Rebecca and her father hadn’t always had a close relationship. The friendship and love they held for each other was grown and had taken a long time to do so, only because Rebecca had taken her time. Her father was a compassionate man, a man who held others up and if need be, came down to do so. Rebecca loved her father, and this day she sat across from him, watching him eat. She studied his face. His strong jaw line clenched as he ate, making his jaw muscles bulge. Rebecca looked up to his dark, wavy, course hair. Rebecca smiled to herself, seeing the grey colour at his temples. Her father always said that grey hair was a crown of glory and found atop the heads of righteous living people. She tried to tease him about it, but he always smiled and said, “Well, at least I have a visible crown!”
“What is it, Rebecca? You’re making fun of my hair again, aren’t you?” the voice of love penetrated through her thoughts.
Rebecca smiled into his loving, deep brown eyes. Sometimes she thought her father knew her better than she knew herself.
“Why do you say that?”
“I can see it in your smile and your eyes. You give yourself away!” her father chuckled deeply.
He smiled at her, warming Rebecca more than the warmth of the fire in the dining room. She grinned and looked down at her food. Food fit for a king. Everything Rebecca had was the best, her father wanting nothing less for her. She picked up her shiny, golden fork and stabbed at an equally golden potato, popping it into her mouth. She closed her eyes in pleasure at the taste of it. Opening her eyes and chewing slowly, she gazed at her father again. Her smile faded as she remembered herself before his love, the days where she ruled herself, no one loved her and when she thought about death more than any young girl, or any person, should ever dwell upon.
Rebecca ran. Her arms and legs pumping hard. Her breath heaved heavily as she tried to leave the coppers behind. However, cars are faster than any ten year old girl could ever run. Thinking quickly, Rebecca disappeared into an alleyway the cars could not fit into. She glanced behind her. No cops yet… Climbing up onto a dumpster bin, she leaped from there onto an overhanging awning. In the dark, she slipped, smashing her shin. She cried out then quickly glanced back again to the alleyway opening and saw the cars screech to a halt. Rebecca sucked through her teeth. Pulling herself up, she faced a window in front of her and struggled to open it. Panting as she tried to shove it open, the window slowly moved ajar. I guess now it helps to be small, she smirked. Slipping through the opening, she then turned and pushed hard to close the window again.
“They’ll have to try all the windows to try and find me,” she whispered triumphantly to herself.
Spinning around, she tried to make out what was in the dank room. She looked down and kicked at a book. Light streamed into the tiny room and Rebecca dropped to the floor, eyes wide. She heard shouting. Man alive! Rebecca, are you really as dumb as you look? the voices in her head taunted. Rebecca frowned and crawled across the floor to the door. She tried to yank it open but the handle wouldn’t budge. She tried to flip the lock but it was jammed. Stupid! You didn’t think at all! Only senseless idiots would do something this brainless! Rebecca gasped as she saw the lights flashing in through window. Someone shattered the glass and men jumped into the room. Trapped, Rebecca hid her agonizing pain and glared into the light. A man gripped her hard and yanked her away from the door. Someone broke down the door and Rebecca was led out towards yet another prison, but none the worse than how she was bound in her head.
Ten months later, now eleven and after seven months in juvenile detention, Rebecca was once again running. Not from the police this time, but from the only men and women in her life. People that didn’t love her, but people who used her to get what they wanted and if she didn’t produce, she was hunted. The worst that had happened to her was having broken bones from the consequences of not giving. Rebecca was tired. Tired of running, tired of being unwanted, tired of being tormented by the people in her life and the voices in her head. Rebecca would not show that to them, though.
Rebecca came to the rich and wealthy part of the city. Stopping for a short moment, she glanced around at the houses. That house! The third one on the left! The man who lives there deserves to have his house ruined by a little girl! Rebecca took off towards that house. Seeing no car, and the door locked, she jumped the fence and ran around the back of the house. She stopped again, taking in the beauty of the garden set before her. Someone really cares about this house and this garden, she thought. No! Wreck it, pull and shred it and send it to the people after you! Save yourself and go inside and find the most valuable item you can find and take it back to them! the voices shouted at her. Heeding to their command, she ruin the garden and broke into the house and ran up the stairs to find the master bedroom. She was tearing through every draw and taking down every picture frame when she heard a door close. Oh no, oh no, oh no! Rebecca kicked herself for not being quicker or taking more care. She heard thumping as someone came up the stairs. Sliding under the bed, she bit her bottom lip to keep from crying out as she hit her head on a metal bar. She watched the shoes from under the bed. She squeezed her eyes tight, hoping with all her might he would not look under the bed. To her complete dismay, the man‘s hands and knees came to the floor. Rebecca shimmied as quietly as she could back out from under the bed. She crawled around the bed, cautiously, wondering at the chances of the bed being too big for her to be seen from a crouching position! When she got to the end of the bed, she slowly peered around the corner to see the man reaching under it. Quickly pulling her head back and staring at her hands on the floor, she debated when to run. Now! Just go now, you fool! the voices screamed. Looking up, ready to sprint, she saw polished brown shoes and grey slack pants blocking her way. Screaming out in fright, she took off around him, down the dark wood stairs and out of the double French doors at the front. Glancing back at the house, she saw the man. She quickly looked ahead, spooked by the look on his face. His face revealed pain, sorrow and something else she couldn’t read. Busy in her thoughts, she almost ran into a cop car as she rounded a corner. In shock, her body didn’t move and once again she was handcuffed and thrown into the back of the car.
“Well, this just made our job easier. No chasing a girl through fences and windows! You ran straight into us!” one of the policemen laughed.
The other grinned and said to her, “Good thing Mr. Amor has good friends and neighbours to point out if some little child tears up his garden.”
Again in this dumb courtroom! I’m probably gonna be sentenced for life for vandalizing this rich dude’s house! Rebecca rolled her eyes. Not listening to anything being said.
Rebecca glared up at the judge, “What?”
“Do you have anyone to pay you bail?”
“What do you think?” Rebecca snapped.
The judge turned to one of the people from The Department of Child Safety, “Mr. Tumbler, is this the case? The same as the other times?”
“Yes, sir, Judge.”
“That is not true. I’m going to bail her out!”
Rebecca whizzed around to face the rich man who was smiling at her. Quickly looking away, she stared up at the judge.
“I see this is quite a surprise to you, Miss Parkes? Mr. Amor, are you sure? She is a criminal and one who vandalized your own home!”
“I am sure.”
The months that followed first involved Child Safety taking her to her new foster home and parent, Mr. Amor. Rebecca fought against Mr. Amor all the time. She would run away and the cops would bring her back to him. He would look after her and love her, and she would reject him and run away, committing crimes. Deep down she liked being with Mr. Amor, because she finally felt loved. However she didn’t know how to deal with it and the voices in her head always told her to do the opposite of what he wanted. No matter how many times she could have gone back to juvenile, Mr. Amor would pay her bail and get her back home. One night, Rebecca’s mind was being racked with the voices. You need to break his heart! Then we’ll see how much he loves you! they screamed.
“Shut up! Just shut up! I’ve broken his heart so many times and he still brings me back!” she shouted at them. You haven’t! You’re still here! No one loves you! No one could ever love you! Just give up!
“Stop!” she cried. Throwing herself onto her bed, she sobbed loudly and she didn’t hear Mr. Amor walk in. Sitting on the end of her bed, he laid his warm hand on her foot. She whimpered and sat up, facing him.
“Help me! Please, Mr. Amor! I don’t know why you keep me when I do everything wrong and the opposite to what you say. But these voices in my head! They gang up on me! Please, I don’t want them anymore! I’m scared!” Rebecca covered her face as she broke down in tears again.
Rebecca tried to stop crying as she looked up at him. Again she saw the face she saw when she first ran away from him. Pain, sorrow, and still she couldn’t tell what else. Mr. Amor smiled at her and opened his arms. Rebecca burst into tears again and made her way into his arms. His arms around her and her head on his chest, she quietened.
“You want to know why, Rebecca?” Mr. Amor asked quietly, “It’s because since that first day I was upset that a young girl was going through the torments of death and I saw a young girl scared and in need. I love you, Rebecca. That is why nothing you do or don’t do can make you leave my home, or my heart.”
Rebecca looked through her tears, into his eyes and finally saw what she hadn’t understood. Love.
“I’m so sorry.” she cried. “Can I… can I call you my father?”
Mr. Amor beamed at her and hugged her tight, “Of course,” he whispered.
Rebecca broke out of her thoughts and realized she had finished her food and her father was staring at her.
“You saved me from them, Father. From the people who wanted to hurt me and from the voices that hated me. You loved me when no one else would.”
Rebecca pushed back her chair and stood out from the table. She walked around to her father. Looking into his eyes, Rebecca adoringly said, “I love you so much, Father.”