Keeley's Fight Prologue
Eight Years Ago
At twelve years old, Keeley Stone knew three things about life.
First, her family wasn’t normal. The things her parents did and said to her were not right. The beatings, the name calling, the lies were all she knew. She didn’t know love or even friendship. When she was younger, she thought all moms and dads did these things to their kids. It wasn’t until she spent time at what few friends she had houses that Keeley realized just how wrong she was.
Second, her parents were monsters. They could act like normal people when they wanted, but she knew the truth behind the lies. Keeley saw the beasts hidden within.
Her mom cleaned the house and didn’t drink for a whole day. She made cookies and hung up some of Keeley’s most recent artwork on the fridge that she had believed they’d thrown out when she showed them.
Her dad was being nice, telling her how pretty she looked and how smart she was. Neither of them had, had a drop of alcohol all day. It’s how she knew something was going on. She was so happy though, she pushed the doubt to the back of her mind because she thought things were finally going to get better. That they were going to stop with the drinking and beatings.
How wrong she was.
This was the day that would shape the rest of her life.
After dinner, a meal her mom actually prepared, a nice older woman came to the house to speak to her parents and then her.
“So, the school tells me that you plan on homeschooling Keeley now Mrs. Stone, is that correct?” The woman looks from her notepad to Keeley’s parents.
“Oh yes, there are just too many bad influences in that school for such an impressionable young lady like Keeley. We feel like she would excel more at home than in that environment,” her mom said, and all Keeley could do was stare at her with her mouth wide open, in complete shock. What was she talking about? There was nothing wrong with her school. That was her salvation, the only time she could really cope with her life.
“Alright, and you have all the resources you need then? May I see them, please?” The lady, Carol she thought she said her name was, asked her mom and dad.
“Of course, I’ll be right back with them. Keeley, could you come and give me a hand?” Her dad asked her, making it out like a question for the social worker’s benefit, but it was a demand. His eyes said everything his mouth didn’t.
Following her dad into her parents’ bedroom, Keeley still had no idea what was going on, but she soon found out. “Not one fucking word little girl, you hear me? You play along with everything we say, or the beating I’ve been itching to give you all day, just to wipe that stupid look off your face, will be so much worse tonight, you hear me?” His whisper-yell had shivers of fear racking up and down Keeley’s spine.
Nodding her head vigorously, she grabbed the stuff her father told her to and walked out to the living room so that Carol could review the material. “Well, everything looks in order here. I just have a few questions for Keeley before I go, if you don’t mind?”
Nodding their heads before leaving the room, Keeley caught the warning look in her father’s eyes before turning her attention to Carol. Trying not to fidget, she waited for the questions to come.
“How do you like school Keeley, did you find it difficult to concentrate there?”
“Not really, no. I like it well enough I guess.”
“How do you feel about being homeschooled by your parents?”
Remembering her father’s warning, she thought about her answer before speaking yet another lie to someone who could probably help her, but she was too afraid. “Well, I was shocked at first, but Mom made it sound like so much fun that I’m looking forward to it now. Plus, I’ll get to spend more time with Mom and Dad,” she replied to Carol with her fake smile firmly in place, and her heart breaking just a little bit more with each false word she spoke.
“What about seeing your friends? Do you think this will affect your relationships with any of them?”
“Oh... Umm... you see, I don’t really have any friends, so I guess it won’t matter.” She had to force the truth of those words out and look down, so that Carol wouldn’t see the tears in her eyes. It wasn’t that she didn’t want friends, she just wasn’t allowed to have them. Plus, she got sick of always having to lie about the bruising and broken bones, and whatever else was wrong with her.
Shocked, Carol inquired, “None, at all?” Shaking her head no, Carol moved on to the next few questions, which Keeley continued to lie her way through so that no one would ever know the truth about what happened behind the walls of her house.
After speaking with her parents a few more minutes, Carol finally left, and Keeley tried to slink off to her room in the hopes that her dad would forget about the beating he promised her.
Luck wasn’t with her. It never was lately.
“You little bitch! Where do you think you’re going?” Her father yelled while grabbing a handful of her hair in one hand and holding a bottle of whiskey in his other. Taking a swig of the foul-smelling stuff, he lifted her up by the hair and smashed her face off the wall. She bit her lip so she wouldn’t cry out, because that only enraged him more for some reason. She kept her mouth shut and didn’t answer him. Closing her eyes and waiting for this to end was her only choice.
The third thing she knew?
She had to get out or she was dead.