When I woke up for school, to my alarm blaring, I rolled out from under my bed and got dressed, I ran my brush through my matted hair, and looked at myself in the mirror. I saw a scrawny bruised 8 year old looking back at me. I noted the hallow cheeks, the empty crystal blue eyes, full of sadness, the dark attire, the black tee shirt, under the black sweater, black jeans, and a pair of black tennis. I put on the black baseball cap I took from my mother’s room the day after she died, and stashed it in my back pack. I went and brushed my teeth, and then there was a knock at the door, the door cracked and my fathers tired angry voice sounded,
“What the hell do you want Nicky?”
“Good morning sir, I come to pick up Ariana.” Dominick’s clear voice retorted.
“Why? This early?” Jerry’s voice was very confused.
“School?” Dominick snapped, my father always forgot.
“Coming Nicky!” I skipped out of the bathroom, Dominick scowled,
“Don’t call me that.”
“Kay Dominick.” He took out a brush and gently unsnarled my hair the rest of the way, he watched my father, walking back to his room muttering, and the smell of pot rolling of his skin, and clouding his breath.
“So, Dominick, when are you goanna teach me to fight?”
“As soon as you promise, only defend yourself at school… don’t use it on Jerry.”
“What?” I cried out angrily
“If you hurt him… he’ll hurt you… then me.”
“Oh… ok. I swear on the ashes and the moon.” I promised.
He smiled and suddenly in a flurry of motion, I was thrown on the ground.
“Wha!” I cried out, his knee was on my chest and a palm on my forehead.
“Whoa…. When do I learn that!?” I breathed
He chuckled, “When you learn to BLOCK.” he smiled, his green eyes dancing with laughter.
He brought his hand up and I jumped out of the way and his hand swiped the air.
“Nice Anny… you’ll get better soon… but let’s catch the bus.” Dominick said.