Sheís Hearing Voices

*Karen*

I always wanted to die. Iíve suffered enough. I constantly have monsters in my head. I donít know what happened to me. I must have had a happy childhood. But somewhere, it came undone.

My mom left when I was two. So, I was left with my father. That in itself made things worse. My father was a sick and cruel man. He didnít see me as a daughter. I was more of his girlfriend. *Shutter*

It all started when I was four. I didnít know what sex was then. I was still innocent then. I didnít know about sex, divorce, or why momma just left. I was just a child. But, he changed all of that.

I canít forget that day if I tried. It has scarred me. He scarred me. It was storming that afternoon. I was playing with my dolls at the time. Then, my father burst into my room. That was the first time I saw him drunk. It scared me to death. I didnít know what to do.

ďPapa?Ē I asked. ďPapa, whatís wrong?Ē He slurred out his answer. It didnít sound human. My father seemed to be possessed by the devil. Everything about him turned animal-like. Next, he lunged at me. I began to run away. He chased me down. I managed to reach the living room before he caught me. I tried to escape, but he dragged me back to the family room. He pushed me back onto the futon.

*Shutter* I try to block out that night from my head. I still have nightmares about it. That night began years of sexual abuse for me. I begged my father to stop. He would laugh at me and keep on. I was helpless against him. There wasnít anything I could do. So, I quietly took it growing up.

At age eighteen, I finally ran away from home. I may have escaped from my father. But, I couldnít escape my past. My life right now is in ruins. I work as a call girl in Tokyoís Red Light District and Iím not proud of it. I hate myself even more afterwards every night. These men make me feel ugly and dirty afterwards. Over time, I became burned out and wanted to die. I would get my wish soon.

Three nights ago, I was with a client when I heard her voice. She told me I would die next year during the Fire Festival. Most people would freak out over this, but not me. I felt relieved. My wish was finally coming true. Of course, I thought it was a dream.

But by morning, it wasnít. And when I saw that damned fourteen burned into my shoulder, a grim feeling came over my stomach. Iím not sure I want to die anymore.

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