I slowly walked towards the scummy red door that held so many uncertainties the sound of my father’s thick Irish and angry voice beamed down the halls. He had
been drinking as usual and anything would set him off, I’m worried for my little brother he’s only six years old. I wasn’t there when it started and I don’t know if he’s hurt. I’m terrified to go
inside but I have too I have to risk being yelled at and possibly hurt if I’m going to protect Max. I’m thirteen I can handle it better I still wish mom would actually stand up for once instead of
cowering in a corner. My older brother Jensen used to protect us but he ran left us years ago I wish he hadn’t we still need him. Mom is just a name that women is not my mother, but to avoid being
beaten I call them what they want to hear. I step inside the door to find some furniture turned over and a lamp flickering. Dad is in their bedroom yelling; I can hear my mother yelling back which
is rare it normally doesn’t last long. I place the jug of milk I was ordered to buy on the counter when I heard Max’s frightened voice.
“Sammy?” He barely croaks, I could tell that Max has been crying. I turn to see his little body balled up in a corner of the kitchen under the old table I calmly join him sitting on the floor and hold him.
“It’s okay; everything is going to be okay.” I lied. I didn’t know if everything was going to be fine I never knew I lived one day to the next protecting Max to the best of my abilities. He sobbed as quietly as he could into my chest as the sound of our fathers heavy footsteps walked down the old wood floor hallway.
“Max!” He hollered, he began to crawl out but I wouldn’t let him, dad wasn’t going to let his anger out on him not tonight, if I can spare Max just one night if pain I will. I stand up blocking my father’s path to my little brother.
”Look who finally decided to come home.” He said his face was red and fists balled up, the veins in his neck bulged.
”You sent me to get some milk so I got it.” My voice shook I couldn’t look him in the eye I nodded towards the jug on the table.
”Took you god damn long enough, where else did you go?” he demanded, I swear his eyes were black; his voice scared the hell out of me.
“I didn’t go anywhere else other then the grocery store; the gas station didn’t have milk…so, so I had walk to the store.” I said this pulling out the money
from my pocket a five, three one’s and some change. My hope was he would see all I wanted to do was please him.
“Do you want me to make dinner?” I asked maybe I could smooth things over, I don’t know what made him mad in the first place, but I can try to make it stop.
“Can you actually cook a steak? Unlike your mother, who can’t get it fucking right” He said this more as a demand then a question.
”Yes” there was no trying with him it was either do or die, I finally notice the broken plate on the floor with the food splattered everywhere, some of it ran down the wall.
”If I have to do it myself,” he threatened. “Max” he said roughly. I tense up not sure what he was going to do next.
”Clean the bloody mess up.” Max got to his feet as quick as he could to grab the broom and pan, first picking up the bigger shards of glass. I went to the fridge pulling out the last steak, God I hope I get this right, if I don’t he’ll get even more mad, and if he goes to cook his own and there is no more we’ll all have to suffer his wrath once again.
After a successful meal for my father, I cleaned up the kitchen not even bothering to feed myself, my nerves were shot, but I managed to make Mac’n Cheese for
Max. He slowly and pathetically ate his food; I stayed in the room until he was finished, I didn’t want dad to get angry when I wasn’t there.
“Sammy!” I heard dad holler, I came to his side at once.
“Get me a bottle of scotch will you, from the cabinet under the sink.” He once again demanded. That was one thing with dad; you don’t ever take a request of his as a question or ‘request’ it was a demand. I did what I was told and thankfully he didn’t ask for anything else. I started to worry when my mother didn’t surface from their bedroom; I hurried Max to get ready for bed so that I could go check on her. When I finally found her she was on the floor next to their bed bleeding from a cut on her eye brow. She had bruising and red hand prints all down her arms, neck and face. She sat there barley coherent to what was going on, her hand reached out to whoever was there I held her hand and knelt down beside her.
“Mom, it’s me” I said she recognized my voice I think she decided to cry because she knew it was safe to around me. I went to the bathroom and got a damp washcloth and a bandage, her hand shook as she tried to push away any help.
“No” she said weakly “Let me do it; you shouldn’t have to be doing this.” Her voice was soft as she tried not to cry. I ignored her and begin to gently pat her face with the cloth; I went as fast as could manage causing as little pain as I could. I hope that dad passes out on the couch so it would give me more time to clean her up, anger bubbled up inside me as I thought deeply about how unfair my life was, why did I have to go through this? Didn’t God see what we were going through? Didn’t he care?
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