Excerpt from my Novel

Keandra rolled over in her bed and squinted as she looked towards the sun rays that blazed through her window. She let out a loud sigh and thanked God for another day. She sat up and grabbed the purple journal that sat next to her pillow. The last entry which reflected her thoughts on last nights bible study. The entry read, "...yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken..." She began to read it over and over when suddenly tears fell from her eyes. "Why me God? I am obedient and I follow your Word. Why must I suffer so?"

Keandra was adopted at the age of five. She was taken from her mother because of her excessive drug use. All she knew was that her mom didn't want her. That was enough for her to not want to ask any questions. Her adopted family consisted of her mother, father and younger brother Mitchell. 

She became the only child at the age of 11 when Mitchell and her mother died. They were killed in a head-on collision by a drunk semi-truck driver while on their way home from the grocery store. Keandra was home with her dad when the police showed up with the bad news. She was always a daddy's girl, but her relationship with her father became strained after the accident. He became distant and began working insane hours. She spent most of her time at her cousin Amber's house. The two of them became as thick as thieves.

The four national Honor Society plaques on her wall reminded her that despite what she was going through she had a lot to be thankful for. Saturdays are always big for her, but not in any exciting or enjoyable way. Today is different. It is her high school graduation and she is her class Valedictorian. Her best friend and cousin Amber is Salutatorian

She wanted to spend the night before graduation at Amber's house, but she knew father wouldn't go for it. The night was good to her. She had the best sleep she could remember. The idea of celebrating with her closest friends lifted her spirits. 

Keandra looked at the six sets of bed sheets that were neatly folded and laying in the corner of her closet floor. She looked up, closed her eyes and screamed out to God. "Where are you? I need you!" It took about five minutes for her to calm down. She crawled out of bed, grabbed the black set of sheets from her closet and replaced her old sheets with them. She pulled her emotions together and as she prepared to go to the bathroom there was a knock at the door. Her body tensed up and a rush of fear overcame her. 

The second knock at was much louder. "Hey Keandra, are you sleep honey? Today is your big day." He opened the door and found her kneeling beside her bed praying. She got up, sat back on her bed and stared at the plaques on the wall. "Aren't you excited about today?" She didn't speak, but he ignored the blank expression on her face.

Her dad stood there in silence as though he was waiting for something. She stood up and looked back at him as she slowly walked over to her dresser. Two hair brushes sat on her dresser. She grabbed the black one that sat on a square white pillow with "In God We Trust" stitched on each of the four sides. He walked over and stood behind her as she placed her hair in a ponytail. "Wear the purple eye shadow. I know it's your favorite color. Oh, yea and don't forget the mascara and red lipstick." She began putting on the pearl earrings he had recently bought her as he began to undress himself. "Daddy, please don't. Today is supposed to be special for me." There was a brief moment of silence as she stood there quietly praying that he would change his mind.

He turned his head as she undressed as if he was respecting her privacy. When she finished he grabbed her hand and walked her over to the bed. He sat down and she knelt down in front of him. "Daddy", she cried. She looked up at him with eyes full of sorrow and pain. "Keandra, you don't want to be late for graduation. I still have to shower and get dressed." She closed her eyes and carried on with Saturday's tradition. After he had his way with her he kissed her forehead and gave her a big hug. "I love you honey. Never forget that." He grabbed his clothes and left quietly closing the door behind him. She picked up the bible that sat on her nightstand, threw it out her window and got ready for graduation.

Her dad was waiting in the car when she walked out. Earlier that week he had surprised her with the graduation dress she saw in their local mall. She stood at the door and took a deep breath. 
"Lord, please help me get through the day", she prayed. 

"Honey, you look beautiful. You remind me of your mother."

She shook her head and got in the back seat of the truck. Her dad didn't even acknowledge that she wasn't sitting in the passenger seat. In fact, the expression on his face didn't change. He was smiling and tapping his fingers on the steering wheel to the beat of the song playing on the radio. 

Keandra squirmed in her seat. She was sore and held back tears that the pain was causing. She grabbed her bottle of water and took a few aspirin. Her attention never focused on her dad. She stared out the window at the birds on the power lines and wondered what it would be like to be able to fly.  If she were a bird she'd fly to the Bahamas on Friday to avoid her father and then fly back on Sunday morning just before church. He never raped her on Sundays because  Sundays's were sacred to him. It was his time to spend at church with God. 

She was jolted back to reality when her phone vibrated. It was Amber. She had been calling her all morning but Keandra was too distraught to answer. She didn't answer the call and went back to daydreaming about flying.

When they pulled up at her school, the parking lot was full of anxious seniors who were sharing smiles with their classmates and family members. They drove past the front entrance to the school and he saw Amber standing in the door way jumping for joy and waving at her. Her cares and pains went away, and in that moment she experienced a huge amount of joy. It was a joy she hadn't experienced since before her mother and brother died.

She hopped out of the truck before it came to a complete stop and ran over to Amber. Amber had no clue that her father had been raping her. Keandra never talked about it, and 

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