shadows

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He wasn’t home yet, it had been another one of those nights. There were but two lights alit in the home. The porch light was a shining beacon of hope and familiarity that welcomed family members and strangers alike towards the cliché picture perfect home. The second light was cast off the lamp that lay atop the coffee table in the living room. The dim light cast shadows across the walls of the house exposing the secrets that lay within the household. In the light of day, the house seemed to gleam

In the room with the dim light, a woman sit dutifully on the sagging couch, waiting. The dishes were washed, the floors vacuumed, and her children put to bed. The only thing that had gone astray from her was him. By day she lived a life similar to the perfect housewife, but by night, when all her make-up had been washed off, all that could be seen were the dark bags under her once bright eyes. Her love for life had withered as the years went by only to be replaced by a determination to stay alive for her children. It has been one of those nights, and she did not know when he would return.

The daughter lay quietly in her bed thinking, dreaming, and hoping for a day when she would not have to wait with her mother for him to come home. She had spent countless nights waiting for the moment when a car, his car, would pull up into the driveway. The shadows from the passing cars would dance across her walls, invoking her with both fear and relief. All her life she had been conflicted over her feelings for him. Both love and hate ensued as she lay in her bed, as another sleepless night continued to pass. It was one of those nights, and she did not know how to feel.

The son sat up in his bed, his ears perked up, listening for threats. Through the crack underneath his bedroom door, he could see the dim light cast off from the living room light. He knew all too well that his mother sit, head in her hands, waiting for for him to make his way home. He felt violently protective of his mother and sister. He spent countless hours between the worlds of awake and asleep vowing that he would keep them safe. He began to think of scenarios in his mind where he would finally carry out what he thought was his duty. He knew no other life. The more he thought about it, the less likely his fantasies began to make sense. He was small in stature and knew he was no match for him. It was one of those nights, and he felt extremely helpless.





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