Faith has spent her whole life living in trailer parks. Mama was never one to keep a job, but she kept afloat on welfare and food stamps. She often would stay friends with different people who had babies, so she could claim them on her forms. Faith thought she must not be able to have any babies, because Mama surely wasn't short of any "company". And Faith knew that Mama resented her for growing up, and not being a baby anymore.
Being eleven was such a weird age to Faith, she longed to be sixteen and have a car, not having to beg Mama to drive her around. It was embarrassing enough to take the bus to school, but knowing you're going to be picked up at a trailer park, where everyone knows you live here, is enough to make you want to die.
Mama spent her days in the same spot, in the reclining chair next to the table with an ashtray. Faith was never certain if Mama ever moved from that spot. She would be there in the morning and would be there when she got home from school. Faith learned not to ask Mama too many questions. She knew to just come home and mind her business. But.out of the ordinary, Mama noticed Faith and snapped at her.
"You need to wear a bra!"
Faith was confused.
"Faith you hear me why aren't you wearing a bra?" She snapped again
Faith looked down at her baggy shirt."Mama, I don't have a bra?
"You not about to walk around here like that!" She took another angry puff of her cigarette. "Goddamit" she says under her breath "I knew this would happen after you got your monthly" She angrily puts out her cigarette and stomps into her bedroom and slams the door.
Faith looks down at her baggy black shirt, not sure of what to do about her changing body. At 11, she thought the only thing she needed to worry about was the book report due on Friday. How did Mama notice my boobs when I didn't, Faith thought.
Mama walked by hastily, a waft of cigarette smoke following her. "Here, baby" she said, holding out a worn out pink bra. "You're a woman now."
Faith took the bra an examined it. The bra had pieces of white coming out of the sides, some wiring coming out too.
"I think it's too big mama"
"What you think I'm made of money? Go in your room and try it on!" She sternly pointed at Faith's bedroom and plopped back on the couch as id she weighed 300 pounds.
Faith went in her room and put it on. Even in the tightest setting, the straps slid off her shoulders. The band fit but the cup was a little too big. She looked down and decided to do something about it. She went to the bathroom and took a bag of cotton balls and started to stuff them under the straps, then she started to fill the cups so it would fit to her body. After looking at her body in the mirror and deciding it was as good as it was going to get, she put on her black shirt and walked to the kitchen to get a glass of orange juice.
Raymond was home. Standing in the kitchen drinking a beer as usual. Faith went to ignore him and grab the orange juice out of the fridge.
"Woa, what you got going on under there" Raymond said, pointing to Faith's shirt.
Raymond was Mama's boyfriend and he almost never started a conversation with just 'Hi'. It always started off with with something so skin crawling uncomfortable. Faith wanted to run, wanted to call for her mom, but instead just looked at the ground and froze. Unsure of what to do.
Raymond reached out with his hand towards her shirt and Faith snapped out of her trance.
"no" she said softly, protecting her breast.
"Let me see!" He said forcefully. He reached for the shirt and Faith flinched but did not move her feet. Instead, she let him lift up her shirt and examine her breasts, which were now covered in cotton balls.
He immediately began laughing loudly and callously. His belly was like a bouncing balloon. Faith could feel herself flood with a hot panic as he called Mama's name in between laughs.
"What is it Ray baby?" Mama said. Faith always resented that she was so affectionate to him. Or any man really. Just anyone who wasn't her daughter.
"She's stuffing herself" Raymond pointed, still laughing.
Mama turned and looked at Faith in a rage. Faith braced herself for a slap, but instead, Mama lifted up faiths shirt again and looked Faith directly in her eyes.
"What the fuck are you trying to do? Huh? Trying to catch a man? You're 11 you little whore!"
"It's too big, I told you. It won't stay on!" Faith said in a panic, now spilling into tears. Her head was woozy and her lungs felt like they were being tied together with a rubber band. She could see the disbelief in Mama's eyes.
"it is way too big baby. I don't know what you were thinking putting that on her" Raymond pitched in, rubbing his pained belly after a long laugh. Relief came over Faith as she could see her mother slowly calming down with Raymond's comment.
"I know but baby were already behind on lights. Do you know how expensive bras are? She can just grow into it"
"I got some extra money from last week, I can take her shopping" Raymond says, and Faith feels her stomach drop to the floor.
"Oh baby thank you!" Mama gives Raymond a kiss and Faith feels like she just may vomit.
For once, Raymond was in a very good mood. He didn't even smell like vodka, so the car ride was tolerable. Still, Faith felt apprehensive about this. She tried to open the car to get in the backseat. "What are you doing? You're a big girl now! You sit in the front with me" Raymond opens the passenger car door and indicates that faith needs to get in. Her stomach is screaming no, but she knows if she doesn't, she will get in trouble, so she keeps her head down and gets in the car. Raymond is a chatterbox the whole ride to the mall. "You're a beautiful girl, you know that. You shouldn't be embarrassed about your body. It's a beautiful thing. And all the boys are gonna line up for you..." Everything he was saying sounded nice, and should have been comforting. But Faith just wanted to run, listen to that little voice that was inside her that told her to open the car door and jump out. But the fear of getting in trouble was more.
Once at the store, Raymond was all smiles. "Hi there," he says to the clerk "I'm trying to get a bra here for my little girl.”
The woman smiled her biggest professional smile as Faith frowned. The thought of being this guy’s daughter made Faith want to run out of the store.
She mainly tried to zone out as he held up some frilly red bra and made a comment about her being a boy magnet. Faith was good at pretending she was anywhere but here.
Luckily for her, when the woman came to measure Faith, she wouldn’t allow him in the dressing room. It was the only time Faith smiled and felt comfortable the whole time she was there.
just forget it, just forget it Faith repeated to herself. She knew if she acted out there would be hell to pay from Mama. But she wanted to scream so badly. The car ride home was uncomfortably silent. Raymond was a dark statue to the cheery chatterbox he was earlier. Faith felt a panic building low in her belly, something was very wrong.
When they pulled in the driveway, Faith waited for him to get out but he wouldn’t. in a low voice he said to her “you know, for all I’ve done for you today, I didn’t even hear a thank you”
“Im sorry, thank you” she said in a weak voice. When he didn’t move or say anything, she tried to casually open the door to the car, but it wouldn’t budge. In a panic, she tried jamming her shoulder to the door, only rocking the car back and forth but not prying the door open at all. “No one like a rude girl, Faithy. Let me show you how girls say thank you” He rubs the lump in his pants and Faith looks away. He grabs her wrist and makes him touch her. She flattens out her hand, not wanting to.
Please, Mama! Please come outside! Faith yells in her head
But she never does.
Faith felt dazed and confused. She wanted to cry, but she could feel a wall being formed around that part of her brain. When she finally walked in the house, Mama was standing out of her chair, glaring at Faith.
"Faith! You left a sink full of dishes. Get in there right now and wash them."
Faith stared at mama. Please look in my eyes, notice something wrong please, Faith thought, hoping Mama would sense she was not okay.
"Are you fucking retarded? Quit staring at me and wash those dishes!"
Defeated, Faith walked over to the kitchen. She began to notice the kitchen knife in the sink. She got lost in washing it. Maybe I could stab myself, she thought, I wonder how bad it would hurt.
"Hurry. Up. Faith!" Mama yelled from the other room. Faith submerged the knife back in the water, then she got angry.
She vowed she wouldn't hurt herself, because one day she would get bigger and get stronger. And one day, she would hurt them.
+++ 5 years later. At the very beginning when she finds out she is a Slayer. Pre- Sunnydale
Faith sat in a chair in the park, contemplating her new role as a slayer. She wondered if she now had an excuse to skip school. A smile played across her lips as she thought of this. Maybe it’s not a bad deal Faith thought to herself.
And then she saw him. The man that tortured her for years. It evoked an empty response within Faith. It was if the emotions she tried to access were in it's own room but the door was frozen shut loser she utter under her breath. His back was facing her now as he stood at the ice cream stand, counting change.
Still fat, still stupid, still broke She thought to herself again.
Mama dumped him years ago, but that was only for the broke part. A bit of anger rose within her and then fizzled. He's a loser now, so it doesn't matter.
Then she saw him bend down and hand an ice cream cone down to a girl with black hair, clearly not his daughter. She was young and thin. When he smiled at her, The girl seemed uneasy.
He's still doing it.
That fire that fizzled earlier was full force now. So many memories came flooding back. Faith had told her mother and her mother in turn slapped her for "talking like a whore" and accused her of letting her imagination run wild.
Faith knows she should walk away, but being a slayer was helping people, right? So that's what she decided she would do.
Night falls, and Raymond sits in his chair, shirtless, drinking a beer. He scratches his belly while watching the nightly news. Mysterious deaths in the area, people found dead with their blood drained. Raymond thought it was dumb so he continued to flip through the channels
Suddenly, he hears a knock at the door and stands.
He opens to see it's Faith "Now it's a little late to be selling girl scout cookies, don't you think? Unless you're selling a little something on the side" He lets out a congested chuckle.
"It's me, dumbass" Faith says, rolling her eyes.
"Woa, Faith?" More congested chuckling "you sure got a mouth on you now."
"Being trailer park trash will do that to you" Faith says slyly.
"Well if you looking for a place to stay I can't help you."
"I've got my own place. Let me come in and check out your digs" Faith floats by him, into the house before he can answer. Raymond follows her, confused a bit. Faith walks slow through the house, running her fingers through the wallpaper. She stops for a second, noticing a picture of the little girl that she saw at the ice cream shop. Remember why you're here, Faith says to herself to snap back into character.
"No, tell me what are you doing here you want some money or..."
Faith laughs "You'd be the last person I'd go to for that."
"I want you" Faith says, breathy, pulling only inches away from his face "That’s all" "Yeah"
Raymond clumsily took off all of his clothes. Faith let herself think that men were idiots when it came to sex and then went back to being in the moment.
Raymond let himself get completely naked and Faith could see he was semi hard as he went in to kiss her again. He pulled away suddenly. "Sure thing, daddy" Faith said, and pulled a hair tie from her pocket and pulled her hair back in a ponytail.
"Ohh, ok now..."Raymond motioned for her to take her clothe off and Faith stepped down to her black bra and panties.
"Oh I'm ready for you, Faithy." Raymond’s eyes were wild, hungry. This is too easy, Faith thought, I hate him even more now.
There's a knock at the door and Raymond looks panicked.
"Don't worry, I have a friend who wants to join us"
"A friend? Holy shit I didn't know you were that freaky?"
"So they can come in?"
"Absolutely! Any friend of yours can always come here"
Faith smirked when she walked to the door. She opened it to reveal a big, tall, male vampire.
"Woah, woah! I don't swing that way pal!"
"Aww, come on Ray baby" Faith says mockingly. The vampire puts his hand on Raymond’s throat rising him above his feet. In two seconds. He goes right for his throat and begins to suck his blood. His eyes fill with fear and he tries to reach for Faith to help him.
"Be a good girl" she sneers at him.
The life drains out of Raymonds eyes as the vampire drinks his last drop of blood. Once done, he tosses Raymond on the ground and his lifeless body flops.
“Now about my payment?” The vampire asks Faith.
“oh of course! “Faith says sweetly and immediately stabs him with her stake. He bursts into ashes and is gone.
Faith leaves the house on foot. Her mind wanders on the dark streets.
Did I do the right thing? Why do I feel so bad about it? Faith asked herself.
When she got back home, she began to chug the almost empty bottle of vodka on her dresser. As the numbness around her lips appeared, she could feel her emotions going numb as well. As she lay, alone in her bed. She thought to herself:
Maybe I didn’t do right by Faith today, but 11 year old Faith needed someone to fight for her
She thought this over and over again until she finally went to sleep.