"One Chicken Barbeque and a can of soda," I smiled at the lady as I write her order on the paper I'm holding.
"That would be all." I smiled at her once again and took the menu book from her as I returned to the counter.
"Fred, once chicken barbeque for table three, please," I said before I took a can of soda from the fridge and put it on the tray as I wait for the food he prepares. Fred works as a cook in a small restaurant I'm working.
"Five minutes, Heaven." He replied.
I am Heaven – Heaven Grace Alton. I'm sixteen, a high school student by day and a waitress by night. Unlike other teenagers, my life is far from normal. Others don't have to work to sustain their daily needs, while I have to work hard to earn money for my education, my food, and my uncle's vices.
Yes, you heard that right. My uncle's vices. If I won't be able to give him money to sustain his demands, he would beat me. Oh, that's not all. If's there's no food on the table, or he isn't drunk enough, or if he loses in gambling, I would have the same fate. Maybe the only time he would not hit me is when he's asleep or when we don't cross our paths at home.
Honestly, I'm very envious of other kids. I would sometimes ask God is he is really real? If he's real, why is he so unfair? If he's real, why do I have to go through all of these? Why do I have to suffer maltreatment in the hands of my uncle? To tell you the truth, I'm not after material things. I never wanted these signature bags, or shoes, or makeup that other kids demand. It's not what I'm envious of. What I'm being envious of is more priceless. It's something that I once had, but now I don't. It's something that I desire the most. Family.
If only ten years ago didn't happen. If only I could hold them in my arms again. If only they're here, maybe I don't have to live with my cruel uncle, maybe I don't have to endure his abuse, maybe I would have a normal life like other kids.
There were a lot of things I don't understand and it made me so frustrated that I can't. I'm mad. I'm mad at my uncle who doesn't know any good and lives everyday influenced by alcohol. I'm mad at the culprit of the accident ten years ago. I'm mad at the selfish heart of people. I'm mad at my parents for leaving me alone. I'm mad at God for being so unfair.
God, why are you being unfair?
After my shift at the restaurant, I headed straight home. It's just six blocks away from where I'm working so I usually walk myself home. The flickering streetlights pave my way before I turn to the dark alley where I live. It's one in the morning and probably, my uncle is now asleep either drunk or drunk.
I opened the door as soon as I arrived. I looked around and saw my uncle sleeping on the couch with bottles of beer scattered on the table and the smell of cigar fills the house. He must've just fell asleep. I tiptoed my way to my room and made sure to lock it. We don't know what will happen when he wakes up. Changed into my pajamas, I laid myself to bed.
Every day is a tough day, Heaven. So, toughen yourself. I mumbled to myself before I dozed off.
"You little brat..." I heard someone hissed closely in my ears as he slowly touched my belly under my shirt. "Who would have thought that you had a great body?"
I felt his hands continually rubbing my body sending shivers of fear in my nerves. I tried to remain still, acting asleep, hoping that this is just a bad dream.
God, please stop this nightmare. Wake me up from this nightmare. As I whispered inside my head, he hovered over me which caused me to open my eyes wide in terror.
"U-uncle… please… stop." Tears rolled down my eyes as I try to get away from him. I gathered all the strength that I had and pushed him hard, giving me a sinister grin.
He gripped my left hand tight as he strangled my body with his. I looked at the bedside table on my right trying to look for a hard object to strike on his head. Aha! The lampshade! I exclaimed in my thoughts. I tried to reach out to the lampshade while he was forcing himself to nuzzle on my neck. As soon as I hold the lampshade's post, I pulled it as hard as I can, causing the wire that was plugged on the wall to snap. I then hit him on the head and kicked him in his groin causing him to crumple himself on the sheets as I push him away from my body.
I ran away from him but suddenly he pulled my shirt causing the fabric to tear apart, exposing my stomach. He grabbed my cheeks forcing me to look at him in horror. His eyes bulging at me and his face was red. He is furious.
"Your parents' money left for you were gone and you have to pay me for taking good care of you. You have a debt to pay, Heaven."
I tried to scream but no sound came out.
"You slut! You only bring bad luck!" He slapped me hard and I flung to the corner of the room due to the force of his hand. I felt my face swollen but I have no time to think about that… I have to get away from here.
I managed to get out of the house to the dark alleys, not knowing which way to go. My clothes were torn like rugs and my face is swollen, but I never cared. I ran and ran with all that I can as I fight against my weakening body, never looking back. My eyes drenched in tears and the skies roared in thunder, pouring out rainwater.
God, why… why me?
Why do I have to go through all these?
Are my parents not enough?
You took everything away from me… my family, my home. Now, you wanted to take my life too?
I let my feet take over as I was immersed with my thoughts, asking what's wrong with me to experience this kind of adversity. I'm looking for someone to blame. Should I blame my parents for leaving me alone in this world? Should I blame my uncle for maltreating and harassing me? Should I blame myself for being weak? Should I blame God for allowing me to live like I'm in hell?
Tires were screeching as I felt my body lifted in the air, making me weightless, then an immense pull of gravity dragged me down as I heard my bones crack from the impact. I opened my eyes, but a blurry scene played in front of me as I saw the police putting a yellow ribbon, two wrecked cars that were probably caused by a collision, stretchers were pulled from the ambulance, and medics run here and there. I tried to move but I couldn't, feeling the numbness all over the body caused by the extreme pain – not knowing whether it came from the collision, from my uncle's harassment, or the emotional torture since I was little.
"I just wish all the pain to go away."
I whispered the last time not minding if someone will hear it or not as I allowed myself to be consumed into oblivion.