Behind Closed Doors, An Excerpt
By Kate Marie Robbins
Note From the Author:
This novel is based on a true story—my story. All names and some situations were changed to make the story fiction, protecting myself from those involved.
I will admit that this was one of the hardest books I have ever had to write. It opened up a lot of wounds that I wished could have stayed locked inside, but what happened to me, happens far too often and a lot of times we stand idle, not doing a thing about it.
No one should have to live in fear. No one should have to be abused, whether it be mentally, emotionally, or physically. No one should feel that they deserve it because it comes from someone who is supposed to love us—that isn’t love.
A lot of times we don’t see the warning signs until it is too late. I consider myself lucky to have regained control of my life.
Please keep in mind that while reading this, a lot of the situations did happen to me in some shape or form. I was young and naive and I thought that he loved me. Now I know that this is NOT the case.
I now will bear my soul to you in hopes that it will shed some light on something that I hope one day will never have to happen to anyone.
The black and silver alarm clock was the first sound that Ivy heard, pulling her out of deep sleep. She groaned and rolled over, slamming her hand on the snooze button. The red numbers on the screen made her eyes hurt. Just five more minutes of peace was all she wanted. Even though those five minutes would not save her from the inevitable torture and pain that would be inflicted upon her when she got to school that morning.
Ivy was a senior in high school. She couldn’t wait to leave it all behind—leave all of those horrible, popular kids that either didn’t give her the time of day or were teasing her mercilessly. It wasn’t that Ivy was ugly, because she was far from that. It was because she was different that she was misunderstood. She had no ambitions to be an alcoholic and she hated country music. Basically, all the things that small town life was, she hated. She wanted no part of it.
She groaned again when her alarm clock blared in her ears once more. This time, instead of hitting the snooze button, she forced herself out of the warmth of her pale blue comforter and out of bed, promptly turning her alarm off. She couldn’t stand to listen to it a moment longer. It was already giving her a headache. This was definitely not the start of a good day for her.
Rummaging through her meager closet, she tried to find something appropriate to wear. None of it was what the rest of the school was wearing, but she didn’t care. Well, she wouldn’t have, if it wouldn’t have been one of the things her peers liked to point and laugh about. Ivy tried to not let it get to her. She was wearing what she felt comfortable in and that was what mattered, not what a group of jocks and preps thought.
Even though Ivy said she didn’t care about what they thought, she did. She wanted to be one of them, but not enough to sacrifice everything that she was.
Thirty more days. Just thirty more days, she thought to herself as she put on a pair of off brand jeans and a nondescript T-shirt. She topped it off with a hoodie and a pair of inexpensive tennis shoes. Looking at herself in the full length mirror that was attached to her closet door, she took in her outfit. It would have to do. It was never going to impress the guy she liked, so what did it really matter?
Ivy had never had a boyfriend before. Most of the guys at school never paid any attention to her. There was one though, a guy named Landon, but she didn’t see him as anything more than a friend. Even if she had, he didn’t see her as anything more than a friend. That would never change. Landon was gorgeous, but Ivy just didn’t feel anything towards him since she saw him as more of a brother. He tried to protect her as much as he could, but it really didn’t do any good. They still called her names, pointed at her, laughing. Ignoring it was all that Ivy could do.
Aside from Landon, most of Ivy’s friends were younger than her by a few years. All of them social misfits, much like herself, and that was why she got along with them so well. She didn’t see much of them during school. All their classes were in different parts of the small school building. They met before school and talked until first bell. She had the same lunch period as a few of them, so at least she had someone to eat lunch with.
That day was just like any other day. She headed downstairs to find something for breakfast and to load her books up in her backpack. She threw some toaster waffles into the toaster and poured herself a glass of orange juice in a clear glass cup. When the waffles popped up she grabbed them and quickly placed them on a plate before she could burn herself. Sitting down at the kitchen table, she ate in silence, waiting for her sibling to join her. Ivy had a younger sister named Abby. Abby was in the same grade as many of Ivy’s friends. That was how she had met them in the first place, because of her sister. She was thankful for that. It made school a little more tolerable.
After breakfast, the pair headed out the front door and down to the corner to meet two of their friends that lived only a few blocks away. Together the four of them walked the short distance to the high school. Ivy, Abby, Deena, and Lydia chattered away about what they had done the previous evening. For Ivy, it was nothing very exciting. She had worked at the local grocery store for a few hours right after school, then headed home to have a late dinner, and then took a quick shower, before starting on her mountain of homework.
Once at school they met up with the rest of their crew and talked some more until the bell rang, signaling the beginning of classes. They all departed to their own classrooms and Ivy wouldn’t see them until lunch time. She did the best she could to keep her head down and make it through the day.
“Freak,” someone muttered under their breath during first period. Ivy ignored it, focusing on her trigonometry homework and what her teacher was talking about at the front of the class. He was writing something on the whiteboard, but Ivy just couldn’t focus. All she wanted was to go home.
Second period was no better than first period, and third period the worst—third period was gym class. Ivy hated it more than any of her other classes. Getting changed in a locker room full of girls who thought she was a freak was the last thing she wanted to do. It didn’t help having to get almost naked in front of them. She did her best to ignore their eyes and changed as quickly as she could. They were always made to run laps as a warm up and Ivy hated it. She wasn’t out of shape, exactly, but she wasn’t in shape either. Running was not something she was good at, so by the time they had run the half mile that they were required to run every day, she was already winded and out of breath. Not only did Ivy hate running, but she was completely crap at sports and uncoordinated, so no matter what sport they were playing, she was terrible at it. No one wanted her on their team and she didn’t blame them for that.
That day’s torture was softball, one of Ivy’s arch nemeses. She couldn’t catch, she couldn’t hit the ball, and she still couldn’t run. There was absolutely nothing good about gym class. She couldn’t wait for it to be over, so she could go to one of the classes she actually enjoyed—sort of.
Fourth period, the period before lunch, was band class. She loved band, because she loved music. She was a clarinet player, but she wasn’t very good at it. In that room, though, it didn’t matter. She could be as terrible as she wanted to be and no one would notice. She loved that.
After band, she met up with a few of her friends that had the same lunch period as her. Most of the lunches weren’t very good, so the small group of girls would head to Ivy’s house to find something to eat and get away from the people that they all hated. Sometimes they would go down to the local gas station and find food, but with Ivy being low on money and the only one of their crew that had a job, staying at Ivy’s house and rummaging for food seemed like the best option. Ivy, Gracie, Miri, and Felice were all sitting around Ivy’s brown, wooden kitchen table. Each had a sandwich on their plate and a soda in their hand. That was how it was every day pretty much.