I was at the park with my parents, talking and playing with a girl from my school. I'd only seen her around during breaks a few times, but we were becoming fast friends that day. Friendship was easy back then.
My parents decided that it was time to go home, but I just wanted to stay a little bit longer.
My mom told me they were going home now, and if I didn't come with them, I'd have to walk home alone. Which was fine by me.
I only stayed for another ten minutes or so, because I wanted to show my parents that I was a responsible girl, and that I could be counted on and trusted. I wouldn't come home late.
I walked home very carefully, proud of myself for behaving like a responsible adult.
When I got home, no one opened the door. I didn't have a key, so I walked around to see if the back door was open.
I wasn't afraid. I could take care of myself until my parents came home.
The back door was open, but as soon as I walked in, my mom rushed towards me, yelling, screaming, full of rage. She started slapping me as hard as she could.
I think that was the exact moment something inside me broke. In that moment, I learned the world didn't make sense. It was not a safe place to live in. It couldn't be trusted.
I remember standing in the kitchen, just crying, desperate and lonely.
I've never asked my mom if she remembers that day. I don't think she does.
But I do.