Wednesday, February 4, 2009
In the midst of the dusty road and large, protective trees, knelt a brother and sister. Here they resided in uncanny silence, their breaths hushed to whispers. He was older, and held his sister tight in his grip. Their fear was tangible; it hung in the air in a thick cloud. His eyes searched the entrance to the inlet fervently. The two of them could hear their father inside the house, roaring in confusion and displeasure. They had eluded him this time. They could practically smell the liquor on his breath from here. It was an utterly fearsome scent, for the brother knew what it usually entailed. The bruises on his body were only now beginning to fade from the last time. His father instilled an awesome terror in him, were there alcohol or not. The boy lived constantly in the shadows, attempting to lurk out of sight. He loved school. It was an escape, however momentary, from fright. He always took his sister with him, and would continue to do so until she was old enough for preschool.
It had been this same way for close to a year now, since their mother left. Most of his neighbors knew what was going on, but could do little to stop it. The boy knew that socially speaking, it was the father’s role to keep a stern discipline. But this was too far. Alcohol was an escape for their father, a way to leave reality for a while. Often, their father would be in a stupor when they returned from school, and they would go to their neighbor’s house for some food. No questions were asked of them in these instances, they were not necessary. But this boy was strong; he always looked after his sister, and tried to shield her from such sights and pains. He would tell her to hide while he went to face his father. He was a formidable man, with dark features, and a lumbering walk. The boy hated his father. He hated with deep abandon, for everything he had done to the boy’s family. He wished he and his sister could fly away and escape. But like a horrible abyss, this pain had no refuge. He could only endure. He held his sister, and prayed as hard as he could that God would come and strike down his horrible father. He hoped God would sweep down and make everything good and well again. Then, as he knelt with his sister close to his breast, he wept, wept with all the might he had in his body, all the pain that had been bubbling up inside his little body. He prayed with all his heart, and knew his sister was somehow doing the same. He promised God that he would always be good to everyone if God would take he and his sister and fly far, far away, to his mother. He would hold himself at her breast for an hour. He heard his father roar like a wild beast, with a deep rumbling power. His sister turned and looked into his weeping face. He hugged her, and promised her that God would make everything good someday.