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Storm of an Adversarial Nemesis Storm of an Adversarial Nemesis
by Leah Sellers
2013-06-22 12:08:36
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“Daddy,  why do you smoke  ?”  Nine year old Cheyenne was sitting on top of the bathroom cabinet close to the sink her Daddy was using to shave.  As usual, her Daddy had laid his smoking cigarette down upon the granite counter, with the burning end jutting out into empty space.
 
Cheyenne was staring down at the curling smoke spiraling up from the cigarette, and noticed the two darkened burn stains his previous carelessly laid down cigarettes had left behind beside the bathroom sink.
 
Mama complained about the burns Daddy’s cigarettes left behind on the furniture and other locations of the house, when he claimed he couldn’t find an ashtray (even though Mama had made certain that there were ashtrays that looked like pieces of artwork all over the house) on occasion with a shrug of her shoulders.
 
Cheyenne’s daddy continued shaving his face, ”Well, Baby, it’s a Bad Habit your Daddy picked up when he was a teenager.“
 
“Daddy, if it’s a Bad Habit, why don’t you quit ?”
 
“I’ve tried to stop smoking a couple of times, Cheyenne, and it never took.  I enjoy smoking too much.”
 
“Mama said you can’t quit ‘cause your addicted to them.  I looked up addicted in the dictionary, and the dictionary had two words that explained it to me.  One word is addict.  The dictionary said that an addict is a noun and a verb.  An addict is two things all in one.  A noun is a name or word we use for a Person, Place or Thing.  And a verb is an Action, or an Occurrence, or a Mode of Being that explains something about the noun.”
 
“Anyways, an addict is a Person in Action, or in an Occurrence, or in a Mode of Being, who devotes or surrenders themselves to anything habitually or obsessively.  That’s what you are, Daddy.  An addict.”
 
“And the other word is addiction.  Addiction is a noun in the dictionary, but if you ask me it’s also a verb, but what do I know.  Anyways, addiction is the State of Being addicted to something like cigarettes.  Because Mama says that cigarettes are a drug, just like liquor, which is an alcoholic beverage that makes you drunk.”
 
“And Mama says that since we are Baptists that we do not drink alcoholic beverages.  Instead we drink iced tea, homemade lemonade, milk, fruit juice and coffee.”
 
“Anyways, when an addict has an addiction, they cannot stop what they are doing.  They have got to have It.  Whatever It may be or they get very grumpy like bears, or just go plain crazy.”
 
“Your Mama told you all of that, huh ?”
 
“No sir, not all of it.  I just notice how grumpy bear you get when you run out of cigarettes.  And no matter what we’re doin’ together or where we are, we all have to stop until you run to the store to get your cigarettes.”
 
“And I don’t mean to be rude, Daddy, but I’m always glad when you run of cigarettes on our long car trips out west.  “Cause all of your smoke goes to the back of the car, and makes all of us girls sick to our stomachs.”  
 
“Cigarettes stink, Daddy.  I Pray every night that God can help you not be an addict anymore.”
 
“Oh, you do, do you ?”
 
“Yes sir.  I pray for that and a lot of other things too, Daddy.”
 
“What else do you Pray for, Bright Eyes ?”
 
“I Pray that God will Protect everyone in our Family, and all of our Friends, and all of the People and the Animals of the World.  But I Pray really, really hard that you will not Cheat on Mama and the Family anymore.”
 
Daddy nicked himself shaving.  He grabbed a towel to blot the dark red blood from the wound he had unintentionally given himself.  Quickly wiping the rest of the shaving crème from his face, Daddy turned and faced his Inquisitive and UnPredictable Daughter.
 
“What did you say ?”
 
Cheyenne knew she was in trouble.  Her Daddy was squinting meanly at her, and was getting that terrible hard set to his jaw.  His handsome face was getting that Monster Face look to it.  And that was never a good thing.
 
But she had already stepped into it, on purpose, because she was worried about her Family, and she was not going to back down.  “Why do you Cheat on Mama, Daddy?”
 
“Did your Mama tell you that I Cheated on her ?”
 
“No sir.  I heard you and Mama arguing about it.”
 
“How’s that.  Your Mama and I never argue in front of you girls.  We make a point of not doing that.”
 
“Well, Daddy, I couldn’t sleep the other evening.  And so I sneaked downstairs, and crawled behind the divan just like I always do, to watch the late movie with you and Mama, without your knowing.  That’s when I heard you and Mama arguing’ over the woman your Cheatin’ with, ’cause she called Mama and told her that you needed to leave Mama and us Girls, so that you could be with her and her Children.”
 
“I heard Mama cryin’.  And I heard you say that you would break it off with the other lady with Children that you’re Cheatin’ with.”
 
“I didn’t really know what Cheatin’ meant the way that y’all were usin’ it.  So, I looked it up in the dictionary.  The dictionary wasn’t much help, because it didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know about the word Cheating.  Cheating is when you steal something from somebody else or lead someone astray by lyin’ to ’em, or trickin’ them somehow.”
 
“So, the only thing I could think of is that you and the lady your Cheatin’ with are lyin’ and trickin’ everybody out of something that is very important to them.”
 
“Mama kept talkin’ about Broken Vows of Faith and Fidelity taken in the Church and in the sight of God, and all of your Family and Friends.  That you had a Responsibility to those Vows, to the Life and Family that y’all had built together.”
 
“And you just kept Apologizin’, and sayin’ that the Cheatin’ lady on the phone was lyin’, and you’d get to the bottom of it.”
 
“And then Mama said that this Cheatin’ lady wasn’t the first lady you had Cheated with.  That you had made all of these promises not to Cheat before.”
 
“And then you got up and said that you needed to run to the store for a pack of cigarettes, and for Mama not to wait up for you.  And then you slammed the front door behind you, and Mama just sat on the divan cryin’ for awhile, and I sneaked back upstairs without her knowin’, ’cause I didn’t want to get into trouble.”
 
“But Daddy, I decided that I needed to say something to you.  Even though I know that I am in trouble now.  “ ’Cause Daddy, you need help, so that you do not Cheat on Mama and me and the Girls anymore.  “Cause when you Cheat on Mama, you’re Cheatin’ on the whole Family, too, Daddy.”
 
“And Daddy, I don’t blame you.  I think that you are as addicted to Cheatin’ as you are to Smokin’.  Both of these things are Bad Habits that God can help you stop.”
 
“Then you and Mama can be happy again, and the girls and I won’t get sick to our stomachs anymore in the back seat of the car.”
 
Cheyenne’s Daddy’s face and neck had gone red.  His lips were pursed into a thin white line, and he had begun to dangerously shift his square jaw back and forth.
 
“What makes you think that you can say these things to me ?  Why do you always have to be so belligerent ?  What’s wrong with you ?  Sometimes I think that you’re mentally deficient !”  Daddy reached out and grabbed Cheyenne by her hair, and shoved her off of the bathroom counter and onto the bathroom floor.
 
He then unbuckled his belt, and started laying into his Belligerent Daughter.
 
Cheyenne used her arms and legs to try and protect herself.  She jumped up from the floor and jumped into the bathtub.  Grabbing the shower curtain, she wrapped it around her body, trying to protect her skin from the stinging lash of Daddy’s Leather Belt.
 
The bathtub was still slick from Daddy’s shower, and when he jumped into the tub with his wriggling Belligerent Daughter, he slid and fell to his knees.
 
On his way down to the bottom of the tub, Daddy ripped the shower curtain down, along with the curtain rod, which struck him and his Belligerent Daughter in the head. 
 
Cheyenne unwound the Shower Curtain from around her Bruised Body and sprang out of the tub.  She ran all the way downstairs to the kitchen.
 
Mama and the Girls were nowhere in sight.  “Mama, where are you ?”  Cheyenne cried out.
 
Daddy suddenly appeared in the kitchen swinging his Leather Belt.  Cheyenne ran back around the kitchen table, placing it between her and her Daddy wearing his Monster Face. 
 
Daddy chased her around the kitchen table a couple of times, and then lunged across it, striking Cheyenne hard across her neck with the Leather Belt.
 
Cheyenne grabbed a kitchen chair and placing it between her and her Daddy,  ran down the hallway to her bedroom.  She could hear her Daddy’s fancy leather shoes clambering right behind her.
 
She dove under her bed and grabbed hold of the center bed slats.
 
Cheyenne’s Daddy tried to reach her under the bed, but was too large to make any headway.  He couldn’t even effectively whip her from his vantage point.  So, he got up from the floor and began to push and pull the bed around trying to grab her out from under it.  Cheyenne hung onto the bed slats with all of her might, and he still could not reach her.
 
Suddenly, the protection of her bed disappeared, and Cheyenne was staring up at her bedroom ceiling and her Daddy’s Monster Face.  He had yanked the mattresses off of the bed.  He reached down between the exposed bed slats Cheyenne was still hanging onto, and grabbed her by her hair once again.
 
“Get up from there, and take your medicine.  You asked for this.  What makes you think that you can speak to me like that ?  I’m you Father !  Your Father !”
 
“I’ll teach to treat with me with the Respect I’m due !  You’ll never speak DisRespectfully to me like that again !”
 
He continued to beat his Belligerent Daughter, while yelling at her,
“Be still !  Obey me !  Bend over that chair, and take your punishment.”
 
“But Daddy, I don’t understand why you’re doing this,”  Cheyenne sobbed.  Her Face was awash in tears.   Her Mind was filled with Fear and Confusion, and her Body ached all over.  “I didn’t do anything wrong, Daddy.  Please, stop !  Please, stop !”
 
Cheyenne’s Daddy whipped his Belligerent Daughter until his strength and rage gave way to physical exhaustion.  He stopped swinging his Leather Belt.
 
“Now, straighten up this mess.  And don’t come out of  this room, until you’re sent for.  I’ve had quite enough of you for one day !”
 
With that said, Cheyenne’s Daddy slammed the bedroom door behind himself.  She could hear his heavy footsteps receding down the wooden hallway.
 
Cheyenne put her bed back together and remade it.  She cleaned up the mess she and her Daddy had made as she tried to get away from as many of the belt’s lashes as she could.
 
Then she flung herself down upon her bed and continued to cry.
 
After a few minutes had passed, she began to softly Sing in between sobs, “Jesus Loves me, this I know.  For the Bible tells me so.  Little Ones to him Belong.  They are Weak, but He is Strong…”
 
“Jesus, some People are addicted to Violence, too.”  Cheyenne whispered.
 
Staring up at the beautiful wall mural of Peacocks and Willow Trees by a running River her Mama had painted upon her bedroom wall, she continued to hum her Song of Love. 
 
As the soothing Melody and Words of the Love Song wrapped themselves comfortingly around her pain filled Mind, Soul and bleeding and bruised Body, there was a complicated Storm set to brewing within Cheyenne.  A Tornadic and UnPredictable Storm of an Adversarial Nemesis.


     
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