BY: ALICIA ABNER
He’s yelling again, that never ends well for anyone. Soon things will break as they hit the walls at full force. Then she will start crying, begging him to stop won’t work. It always starts just like this. One of the neighbors will call the cops when it gets to loud, but by then it will be over and he will be gone. Damage will already be done, and nobody will even be aware that while I lay here in the dark I heard everything.
Every crash, shatter, and every smack. It all seems so much louder than it really was. I don’t know who started it or what it is over this time. It happens so much who could really keep track? Every harsh word and every plea to stop sticks in my head making it hard to sleep.
I’m scared but I know better than to cry. If they find out I am awake it will only get worse. Worse for me and worse for her. It will get louder before help comes though. It always does.
She’s crying again, trying hard to hide it even though she can’t. He hit her with something this time. I know because I heard it. Tomorrow she will have new marks and bruises. She will lie about where she got them, but people will know. They always know the truth.
He’s screaming again, louder this time. He’s complaining about dinner, it was cold. At least he got to eat. She didn’t put gas in the car, he didn’t give her any money. The electric will be shut off again, he was way too drunk to work this week. He says it’s all her fault but is it.
She won’t leave him, she’s too scared. Help will come though, it always does. Always too late.
I pull the blanket up over my head and squeeze my eyes closed. Soon it will be over. Soon it be safe. The front door slams shut loudly. The cops will be here in a few minutes. She is cleaning up the mess. She always does. It’s all still there fresh in my head. He won’t be home for a few days but when he does come back nothing will have changed. It never does.
He is the darkness in my life and she always follows him. She always will, dragging me with them. Never feeling comfortable, never feeling safe. He is the darkness, and he terrifies me. His darkness follows me everywhere I go too. Even in the light his darkness comes through, it always will.
I’m an adult now and she finally left him. Once again it was to late. The darkness still follows me though. When I think it’s gone I get a phone call or a visit. Everything starts out fine and I think it’s done but in the end it always comes back. It’s different now though. There is no yelling or throwing it’s just words. Words that he knows hurt but really doesn’t care, or maybe that’s the plan all along. He will always be my darkness and it will always be to late to stop it.