“The Phantom Returns”
Flickers of light bounced through the window and off our yellow kitchen wall; amazing how light can travel so fully; so effortless. He’s home. I knew she was going to be made the villain. Mom scurried me, her oldest child, up to my bedroom.
“Go on now; you don’t want Daddy to see you up so late.”
“Yes Mama,” I replied.
Ten years old and I had to share a bedroom with my four year old sister. I ran up and buried my small frame under the shabby blue bedspread, trying to remain quiet and unknown so I didn‘t wake Chloe. “I hate him,” I thought. A door slammed and the thunder of his voice rocked me to my very core. I felt terrified; yes terror, but also anger. The fighting escalated; I could hear my mother being thrown into one of the last lamps in our home; I laid quiet, stricken. The sound of her body made a thud against the unsteady stand the lamp was on. I heard the blast of the thick base of the lamp shatter. Darkness deafened the house of pain.
Rather than safe in slumber and dreaming, I heard my mother sobbing and my father say, “Take that you no good bitch!”
Hearing him stagger up the stairs and evidently missing a step when I heard the pounding of his knee hit the thinly carpeted step and he yelled, “You’ll pay for that.”
Sixty seconds ticked by. I knew my father had passed out from the reverberation of his snore. I tipped toed down the stairs delicately so I wouldn’t wake the drunken beast. I saw my mother still lying on our worn out brown carpeted floor. Mom looked up and gave me a troubled smile.
“I’m okay, Sweetheart; Daddy just got upset.”
With all the anger built up inside me, I had a hard time not screaming at her. I knew Mom got enough of that from my father.
Instead, I regained my composure and said, “Mama, Daddy gets angry all the time. I know how he treats you. I see it, Mom. I’m only ten, but I’m not stupid. Why can’t we leave Mama? Please, please, just pack us up and leave!”
I pleaded with her. I didn’t understand how my mom could live a daily life of abuse and pain. What good did he do for us? He only brought heartache. He couldn’t even keep a job most of the time. Frustrated, but feeling sorry for my mom, I helped her up off the floor. We began picking up the pieces of our crème colored lamp.
“I’ll get the superglue,” Mom said.
Mom spent a small fortune on glue. The clerk at the dollar store had asked her once why she bought so much glue. He seemed to imply huffing, but Mom was quick to intervene and shake her head no, then told him her young kids are always breaking things. The clerk seemed to be happy with her answer and it ended their short conversation.
I heard a car horn blazing at me and realized I was actually in my comfortable SUV at the light and it had turned green.
“Back to reality Jillian,” I said to myself.