The First Hint of Morning

Rena Phelps sat in  the silence. There was no light, no breeze and no expectation of a better day.  It was 4:30 on this midsummer morning and, once again, Rena had not slept.
There seemed no purpose to sleeping any more than there was a reason for being awake in Rena’s opinion. Every moment of the young adult’s life was one of further torture.  It had begun at the age of 8. It was the first day of 3rd grade and the other children took offense, apparently, to Rena’s chosen clothing of a bright pink shirt with a tiny butteffly on the pocket.  Rena thought it was pretty. Obviously, it wasn’t to the other children. They taunted their classmate without mercy from that day forward. They were clever in their torture, though. Never any hits that showed bruises or scratches and nothing untoward said in the hearing of adults. They were clever and sneaky and cruel..and they became closely united in their torture. Rena would endure relentless bullying from one group on the school bus, another group when she arrived at school and other groups in each class, in the lunchroom and on the playground. Each day ended with another session on the bus going home. There was no escape.
At home, Rena dealt with an older brother who tormented his sibling only when he acknowledged the existence which happened only rarely. Rena’s father worked long hard hours at a local factory and slept when home.  Father spent a bit of time tossing the football with Rena’s brother occasionally but never shared time with the younger. Rena spent most of the time at home locked away in the bedroom.  This was the life Rena endured for 14 years. First bullying at school, nonexistence at home then looks of disgust from coworkers.
This was not a life. Rena stared out as the sky slowly showed signs of life. Another day was dawning with no sign of change.
Rena had never known what had been done to antagonize the rest of the world. What had ever been done or said to encourage such behavior? Rena had no idea. But this young person did know that this was not life. This was not the way things should be. As a child, the prayer was that adulthood would make more sense, that adults would not be so cruel, but Rena had learned an excruciating lesson. People were cruel. Rena came to see that what people don’t understand scares them and when people are that scared they lash out.
Rena made the decision that new morning that it would be the last morning. The tortured soul found it suddenly fortunate living on the 12th floor.
Robert Phelps, age 22, died on Monday, July 8th, after falling from his 12th floor balcony……….

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