I'm writing a book slowly but surely, this is just the first chapter.
| I can hear my mom arguing with her husband in an adjacent room. These walls feel like they get thinner each night. Curse words that my once virgin ears should never hear, thumps of human bodies sounding like my room is in a stable accomodating wild horses, sobs from my mother as if my grandpa had died all over again. I tried to protect her once but my efforts were incompetent against a grown man. It angers me knowing I can't do a damn thing to stop it. He's been arrested, but my mom always takes him back for reasons I'll never understand. She tells me she needs him, that without him, we would live on the streets. I would rather live on the streets then in this hell hole I call home. But what makes a home anyway? Is it a mother baking a pie with a smile on her face as she pulls it out of the oven, or children sitting on their parents lap while they read them a story, oily marks from pictures with smiling faces staining the walls from the countless years they will hang there, or awards and coloring pages held by magnets on the fridge? Or is it just walking into a place held sturdy by the four walls that surround you and feeling this overwhelming amount of love and happiness hug you, invite you in, make you feel as if there's no other place like it? There's no place like home.
There's no place like home.
Funny, because that very gathering of words couldn't be more true. Besides in my case, I've never been to a place that was filled with so much hate and resentment other than my own "home".
Robert used to not be so mean. I remember when mom first met him, we were at the store doing our weekly grocery shopping when mom knocked over an arrangment of cans, embarrassed as she was, I helped her pick them up, both red faced and giggling, when a tall man, dark brown hair, about to his ears with a hint of aging gray in his bangs, nice chizzled face, and a smile any woman would fall over dead for, leaned in to help. Mother talked to that man for a good twenty minutes while I was putting all sorts of goodies in the cart, her being completely vulnerable to what I wanted with a stranger around. I was sly.
He came over for dinner that week, we had mom's famous lasagna. She only cooks that for special occasions. When he rang the doorbell, mother peaked out of the bathroom and I could tell she was trying to look as beautiful as her age would let her, I could smell her perfume tickle my nose from the livingroom. I answered and he leaned down, "Hey kiddo, I brought you something." It was a little jewelry box, pointless for a tomboy like me, but thoughtful, needless to say.
You would have never thought four years later he'd turn this house into a broken home, make me fear his arrival when I hear his car pull in the drive, or be the cause of all the degrading bruises left on my lovable mother.