And She Didn't Have To Say Why

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“YEAH WELL!!!” he yelled, “THINGS AREN’T ALWAYS AS NICE AS THEY SEEM!!!!”

I was fearful of the situation and I said in a small voice. “But, Daddy, you said…”

“I KNOW WHAT I SAID!!!! SOMETIMES I SAY STUPID, STUPID THINGS, JACY!!!! I’M NOT PERFECT DON’T DEPEND ON ME!!!”

“Richard,” my mother started.

And that’s when he did it.

He hit her. Right there. In front of me.
Right there. In the kitchen.
Right there.
In the morning. Before school.
I gasped as she fell down crying, sobbing and trying to get away from his wrath by dragging her self under the table. But my dad would not have it. He pulled her from under the table and hit her again. And again. And again. And again.

I hadn’t found my voice then. I didn’t think he even heard my gasp. I just couldn’t breathe, with my eyes wide with horror and distrust and tears. I couldn’t even speak. I felt so ashamed. So confused. So appalled. Dad never did this to Mom. Never. And then I remembered the scar that ran down her arm that day. I asked her what it had happened and she just smiled weakly and told me she hurt herself.

I began to get angry. Very angry.

I screamed, “STOPP!!!!!”

He was about to hit her again when he froze and slowly turned his head. “Get out of here.”

I stood frozen.

He walked toward me and got in my face. “I SAID GET OUT OF HERE!!!!!”

I screamed right back, “YOU GET OUT OF HERE!!!!!”

He slapped me. And, before he could see it coming, I slapped right back. He picked me up by my jacket, pushed me against a wall, and yelled in my face, “I’M GONNA….”

I interrupted, “YOU’RE GONNA WHAT, RICHARD!!??”

He didn’t answer.

“WHAT????” I yelled.

He yelled, “THIS IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!!!”

I laughed in his face. “I’m not Mom, Richard!!! I won’t pretend I FELL down the stairs again!!”

I snuck a look at Mom and she just turned her head away from me in embarrassment and shame. I turned back to Richard, “Dad”, with the look of defiance and daring burning into his eyes. He sighed and looked down, shaking his head and laughing bitterly. He looked up at me again and let go of my jacket. I roughly brushed dust off of it, telling him: Yeah; can’t touch this.

I said while looking at Richard, “Come here, Mom.”

I stared at Richard as Mom obeyed me while cowering under Richard’s presence. I took one last stare at Richard and then examined my mom. Bruises were starting to turn purple all over her face and scratches were starting to bleed. Her lip was busted and her eyes look scared.

I said with a dominative voice, “Go upstairs and get cleaned up. You’re taking me to school and then you’re going to make copies for the teachers.”

She gave me a pleading look, telling me not to mess with Richard, but then I also indicated a tear of thankfulness. So I turned my head away from her as she walked weakly upstairs and back to Richard.

When I knew she was out of earshot, I said, “If she’s gone when I get out of school, I blame you. And if I come home and see she has one more scar—just one—and I’ll beat you myself. And if I can’t do that, I’ll find someone who will and kick you out of the house.”

He laughed. “You can’t kick me out of my own house.”

I didn’t flinch. “Whose name is it under?”

He stopped smiling.

I smiled widely. “Hope you can live with peeing in beer bottles and eating garbage.”

I patted his shoulder and walked to the doorway and picked up my backpack before going upstairs to check on my mother. When I opened the bathroom door, I found her on the floor, crying her head off. I never looked at my mother with disgust the way I did then, fearing the most likely reason of why she was crying.

I said, “Why are you crying?”

She looked up at me, surprised at my blunt rudeness. “Because I never wanted this to happen. I wanted to keep it a secret.”

My disgust grew and I made it known. “What the frick is wrong with you?”

She stopped blubbering and sniffed, rubbing her nose with her index finger. “What?”

I said, “You’re being pathetic. I just saved your face back there and all you can think about is how much you wanted this NOT to happen? Get up, wash your face, get dressed, and take me to school. I’m not having you here with him. And if you don’t give a care, know that I do.”

I walked out and walked back downstairs. Richard was sitting there, crying. As I came downstairs, I stared in astonishment. He was CRYING. What the frick was wrong with this guy?

He noticed me there and ran up to me and got on his knees. “I’m sorry,” he pleaded, “I really am. I didn’t mean to hurt her. I didn’t mean to. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. Please forgive me.”

He started blubbering in between sentences and it made my disgust and hatred start to grow into a storm.

I said in low, dark voice, “Get up.”

He stopped blubbering and stood, wiping his nose with the back of his hand. He was then taller than me and I had to look up at him as I menaced a threat, and I kind of gave second thoughts to making him stand up.

I said, “You are the most worthless person I’ve ever met and I’m disgusted by the fact that I am composed of your DNA. In fact, I hate you. I hate you so much, my lungs are turning black from all the hate I’m breathing. If you think I’m ever going to forgive you, you can think again. If my mom ever comes under that hand again, I’ll chop it off and hang it up on my wall like a trophy. I’m warning you. Don’t screw with my family.”

He laughed. “But I’m part of your family.”

As I started to turn around I said, “Not anymore.”

I could feel his shame and bitterness scraping at my back as I waited for Mom at the doorway. My heart was racing. I’ve never taken such authority. I’ve never threatened any adult. I’ve never called my father by his name. I’ve never felt so much hatred for someone—it ironically being my father. I felt so dirty just knowing that I was his offspring. I mean, heck yeah I’ve been in a couple fights, but this? With my blood? No. Never. Maybe a few times with my mother, but my father always seemed like the good guy. The one you go to after the storm has debris left over and nobody really cares to pick up the pieces and apologize.

This is insane.

My mother is insane.


I gritted my teeth at the thought. She actually wanted to keep it a secret. What kind of mother is that? But, still, she was the victim. And if there’s anything good I feel about my mother for this, it’s pity.

I then heard the clatter of my mom’s heels coming down the high stairs and I looked up at the same time as Richard to find Mom with a flirtatious dress in spring coloring. Richard’s face went red.

I smiled and said, “Nice dress, Mom. Maybe the counselor in the copy room will like it.”

She smiled brightly at me with red cheeks and then frowned and put her head down when she saw Richard’s face. He yanked her by the arm and started to murmur something in her ear when I whistled loudly. He looked at me and I said, “Bad dog.”

He narrowed his eyes at me and let go of my mom. She walked briskly over to my side for protection and that gave me the boldness to say to him as we walked out the door, “Don’t punch the walls while we’re gone. You’ve done enough damage to my mother. No need to take it out all on the house. It didn’t do anything to you.”

I could hear him growl with fury and I smiled to myself, stifling a giggle.

We walked quietly down the first block, then the second, then the third, until she said something to me in the most surprising way. She grabbed my arm and said, “You shouldn’t make him angry like that, Jacy. He’ll hurt you for it, I just know it.”

And then it hit me.

She was keeping this a secret to protect me. She was doing this so that I wouldn’t get hurt in the process.

I said, “That should be your red flag right there. If he’s going to hurt me, then you should go into an association that will hide you from abusing husbands or something.”
She stood quiet.
I grabbed her by the arms lightly and looked into her soft eyes as I said, “Do it, Mom. Do it to make me happy.”
That’s when she started crying. I mean, blubbering all over again. I held her to me as tight as I could, trying to squeeze away the pain. And, it sort of worked. I mean, of course she wasn’t going to get over it in two seconds, but it was enough to help her pull herself together.
I said, “Are you good now?”
She nodded weakly and wiped away her tears as she sniffed roughly. I kissed her on her forehead and cheek and then wrapped my arms around her waist like I used to when I was seven. She laughed at this and she stroked my hair like she used to when I was seven.
As we got close to the school, she said, “Aren’t you afraid that kids are going to laugh at you when they see you hugging your Mama?”
I said, “That’s not important.”
I could see tears start to well up in her eyes again and I said, “Ah Mom, not again.”
She laughed and wiped them away quickly and sniffed some more. I looked at her red eyes and puffy face full of scars hurriedly covered by ugly blush. My mom was pretty without her make-up, even with the scars, but she wouldn’t believe you if you told her.
She said, “Thank you.”
I smiled.
I understood.
She didn’t have to say why.





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