Her tiny frame, vowed never again. Never again, would she listen to what was endured. Never would it have to be endured. Never again, would she play third party…
Having only been asleep for what seemed like minutes, she stirred in her room. The room small, dark, yet usually comforting and familiar. Trying to decode why she was awoken, realising there is no sunlight glaring through the curtains, she laid there, still.
Her heart beating, and although no exertion was required, that heart started to thump. The beat faster, stronger, almost ripping through her frozen still body. A sound she would know too well, the voice not of a stranger, but of the one who should protect her, guide her, love her even. The father’s voice billowing around the house despite the night time hours. Tuning in further, she recognised those cries from her mother, the other protector.
He was mad. Vulgar with his language, his tone. The swear words that girl could not comprehend, the names called she had never heard uttered before. Volume of his nasty ways getting louder, the ping-pong between shouts to cries getting faster in time. She couldn’t move, for fear of being heard. The tears stinging her cheeks, but no noise could escape her mouth. Another episode, memory etched of being that one in five statistic.
Slam! The little ears heard her mother’s body hit the stairs. Not a comedy slap, but a heart-sinking thud as the body collided with those steps. She could hear that he was stood above the body still not content enough to let this slide. Bang! The porch door bounced better than the mother did. It flew open with such retaliating aggression. Delicate ears hearing the scramble for the front door, the shaking of the door handle as the female tried to escape that aggressor. No keys, and it was locked. His retaliation was to lock her between the front door, and that solid porch door.
What must she felt to be locked out, yet in, in the middle of the night? Was she trying to be quiet for the sake of us, when we could already hear the drama involved. Was she cold, afraid, or angry?
It didn’t matter what she had done, what she had said, or promised at all. For the child just begged in her head that he would walk away, say sorry, or just get up and leave one day. Whatever had rattled that big cage, did not excuse what the girl could not un – hear that very day.
That little girl was angry. Angry for being awoken. For not being a normal child, asleep, dreaming of the next day. Bitter for not being able to stop the monster. Fuming for what he had made her mother endure. Scared for where he would head next, if he could find her awake. Fear froze her to the bed, but in her head, she was already downstairs opening the door, chucking him out, calling the police. Phoning anyone, for this was all their little family secret. Tucked away from family, friends, prying eyes.
No recollection of when she did fall back to sleep, or when she awoke. No memory of whether it was a school day, or a special day, for it had already been tarnished either way. The mother in bed, sleeping like a baby. Covers first, and then clothes later on, hiding whatever damage had been done. Scanning the room for evidence, to squash the thought it might of been just a bad dream, she finds them. The broken glasses, the bent and cut wedding band ring.
Her heart sinks, and sick rises. There was no dream, no nightmare, no make believe. This time there was evidence, something to show their special family secret. She willed, begged for someone to ask about the missing glasses, the forgotten ring. But mother was not brave, maybe blessed with forgiveness, a second, third chance, who knows. Verbally, the lies started to unfold, the girl listening, watching to excuses pile up. Nobody would believe the girl, that laid awake in the middle of the night, when the two protectors, life givers would construct such a barrier of lies. So it stayed consumed for a number of years, eating away, causing nightmares, worries, stress onto the child. Just as predicted by that young soul, when it did emerge, it was still denied. Rubbished by all, minimised, excused. He swarmed and charmed in a suit, and with that car. Yet, the exterior however flashy, can’t hide who you are, the real past.
The monster on the stairs has yet to face real consequences for what happened that night, that week, month, year and years. Perhaps his real sentence is a lost daughter, grandchildren he has never heard laugh, nor speak.
Never again would she listen to those excuses, to hear those whimpers upon her pillow. Her patience with those actions would vanish that starry night. No one, no exceptions should have to fear for their life.
Rose-Sky Journey Pieces.
Photography by Rose-Sky Journey Pieces.