“Shh! Don’t cry, I will protect you.”
She hushed up, little hiccups escaping her quivering lips; it was one of those nights when she saw her father beating her mum into a pulp. Her brother, Elias, holding her in his arms, trying to make her quiet or she would be the one getting punched too.
Things have been this way for sometime now; for Elias, it had become a routine. He has seen his father loosing it when he was just a 9-year-old, it has been 4 years since. Lilly on the other hand was a pretty little 6-year-old. Today she accidentally stumbled into her parents room, luckily Elias followed her and carried her out before an outburst. He knew the consequences of being caught, he had scars to prove it.
The night faded into another teary haze and as the sun struck the sky, Elias woke up with Lilly wrapped in his arms at the doorway of Lilly’s room. Stretching and wiping his eyes, he gazed the little ball of innocence with tear trail on her face and he decided, this needs to end. He understood the scars of yesterday’s traumatic events and now it has affected his baby sister, he decided that he won’t let another childhood shatter at the hand of his parents. He slowly woke up Lilly and aimed for the washroom to freshen up. Downstairs was smelling like breakfast, but only if he had any appetite because today all he wanted to do was confront his mother. After a quick prayer to God, he descended the stairs with Lilly clutching his pants in one hand and a teddy in other. The house was serene, maybe the devil was off to work, that was good, at least now he will be able to actually talk sense into the thick skull of his mother dearest. It was not the first time he tried to convince her to leave but it will be the first time he decided that he will let her choose.
Hearing the foot-steps, his mum turned around and greeted Elias good morning; concealer on her face was so thick so that the bruising was hardly visible, Elias stood there studying his mum’s face, jaw clenched and fist balled so tight; he was angry but he was also very sad and disappointed, as soon as he opened his mouth to speak, Lilly stepped forward and hugged her mum; the tears welling up in her eyes, the demons of night clouding her mind as her mother’s face reminded her of what went down last night. Elias felt his anger subsiding, he went down on his knees and wiped Lilly’s tears, he didn’t want to start an argument in front of her, last night was traumatic enough for such a young mind. He scooped Lilly in his arms, his mother asking him what’s wrong but he said nothing; he knew the words of venom will be spewed if he speaks; hastily he went to the living room and put on Lilly’s favourite cartoon channel; upon returning to the kitchen, his mother studied his actions closely and passed him his plate along with jam and bread. Elias was in no mood of playing okay, he told his mum to sit down, and as calmly as he could, he started to speak.
“I am thirteen mum!, I know what’s going on, you know what’s going on, then why don’t you end it?”
“End what, Elias?, What are you trying to say?”, his mother inquired.
“I had tried in the past to just talk in hints but now mum, I am sick of you playing dumb all the time, you think I can’t see the bruise on your face, well guess what; we, me and Lilly both got the front seat tickets to your marital drama last night, I was the one who picked her up and took her to her room, she was so scared mum, she cried whole night and thank goodness I was there to take her away otherwise we both know that she would also be sporting a bruise like you.”, Elias exclaimed, anger radiating off him.
“Why don’t you leave him?”, he spoke gently holding his mum’s hand.
“I can’t Elias, my heart doesn’t seem to let go, I know one-day your father will turn over a new leaf and it will be alright.”, her eyes gleaming with false hope.
But as soon as Elias heard this bull-crap, he was furious, not that he wasn’t angry before that but her mum’s words had the effect of oil on fire.
“I swear to God mum, cut it out, it had been 4 years now, he never turned around; look at us mum, look at me, I have seen you cry, I have seen you bleed out, I have seen you passed out, for God sake let him go, I contacted Nana last night, I have had enough mum, if you don’t end it with him, I will tell Nana to call the police on him and take custody of us; its either us or him. Choose!”
It was the first time Elias had taken this serious action, his mum was stunned to silence, tears were a constant tap that was left open since last night, she was a mess, a mess which Elias had to deal with, a young boy with enough scars to last him a life time. The stakes were on the table now, Elias had nothing to pack, he was ready to up and leave, all he needed was a verdict of his mother and since life had always knocked him off the ground, his mum spoke, and he knew then on that he and Lilly will always be alone.