This Particular Series Contains Content That Some Could Find Troubling
Chapter 4 : Where The Bad Goes
I was pinching my fingernails, I was scared. It didn’t take long for the mothers to hear Margret’s crying, and they rushed into a room with her holding her head and sobbing, while the three of us looked on. Elena was trying to hide behind me from Mother, who looked composed, but we knew what was to follow.
“What happened dear?” Margret’s mother asked.
“What? Oh dear, what nonsense!”
This was going to get all of us in trouble if I didn’t speak up. So, I took a step forward, shook Elena off my arm and announced to the mothers, “I pushed her, and I’m sorry.”
They all looked at me wide-eyed, except for Mother. Who turned away and left the room. Margret and Chelsea were then accompanied by their mothers into their dark cars, who kept on asking if Margret was okay, and Mother kept on apologizing to them. Elena went down to say ‘Goodbye’, but I stayed up in my room and watched from my window and heard them through the thick glass, still pulling my fingernails.
I wasn’t happy with what Margret had said, but I was even sadder with what I did about it. It was bad. I always thought of myself as a good girl. I slept on time, I always studied what I was told, I never changed channels on T.V, I washed my dishes, I cleaned my room and I never talked back to adults.
Father came later that night into my room and sat down beside me and I sunk my face into my pillow, and plucking my finger nails. He put his hand on my shoulder and nudged me to look up, which I did, and he smiled at me for a second. I was about to smile too, but then his face turned serious and he softly spoke “You know you should not have done that.”
“I’m sorry,” I told him too. I couldn’t be more sorry, but I know that wasn’t enough now, I should never have done it. I should never have been bad.
Father got up and held out his hand for me to hold, which I did and he helped me up and then down the hall, no lights were on and Elena was supposed to be sleeping, but I saw her sticking her eye from under her door as we walked by it. She was crying again.
Father led me down the stairs, past the kitchen and down the hall to the big thick door next to their room, where Mother was standing, looking very upset. Father turned and opened the door to the Room and put his hand on my shoulder, saying “Be a good girl.”
I walked into the dark Room before Mother, and silently down the stairs, which sounded like mice with every step that I took. The Room was dark, cold, and foul smelling, and became very lightly green as Mother turned on a light down to it, as we both creaked down into the opening. Everything was where it had been before. The table was still under the hanging light, the tools still to the right on the wall, the big grumbly box still in the dark corner and the room divider was at the other.
Mother told me to change into the Night clothes. They looked a lot like my pajamas, but were just short of see through thin, and always moved like there was a breeze, because they were so light. I changed into it behind the divider as I saw Mother’s figure through it, standing the table up on two legs. I had pulled my fingernail skin so much that it had come lose and was slightly oozing when I walked out in front of the table, my face staring into the old, sad, scarred wood.
“Do you understand how bad you have been today?” Mother asked from somewhere behind me.
I started counting the number of lines on the table as I once again told her that I was sorry.
“You know that isn’t enough. One sorry won’t change what you did. What do you think?”
I shook my head. As always, Mother was right, just saying sorry isn’t the right thing, people must learn to never do bad things again.
“Thirty sorries,” Mother declared.
It hit me sharp across the back, pushing into my skin even after impact. I pressed myself onto the table so that it could share the pain with me. I was almost about to cry, I knew my back was red, and I felt it bump and beat like a heart, but that hurt too.
Once more, it struck me, but slightly lower and I almost pulled my hands back, but forced myself not to. I was already crying, but I bit my lips to not scream, and started to pull skin from my nails to distract myself.
“You know what to do,” Mother sounded from behind me. “Don’t ask for me to remind you.”
“I’m sorry, Mother.” I gasped out.
It struck me again, near the shoulder and I almost turned over.
“I’m sorry, Mother.”
Now near the leg, sharp and painful.
“I’m sorry, Mother.”
“Why do you do bad things like this? Why do you do this to yourself? Why do you hurt your Mother?”
Now it hit me just below the neck and I fell on my knees.
“Do you know what they said to me?”
I hurriedly got back up and pressed my wet cheek against the table, bracing for the next stroke…..
I had managed to hurt myself in the Room tonight.