They argued with such vitriol that they didn’t notice the children standing between them, until the unforeseen happened.
When I think back that’s all I remember. Being a little boy deathly afraid of my father because that’s what he wanted. He spoke loudly on a daily bases to remind my brother and I we were inferior to his being. His size that stood 6’0 high and over 200 pounds, mostly muscle from his high school years of being a star football player.
His eyes were blank when him and my mother viciously argued. My mothers voice powerful for a black woman was unmatched to my fathers. Friday nights were not the glory days adults and kids awaited for. While Fridays marked the day of freedom for others, Fridays marked the day of trauma and distraught, as it foreshadowed the hell stricken weekend. Paranoia was my best friend that manifested into a deep soulful hate that lived inside of me.
I had thoughts of killing my father for the drunk nights he would come on the weekends. I would stand only a little over 5 feet staring at him with my lips curled in, eyes pinched together, and little fist balled thinking of that steak knife. The enemy would lay passed out on the couch with his sliva peaking out from his lips while snoring.
He would wake me up and my brother up and speak to us from 11 at night till 3 in the morning about nothing. He forced us to stay up while he condemned us for being kids. He would tell us we don’t need any friends and we don’t need family. No one will care for us as his family never cared for him.
My brother and I both less then age of ten and three years apart never knew what a quiet home was between my mom and dad. Deplorable slurs of words clashed between the two giants violently every weekend for all of my childhood.
Nights of him sending us in our room crying behind a door while our ears were pressed against it was normal. Unbreakable nervousness rode the thick red water in our veins when he would threaten to break my mothers ankles. Tears of silent prayers ran on our cheeks.
I can’t seem to forget a history that was part of me as I remained isolated disabling the need to express my grief in what I went through at home. As it was “no ones business,” as my father would say, “what happens at home”.
So I developed the ability to compartmentalize the terror for weekends only. This was my only coping strategy although I was unaware at the time. I gained victory in my dreams as a kid when I would beat my father off my mother. Or when I do grave harm on to him falsely giving me courage I never had growing up.
For being so afraid to die in his arms.
Daily Prompt – For Posterity