I stuffed the shirt in the furthest corner of the lowest drawer I could find in my bedroom. I never wanted to see it again. I wanted to shred it, but that would only bring me more hurt from a belt.
Belts or "switches", small flimsy limbs from trees or bushes, were her favorite. Whenever she would hear me crying after he was finished with me and returned to her bed, she would leave belt buckle marks on my back, hidden where only I knew they were there.
Hate is such a strong word, especially for a child so young. One day, my heart turned black and it wouldn't begin to heal until many years later. This was a day, just like many days, when he would stay behind while she went to bed and hurt me. Once he was finished and retreated to their sanctuary to have with her, I found myself trying desperately to scrub the dirtiness from my skin again and again. I must've been crying loudly, because she did not come to mark my skin, but sent him to do so. Why was he so angry? I did what he wanted me to, and I hadn't told her. Those marks were there for a long while. I can still feel them on my back now, stinging, aching from movement swollen for anyone to see. No one ever did, of course. I didn't want them to see what I had caused. It was all my fault. If only I had been quieter, more respectful. If I had behaved better, this wouldn't have happened.