Nancy Drew was just figuring out who the bad guy was. Once again I was nestled far into the top bunk with blankets thrown over my head and my flashlight in hand. I was visiting the mysterious world of Nancy Drew with my latest adventure being “Nancy Drew and the Twisted Candles” with Nancy just being kidnaped by the “bad” guy. I was at the edge of my wits trying to figure out the mystery before even Nancy herself, when I heard it.

It didn’t usually make me jump these days, not anymore. I had heard too often to count the times. I tried to sink further underneath the covers but it never helped. It was too loud to drown out this time or anytime before. I struggled against my soul not wanting to depart the warm bed for the cold of what lay below but I knew enevidably I would get up and go and watch the spectacle from the top of the stairs. I fought the urge for as long as possible. Then I jumped from the top bunk to my sisters bed and then finally to the ground and quietly opened the door to the hallway not wanting to be seen quite yet. I played Mission Impossible as I snuck to the stairs, not that they could have heard me anyway.

I wasn’t going to cry this time. Crying only gave him the satisfaction that he was hurting us all of us.

I passed the bathroom and the sensor light gave my position away. My sister was already at the top of the stairs, she turned to me with her already tear stained face and motioned for me to stay quiet. We were soon joined by our one of our brothers the other being the object of the spectacle. I watched the tears pour down my mothers face and I almost lost it. I had to bite my lip to keep from crying but I wasn’t going to cry this time.

I wondered why the fight had started. They were shouting so loud that I could hardly understand what was going on but then I began to piece together the story. Tephi, my oldest brother’s girlfriend had called to tell him that an ex-boyfriend of hers was throwing rocks at her windows and she wanted Steven to come over to “ protect” her. My dad was trying to stop him because he was afraid the other guy had a gun or that things would get out of control and someone would get hurt. Steven being the strongest willed person that I knew at the time was of course fighting back in every way possible screaming, yelling profanities and hitting.

About 10 minutes into the yelling, Steven seemed to come to the realization that he was bigger than my dad and all he had to do was get to the door and out and then there would be no stopping him. He shoved my father against the nearest wall and proceeded to the door but my father having a parents intuition seemed to sense something that the rest of us did not. It almost looked as if my father felt he was fighting for his son’s life, that if he let him out of that door he would never see his son again alive again. Strength that I have never seen in my father seem to come from him. He wrapped his whole body around my brother’s legs anchoring him to the ground and preventing him from his planned escape. I watched as my brother kicked and hit and drug my father along the floor trying to get loose and tears pricked my eyes but I wasn’t going to cry this time. Steven didn’t control me and I wasn’t going to cry this time. I watched my father hold on to Steven’s legs until Steven became so physically exhausted that he stopped struggling, my father let go and both sat on the floor too exhausted to move. Steven proclaimed a few more profane words and then declared that he hated all of us and took off downstairs to his room.

My mom slowly calmed down and my siblings stopped crying. We all went back to what we had been doing before and I tried to return to the mysteries of Nancy Drew but I was shaken from the inside out and as I relived the moments of the night.

My soul crumbled and I began to sob. I had lost, once again I had lost, there was no beating him no matter how hard I tried. He always made me cry and once again I had caved in but I knew the next time I wouldn’t cry. No, Next time I wouldn’t.