My stepfather always hated me. When my mother married him and he moved into our house, my life became a living hell. He found fault with every little thing I did and was constantly shouting at me and calling me names. In his eyes, I could never do anything right.
Pretty soon, all of the chaos at home began to affect my schoolwork. I found it impossible to study and my grades started slipping. At the dinner table, I was so nervous that I hardly ate a thing. I gradually withdrew into myself and stopped hanging around with my friends.
Things began to grow worse and worse. I became my stepfather’s punching bag. He started beating me at the slightest excuse. He was a strong man and I was too small to fight him off. Each punch and kick he delivered hurt me emotionally as well as physically. It wasn’t long before I was diagnosed with depression and the doctors put me on medication.
Through all this, my mother stood by and refused to intervene. She chose her new husband over me. That hurt me more than anything else. I gave up hope and prayed for the day when I could escape.
One day, I couldn’t take it anymore and ran away from home. I made it as far as the city, when the police found me and brought me home. When they took me back to my house, my stepfather was standing at the door waiting for me. His face was twisted in anger and rage.
As soon as the police left, he turned to me and said, “Did you think you could escape?”
That night, he beat me twice as bad as before. I cried myself to sleep. After that, the violence escalated. Every evening when he came home from work, I tried to avoid him, but it was no use. He began inventing excuses to beat me. I never understood how anyone could be so mean and cruel. It seemed like it was all a big game to him. Each time he hit me, I could see how much he was enjoying it. My body was covered in bruises and it hurt to breathe.
Eventually, he went too far. One evening, he beat me so badly that I couldn’t move. I just lay on the floor of my bedroom, staring at the ceiling. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was bleeding internally. My mother begged him to bring me to hospital, but he just ignored her. He said I was faking it. During the night, I lay on the floor of my bedroom, moaning in pain and slowly slipping into unconsciousness. The next morning, my mother came in to check on me, but by then, I was already dead.
I don’t know how much time passed…
Suddenly, I saw a bright light.
I heard a voice announce, “It’s a healthy baby boy!”
I started crying loudly.
Slowly, ever so slowly, I opened my eyes.
A man and a woman were staring at me.
They were smiling from ear to ear.
The man leaned down and touched my cheek.
In a gentle voice, he said, “Did you think you could escape?”