The walls shook as Dad flung food against them, the plates clung as long as they could before they crashed to the floor.
Even the floor was shaking, or was that me? I peeked from behind the breakfast nook as he jabbed a callused finger at my mother.
“Clean this shit up!”
She winced when he drew back his hand and he sneered.
“And make something that isn’t so fucking greasy!”
My sister scowled at him from her hiding place next to me. She made as if to get up, but froze as my Father turned on us with a withering look.
“What are you little shits staring at?”
“Billy, let them be-”
Crack! A handprint blossomed on her pale cheek. Before I could stop her, my sister hopped up.
“You leave her alone!”
She came flying right back towards me, slamming into the cabinets. I suddenly couldn’t breath.
Somewhere between the time I found my inhaler, my mother had found the peroxide and was dabbing my sister’s cuts.
“Clumsy me,” she’d say to her frowning teacher. Just like Mom.
The second dinner Mom made was met with Dad’s approval, which meant a bouquet of roses and silence. Her forced smiles and blank eyes were as dull as the chicken. It was bland and I chewed it thoroughly, unwilling to swallow it and subject my stomach to more torment.
I had a test tomorrow and I couldn’t figure out how I was going to have time to study without turning the lights on. Another no-no.
Another dinner of bitterness. Just another Thursday at my house.