• Chapter 1: A living Hell

    I kept telling myself that my mother hadn’t meant to ‘loose’ me as a child. I sometimes try to believe that it hadn’t happened and that this was all just a terrible dream that I was going to wake up from when it got the point that everyone wakes up from their dreams.
    But the truth to the matter was; I wasn’t going to wake up this time because it wasn’t a dream or even a nightmare, it was real life.
    I was an orphan and nothing was going to change that. I haven’t seen my father since the day I was left to fend for myself.
    My name is Vera Wolfe. It’s been fourteen years since that dreadful day that I was stranded. I was taken in at the orphanage shortly after being abandoned and in that same place never being accepted by the rest of the residents.
    The only thing I have ever known in my time here at the orphanage is solitude. I started to believe that there was no more love left in this world, that it was only by pure chance that I have survived for as long as I have.
    No parents, No friends, No love. That’s what the life of an orphan is. Or at least that’s what I have been led to believe. I have lived through pain, sadness and solitude; I couldn’t begin to imagine that my life would ever reach the point of pure happiness.
    I was unaware of most of the world around me; all I saw was destruction and chaos. Although I knew some how there will be a day when I will stop submitting to the pain and fight back but what I didn’t quite suspect was that it would be happening sooner than I thought was possible.
    I had been left alone, even at the orphanage, to fend for myself. I had to make my own meals; I had to fight battles, and now surviving has become my sole priority.
    At hard times, I would like to think I had a fairy godmother but I would just as soon remember my harsh life isn’t relieved by fantasizing and I would have to face everything I try so hard to avoid.
    I am often terrified to face these facts but I have finally concluded not any more. I have decided not to cower when the bully comes strolling into my dorm or to weep when I am close to giving up on my survival but to remain strong and determined.
    One day just after the lunch break a crazy idea, inspired by my newly found courage, came to me. I wasn’t sure of the details my plan would entail and spent the rest of my days working them out. Maybe I would try to find the ghost of a Father I didn’t even know.
    The bell rang but I didn’t take note because I was day dreaming. The prospect of freedom was a riveting feeling. I was unaware that the cafeteria now empty was as silent as a doornail. The only sound came from my slow labored breathing. A pin could fall and I wouldn't have noticed a thing. For the first time since I was brought into the orphanage, I smiled. It saddened me somewhat that I was the only person who hadn't smiled in this place but what I needed most was a family who loved me for who I was and not because it was convenient. A loud crash returned me from my reverie. Turning around sharply, my heart racing I stood staring at the head of the orphanage. The look in his eyes told me all I needed to know… I was in trouble and it wasn’t going to be painless. The murderous glare sent my eyes to the floor waiting for what I was sure going to be yet another painful lecture.
    “Vera…” The strong voice of the principal sounded around the room, all I could do was shrink back. I closed my eyes and waited for the ‘method of discipline’ used in this place. I stumbled back, as the hand met with my cheek, and cowered slightly not sure if there would be another hit following. I never knew how many I would receive but however many it was it always felt as if it were thousands over and over again. My body was riddled with bruises some yellowed and some almost healed and some a deep purple which were the newest and the others were a muted purple which were only a few days possibly weeks. My body hurt almost constantly but I have learnt to control the pain. Another bruise didn’t make any difference to my already battered body. I could already feel my cheek aching in the pre-hours of pain before the bruise settled.
    It was then that I looked back on my life. It flashed by scene by scene. I felt something start to simmer within me and I suddenly felt stronger than I had ever been before. In the past, I was always the weakling at the back of the herd, not any more… I glowered at the principal and he took a step backwards in sudden shock. This being the first time anger had filled my system and showed in every part of my body it was both a very frightening experience for both myself and the man before me.
    Regaining his courage he stood straight and raised his hand again, still on my adrenaline high I became a lot more brave. I didn’t cringe away before the strike I stood tall and proud. The strike was more powerful than I had ever predicted it felt as if I had been thrown across the room. I looked up at the man and just gave a simple grin. He turned and left without another word, meanwhile I remained where I was and broke down into tears.
    I can’t remember how long I sat there on the floor crying but I know it was long after the sun had gone down. Finally, I gathered enough strength to get up and get myself into my dorm.

    I finally decided to make my escape. Tonight would be the night I would get my freedom. It was time to escape from my hell like prison. Gulping down the sudden intense fear, I made my way to my destination, the kitchen gardens.
    I saw a brief movement from a window out of the corner of my eye but chose to ignore it or I would have regret having come up with my escape attempt. I was unsure of the possibility of success but I bit my tongue and moved slowly to the gate at the end of the garden. It was late and it was imperative I wasn’t caught otherwise my punishment would be more severe than earlier today.
    I made it to the gate and looked over my shoulder. So far so good. A nagging feeling that I was missing some small detail kept playing through the back of my mind. I pushed the thought to the back of my mind ignoring yet again. Knowing there was a distinct squeak in the hinge that was to be heard from all around the orphanage, I climbed as quickly over the gate as possible. Crash.
    I landed with a resounding thump on the other side of the gate. It was a silent night, there was still a small echo going around, and the whole orphanage was bought to attention. Before I could mutter a word, windows were being opened and doors were being shunted out the way as children and teachers came running through the place in pursuit of the noise.
    This was my chance, Should I stay and survive through labor and punishments or leave and discover a life that’s worth living. I chose the latter after little hesitation. The orphanage was a hellish place and I never wanted to see the likes of it ever again. I ran and didn’t look back. I didn’t want to think about all the awful things I had endured during my stay at that dreadful place. It was too terrifying even to my own thoughts.
    I took nothing with me except for the clothes I wore, as I had no possessions. I kept running even when I knew my body was exhausted. I could hear foot falls behind me and I didn’t dare stop now, I didn’t even look to see who followed.
    I was getting visibly slower with each leap that I ran. I chanced a look behind me and relaxed slightly, it was only a jogger running laps. I slowed down to a fast-paced walk as I searched for a place to settle down for the night.
    It didn’t take long for fatigue to set in before I could complete my escape. Before I knew it, I was slumped over asleep. I didn’t wake when footsteps approached either.