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“What happened with this professor? Why do you need my truck?” Samuel regarded her from beneath his salt and pepper brows. His keen eyes were studying her with a well-known and intimidating intensity.

Swallowing hard, Amaliya tried to focus her thoughts. She felt her hands trembling at her sides. All she wanted was to find comfort with her family, for them to tell her it would all be better, but she had been foolish. Her role in her family was the outcast. The failure. The disappointment.

“I need the truck. I need to get away. Something bad went down and I can't stay in school and I can't stay here. I wish for once you would listen to me and believe me. ” As she finished speaking, she looked toward her father.

His expression was thoughtful, but grim. “I do listen to you,” he finally answered. “I listen to you, but you never make any damn sense!”

“You're such a fuck up,” Damon snickered, taking a drag of his cigarette. “Damn, girl. ”

“She's always been like her mother and her mother got the bad genes in my family,” Mae declared. “Always talking nonsense and daydreaming-”

“Never had any sense,” Kelly Ann agreed.

It hurt Amaliya to no end to see her father nod. “I tried to raise you right, but you never have your head screwed on right. What did you do this time? Did you sleep with this here professor and get expelled? Is that it?”

No, he killed me, she thought angrily. But she could not say those words. “Can I have the truck?”

“Don't let her have the truck. She'll just run off and do something stupid with it,” Damon said. He popped another bottle of beer open on his belt buckle.

“Shut up,” Amaliya growled. “This isn't your business. ”

“Oh, yeah?”

“Yeah! You have no idea at all what I've been through!”

“You whored around and got thrown out of school. Big fucking whoopee do! I always knew you would end up pregnant and living on welfare. Traveling the world my ass. ”

She hit Damon before she realized what she was doing. It was more of a shove than an actual punch. She hit him hard on the shoulder and sent him smacking into the wall five feet behind him. He hit it so hard the entire trailer, and all its added on rooms, shivered. Damon slid over onto his side, his eyes slightly open, and blood trickled out of his mouth.

“What the hell are you on?” Her father's voice roared as he moved quickly to tower over her.

Mae and Kelly Ann scrambled across the room to Damon, hurling insults at Amaliya as they passed her. She was too horrified of her own actions to even respond. She gazed up at her father. She wished one last time he would understand that she needed him and for once be there for her.

The back of his dry warm hand impacted with her cheekbone and all hope drained out of her.

“What have you done? What the hell are you on?”

His voice rang accusations down on her as Mae and Kelly Ann managed to rouse Damon. Her brother came to and began swearing under his breath as he spit blood. Her gaze swept from her brother to her father. She took in his enraged countenance as his words pushed hard and deep into the core of her. They lay waste to her dream of one day finding comfort in his arms.

“I’m not on anything,” she hissed at him. “I didn't do anything wrong!” Well, she had killed a roomful of people, but she had no choice. “Why can't you for once believe me?”

“Because you're a fuck up, Amal. And you'll always be a fuck up. ”

This time, she knew what she was doing as she did it. Amaliya pushed her tall, imposing father as hard as she could. She felt his body resist for a second before hurtling across the length of the living room, crashing into the flimsy bedroom door.

“I'm your fucking daughter! You asshole! I came here for help because you're my Dad!” Flinging the keys at her cowering father as hard she could, she felt satisfied when he ducked and they lodged in the wall. “Here is your gawddamn truck keys. Fuck you! Fuck all you!”

“You no-good little whore-”

“Shut up, you toothless old bag!” She whirled on Mae, her eyes flashing red fire. She ha

d no idea her eyes had burned red for a moment, so when her three family members shrank away in terror, confusion swept over her. “You made my life a living hell when my Mama, your sister, died. How could you hate her so much that you have to try to ruin my life?”

Mae's mouth opened, but Kelly Ann screamed at Amaliya, “Leave my Mama alone, you whore. ”

“At least I didn't sleep with my dying Aunt's husband. ”

The room fell into silence as the truth spewed out of Amaliya.