Pray for Daddy

January 29, 2013
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I closed my eyes last night. Dear God, I said, hand clasped in hand. Please give Daddy what he has always wanted: happiness. Last night, as the sirens sounded from the distance, and downstairs my mother and him were fighting, I prayed for my Daddy. Amen.
My name is Brian, and I am three years old. I have a Daddy, I have a Mummy, I have everything a little boy could possible want. But my Daddy, he has nothing. He only wants happiness. And every night, I pray for God to give it to him.
After I got home from pre-school, I remembered something: it was my birthday. I was four years old.

“Daddy, Daddy, it’s my birthday today!” I said, running up to him as he sat at the kitchen table, head in hands.

“Shut up you little brat, don’t you have homework?” he said, shooing me away. Slowly, carefully, silently, I retreated to the living room and turned on the television. It is an old television, black and white. Mummy told me that I should be grateful we have a television at all, and so I am. I love our television.

“What is that blasted noise?” Daddy yelled at me. A tear crept down my cheek as I turned the sound down. Mummy came in.

“John, stop it. I have had enough. I am taking Brian, and we are getting out of here. I can’t stand it anymore,” I heard her say, although I could not see her face. I was hiding behind the sofa, afraid that Daddy would yell or hit me again.

“You think you can just leave? After everything I have done for you, and for that goddamn son of yours?” I heard Daddy’s voice rising. I closed my eyes again, shaking my head. No, no, I mouthed silently, no, no.

“He is your son too. And he is an angel. The only thing he has ever asked from you is to be loved. But you are so arrogant and heartless you can’t even give him that!” Mummy screamed.

“One thing too much to ask for, Harriet. One thing too much,” Daddy replied, and I heard him hit Mummy. This often happened, at first I wasn't scared. Daddy was strong, but so was Mummy. She could give as good as she got, and told me over and over not to worry whenever I was caught looking at the purple marks on her skin.

“John, please, stop it, please,” I heard her beg then.

“You went too far,” he replied. I knew at once what he was doing. He wasn't going to stop. Daddy was not going to stop hitting Mummy, not until she was dead. Not until he had killed her.

I didn't think. I couldn't stop myself. I ran up, screaming, charging at him, y very own Daddy, and clung as tightly as I could onto him. I dug my finger nails deep into his trousers. He yelped out in pain.

“You little tyrant! You devil!” he yelled, at me, looking straight into my eyes. My lip quivered. I felt goose bumps rise on the back of my neck. I looked over to Mummy. She lay there, on the floor, lifeless and limp.

“Mummy!” I screamed out, as my knees collapsed. Where had my Mummy gone? What had happened to her? I sat there, next to her for a few moments, before a shadow formed over me. Slowly, I began to look up. There was Daddy.

“You want to see Mummy again?” he asked, smiling. I nodded.

“Well, I can make that happen,” he said, his hand clenching into a fist and rising high above me. He grabbed me by the collar and held me tight. I lifted my arms to defend myself, and screamed.

He threw me against the wall. He kicked me as hard as he could. I yelped, I cried I begged. “Daddy, no, please, stop. I love you Daddy, I want you to be happy.”

“I am happy,” he told me. I stopped yelling, I stopped crying, I stopped begging. I sat there, and closed my eyes, hand in hand. Dear God, I prayed. Thank you for giving my Daddy the only thing he wanted. Happiness.

“Happy Birthday, Brian.”

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