by: J. Speer-Williams 

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It was late at night, and they were in the kitchen, at each other once again.

I hated my mother for taunting my father, and hated him more whenever he’d slap her to the floor.

In my mind, I could see him again slapping her in the kitchen, while I tried to sleep. Did he feel he was being gentlemanly by not hitting her with a closed fist? Was my mother playing the role of a martyr? Did she choose to suffer physical abuse, rather than to placate a drunk, who predictably behaved like a lunatic whenever he drank?

My younger sister would always disappear or pretend to be asleep whenever our parents fought. She actually had little to fear, as I cannot remember my father ever laying a hand on her; it was always me and my mother he bruised. She slept in a bed opposite mine, in our small and unadorned room, without a single picture in it.

It was a small room totally without any embellishment; but rather than being simple, genuine, or pure, it was ugly, hot, and depressing, and was never an oasis from the constant upsets that characterized our entire household. More