“Be Brave” is what she thought

He slammed the door! That was not a good sign and she knew it so well. That meant only one thing: he was dead drunk again and they were all in trouble. She realized that she was shaking though she was not cold. That was a common thing and she hated that feeling.

She could hear him puffing and saying something in the kitchen. It wasn’t easy to hear what he was mumbling but she knew that soon she will find out. Suddenly, she heard a plate banging on the wall and he started to scream. Her shaking increased as she heard him walking straight to their bedroom. She was sleeping in the same room as her young brother and she knew that he was awake too, even though he said nothing at all.

He stopped for a few seconds at the door while mumbling some swear words that normally should not be said to your kids. She knew then: the beating is starting once again. He slammed the door open and screamed her name. Questions came in, like: Why are dirty dishes in the kitchen? Are you a pig? Why is this house such a mess all the time? She was trying to adjust her eyes to the light and trying not to burst into tears once again. She was so fed up with this life. They did not deserve this kind of life. She knew she had to do something! It was now or never and she was prepared to fight, no matter what the cost might be.

To her surprise he left the room, banging the door after him. She was just sitting there, on top of the bed, somehow trying to protect her little brother from all this messy, unfair life. She somehow knew it was not over. And was she right! While she was trying to catch her breath, and stop her tears, he came back with even more frustration. She knew he had a hard life, trying to provide for his family in a country where no matter how hard you work you never have enough, but was that their fault? Was it necessary for him to put that pressure on them?

This time he said nothing.  He just grabbed her legs and he pulled her out of the bed. She banged her head on the floor. Was it the adrenaline, the fear, the shock? She didn’t know what it was but there it came her fighting: “THIS IS ENOUGH! NO MORE OF YOUR CRAP! I AM SICK AND TIRED OF YOU COMING HOME DRUNK LIFE HELL AND THINK THAT YOU CAN DO AND SAY ANYTHING TO US! I CAN’T DO THIS ANYMORE, YOU ARE A MONSTER AND IF I WOULD LIVE ON THE STREETS I WOULD BE BETTER THAN LIVING HERE WITH YOU. I AM 14 YEARS OLD, I SHOULD GO TO SCHOOL AND WORRY ABOUT HOMEWORK AND EXAMS AND BOYS NOT LIKING ME, NOT YOUR NONSENSE MONEY ISSUES! THAT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY AND IF YOU CAN’T DO IT JUST GO ON AND LEAVE US BUT DO NOT DARE TO CALL YOURSELF A DAD ANYMORE!”

Shock was on his face! He let go on her and just looked her deep into the eyes for a few minutes. He was probably contemplating what to do next, but he probably saw in her eyes that this was it; tonight, someone must give in and it wasn’t her anymore. And so, he left the room and never touched them again.

What a brave little girl she was! She was happy the nightmare ended, but she couldn’t help but wonder: if she would have done this before, would it have ended sooner? This is something that she will never know.

Cristina B.

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