Isabella Sanchez was the typical kid from a two-parent household. She thought she had the perfect life, but things began to show their ugly head and she realized things weren’t always like they seemed. With her mother being removed from the equation, her life began to spiral out of control, making her leave the comforts of her home and go on the run.
While on the run, she thought she’d met her knight in shining armor, but what started as a fairytale ended up being a living nightmare for her. He ended up pushing her into a life of prostitution, making her do unspeakable things for the sake of money and to show her love and loyalty for her man. This story depicts the life of Isabella Sanchez and how she became an infamous Cleveland Sugar Baby.
“Bella, please don’t leave me here with her! Please… Bella!” my sister, Zaria, begged in a tone slightly above a whisper.
My father was home for dinner, which never happened, and we’d just finished eating. My sister and I were in our room talking about my plans to run away.
I couldn’t take the abuse anymore because it had been getting worse for me every day. I felt bad because my leaving meant my stepmother, Nicole, was going to be pissed and take all her anger and frustration out on my sister.
“Look, Zaria, I can’t take living like this anymore; under the same roof as her. You know as well as I do that things have gotten way worse for me ever since I told Dad about the awful things she’s been doing to us. So I’m going to leave, find a job, and make enough money so you can come and stay with me. I’ll be able to provide for both of us,” I said as I continued packing my book bag with as many of my personal belongings as I could fit inside of it. I tucked the bag away in my closet, in arms reach, so I could hurriedly grab it and go when the coast was clear.
Later that night, when everyone was asleep, I kissed my little sister goodbye, grabbed my stuff, and headed for the back door that was off of the kitchen. Just as I grabbed for the doorknob and began to turn it, my stepmother grabbed a chunk of my hair, pulling me back away from the door. She threw my body across the kitchen floor like I was a rag doll, and all the stuff that was on the kitchen table flew onto the floor, causing a lot of ruckus. Nicole closed the back door and mounted my body. She began attacking me like she was a pit bull and I was her prey, punching and slapping me repeatedly in the face. She took it up a notch when she wrapped her hands around my neck and began choking the life out of me, making me feel like I was suffocating. I knew I was seconds from blacking out if I didn’t get her off of me soon.
I could faintly hear my father in the background moving around upstairs, and he began yelling while running down the stairs.
“What’s going on down there.”
I knew if I didn’t get her off of me quickly, she was going to kill me. I looked around the kitchen floor and saw a cast iron skillet within inches of my hands. I began trying to move over closer to it, but she wasn’t letting up at all. I mustered up what little strength I had left, pushed Nicole’s body off of my chest about an inch, grabbed the skillet, and hit her across the head with it three or four times. That gave me the room I needed to push her body off of mine and take a few deep breaths because I was gasping for air at that point.
I couldn’t help but stare at the blood oozing from her skull. It’s crazy because in the moment, I didn’t feel a bit of remorse for what I’d just done. It actually felt good knowing I’d gotten a little payback for all the despicable things she’d done to me and my sister since she’d been with our father.
When my father finally made it downstairs, he ran across the hardwood floors toward the kitchen. I knew he was going to be devastated when he realized what I’d just done because he really did love Nicole’s evil ass.
It hurt my heart hearing the pain and agony in his voice as he bellowed out, “Oh Bella, what have you done, what have you done?”
I didn’t respond immediately due to being scared of what he was going to do to me. But then the hurt and angry child within me had to give his ass a dose of reality because he was just as responsible for what I’d done as I was.
“She started attacking me when I tried to leave.” He didn’t have a lick of compassion for me as he stared at the tears rolling down my sixteen-year-old face.
“Why were you trying to leave, Bella, why?”
“I was leaving because I told you what she’d been doing to us and you didn’t give a shit. You accepted her lie over my truth. You believed her over your own gotdamn daughter, Dad. How could you do that? I’m tired of getting my ass beat every day, slapped in the face, and constantly being called a whore and a slut. She’s been starving us when you’re not here, and making you believe we refused to eat what she cooked. And you fell for that shit. We’ve lost weight, our clothes are falling off of us, and you chose to believe that bitch over me, your daughter, Dad! It amazes me how you’ve turned a blind eye to what has been happening to us all this time because there’s no way you didn’t know about what she was doing to us, your blood!”
The look of guilt was written all over my father’s face. He answered the question that had been lingering in the back of my mind for a long time: whether he knew what she’d been doing to us? His face said it all, which broke my heart. My father had been my Superman up until he met her, and she changed him for the worst. I knew I could never forgive him for that. He played as much a part into what happened that night as I did; sooner or later, he was going to have to own up to his shit.
I couldn’t hold in the emotions I was feeling anymore, so I burst out into a gut-wrenching scream as tears drenched my face. My father reached back and slapped the fuck out of me with the back of his hand. I was dazed and a little taken aback because my father had never laid a hand on me before. I grew up in a military household and he ran a tight ship. He never had to discipline me because I was a good kid and if I did something out of line, all he had to do was raise his voice at me and I would fold.
With the meanest scowl on his face, he voiced, “You better get the fuck out of here if you don’t want to go to jail because I’m about to call the police, Isabella.” He put his phone to his ear and said, “Hello, I need an ambulance and the police. My daughter has just attacked my wife!”
He kneeled down on the ground next to her, took his index and middle finger, and checked her neck for a pulse. “No, I don’t feel a pulse!”
“Daddy, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to kill her; I was trying to get her off of me.” He didn’t even look up. He just started following the operator’s instructions, giving Nicole rescue breaths and chest compressions.
I began backing away toward the back door. I grabbed my bag, opened the door, and ran out of the house. I ran until I ran out of breath and then I started walking. Once I hit 93rd and Union, I hopped on RTA bus line and rode the #10 bus for hours, dozing off at times. I was on my third full circle on the bus when the bus driver pulled the bus over and told me I couldn’t stay on the bus any longer. She let me use her cellphone so I could call a friend from school and ask her if I could crash with her and her family for a couple of nights, which her parents agreed to. I was thankful for that because I had nobody else to turn to and nowhere else safe I could go.
That day changed the course of my life forever, and the nightmare I was living before I killed Nicole couldn’t touch what I was about to experience with a ten-foot pole. If I could go back and change things, I would’ve handled things totally different and gone outside of the home for help for my sister and myself.