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Monday, December 2, 2013

I Stole Evil - Chapter 7

 At age 4, Carmina was a master of deception.

 She possessed a sweet innocence that would fade seamlessly into a cruel manipulation without warning.

“Mommy!  I made this for you!”

 My life was full of uncertainties, because I never knew what to expect with her.

 “Come on mommy!  You have to try it…you’ll love it!”

I reluctantly followed Carmina downstairs.

 She was sitting at the table waiting for me when I made it to the kitchen.

“Hurry mommy…while it’s still hot!”  She said with an excited immature impatience that only a small child could get away with.

 Carmina stood next to me watching as I took a large bite of the muffin.  The first few bites were actually pretty good; the perfect mix of blueberries and muffin mix.

 But a few more bites into the inside; the muffin became gritty and I could have sworn that I chipped a tooth as I bit down on a rock.

 As I swallowed, I could feel something wiggling on my tongue.

 “Carmina!  What’d you put in this?” I asked; barely able to speak as I struggled to spit out the bits of grit and whatever was moving around.  “Is there something alive?”

 “Just the worm that I added for extra flavoring,” she said as if it was the most innocent thing in the world.

“A worm?”  I continued to spit and now  began trying to retch up everything that I had swallowed.

 Another unfamiliar flavor came up as I heaved in vain; desperate to clean my mouth of whatever caused the foul taste in my mouth.  “Anything else?”  By now, I was practically breathless; unable to say anything beyond those two words.

 “Just some mud, a little flour…and sand from my sandbox.”

“ANYTHING ELSE CARMINA!”  I asked forcefully; finally finding my voice again.  None of the things she mentioned would explain the taste that I was still trying to remove from my taste buds.

 “Well…the next door neighbor’s dog may have contributed an ingredient or two?”

 “Oh God!”  I said as I quickly rose up from the table.

“You don’t like it mommy?”  She said softly with a fake hurt tone in her voice.

 “Carmina…you know that no one can eat that type of stuff.”

“But I worked so hard mommy.  You’re hurting my feelings.”

 “I’m not eating that,” I said plainly.

“I’ll tell daddy if you don’t and he won’t love you anymore, because he says that I’m special!”  There were no longer any signs of sweetness or innocence in
Carmina’s voice or on her face.

 “No Carmina…I can’t!”

“Okay, you asked for it…daddy!”  Carmina called out.

 “Yes angel,” Nick answered; entering the kitchen, still in his pajamas.

 Once again…the sweet innocence was back.  “I worked really hard all morning to make mommy breakfast…so she won’t have to work so hard, but now she won’t eat it.  She spit it out all over the table.”

 Nick looked at me with a piercing cold look in his eyes. His once loving eyes now turned hateful at Carmina’s command.  “Diane,”  was all he had to say to make me feel like crap.

 “It’s made of mud and all kinds of nasty stuff Nick.  I’m not eating that.”

 “Am I a bad girl daddy?  I was just trying to help mommy.” Carmina said in a sickly sweet tone; each word making my stomach churn.

 “You’re not a bad girl sweetheart.  Your mother is just not thinking about you and your feelings right now.”

 “Nick?”  I turned to face him; unable to believe that he didn’t have my side on this.  “She put dog crap in it!”  I added in a desperate attempt to get him to understand.

 “I don’t believe that!  Are you trying to say that our daughter is crazy?”

“I was just kidding mommy,” Carmina added, but I knew she was lying.

“Are you trying to damage our daughter’s self-esteem?”  Nick asked.

 “What do you expect me to do Nick?  Am I supposed to eat mud and dirt and God knows what else?  Would that make me a better mother?”

“You do whatever it takes,” Nick argued.

 Carmina walked back over to the table as if she were sad, but I knew she was probably over there smirking…delighted that she had caused Nick and I to argue once again.

 “You eat it then…” I said in my most daring voice…a voice that I thought I had lost a while back.

“She didn’t make it for me…she made it for you.”

 “It’s okay daddy…” Carmina said as if her entire soul had just been crushed.  Nick and I stopped arguing and turned toward her.

 “If mommy doesn’t like my gift…I’ll just throw it away.  Don’t worry…I won’t cry.  I’ll be all right…eventually.”

 I knew I had lost this one.  Nick would never, ever let me forget it if I forced Carmina to throw away the muffin.  “Diane,”  he demanded; successfully reinforcing that thought by just saying my name.

 I unwillingly sat back down at the table. 

“Good…now that that’s settled…I can finally get ready for work,”  Nick said before leaving the room.

 Carmina stood beside me once again as I picked up the muffin.

 She continued to stand there, as I took a bite; fighting against my stomach which tried to force it all back up.

 I could feel her cold eyes penetrating through me as she stood there watching me eat the muffin. 

 “When you’re done with that you need to take me to the store.  I want to go shopping.” 

 Carmina already knew that she had full control of me…but she still wanted the satisfaction of forcing me to respond.  “Did you hear me?”

 Although I tried to have some resolve…to hold on to at least a shred of my dignity, I responded,  “Yes Carmina.”

 “Good!  I’ll be waiting by the car.  Don’t be too long now.”

I wanted to cry...but I held strong.  It was the last part of me that I could hold onto…not allowing her the satisfaction of witnessing my tears.

 When she was finally out of the room…I sobbed down the rest of the muffin in big gulps of tears.  I didn’t sit there and eat that disgusting muffin or do the other things that Carmina forced me to do because I was weak…or out of my mind.

I did what she wanted because I had to.  Everyone around me made sure of that…



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