As far back as she could remember Sandra’s life has been a revolving door for family members to enter and exit, with promises that were never kept. The only one she knew that she could count on was her Grandmother. That was until her father, who has been absent for as many years as she could remember reappears and whisk her from her simple paradise of mango and guava trees in the tropics of Jamaica to the fast-moving, unfamiliar streets of New York. Looking forward to residing in a land of milk and honey with riches beyond her dreams, Sandra was apprehensive yet eager to begin her new life.
Not in a million years did she imagine that this new life would closely resemble a horrific Cinderella tale with a dark sinister twist, making her life a living hell. With each agonizing day in her new home bringing her closer to the brink of self-destruction, Sandra begins to wonder if she has the strength to withstand the crushing blows dealt by her so-called loved ones. Follow her journey as she is forced to find ways to dodge the bullets of the life she’s come to know and keep her past from destroying her future.
Excerpt from Book
Ignoring my response, he kneeled down in front of me and began kissing on me. I tried to refuse the invasion of his tongue, but he pressed against my lips harder, placing one hand behind my head, and the other between my legs. When he started tugging at the zipper of my pants, I shoved him hard. The force caught him off guard and he fell backwards. I bolted out of the room, out the house, and down the block to a friend’s house.
I didn’t tell my friend anything of course. As far as she knew everything was okay. We played board games in her room until I saw my stepmother’s tan Oldsmobile pull into the driveway. I walked back to the house slowly. I figured that with her there, he wouldn’t have the nerve to bother me anymore that night. I was only half right. I guess old Sean figured if he couldn’t get me one way, he’d get me another. I could hear my stepmother running water in the kitchen sink when I walked in the house.
“Good evening, Mom.” Though I knew it was unlikely, I’d hoped that my greeting would go unanswered, and I could dash back into my room. No such luck.
“Sandra, where have you been?” she called out.
“I just went over to Nicole’s house for a few minutes.” Please let her leave me alone, I prayed silently. A few moments of silence passed.
I didn’t move right away. Maybe I was being a little paranoid, but her voice sounded a little too calm for me. I took slow steps to the kitchen, trying to think of what I may have done to set her off this time. When I got to the doorway of the kitchen she walked over to the where I was standing, drew back, and slapped me across the face.
“Didn’t I tell you to keep your ass in the house when you get home from school!” she shouted.
I held the side of my stinging face, and started to cry. “I was only there for a few minutes,” I lied.
“Don’t you dare talk back to me! When I tell you to do something, you do it! You so busy running the street that I have to come home from a hard day of work and cook too? Who you out looking for in de street? You trying to run behind some man now?”
“No, Ma’am. I was just at Nicole’s house, and there were no boys there.” My voice was shaky and I was horrified. Running behind some boy is the last thing I wanted to do. I was trying to run from one!
“Don’t think you’re going to run around with your fast Yankee friends and come here with a belly. When dat happens don’t you tink for one second that you gonna come in dis house wit no baby. You good for nothing bitch!”
“Me neva do nutten wrong. I wouldn’t do dat!” By this time my tears were out of frustration, rather than the slap I’d received.
Apparently my explanations didn’t mean a thing, because before I knew it, my stepmother had grabbed the broom from the corner, and batted it across my arm. I yelped out of both pain and surprise. I began backing away from her, but she kept coming at me swinging and yelling.
“You good for nothing fat bitch! Why can’t you do anything right around here?” Smack! She landed a blow to the side of my head.
I turned away from her with the intent of running up the stairs, but another swing, and the handle struck me across my left ankle. I fell at the bottom of the stairs, clutching my ankle and screaming.
“Shut your damn mouth!” she hissed. “Ain’t nobody killing you in here! If you weren’t such a bad person, I wouldn’t have to do this.”
I didn’t say a word for fear that she’d swing again. I lay there sniffling, and holding my ankle.
“Didn’t I tell you not to eat any food when you got home from school?”
My eyes widened. Sean had told after all. “Yes.” I answered quietly. I shut my eyes and braced myself for another smack. When it didn’t come, I opened my eyes. She was glaring down at me, her eyes full of hatred.
“You look like a fat, ugly pig, and you don’t even care. Ya know how embarrassing it is to introduce you to my friends as my daughter?”
I didn’t say a word. Something told me that this wasn’t a question that she wanted an answer to.
“I’m trying my best to take care of you and your brother, and this is the thanks I get. Where’s your mother? Huh? Where is she? She’s not here, that’s for sure. She didn’t want you, so you’d better start to appreciate the fact that I’m willing to put up with you!” She paused to catch her breath from all that ranting and raving. “Get outta my face! You make me sick!” She gave me one final glare. I think she may have been contemplating hitting me one more time for good measure. Instead, she shook her head and walked back into the kitchen.
When she was gone, I eased up the stairs. I didn’t want to make any noise that might set her off again. I closed the door softly; thankful for the millionth time that Sean no longer shared a room with me. When my parents finally finished the other bedroom, I thought that I would get to sleep in it since I was the only girl. But they’d given it to Sean because he was the oldest. At this moment, I didn’t care, just as long as he was away from me.
I didn’t leave my room for the rest of the night, except to go to the bathroom. I knew that I wasn’t going to get any dinner, so I didn’t even think about it. I took my shower, and went to bed early that night. As I lay there in the dark, I silently wished for death. After enduring this sort of treatment for the last couple years, I knew that would be the only way this suffering would end.
This wasn’t the first time I’d thought about dying. The idea had crept in and out of my thoughts since I was twelve. Most nights I would lay there and pray that God would just take me. When I realized that it didn’t quite work that way, I found myself fantasizing about the best ways to die.
I was scared of heights, so I couldn’t jump off a building like they did in the movies. Then I thought about cutting my wrist. I found one of my father’s razors, and locked myself in the bathroom after everyone was asleep one night. I sat on the floor holding the razor willing myself to do it. My hands shook. I was scared to die, but it hurt so much to live. In the end I didn’t do it. I couldn’t stand the sight of blood, especially my own. I went to bed that night thinking about the day that I wouldn’t be so scared, the day that I would finally do it. That thought alone gave me the calmest feeling I’d ever known. Just the knowledge that one day the pain would end seemed to give me strength for the next day. I’d long since given up on the notion of our mother ever coming for us. This was my life, my hell and no one was going to save me. That much I was sure of.