Authors: Clair Delaney
I WAKE UP IN MY BED
- I am
thirsty. It is dark outside. I rub my eyes and call for Daddy, but he does not
come to me. Mommy is working at the hospital tonight. She is a nurse. She makes
people feel better. I climb out of bed and walk along the hallway to Mommy and
Daddy’s bedroom. Daddy is not in bed. I hear Daddy laugh loudly, he is
downstairs in the kitchen. I like Daddy’s laugh it makes me smile. Mommy always
says I cannot go down the stairs on my own in case I fall, but I want some
I stand at the top of the stairs.
“Daddy, I am thirsty.” Daddy does not hear me so I hold on to the banister as I
walk down the stairs. I watch my feet as I take each step, when I reach the
bottom I am glad I did not fall, Mommy would be upset.
“Daddy?” He still doesn’t come to
me. I can see the light is on through the gap at the bottom of the door. I walk
over and push the door open. Daddy has a lady with her, she is sitting on the
kitchen counter, she has her legs around Daddy and he is kissing her – I don’t
“Coral?” Daddy turns and walks
over to me and picks me up.
“I see what you mean,” the lady
says. “Eyes like the sea.” I don’t like the lady she is looking at me funny.
“What are you doing up munchkin?”
“Thirsty,” I whisper – Why is the
lady still looking at me?
“How old is she?” The lady asks
“Four.” Daddy says. I turn my
head away from her and hide on Daddy’s shoulder. I put my thumb in my mouth and
suck – it makes me feel better.
“Alright beautiful, water and
back to bed.” Daddy walks us over to the kitchen sink and fills my special cup
with water. Then he puts the special top on and hands it to me. I take a long
drink. I am very thirsty. Daddy carries me out of the kitchen, up the stairs
and into my bedroom. He switches on my special lamp that glows orange. I like
it. He puts me into my bed and sits next to me. I drink some more of the water.
“Ok baby, that’s enough.” Daddy takes the cup off me and puts it on my dresser.
I look up at Daddy, his eyes look funny they are red and squishy.
“Who is that lady?” I ask. Daddy
“She’s Daddy’s friend from work.
Now, no more sneaking downstairs from you young lady, it’s time for bed.” Daddy
is a salesman. I don’t know what that means. Daddy pulls the covers over me and
kisses me good-night.
I AM COLOURING IN MY
dinosaur pictures that Daddy brought for me. Daddy is sleeping he said he is
tired. I am waiting for Mommy to come home from the hospital. Mommy said we can
have pancakes for breakfast because it is a Saturday, and I don’t have to go to
Nursery. I hear Mommy open the front door.
“Mommy.” I call out. Mommy comes
up the stairs, she is wearing her Nurse uniform. Mommy comes and sits next to
me and strokes my hair, Mommy looks tired.
“Hey baby-girl, what are you
doing in here by yourself?” I look up at Mommy.
“Daddy is tired.” Mommy looks
“Ok, baby. Stay here for a minute
and then we can go and make pancakes ok?” I smile at Mommy, I love pancakes.
Mommy said we can only have them sometimes because they are not good for you. I
don’t understand? She says green vegetables are good for you, I don’t like
them, I like pancakes - I stop colouring.
Mommy is shouting at Daddy, Daddy
is shouting at Mommy. It makes me upset, they are always shouting. It makes me
feel sad. I don’t think Mommy and Daddy love each other anymore. I hear
crashing and I cover my ears, the loud banging keeps going on and on, Mommy is
crying and screaming at Daddy. The door bangs open making me jump, I hide under
my bed. I can see Daddy walk past my bedroom. He throws a big bag down the stairs.
It crashes loudly at the bottom. Mommy and Daddy are shouting again, I cover my
ears. Daddy comes back, this time he has an even bigger bag; he puts it down
and comes into my room.
“Coral?” He peeks under the bed
and pulls me out. I try to stop him. Daddy scares me when he shouts. “It’s ok
baby. I’m not mad at you.” Daddy hugs me hard. He is hurting me. “Daddy has to
go away for a while,” he tells me.
“Ok Daddy.” He kisses me lots of
“I love you Coral, more than life
itself, understand?” Daddy says.
“I love you too Daddy.” Daddy
kisses me on my head.
“Bye baby-girl. I’m so sorry.”
“Bye Daddy.” Daddy walks away and
picks up his bag...
I AM EATING MY PANCAKES IN THE KITCHEN
. Mommy is on the phone. She is speaking to my big sister Kelly. She
is fifteen. She has a different Daddy to me.
“Kelly, I mean it. Come home
now!” Mommy shouts and shakes her head. “I don’t care what fucking rave it is,
I have to work tonight. You need to look after Coral.”
I eat my pancakes they are yummy,
Mommy turns and smiles at me.
“Fucks sake Kelly, now or you’re
grounded for the rest of the year capiche?” Mommy is naughty. She said a swear
word. Mommy slams the phone down.
“Mommy you said a swear word.”
Mommy sighs and starts to cry.
“I know baby, naughty Mommy.”
“You have to put ten pence in the
swear jar like Daddy does.” I tell her.
“Yes baby, I will,” Mommy says...
MOMMY HAS GONE TO THE HOSPITAL
, she is a nurse. She has left me with my big sister Kelly. She
doesn’t like me. She scares me. She hits me when she is mad. Kelly slams a
plate down in front of me. Mommy made me Macaroni Cheese for my dinner.
“Eat it,” she shouts.
I pick up my special fork and put
some in my mouth. “Ouch!” I spit it out. It burns.
“God your disgusting!” Kelly
slaps me around the head, hard. It makes my nose touch my Macaroni Cheese. It
burns and stings so I rub it hard. “Oh fuck this!” Kelly walks out of the
kitchen. Kelly said a swear word, but I won’t tell Mommy, Kelly will just hit
I am hungry. I blow on my dinner
like Mommy showed me. I try again, it’s still too hot. Kelly comes back in the
kitchen she slams her bag down on the kitchen table. She is wearing sparkly
silver top and a little skirt, she’s got lots of make-up on, her eyes are very
black. She takes Daddy’s wine bottle out of the fridge and starts drinking it,
she laughs at me.
“Well at least you now know what
it’s like to be abandoned.” Kelly drinks some more of Daddy’s wine. I don’t
understand, what is abandoned? “You’re on your own tonight little fucker.
There’s no way I’m missing this rave.” Kelly grabs my hair. “If Mom calls, you
tell her I’m in the bath, understand?” I start to cry, she is hurting my head.
“Understand?” she shouts.
“Ok.” I fall off the kitchen
chair. I bang my head and my leg. Kelly picks up her bag and I hear her slam
the front door.
Mommy, Daddy where are you?
I am scared. I go upstairs
and hide under my bed, the house makes funny noises...
My belly rumbles. I am hungry. I
remember my Macaroni and Cheese. I walk downstairs, I hold onto the banister. I
walk into the kitchen, it feels cold. I sit on my chair, my dinner is cold, but
I am hungry. I go to sleep after my dinner. I don't like playing on my own...
Mommy wakes me up. “Come on
baby-girl. We have to go.” I am still sleepy. Mommy looks tired, her eyes are
all red, she is crying.
It is dark outside. “Mommy, where
are we going?”
“To the hospital.” I smile, I
like going to the hospital with Mommy. She puts me in the car and puts on my
seatbelt. She squeezes my hand. “I’m sorry your sister left you on your own.” I
stare at Mommy, she is really crying. “Kelly is sick baby. She took something
that made her bad it’s called Ecstasy, you must never take it. Do you
understand?” Mommy shouts at me.
“Yes Mommy.” I am scared. I suck
We are in the hospital. Mommy is
gone. Nanny is here, she is angry.
“Damn stupid girl.” Nanny looks
down at me. “Well let’s hope you don’t end up like Kelly eh? Although, the way
things are going….” I don’t understand what Nanny means?
I see Mommy in the corridor, she
is walking slowly and she is crying a lot. Mommy falls to the floor. Nanny gets
up and goes to over to her, she shakes her head at Nanny, she looks really sad
– We all go home, but Kelly hasn’t come home with us...
I AM FIVE TODAY
. Daddy has
been gone a long time. He hasn’t sent me a birthday card. I don’t think Daddy
loves me anymore. I think it’s my fault Daddy left, maybe I wasn’t a good girl.
Maybe Daddy thought I was bad. I hope Father Christmas doesn’t think I am bad,
or he won’t come either. That will make me very sad just like when Daddy left,
I like Christmas and presents. Mommy said Daddy might come to see me today on
my birthday. Kelly won’t see me though, Mommy said she is in heaven. Mommy has
bought me some roller-skates. She says we can go to the park later and play
with them. Mommy is on the phone, she is shouting, she has Daddy’s wine in her
“How could you- you fucker. It’s
her birthday…No…..What!?...No you can tell her that!” Mommy calls me over.
“It’s your Daddy.” Mommy hands me the phone. She puts it to my ear. “Like this
baby,” she shows me.
“Coral?” I hear Daddy’s voice, I
am sad he is not here.
“Hi Daddy, when are you coming
“Happy Birthday darling, how big
are you now?”
“I am five,” I tell him.
“Wow such a big girl!”
“Where are you Daddy?”
“Working baby.” I don’t
understand? Daddy doesn’t normally work on Saturday.
“Aren’t you coming Daddy?”
“No baby-girl. Not today.” I
start to cry. “Don’t cry baby. Put your Mommy back on.” Daddy sounds angry. I
give Mommy the phone and go up to my room, I want to do some colouring in, when
I do that I don’t think about Daddy or Kelly...
MOMMY HAS FOUND A BABYSITTER FOR ME
. Her name is Jessica – I don't like her, she scares me. She smells
funny and sends me to my room, and she doesn’t cook me my dinner. I am always
hungry – I don't think I like Mommy anymore either, she is just like Jessica.
Mommy is mad all the time, I run and hide from her when she is trying to smack
Mommy has been downstairs for
hours now. I can hear the loud music and people laughing. I am hungry. I am
still wearing my pretty, white frilly dress that I wore to Nursery and I still
have my shiny red shoes on. They are like Dorothy’s in the Wizard-Of-Oz. If I
click them together, I can disappear to a magical place just like Dorothy.
My belly rumbles again – it
hurts. I go to find Mommy. I walk down the stairs. The living-room door opens
and a man walks out, he is naked. Sometimes Daddy is naked when he comes out of
the shower. He is tall like Daddy. He has lots of hair on his face and a fury
He smiles a big smile at me. “Well,
well, well. What do we have here?” He kneels down to me. “And what is your name
I look down at my shiny shoes.
Daddy said I shouldn’t talk to strangers.
He takes hold of my hand and he
smiles at me again.“Are you scared?” I nod at him. He laughs loudly like Daddy.
I smile back at him. “Well aren’t you a shy little thing?” He looks at me funny
and licks his lips. He pulls on my hand but I don’t want to follow him. “It’s
ok, come and meet my friend,” he says.
I walk with him into the living
room – Mommy is naked and asleep on a man.
There are lots of people all in
here, some of them are kissing and doing other things, I can see a woman’s
boobies the man has his hands on them. There is loud music and it is very
smoky. The man pulls on my hand and sits down, then he lifts me up and sits me
on his lap, he doesn’t sit me down like Daddy does. He puts his legs together
and pushes my legs apart so they are dangling over his. I feel scared.
“John, watcha think?” He shouts.
Another man comes over and kneels
down in front of me.“Wow, look at those eyes.” I suck my thumb – I don't like
“I know, and she’s a shy one.”
The other man laughs.
“Even better!” He sits next to
the man I am sitting on.
He whispers in my ear. “Shhh, you
have to be quiet,” he tells me.
His hand slides up my leg and
under my dress. I don’t like it. He puts his other arm around my waist and
squeezes me tight. I can feel something long and hard pushing against my bottom.
I shake my head and wriggle. I
want to run away, I don’t like it. The man starts to touch me under my panties,
I feel funny, he keeps rubbing me there.
No stop, I don’t like it, let
me go. Mommy!
I try to stop his hand, but the
other man slaps one of my legs and tells me to be quiet. It stings, he hit me
really hard - The other man won’t stop rubbing me.
“Oh she’s perfect.” He says to
the other man sitting next to him, he is breathing really heavy in my ear –
me alone! Mommy, Daddy!