"Please, don't do this," I pleaded one last time. And just like every other day, they did not listen. Another kick was forced onto my stomach. I jerked forward on the ground, biting my lips fiercely to keep myself from making a sound. I did not want to look weak.
"Tell me, will you do it again?" Draven snarled, grabbing my hair roughly.
I tried to talk, but no sound came out of my mouth. My throat hurt from the agonizing grasp he had there a while ago.
"Tell me!" he yelled, bringing his mouth as close to my ear as possible.
"Leave her alone, brother. She is nothing more than a piece of garbage. There is no reason for us to waste our time here," Maxen stated.
"Speak up, you filthy whore!" Draven hissed once more and slapped me across the face.
It was too much. I hit him back on the chin. I was not a particularly strong person. My punch surely did not have much effect on him, but it, at least, made me feel a lot better.
"Whatever you do, don't touch my face!" I hissed.
"You little cunt!" Draven growled and yanked my hair, forcing me to stand. He kicked me in the stomach once more.
My eyes welled up with tears, but I blinked them away quickly before they fell. I would not give him that satisfaction.
Draven tried to slap me again, but this time Maxen stopped him. He dragged Draven back with difficulty and spoke to him in hushed tones. I could not hear anything. I did not want to either. All I wanted to do was get out of here.
Draven muttered something under his breath and hurriedly left the room. My knees were trembling violently as I struggled to stay on my feet.
"Let's go to your room," Maxen said, a bit soothingly.
"My knees... I can't walk," I mumbled, trying hard not to cry.
Maxen sighed and wrapped his arms around me, guiding me through each step. I was grateful to him for that.
As we reached the door of my room, he elbowed it open and took me inside. He closed the door from inside, being careful so others could not hear anything. Then he took me to my bed.
Maxen went to the bathroom and returned with a bowl of water and a soft white towel. He sat alongside me and began cleaning a cut on my left arm that had been caused when Draven hit me with a belt.
"What did you do today?" he asked, wiping two drops of blood from the wound.
"I didn't bring him any beer today," I replied.
"You know how he reacts when he doesn't get his beer," Maxen said.
"I know. But there... there was this..."
"There was that animal on the road. It was bleeding. I could not just walk away. I took it to the vet. I think the animal was shot. It was bleeding badly," I said.
"Where is it now?"
"I just left it a little inside the forest so it could get back to its habitat. It was heavy. I had to tie it up with a rope and pull it inside. Hope it didn't mind."
"All the money went in that?"
"How much do you expect me to earn working in a coffee shop?" I snapped. "I can't even buy any clothes or books for myself. Mother and Father aren't going to buy us anything either. They need to buy drugs, right? That's the only thing they need. I can't understand why they even bothered to bring me into this world if they don't even care for me. And our big brother, Draven- all he can do is yell, fight, drink, smoke, and fuck underage girls. And of course, kick me for not bringing him his beer."
"I know, Blue1. But what can we do?" Maxen said, sympathetically.
"I told you that we should go to the police. But you're too afraid. And you're supposed to be my big brother."
"Draven will kill us."
"Kill us? He kills me every time I can't get his beer!" I yelled. "He doesn't tell you to do anything but to look for girls for him which you do as well."
"It's not like I'm proud of it."
"Does it make a difference? You still do it, right? Bring whores at home for him so he can destroy them!"
"Blue, it's not me who you should be angry at," he said, in a surrendered tone.
"I don't even know who I should be angry at, Max. It's just too much. To be abused in my own family, it's unbelievable," I sighed.
Max remained silent as he meticulously cleaned each of my wounds. He was one year older than me and the only person in my family who genuinely cared about me.
We had both accepted as children that our parents would never love us. At the very least, I knew it was a must in my case. Father was not interested in having daughters. He desired more sons to look after his property as if he had a lot! But then there was me, the unwanted cursed daughter, born after Draven and Max.
Mother looked after me until I was three years old, at which point she also put me away. It was as if she had just shown me how to survive and then abandoned me. She was a drug addict, just like Father and Draven.
Max and I grew up together, despite the fact that my family's attitudes toward him and me were always diametrically opposed.
I was frequently yelled at and kicked when I refused to do what they wanted. When I was seven, my father kicked me in the stomach so hard that I had to go to the hospital. When I was released from the hospital, Father beat me again because his money had been squandered on my treatment.
I grew accustomed to it. When they hurt me, I had learned not to cry. Mother had never raised her hand on me, but Father and Draven did. It was like I was their torture toy. They would strike me not just when I refused to bring them beers and cigarettes, but also when they were in a foul mood and wanted to have a good time by hitting someone.
Draven was now twenty years old, and Max was eighteen. He said he was going to leave the town forever after he graduated. I was happy for him while at the same time, I wondered if he left, it would not take long for Draven and Father to kill me.
Father had almost killed me a week ago when he was too angry and almost stabbed me with a kitchen knife. But Maxen managed to stop him. I yelled at Max for that. Dying was better than enduring this kind of abuse every single day.
They hated me even more because I always yelled back. I knew the consequences would not be good if I talked back, but I could not help it. I would get beaten even more for that and even Max would not be able to stop them that time.
Max and I would go to school together. But I could not go to school since last week as I had to work additional hours at the coffee shop to earn more money so Draven could have his beer. He even managed to get a fake report saying that I had a high fever and the doctor advised me not to get out of bed for fifteen days.
But I had spent all the money today as I had to take the animal to the vet. Marcello and I were coming back in his car. Marcello was my neighbor and friend. We were in the same class and he was kind enough to give me a ride every day. When we were driving by the forest, we saw it lying in one corner, bleeding badly.
"Look!" I noticed it and made Marcello stop the car.
"What?" he asked.
I did not say anything. Rather, I got out of the car and went to the animal to see if it was still alive. Thankfully, it was breathing.
"We need to take it to the hospital," I said.
"It's a wild animal, Blue. We can't just..."
"We can't leave it here either," I said sharply, cutting him off.
"We will need money. I don't have any in my pocket now," Marcello said.
I hesitated for a moment. I glanced at the animal in front of us and then took a deep breath, realizing that I was going to go through hell today.
"I have," I said.
"But what is this anyway? It's too big to be a dog. It's huge."
"It's not a dog," I muttered, leaning closer to the animal. "It's... oh my god! I didn't know..."
"It's a wolf," I gasped