the harsh reality of which we do not speak.

she sat up with a sudden start. she looked around her. everything was quiet. she thought she was safe.

she had woken up with gasping not moments before. unsure of the cause, she quickly looked around her room. empty, still. perhaps it was a nightmare, she had awoken in this manner quite often from a recurring dream for the past few years. not daring to leave the room, she peered out the window.

there it was.

there, in the street, she saw her father stumbling wildly, screaming like a maniac. he was drunk again. she heard a door open and hit the wall as she saw her mother run into the street in her nightgown. her mother tried to calm him down, get him to go inside. instead, he yelled louder. she saw the house across the street light up and the neighbor exit from her home in a similar manner to her mother just moments prior.

nothing would work. when he was this drunk he did what he pleased and no one could persuade him otherwise. as the hopeless struggle continued between the two women and her father, she saw her mother sink to the ground. he had grabbed her and shaken her –he did this quite often– and she was rendered a sobbing heap in the middle of the street. he moved to go inside as the neighbor moved quickly to her mother. she heard the front door slam.

at this, she panicked. she quickly jumped into bed and pretended to be asleep. it was far past her bedtime, and her father would be angry if he knew she had seen the goings on outside.

it was too late.

before she knew it her father had scooped her up and was carrying her outside. she cried, but she dared not say a word. that would only make matters worse. as he put her down in front of him she heard her mother scream. the neighbor ran to help, but was thrown back.

three quick blows and everything went black.

it wasn’t supposed to be like this. she was barely five.

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~ by Mary Christa on June 9, 2009.

 
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