Not Who You Thought

Everyone smiles when they see her and she always smiles back.  Everyone has nice things to say about her.  She is thoughtful of others. She is kind.  She always helps where she can.  She is just a sweet person.  But those people only see the surface.  None of them truly knows Rachel Morgan. No one does.  Rachel Morgan is not completely certain, herself, of that person who gazes back at her from the mirror.  Rachel Morgan is mean.  Rachel Morgan is cruel and Rachel Morgan is dangerous.

On a bright Monday when she was 10 years old, Rachel woke to hear her parents arguing. This was nothing new.  Her parents did nothing but argue. Even at 10 she didn’t understand why they were together when they obviously didn’t like one another.  But they were, and the arguing always began first thing in the morning, escalated as the day wore on, and by bedtime they were either throwing things or they were throwing punches at one another.   Rachel couldn’t remember how many times the police had been to their house as she was growing up.

On this particular morning, however, the arguing seemed different.  Rachel wasn’t sure what was different, but it was.  It may have been the already high volume of the insults and threats or it may have been the subject of the argument.  From what Rachel could tell, her father was angry because her mother had been out very late and when she had come home, she had been drunk.  Rachel didn’t know why this would be an unusual problem since her parents both drank..a LOT..all the time.   Then Rachel heard her father scream that her mother was a whore.  He screamed that if she was going to sleep around she might as well charge for it because that was all she was good for.   Rachel’s mother then screeched that her father wouldn’t know anything about it since he never touched her.  Rachel’s mother called her father a name Rachel had never heard and didn’t understand.  That was when she heard the hitting start.  It went on for a couple of minutes before there was a pounding on the front door.  Rachel didn’t have to look to know the police were starting early that day.  At that moment, Rachel heard her mother scream just before the police broke down the door.

Rachel’s father was sent to prison for stabbing her mother that morning.  Soon after, Rachel’s mother started bringing hom men home-lots of them.  She brought home different men every night, sometimes three or four, one after the other.  Rachel learned to stay in her room when the men were around.  They were nearly always drinking. They were always sloppy and disgusting. One night, Rachel had gone to the kitchen and a man came from her mother’s room.  He grabbed Rachel and kissed her hard on the lips, grabbed at her privates then laughed when she slapped him and ran back to her room.

When Rachel was nearly 12, she stole money from her mother’s purse, went to the hardware store and bought a lock for her bedroom door.  The night before one of her mother’s men had come into Rachel’s room and climbed on top of her.  She hit him with the small lamp from her bedside table and ran to lock herself in the bathroom for the rest of the night.

When she was in high school, Rachel did a few months in a juvenile facility for stabbing a boy with a pencil.  She tried to tell the authorities that he was touching her but they wouldn’t listen.  In truth, the boy had put his arm around her and tried to kiss her, but to Rachel, it was an assault.  Rachel’s behavior only worsened from there.

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