The beat of the music blasting in my ears could be heard from outside my locked bedroom door. I didn’t care how loud it was anymore. I didn’t want to hear it, my parents fighting all the time was sending me into shock. I wanted to get away, run away. Music was my only escape. For the three minutes of the song I actually felt like I wasn’t there, like somehow I was taken out of my real life situation and put into one full of happiness and laughter. But once the beating stopped, the yelling began again. I wondered what it was about this time- taxes, my brother, me, or my dad’s assistant that he’s cheating on my mom with. Oh yeah forgot to mention that one, he hasn’t told my mom yet but you can tell she knows by the way she’s been dragging herself around the house for the past two weeks, always slightly mentioning her name, “George how’s Michelle been holding up?” “You two still getting along?” And we all know he knows she caught him but he’s too much of a coward to fess up so his reply is always something like, “good assistant, bad temper.” He’s unbelievable. He knows we’re not stupid, It’s obvious your cheating when you come home smelling like Chanel 5 when your family can barely even afford a yo-yo from Walmart. Not only that but two weeks ago I found a woman’s tank top size small in the back seat of my dad’s white Ford F150. It wouldn’t be such a big deal if my mom didn’t wear a size XXL. He denies the whole thing. He even bribed me. He’d give me one hundred dollars if I didn’t tell. My mom’s everything to me, she’s always there when I need her, and the closest thing I have to a best friend. I want to tell her so bad but I don’t want my dad to have another reason to make me feel like “the problem child.” I didn’t want him to have another reason to walk away from our family. Without him my brother will have no man to look up to. He’s only four, who will teach him how to play baseball? Or catch a ball? Not only that but with my dad gone my mom will lock herself in her own world, a private world and I would be left to carry her dead weight and have the responsibility of raising my little brother. What kind of father is he? I mean, I’m not the best kid in school, I occasionally get in trouble or get in a little tussle but it’s not my mom’s fault. I only do it to get attention; I only do it so my dad will maybe wipe my tears and tell me it’s alright. I know one day he’ll leave. I just hope its cause my mom told him to get out and not because he’s leaving us for that twenty seven year old looking for a cavalier. Well Michelle, I can assure you my dad is definitely no knight in shining armor. There are so many things I can say that are atrocious about my father. In fact, just last week he came home intoxicated with a bottle of moonshine wrapped tightly in a paper bag from the grocery store shouting how gas prices are too high nowadays. Then he proceeded to blabber on and on about how my brother is the only thing keeping him from running away from this “horrible” life of his. If only I could tell him my mom is the only one in the way from striking him in the mouth. He can call me as many names and say as many malicious words to me as he wants but hurting my mother’s feelings is crossing the line. My family is far from “picture perfect.” We’re definitely not the family you see hugging and kissing each other on the front page of a catalog. However, all that helps me sleep at night is the thought that somewhere beneath all the yelling and name calling we’re still a family. That thought silences the shouting and battling just like sweet whispers of music. And then knocks me into a deep dream. I love my mom and my little brother. As for my father, he may not be the best, but he will always be my dad. Every day I have a new story. A story you can put in a book or inspire people to stick up for themselves and their families. A story of passion, pain, revenge, friendship, and sometimes even a little love. Life is a journey, a story, a story without an ending.