All the bedrooms at Camden House Group Home for Teenage Girls were simple and looked basically the same. We all had one pinewood-paneled accent wall. The other three walls were painted off-white. Our doors locked by push button in the doorknob from inside the room, and by key from the outside. There is a small closet for our clothes and the miscellaneous items we want to keep out of sight.
Other than that, the walls were bare, apart from personal pictures or random posters of famous singers and actors we might decide to hang. I had a Prince, Teena Marie and Miami Vice actor Phillip Michael Thomas on the wall, along with some personal pictures of myself I had from old school portraits. I had to admit the girl in those photos was pretty cute, even though I didn’t believe myself to be that attractive. Apart from my physical self, I could admire the beauty others saw, but when looking directly into the face of myself, I could not see it. I could not appreciate it.
Disassociation from myself gained my appreciation.
I had a four-drawer dresser and one nightstand near my twin-sized bed that held my digital alarm clock and boombox. There’s wasn’t much else in my room, so why not destroy any and everything I could manage to lift or tear from the walls.
I had already committed to going ape-shit. I let out my battle cry to warn the town folk that this was serious, it was happening, and I was going to be what I felt right now. Outright rage.
I could not control the impulse surging through my body. It was if I were suddenly possessed by some evil spirit that was fighting its way out, wanting to be seen and heard. Who was I to keep my demon captive? I had been doing that for thirteen years, keeping her quiet and in check every time someone did something foul to me.
Every time a relative or caregiver wanted me to touch them in that way. Every time some grown ass man wanted me sexually and I obliged because I didn’t know how to say no or get out of that situation. Every time my grandmother or mother beat me, I took it because I knew no other way. My demon would no longer be denied. She would be recognized. She would be seen, so I cut her loose, letting her have her way with the room.
With her newfound freedom in my small group home bedroom, she started by flipping the dresser over on its side by the front door. She ripped down all the posters and pictures on the wall that I had paid good money for. She knocked over my nightstand, kicking it until my toes ached from the pain she inflicted more on me than herself or that piece of furniture. She threw my boombox against the wall, while I watched it shatter on the floor in large chunks of plastic and speakers.
The only thing left was my alarm clock. She grabbed it and swung it by its cord, again and again, against the wall until it busted through the plaster leaving a gaping hole, exposing mesh screening and a stud beam located behind the sheetrock. When she was finished with the obvious stuff within her reach, she went for the wood paneling.
I watched from outside my body while she gripped the edge of the first panel and pulled with all her might until I heard it rip from the wall. When it broke free, she commenced breaking it with her hands and feet into small pieces of useless wood. With the first panel removed, she then started on the next one, then the next. By this time, she heard the keys in my door and somebody trying to get into my room, she immediately pushed my dresser in front of my door to block their entry and continued her demolition of my room.
I watched her take out all that rage on an innocent bedroom. I watched her outside my body possessed and out of control. I had no idea how much I denied her the freedom to fight back. I denied her the right to protect herself for all these years. I didn’t know she was hurting so badly and that she wanted and needed release from the years of torment she endured.
I cried for her.
I cried for me.
I cried for not letting her out sooner.
By the time Gloria finally got past the dresser, She had done a real number on my room. The girls had gathered in the hallway wondering what was going on. Gloria stood there looking astonished by the sight in front of her, trying to figure out what in the hell possessed me to commit such sabotage to my room and the property of this facility.
“Do you feel better?” she asked. “Are you done?” as she waited for me to catch my breath to answer.
My demon had been freed and had now exacted her frustration from years of restriction. She had been made whole, releasing me to my own devices, just in time for me to suffer the consequences of her actions.
I slump to the floor, starting in on a good deep cry. One that came from the depths of my soul. Whaling and hyperventilating in the process. I drew my knees to my chest to continue my cry into the knees of my jeans. I stayed in this sitting fetal position for what felt like an eternity. I cried until all I could do was dry-heave my feelings. When I finally stopped and looked up, Gloria had cleared the room and hallway. She had shut my door and was sitting quietly on my bed waiting for me to finish.
“I’m ma ask you again, do you feel better?” Gloria asked with deep concern in her voice.
“Yes. I’m sorry.” I responded through tear-redden eyes and a runny nose. “I don’t know what came over me. I just felt so angry at everything that was happening. I couldn’t control it. I’m so so sorry.” I continued to cry somewhere between a sob and dry-heaving. I continued this way for another fifteen minutes or so before I no longer had any water left in my body to release.
She reflected for a moment, giving the situation in front of her a full evaluation of the available options before she spoke again. “If you can promise me that you’ll never do anything like this again, I’ll cancel the 51/50 call I put in to the police,” she sighed before continuing. “You know this type of behavior is grounds for an immediate 51/50 call and removal from this facility?”
“Yes, what? Yes, you understand I could 51/50 you or yes you promise to never do anything like this again? Which is it?”
I sat for what seemed like a long time. Time enough for me to regain my composure, collecting myself and emotions before I spoke. “Yes, to both.”
She picked up the cordless telephone she had brought in with her and placed a call. I heard the police department dispatcher answer. Gloria gave some official-sounding information to the person on the other end of the call before she said thank you and hung-up.
I looked around my room ashamed of what I’d done. Although I had let my demon loose, it was my body she worked through to destroy any and everything in my bedroom she could get her hands on. With that realization, tears rolled silently down my cheek. Through sniffles, I promised to pay for all the damage. “I will pay for everything from my paycheck.”
“I’m sure you will because that’s about the only thing I can tell my boss to keep him from kicking you out immediately.”
“I-I will. I will turn over every dime until I replace or pay for repairs,” I said through a cracked and hoarse voice, “Except enough money for bus fare during the week to school and work.”
“I’m going to need you to sign a contract committing to just that. What will the consequence be if you don’t hold up your end of this deal?”
“It depends on when and if I break my contract, which I have no intentions of doing,” I responded, still recovering but more in control. My demon was gone for now. She had retreated to her nice and neat little hiding place. On high alert, for the next time, she would be needed to make things right.
“You’re lucky I like you and believe you have immense potential, that I’m even agreeing to this. If you were any other girl in this house, you’d be out on your butt A.S.A.P.”
I knew she was telling the truth because since I had been there another girl let her demons loose too, but her demon was kinder than mine had been, and she still got 51/50 from the compound. I was lucky, even though my demon had no regard for human life or its possessions. She absolutely did not give a fuck. My room proved her vengeance was long overdue.
Author Notes: Hello to all my coming-of-age enthusiasts. Thank you for stopping by and giving this book a read. I am deep in the heart of revisions.
Please feel free to leave comments and suggestions on any paragraph you feel warrants it. It is your comments and suggestions that will help make this a spectacular book in the end.
Stay safe and healthy. Read lots of books for entertainment, and soon this pandemic will pass.
Peace and blessings!-CV Davis
Constructive comments and suggestions are always welcomed. Thank you again. Here’s to hoping you’re having a safe and beautiful day. #CMBC
© CV Davis – Author