your not my Mother, my Mother can make me do things, you can’t. Your nothing but a cripple.”

Since when did seven year olds talk like this? He had to have heard talk like this from other adults. It saddened me when children were so disrespectful and when they felt they had the right to make fun of someone for something they could not help.”I did not like being judged and I did not want to judge others, but some children were hard to deal with. I had never had students who were as shy as Helen and Heather in the four years I had taught, but I could not remember one as disruptive as Kyle either, and Meg. Though Meg was not as bad as Kyle, those two seemed to thrive into getting into mischief together. They were close friends, and had been from the time they were born practically or so they had said, but I did not know for sure, one thing I did know was these two got into a lot of trouble together. I wondered why they felt they had to draw attention to themselves so opposite from the way Helen and Heather were, hiding at all costs.

 

“I would appreciate you not using that word, being called a cripple is disrespectful and that hurts my feelings.”

Kyle said nothing just stormed out of the room and headed to the office mumbling under his breath. I was not going to let that bother me though, I had other things on my mind. Like these two little girls who needed to know someone cared about them.

Lord I want to help Helen and Heather, but Kyle and Meg, especially Kyle are not helping. I have never heard a child so disrespectful to someone in authority. I know it happens and children get out of hand, but he is a mean kid, what is going to happen to him when he gets older? I shutter to think.I remembered what it said in 1Peter 1:22 finding comfort in the scripture once again:

 

22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.[

“Will there be yellow and pink roses in Heaven?” Heather asks Helen.

Heather just shrugged not wanting to say anything, yes they had each other, and I was glad for that, but I thought they needed to make more friends as well. They needed to break out of their shells. I knew that, because if they didn’t it was going to affect them for the rest of their lives, and I did not want these children growing up feeling like they had to hide everything from the world. Had to hide themselves from the world.

I was going to reach out to these kids, at least do my very best to reach out to them, because the truth of the matter was I felt as their teacher and as a concerned adult I had to.

Something was different about the house, I sensed it as soon as I pulled into the driveway, it was like something was being hidden. I did not know what and I could not judge because I had not stepped in the doorway yet, but something was different, that much I knew.

But even as I walked up the doorway, I found myself praying, this house seemed to carry sadness, sadness and secrets, little did I know how deep those secrets would run.

I saw the pictures that were framed in the entryway, happy smiling children, the oldest I figured was Kristine, a reminder, something to hold on to of the Child that they had lost. The smiles though at least to me could not hide the sadness in these children’s eyes, at least not to me.

I could not point my finger on it, but something was different about this family. All the children were shy, timid, almost afraid to speak, and the Father did all the talking. It seemed the Mother was lost in her own world. I wondered if things had been different, before they lost their oldest daughter. I wondered if these children would have known joy if they had not lost their older sister, and their Mother would not seem as if she had shut herself off to the world. I could tell immediately something was not right in this home, but I could not put my finger on it after only one visit. I just had to make sure that I somehow got to understand Helen and Heather but I didn’t seem to get many answers from the parents either. The Father was cordial enough, but I sensed something different about him, something that made me feel uncomfortable.

Lord I do not want to judge these people but why am I feeling this way?I felt a little let down after I left the house, because I felt had gotten nowhere. I wanted to be able to help these children, but it seemed even their parents were shutting themselves away from everyone and I did not know where to begin. I could not do this alone, but I was grateful I was not alone I had found the Lord, I had found faith.

 

Lord if it weren’t for you I would not be where I am at today, I would still be like those scared children, and Lord I know you have already given me more than I deserve but please help me in this, please help me to reach out to these children. I want to help them, but I don’t really know how to, I can’t go forward without you Lord, I know that, and I am grateful that you have got me this far.I was grateful that the Lord had got me this far, grateful that I was now able to sit in front of a classroom and teach, but it had not always been that way, I was scared like these little girls at one time. Well maybe not the same type of fear, but it was paralyzing none the less.

 

Later after arriving home and collecting my thoughts I called my Mother. I knew I could talk to her about anything and I was grateful for that. So different from these little girls Mother who seemed to shut even her own children out and I was glad that my Mother was not like that, I was grateful for what I had been given. I had been blessed and I knew that, my parents loved me unconditionally and I had never been given a reason to fear my Father the way these girls seemed to fear there’s.

“Mom I don’t know what to do, these girls, they seemed so scared all the time. I feel something is wrong, but I don’t want to persecute this man unnecessarily.”

“Pray about it Gina, and go where the Lord directs you. I don’t know this family or the situation, but if you suspect something is wrong, there is a good chance there is, and from what you said, I have a feeling there is, so I would not remain quiet. I would say something, it’s better for you to be wrong and have to apologize, then you be right, and these children be put in danger.”

I had not even told Mom about the older sister who had died, but I knew Mom was right. I needed to say something, but what if I was wrong, what if I said something and this family was persecuted for no reason. I did not want to stir up something if I was only going to be throwing false accusations.

Lord I am so confused. I do not know what I am going to do.

Chapter Six:

Daddies crying over a casket, draped in yellow, and pink roses, those were Kristine favorites,

Chapter Seven:

“Class I would like you to get up and read your reports on your favorite person. Would Helen and Heather like to start?” I asked, they both shook their head no, and I knew once again I was going to have to fight to get them involved.

“They didn’t do their homework!” Another child accused.

“They are scaredy cats.”

“I did not ask for your help, you two want to get detention?” I asked the little girl and boy in the back row who were causing all the trouble. Meg and Kyle, they were kind of the bullies of the class and I was not going to take that.

“No. We didn’t do anything, we can’t get detention.”

“Keep it up Kyle and you will get detention. You don’t talk back to your teacher.”

Finally Kyle and Meg began listening and being quiet, though Kyle would give me a dirty look from time to time. I did not want to even acknowledge it though, because I know that would only draw more attention to him and I knew Kyle well enough to know that is exactly what he was seeking. He and Meg always seemed to want to be the center of attention even at the expense of the other children and I was not going to tolerate that. These two were going to find out I was going to stand my ground.

I had already had one incident with these two when they thought that somehow because of my disability I could not stand up for myself. That I was not going to stand my ground. I was not going to be smart mouthed by a couple of seven year olds who thought they had an advantage over me, because they could move faster than I could.

I had fought hard to show the world that I could teach, that somehow the fact that my legs did not work right did not mean I could not handle a classroom. And I had not always been “disabled” a term I did not really care for, but an accident when I was seventeen had changed my life forever and had it not been for my faith and God’s divine grace, I probably would not have gotten as far as I had. In fact there was no probably about it I would not have.

Lord I am so glad you got me this far, and I am glad you give me the strength to make it through all I have, but I have a feeling that what I have been through does not begin to compare to what these poor little girls go through, and I can not tolerate seeing the other students hurting them any more than they already have been, they are already scared and timid enough and I don’t know where to begin to help them.“Are you two sure you don’t want to share your report about your favorite person?” I asked Helen and Heather once again.

 

“Will you share it with me after class then?” I asked.

They nodded their heads in agreement. I hoped they would talk to me instead of just standing there quietly after class. But I did not know, they never really talked to anyone. It was sad to see two little girls so shy and scared, and I knew there had to be a reason behind it, but even after being in there home I did not know. I just noticed how the father kept staring at me as if I was alien or something, like he had never seen a teacher before, or perhaps it was a teacher in a chair. It did not matter though, I was there teacher and I was going to do my best to get to the bottom of this. Something was off about this house, about this family, but I could not begin to understand what it was, at least not at that point in time. Maybe in time I would understand better, but not right now. I just needed to help them get through each day.

Lord I want to get to the bottom of this, but I don’t know where to begin, I don’t want to falsely judge someone because I know how that feels, but if these children are in danger, I need to do something, still I have no real proof. Lord what am I going to do?“They got in trouble they have to stay after class.” Kyle started again.

 

“And you are going to the principals office, and you will have detention for the next week. I warned you.”

“You can’t make me do anything.”

“I am your teacher.”

“So your not my Mother, my Mother can make me do things, you can’t. Your nothing but a cripple.”

Since when did seven year olds talk like this? He had to have heard talk like this from other adults. It saddened me when children were so disrespectful and when they felt they had the right to make fun of someone for something they could not help.”I did not like being judged and I did not want to judge others, but some children were hard to deal with. I had never had students who were as shy as Helen and Heather in the four years I had taught, but I could not remember one as disruptive as Kyle either, and Meg. Though Meg was not as bad as Kyle, those two seemed to thrive into getting into mischief together. They were close friends, and had been from the time they were born practically or so they had said, but I did not know for sure, one thing I did know was these two got into a lot of trouble together. I wondered why they felt they had to draw attention to themselves so opposite from the way Helen and Heather were, hiding at all costs.

 

“I would appreciate you not using that word, being called a cripple is disrespectful and that hurts my feelings.”

Kyle said nothing just stormed out of the room and headed to the office mumbling under his breath. I was not going to let that bother me though, I had other things on my mind. Like these two little girls who needed to know someone cared about them.

Lord I want to help Helen and Heather, but Kyle and Meg, especially Kyle are not helping. I have never heard a child so disrespectful to someone in authority. I know it happens and children get out of hand, but he is a mean kid, what is going to happen to him when he gets older? I shutter to think.I remembered what it said in 1Peter 1:22 finding comfort in the scripture once again:

 

22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.[

“Will there be yellow and pink roses in Heaven?” Heather asks Helen.

“I don’t know, but I think so, Kristine told us everything was pretty and good in Heaven, and no one was hurt or sick, I bet Jesus has lots of yellow and pink roses for Kristine to look at.”

“I hope so, she needs to look at pretty things, and I am glad she won’t get hurt anymore. Daddies don’t beat their kids in Heaven do they?”

“No member Kristine said that never happened, that everyone was happy and full of joy in Heaven.”

“I’m glad.”

“Do you think we will be happy someday Sissy?”

“I don’t know, I want Daddy to stop hurting us and then I will be happy.”

“Me too.”

“I miss Kristine. She used to play with us.”

“I miss her too.”

When Daddy stepped away from the coffin, the girls grew quiet again. They could not let Daddy hear them talking or they would get in trouble. They were trying extra hard to be extra good. Instead they just sat quietly hands folded in their laps, silent tears falling from their small round faces. It was a sad time for every one, but it was scary too, because Daddy had done it, Daddy had killed there oldest sister.

“Melanie and Aerial used to say Daddy was going to kill one of us.” Heather pointed out. When her Father went to talk to some friends. They knew it was safe because they were now away from Daddy. Daddy was a dangerous man, and they knew it. They were scared of Daddy.

Kids shouldn’t be scared of their Daddies.

Lots of people were at the funeral, so many that Heather and Helen couldn’t count them all, and they could count all the way to fifty. They were in preschool and they did their very best, because they didn’t want Daddy to get mad at them the way he had Kristine. They could die too, if Daddy got mad at them.

Daddy was a Monster! That’s what Melanie had said. Now Helen and Heather knew what she had meant.

Why did Mommy have to marry a monster, why did they have to have a Daddy who was a monster?

Living with a monster was scary, especially now that the had killed their Sissy. Krisitne hadn’t done anything she was a good sissy, she was a little slow, and didn’t learn right sometimes, but she was a good sissy, and it made Helen and Heather feel sick to their tummies that Daddy had killed her.

“Daddy shouldn’t have killed Kristine.” Helen whispered into Heather’s ears so no one else could hear.

“I know. She was a good Sister.” Heather whispered back.

“I miss her.”

“Me too.”

Helen and Heather knew they had to be really quiet and make sure no one heard them talking or Daddy would give them another lesson and they didn’t want to get beat again, and they didn’t want to die the way Kristine had, and somehow Daddy always made the beatings look like “accidents” and everyone believed him. All the kids began wondering if it were there fault, did they deserve to be hurt like this. Helen and Heather were so little and they didn’t know what they did, but sometimes they did things that made Daddy mad and maybe that was wrong, maybe they really deserve to be hit.

But Kristine didn’t deserve to die.

Jesus we learned in Sunday school we can talk to you about anything, so please Lord help us be good so Daddy will stop hurting us. We don’t want to be bad, and we don’t want Daddy to hurt us, and we don’t want to die the way Krsitne did.

Helen and Heather said the prayer together in whispers. Barely making a sound, but somehow they could hear each other. Maybe it was because they were twins, that meant they were born at the same time. Mommy had said that, and said that made them very special, but that was before Daddy had killed Kristine now all Mommy did was walk around Kristine room smelling her things. She didn’t talk to them anymore she didn’t even cry.

Mom’s not right in the head. Jeff had told them.

Jesus make Mommy right in the head, and help her and let Daddy not hurt her too, okay Jesus. Helen had prayed.

When everyone talked about Kristine at the funeral they said how tragic it was a thirteen year old had to fall down and die. Helen and Heather didn’t know what tragic meant, but it must be something very bad.

“Helen we have to try really hard to be extra good.”

“I know Heather, I am going to try super hard.”

“And we have to do what Mommy and Daddy says, and do really good in preschool and learn our letters and numbers.”

“I know Sissy.”

“Good cuz I don’t wanna get hurt like Kristine, I don’t wanna go to Heaven already it would make Mamma even more sad, and not right in the head.”

“I know Heather, I am gonna try extra hard and do extra good.”

“Me too.”

After the funeral lots of people met at another place, and they had lots of food, and people talked about Kristine. But Mommy still would not eat, she still did not talk. She just walked around in circles, not saying anything. Helen and Heather went to Mamma and wanted to hold her hand and hug her, but she did not even know they were there.

“She’s in her own world.” Melanie had said. “Cuz she’s extra said.”

“We’re sad too.” They had told Melanie.

“I am too, we will help each other okay.”

“Okay.”

“We can’t tell anyone that Daddy is the one who made Kristine die, or they will take us away and put us in a bad place and we will never get to see each other again. They will even make you and Heather go in different places.”

“We won’t say anything Melanie.”

“Good. I will help you okay. I will be like Mommy to you.”

“Your to little to be our Mommy.”
Just for pretend, like playing house.”

“Okay.”

“Good I’m sorry your sad, I’m sad to but I bet Kristine’s not sad anymore, she had Jesus in her heart, I bet she’s in Heaven.”

“We think so too.”

“You know what we have Jesus in our hearts too, so when we die we will go to Heaven.”

“I don’t wanna die.” Helen said crying.

“I know but that means when we do go to Heaven we will get to see Kristine again.”

“Okay.”

“Aerial and Jeffery and me will help you okay, to make sure Daddy doesn’t hurt you to bad. You are to little to get hurt.”

“Thank you.”

“But try to be extra good okay.”

“We will.”

“Good.”

“Your our baby sisters and we are going to protect you. We love you.”

“We love you too.” The girls said hugging Melanie, “But we still miss Kristine.”

“Me too.”

“Why did Daddy have to kill her?”

“I don’t know Daddy’s sick in the head, and he’s mean.”

“Sometimes he’s nice.”

“He’s only nice when he’s pretending.”

“Oh.”

“We’re going to try extra hard to be extra good, we don’t wanna get hurt by Daddy, and we don’t wanna make Daddy mad and have him hurt you guys either.”

“K than you. I love you.”

“Love you too.”

“If you get scared and lonely tonight, you can come and sleep with me.”

“We won’t get in trouble?”

“No we will just tell everyone we are sad and miss Kristine very much.”

“Yeah we do, that’s telling the truth.”

When the services was over and everyone had gone home, and they had ate, the kids had got right into the car, and belted themselves in, making sure, to behave their best. They did not say a word to one another or to Mommy or Daddy, because they wanted to make sure they were extra good and didn’t make Daddy mad, when they got home, no one said anything, they just got out of the car, and went into their rooms, but that was better than getting beat. At least Daddy had not beaten them today, but they were going to have to be extra good all the time, or they could get hurt or Melanie, Aerial or Jeffery and they didn’t want that.

 

These children they need something Lord, but what? I do not know! I don’t know where to begin and I don’t want to hurt this family if they are guilty of nothing. I can not accuse them of something without having evidence but if he is hurting these Children Lord, I have to get them out of there, not just Helen and Heather but all of them.

“Maybe she is scared Daddy will hit her again.”

That seemed to appease Heather for the moment, but soon their Mamma went into Kristine’s room and they heard screaming.

“What have you done?”

Silence.

Then crying, Daddy was crying, Daddy never cried.

“She’s not breathing, call the paramedics.”

“What are we going to do?”

“I don’t know, I don’t know. I killed her.”

“Why do you do this, why do you beat her like this?”

“I don’t know.”

“Why did you kill our daughter?”

“I didn’t mean to, she just made me so mad, she didn’t take out the trash.”

“So you killed her?”

Mamma had never talked to Daddy like this, but Kristine was dead, really dead, and there Daddy had killed them.

“Helen will Daddy kill us next?” Heather asked, shaking, cuddling closer to her sister. Her teddy bear clutched in her arm. The one Kristine had given them.

“I don’t know Heather, but we have to be really good, and do what Daddy tells us.”

“I know. Why did he kill Kristine, Kristine was nice. She played with us, she was our big sister.”

“I know.”

It was Heather who first emerged from the closet, making her way to the main bathroom. She really had to go, and she knew if she had an accident Daddy would beat her. She tip toed, peeking in the open room and saw her sister lying on the bed, looking asleep, but she was not asleep, she was with Jesus, that was where Grammy had said good people go when they die, people who love Jesus, and Kristine loved Jesus. She loved church so why did Daddy have to kill her?

Jesus please take care of Kristine, we miss her very much, and please help Daddy not to hurt us anymore. Amen. Heather prayed the simple prayer remembering what she had learned about praying in Sunday school. Maybe Jesus would help them, but she still did not understand why Kristine had died.

The ambulance came after awhile and then the police, but Daddy did not go to jail. Daddy never seemed to get in trouble for the bad things he did, Daddy had told the officer Kristine had fell and hit her head and died, but everyone in the house new the truth. But they were afraid to say anything, because if they did they might be next. Even Mom went along with the story, pretending it was just a horrible accident. And everyone seemed to like Daddy, so they believe him, a man like this did not hurt his children they thought. They were wrong though and Helen and Heather knew that.

Daddy tried to be extra nice for a while after that, the beatings stopped, and he bought the kids presents. Maybe Heather thought, just maybe Daddy had changed, maybe he realized that he had done a very bad thing, and he wanted to change. Heather and Helen got new dolls, and the older kids got bike, and no one spoke of Kristine accept to say it was a horrible accident, that she had fallen hit her head and died, and they all cried, but sometimes Daddies tears seemed fake like he was pretending to cry.

Was Daddy really sad, or was he just afraid he would get caught? Helen and Heather did not know for sure, but one thing they did know was they were afraid.

They began quietly singing the song Krisine had taught them.

Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so, little ones to him belong, they are weak but he is strong.

Singing the song together helped a little but they were still afraid. Daddy might hurt them next, he might kill them next!

 

 

a]

I understood if I obeyed the Lord and what he asked of me, he was going to be faithful to answer my prayers. I knew the answer may not always be what I wanted, but it would be right, because the answers came from the Lord.

 

Chapter Eight:

Justine you can’t give up.

The doctors said I would never walk again, I feel like my dreams were crushed.

God still has a plan for you.

I don’t feel much like talking to God right now. I should be celebrating graduation, and getting ready for college, not laying in a hospital bed.

Justine you have to fight this, you have to get stronger, your legs are paralyzed but you still have a life.

I’ll never walk again Mom.

I know sweetie, but you are going to do great things.

I can’t even take care of myself right now.

Justine don’t give up, because then this thing wins.

I’m scared Mom.

Justine you were the one who led your Father and I to the Lord, don’t give up faith now.

My faith has been shaken.

Yes sweetie I know it has, but don’t let this break your faith. Work at it, and if it’s God’s will you will walk again.

I’ll try Mom.

That’s all I can ask.

Thank you Mom. I love you.

I love you too sweetie, and if I could take your place I would.

I know Mom, but I wouldn’t want you to.

Sweetie fight it, and you will get through this, your dreams don’t have to die.

I won’t run again, I won’t dance.

Sweetie you told me you wanted to teach.

I know but I loved running and dancing.

Who says you can’t dance?

I can’t walk Mom.

I know sweetie, I heard what the doctor said, but God knows a lot more than the doctors do, and you can dance sitting down, you still have your arms, and you still have your life.

I know Mom.

Mom was right for the last month I had refused to do what I should have been doing, laying in a hospital bed day after day was not going to get me better, get me stronger and I needed to get stronger because I needed to get home, and get on with my life. I could still go to college, still teach I had to see that, but I was still having trouble coping.

Lord help me to get through this, one minute I am a happy active seventeen year old, the next I am laying on a hospital bed listening to the doctors tell me I will never walk again. Lord but Mom’s right if its your will I will walk again on this side of Heaven and if not I will be given a new glorified body when I go home. I can not just sit around feeling sorry for myself though Lord, so please help me stop that, and please help me get through this.

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