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Mum would always replace everything.

When my goldfish died when I was seven, she immediately replaced it with a coal black kitten. Coal black, save for the white patch just above his nose and the blue of his eyes. Shadow, I named him- creative, I know, but can you blame me? I was seven.

Five years later, when Shadow, little Shadow, was hit by a car, she replaced him with a sweet little Australian shepherd puppy. She was very light in colouring, with one blue-grey eye and one dark brown. I called her Tenani. I think by that age I'd learned to put sounds together in a way that made them sound like an exotic name.

Two years later, when dad left, she replaced him with an absolute brute of a man who barely spared my brother and I a second glance. He was normally too busy feeling up my mum in front of us, or dragging her off to bed... Or drinking. Big brother Chris and I really had to cook and do everything around the house during that time. We started finding less and less money in the drawers, so instead of buying expensive dog food, I fed Tenani left overs from our meals and snuck her the occasional sausages and pieces of ham.

When our funds got too low and we lost our house, she replaced our home and almost all of our belongings with a run down little apartment that only had four rooms total: two bedrooms, a bathroom and everything else crammed into one little space. Chris and I shared a room.

A year later, when my brother was finally old enough to escape and somehow find his way to dad, she replaced him with a newborn son. He'd wake us up at all hours of the night, and that'd cause mum and her boyfriend to start arguing. It'd escalate to yelling. The baby would cry louder.

Two months later, Tenani... Ran away. Mum apologised to me with a large plate of meat to cook for dinner for the family. I barely ate anything. When the baby cried that night, I cried with him. Mum and her boyfriend argued. Something smacked against the thin wall that separated our bedrooms. The arguing stopped. The baby cried louder. So did mum.

When mum's boyfriend started paying more attention to me as I cleaned, cooked, and cared for little baby Thomas, she replaced her usual blank expression with one that was full of fear.

When she found me bloodied, shivering, and naked in the corner of my bedroom, she replaced my innocence with endless apologies, with endless tears, with endless words. "I'm so sorry, Tina. I love you. I'm so, so sorry."

When my immediate rejection of further advances angered him, mum replaced myself with her. Fists smacked against skin. Heavy boots stomped thin knees into impossible angles. Arguing. Mum screaming. Thomas crying. Her boyfriend Charlie, yelling. Me watching.

After dialling for help as quietly as I could, I replaced the housephone for a kitchen knife.

One stab. Charlie gurgled. Mum screamed. Thomas cried.

Two stab. Mum gurgled. Thomas cried.

Three stab. Thomas gurgled. Silence.

I replaced my fingerprints on the knife with a thick coating of blood from all three of them. I replaced the hand that was wrapped around the knife with Charlie's, letting it fall into his curled palm. I replaced the life they had stolen from me with the life I had stolen from them.

I replaced the emptiness in the corner with myself, thin limbs curling around an even thinner body.

I listened as the silence was replaced by ringing sirens.

I replaced my sorrowful expression with a smile.

by reddit user Kesprit via:


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