January 19, 2009
By Faith Hale, Fowler, MI

I stick my head between my legs and plug my ears "This isn't happening." I told myself. The
pounding from downstairs continues. I try not to think about it. "Why is she doing this? Doesn't
she understand?" I fear for the worst. The pounding stops . I swallow the fear that has
encompassed me. I silently creep down the stairs. Suddenly a thought hits me "Grab the knives."
I shake the thought. "Why would I have to do that?" I look around the corner. I see my brother,
sprawled on the floor. My mom kicking him in the stomach. With every blow, he lurches. I can see him
struggle to breathe. "What should I do?" my brain moves in fast forward. Without knowing what I
was doing, I leap from my hiding space. I wrap my tiny ten-year-old arms around my mother's waist.
I yank her on top of me as she kicks and screams. I watch my brother through the blows from my
mothers' elbows I will him to get up and run, to be safe, so I can be safe myself. Finally, he
pushes himself to his feet, grabbing his sides. He runs the stairs to safety. When I hear the door
slam, I push mom with all my might away from me. She clamors to her feet in her drunken stupor, I
fly up the stairs to my hiding space. I hug my knees and listen to the sound of her slamming her
fists against his door. "Get out here! When your father gets home, you're going to be in big
trouble." I listen to her stumble down the stairs and throw some things around.then.
Silence. I creep towards the door my brother appears, as white as I am. We both sliver down the
stairs, I'm shaking from fear. "What else could possibly go wrong?" An answer to my question
appears. I leap once more from the stairs toward my mother, sprawled onto the floor. My brother
seems to have come to the same conclusion, as I. He is pale. I stare at her stomach-no movement. I
put my finger under her nose-nothingwait faint, warm air. The color returns to my face. I look
toward my brother. He knows. The time has come; we had fought so long against it, so many years of
pain. We run toward the neighbors, knowing they will call the police, wishing we could turn back
time. When the neighbor comes to see mom, he confirms our fear. We beg him to reconsider, but he
calls the ambulance anyway. My brother and I stand over mom, waiting for her to wake up. When she
does, there's a mix of emotions: First fear, then sorrow, lastly, realization. She shoves us out
the door, And slams the door on the neighbor's foot. We run toward our other neighbors, where else
would we go? My brother picks up the phone. "Please dad pick up." I whisper to myself. I peak
through the window toward our house. Through the glare of the red and blue lights, I see her.
She's falling through the doorway The neighbor covers his mouth.


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