People just don’t understand. She lived in a world of dust, where there was no happiness. You have to know what happens behind closed doors before you can judge. He hit her. He hit her everyday and she couldn’t do anything to fight back. I was a little kid when I saw it the first time. My protective instincts kicked in immediately, but what can a five year old do to a full grown man? I kicked him in the shins doing nothing but earning myself a fair amount of black and blue marks.
I have a scar on my rib from the second time I tried to help her. He had a fork and my six year old body was easily over powered leaving four long cuts. She stepped in front of me then and told him to hurt her, not me. I had many more encounters with him, sometimes twice a week and as I grew to understand the world I worked harder to protect her.
By the time I was 15 I was training hard at football practice, lifting weights everyday, taking boxing lessons, and slowing falling in love with her. Her name was CarriAnn and she was a year older than me. She had beautiful brown hair that went down to her hips and matched the color of her eyes. She was much smaller than me and had a very large heart. On my sixteenth birthday, I took her to the carnival in town for a date. We had an incredible time and were soon in an official relationship.
One day we were sitting under the small bridge over the local pond and she said to me, “I love you.” She kissed me, then saying, “It is so much more real than I ever imagined it could be.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“What my dad does to me isn’t the same as your gentle touch; you are never rough or making me do anything and I just want you to know how much I love you. You are my diamond,” she said with a single tear rolling down her beautiful cheek. I wiped it away because nothing sad should ever be on the face of such an angel and kissed her forehead.
About a week after that I found him hitting her again and he had a gun. She was again in the dust. When I came in the room it was pointed at her head and she was screaming my name. Her eyes found mine and I saw the complete terror in them, igniting my anger. He saw her looking at me and turned suddenly, releasing three bullets. One entered my shoulder. I still lunged for him, not feeling the pain from all of the adrenaline in my body, but I was a lot weaker than my mind thought and, although I got a few good hits on him, he still had the gun that was now out of bullets. He swung with all his strength and connected the barrel with my skull, making me black out. I woke up in the same place as I landed and found her laying on her bed, crying, with more bruises than usual.
“Where did he go?” I asked her with as much strength as I had in my body.
“He left,” she whispered suddenly, remembering that I was in the room.
“Are you ok?” I asked, slowly crawling to the side of the bed.
She shook her head slowly and her body filled with shaking sobs as she crawled off the bed and wrapped her arms around me. I used my good arm to hold her as tightly as I could to me, and we both cried until I blacked out from the loss of blood. The second time I woke up in a hospital bed with bandages around all the bullet spots. There was no permanent damage to me, but the doctors said that CarriAnn was going to stay at the hospital for awhile. I visited her everyday. After two weeks they declared that she was pregnant. She cried a lot and I held her as close to my chest as physically possible, trying to make her pain go away.
“Do you know who the father might be?” the doctor asked her one day. I looked at her and she looked at me for a long while. I saw in her eyes that she didn’t want them to know the truth and I still wasn’t sure why. She usually said that she loved him and knew that he did the things he did because he didn’t know any better.
“I am,” I said, turning to look at the doctor, even though I had never done more than kissed her. I could feel her relax under my arms, but I could not relax. I knew that by what I just said I changed my life and I wasn’t sure if it was for the better.
The day the baby was born, CarriAnn’s father was no where to be found, a day she called a diamond. We named her Daryn and she looked just like CarriAnn in every way, and when I signed the birth certificate, I swore I would never let her real father touch a single hair on her angelic head.
Three weeks later, as I walked into their house, I heard CarriAnn scream bloody murder. Even after a beautiful blessing had been given to her, she still was in the dust. I didn’t understand as much about the world as I should but I knew that a scream like hers should never exist in the world. This time I was determined to save her. As I ran into her house, I grabbed a knife in the kitchen and ran back to her room where the ear splitting screams were coming from. He had his back turned toward me and I jumped on him, sending the knife into his ribs. He fell to the ground and I don’t know how long he lived after that, but I hope he suffered. I rushed to her side and she touched my cheek softly, smiling gently. Her hand was holding her chest and blood was pouring out between her fingertips. I kissed her forehead, knowing there was no way she was going to make it out of this one and she knew too. She pointed toward the small crib in the corner that was holding the accidental child from my weakest attempt at protecting her. I was more concerned about getting an ambulance for her, though.
I reached deep in my pocket for my phone and when I pulled it out, she put her blood free hand on mine and said, “Take her and leave.” There was no chance for discussing it because with that statement, she shut her eyes in pain and drew a deep breath for one last blood curdling scream that was never able to leave her lips. I sat there crying for a good long while then stood slowly and took the three steps to reach the crib. I wiped the last few threatening tears from my eyes and saw the most beautiful baby girl. Her sad, brown eyes looked up at me as if she already knew. In that moment, I swore that she would never know pain or sadness or cruelty. Her world would be a perfect place as long as I had something to do with it. She would be the diamond from the dust.