The leaves were turning various colors as Kit began her daily walk to school. She recounted the events of the evening prior as the dark circles under her tired eyes didn’t reveal the more traumatic events of that point in time. She had just walked in from school and went into the kitchen. She was about to get a glass of water when a torrent of shit came out of what seemed to be nowhere to hit the fan. This was one episode of rage from step-bitch #3 that Kit was not prepared to deal with.
“You little bitch! Why were you late?!,” her stepmother Karen screamed as she picked her up and threw her against the cabinet,”I told you to be here by 3:30!”
“We don’t get out of school until 3:30 and you know how long it takes to walk home!” Kit, for whatever reason snapped as she rose to her feet. It was different this time. She was becoming defiant in the face of the witch that constantly bullied her. She had enough of it all.
“Don’t you threaten me!” Karen snapped as she pulled her by her hair and threw her into a wall across the room this time.
Kit stood back up and ran for the back door but Karen caught her…With that she dragged 13-year-old Kit back toward the counter and pulled a large wooden spoon out of the drawer. She tried to hit Kit but missed and it broke on the counter so she slapped her hard across the back of her shoulders and knocked her to the floor. Then she grabbed her and threw her again. She didn’t know her own strength, but Kit was small for her age and she landed against the wall again. She then picked Kit up by the front of her shirt and got into her face and yelled, “You will never talk back to me again!” Then she slapped her but Kit refused to cry. She slapped her again. Same response.
“Get in your room and stay there you little–”
Before she could finish the phone rang. It was the school. They needed Kit to come back up there because she left her change purse with her money in it in the gym and it got turned in.
“Oh she’ll get it as soon as she comes back. I’ll be sure to tell her.” Karen told them in a sweeter tone of voice than she would ever use in a normal setting.
Karen didn’t tell her but the principal called her into the office and gave it to her. He then saw a mark on her face at her jaw line.
“What happened Kit?” he asked.
“Dodgeball at P.E.” she lied.
“You sure about that? Kit nobody has the right to–”
“That’s what happens when you have all grades in a P.E. class together. It’s one of those things.” she shrugged.
She then went on to class, but the principal knew she was lying. However back in the 1970’s, unless it was talked about, nothing could be done. Kit went inside the house quietly and slipped into her room. She hated everything about that room. The dark green window shades were like bars to her. If Karen ever caught her with any of those shades up, there was hell to pay. The walls were white and the carpet tan–but it was the shades that made it seem more like a prison for Kit. Until Karen and the onset of puberty, Kit could look out her window at the birds and flowers just outside her window. Then Karen put the shades up while she was at school one day and told her, “If you open these shades, your ass will get beat!” It had been like this since she was 12. The first year wasn’t as bad, but this particular year, Karen always went off of the deep end over anything and took it out on Kit.
Kit was sore from bruises Karen left on her this particular day. She stayed in the room and pretended to be asleep when Karen looked in to see if she was indeed there. Kit was so sore that she could barely move, but her father had to work late that day. Karen then went into the kitchen and drank her usual–sloe gin mixed with 7-up. She then took a handful of various pain killers and such. Kit saw this happen daily and it would always be the day after that all hell broke loose.
Kit stayed perfectly still and waited for quite some time. She then crept quietly out of her room and across the hall into Karen’s room. She had reached her breaking point. Although every movement was painful, she was very stealth in her movement. She opened the top left hand dresser drawer in that room. All the windows were open and the curtains as well. This did NOT make a good impression on Kit either.
She reached into the drawer and pulled out a silver .22 caliber pistol. She knew it was loaded because Karen made sure it was every time she threatened Kit with it. One time she hit her with the handle of it because she was reaching for anything she could grab in her maniacal rage.
Kit was shaking now. She had tears forming in her eyes, but it wasn’t because of the beatings as much as it was the rape earlier in the year–when Karen wouldn’t hear any negative talk of her cousin Michael. In fact, Karen believed anything a boy told her as gospel. It was always girls that bore the brunt of the bullshit. Karen said they were going back to visit that aunt the next week and that is when Kit snapped. “I will never go back there.” she thought as she took the safety off of the pistol, while remembering every detail of the two times Michael had forced himself on her and raped her. It happened once when she was 10 and once again just the past summer when she was 12. NOW Karen wanted to visit Aunt Tess again–and in Kit’s mind, she was filled with dread while experiencing flashbacks to the memories of both incidents–not wanting to get out of the shower after either time.
Trembling, Kit took the safety off of the pistol. Still wearing her Bay City Rollers T-shirt that her brother Jack purchased for her, she raised the pistol and pointed it right at Karen’s left temple and was about to pull the trigger. She trembled with fear and then, suddenly, she stepped back and lowered the pistol. It was as if she heard or felt a presence in the room telling her that she couldn’t do this. She felt that presence also tell her that things would not be the way they were for very long. She quietly crept back to the dresser and stuck the pistol into the drawer.
She then crept back into her cell and cried herself to sleep. Years later she would understand her thought train much better than the 13-year-old mind she possessed at the time ever could have: “If I had shot her, then I would become her. I am not going to be like her.”
She also was throwing up the night before and ended up staying with her grandmother. She learned how to make herself very ill when it came to going to Tess’s house. Sometimes she threw up at the mention of Michael’s name directed at her–like when Karen came back the first time after Kit faked being ill and said, “Tess misses you and Michael would love to see you again.” As much as Kit hated Karen for not listening to her, she hated her more because the comments to her were like rubbing salt on an already wounded and slashed soul. On some days, Kit would rather endure Karen’s physical abuse than hear the mere mention of Michael’s name.
Within less than a year, Karen would kill herself with the very gun she tortured Kit with again and again. More beatings and such were endured, but Kit knew she would make it. Ironically, Kit feared guns and had never handled one prior to that evening. She was one of two in her entire family that didn’t have interest in firearms, until Karen came into their lives.