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“For god’s sake Joce, what did I do now, huh?” my dad said. His voice could be heard throughout the house no matter what room you were in.

His footsteps got closer as they slammed against the floor. His dirty white socks showed underneath the crack of my door as they cleaned up the remnants off the floor.

“I don’t want to do this tonight, George,” my mom said. Her voice barely registered above a whisper. 

The faucet from the kitchen sink turned on. Dishes clinked against each other as she took her time to clean them. Any sort of distraction was both a blessing and a curse. Rule number, it must be up to the double digits now, don’t turn your back to him. Ever

“Don’t turn away from me, I’m talking to you,” he said. See, like clockwork.

If I could be a fly on the wall I bet his finger was pointing at her and his face was one shade away from resembling a fire. 

“Leave me alone,” she told him. The water burning her hands. She’s had worse burns across her skin. 

“You’re a piece of shit, you know that,” he said. The fridge opened and slammed shut right after. 

She didn’t stop washing the dishes. To her, that’s a compliment to what he usually said. The dishes went down so hard on the drying rack it sounded like tiny pieces of shards raining down. Each one just another sharp end to add to the collection around her heart. 

“Get away from me, now,” she said. Her voice went up a few volumes this time. But there was still a hint of terror in her voice as every other word took longer to get out.

“What are you gonna do about it, huh?” he asked. 

A bottle cap dropped to the floor. Guess he was starting late tonight with the drinking. I hugged my pillow closer to my face to drown out his slurred words. His preferred method of communication. The dishes finally stopped.

“Really George, another one?”

“What’s it matter to you?’” He stopped speaking indicating another long sip. He could win competitions with how quickly he could down a beer. Hotdog eaters would shake in their boots.

She sighs. “It doesn’t, why don’t you go be a drunk somewhere else?” 

“Fuck you!” 

The words were enough to vibrate the whole house. 

“Will you stop it, you’re going to wake the kids,” she told him. Her feet shuffled closer to my door leaving shadows behind.

“That’s all you care about are those goddamn kids,” he said moving away from her as the sounds of referees and cheers lingered throughout the house.

For most kids, it’s out of the ordinary. In this house, it’s just another Tuesday. I learned early on to lock my doors so he wouldn’t come in again when he’s like that. So, I pulled my cover across my face as darkness gently embraced me. 

I thought this was my home.

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