Silent Struggle

As the alarm clock went off, Darla looked out her small window to peer at the tree that blew in the wind. Another day, another long ride on the bus to middle school. Another long day of teasing, hitting, and of being bullied. Darla was from a small town, a modest family life whose father was a minister while mother stayed home to care for home and children. Both had full time jobs and tried to live as true Christians. Darla was one of 4 children and the oldest. She hated school, not because of just the bullying but she didn’t understand and comprehend like the other students. She hated her life but loved her family.

She asked Dad if she could stay at home while they went out since she wasn’t feeling social tonight. She would watch her young brother, the only brother she had, to give them a break. He had special needs and was in a wheelchair. She could spend time with him and listen to some Rock music while they were gone. Her brother loved that music, every time dad would change to a different station with slower music, he would point to the radio and grunt in disapproval.

Darla enjoyed spending time with her brother. Trying to teach him how to say different words, making him feel like he was normal. He went to the State School and Graduated in the very first class. Mom made a 4 foot cake that was her talent; she made wedding, anniversary, baby shower and graduation cakes. Along with being a wonderful cook, mom was what Darla wanted to be like in some ways but also admired dad for all he did for the family and others. Dad was welder at a heavy machine equipment company and had been there since he graduated high school.

Darla’s 2 younger sisters were Emma and Loni. Emma was 4 years younger and Loni was 5 years younger. They fought like most siblings but could get along when they wanted to. They would play Bank and make money, deposit slips and just about everything they needed to play. It seemed like it took hours to get things ready and by the time things were set, they’d be too tired and would play only a half hour to one hour. They had fun in the process and that is what counted.

The rest of the family went out and Darla looked through the Cable Guide to see what was on the TV. Get snacks and drinks and put little brother in the corner chair that was made for him. That was the only way he could sit up without being in the wheelchair or being held. He was getting really long and that took a toll on everyone’s back. Going to the Chiropractor was expensive enough.

After a while Darla went to the bathroom, left the door open so she could hear brother. She had a thought, get the matches. No one would know what happened. She struck the match and watched the match burn. Another match, then another. I’m tired of getting bullied and this has to end. She was about to strike another match when her brother made a noise that sounded like he wasn’t happy being alone.

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