I ran as fast as my little legs could and grabbed a broom as my older sister ran for other cleaning supplies. My mother has trained us well, no doubt. She quickly threw on an apron and ran into the kitchen. She turned off the music and returned our musical instruments (TV remote, hair brush, etc.) to their appropriate spots. Just as we all got to work we heard the front door swing open. Yay! Daddy’s home!
He took off his sunglasses and looked around making sure everything was perfect. Oh so perfect. He peeked his head into the kitchen to make sure my mother was preparing his meal. Yep. He made his way to the couch and kicked up his feet. I knew what this meant so I waddled over to take off his shoes before I was instructed to, gold star for me.
His thunderous voice broke the silence, “You missed a spot.” he directed towards my sister. With frazzled eyes she quickly looked around and started from the beginning. Just in time, my obedient mother made her way in and placed his food neatly in front of him waiting for further instruction.
I slowly made my way over to the broom I had dropped. My sister looked over at me with concern in her eyes, being 2 years older gave her more experience, she knew where this was going. I looked over to my younger brother, he was clueless playing with his hot wheel cars. Being the youngest sure has its benefits; being male and having my father as a father is the biggest of benefits.
“GO TO YOUR ROOM” my mom shrieked. Before I could even understand what was happening I felt my sister grab onto my elbow. I looked back in the direction of my brother, he was gone, I looked at my sister who was leading the way to our room as fast as she could. She was carrying my brother with one arm, pulling me behind her with the other, how was she so quick?
I looked back at my mother. Her nose was inches away from my father’s as his hand firmly gripped her neck. Was this the same mother I was just singing and dancing with less than 10 minutes ago? Fear filled her eyes. My sister closed the door.
We slid under the bed and listened. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting for the “all clear” sign. The thumping of my heart filled my head. It felt as if it kept growing louder. Louder. LOUDER.
This became my #1 place to hide. The small comfortable area my father’s arms couldn’t reach. There, I remained safe. There, I remained hidden.