Short fiction.

I’ve learned a trick that lets me get in the house and straight to my room so Pete doesn’t hear me. If I put the tip of my foot just at the right place under the door, it doesn’t squeak and he; sitting there at the kitchen table with his bottle, won’t not know that I’m back from school. Maybe I’ll be lucky enough and he’ll stay in there until Mom comes home from work.

Before Pete came to stay with us, me and Mom used to eat our supper on our laps in front of the TV. A lot of times we were still hungry afterwards, but we sure did laugh a lot those times. Since Pete came, things are different; there’s more food for one thing, and we have to sit at the table to eat. Mom doesn’t laugh so much anymore, but she says every cloud has a silver lining and I must be more tolerant of Pete because she doesn’t have to worry where the next rent money is coming from and that sure makes her sleep a little easier at night. I didn’t say it’s not her sleeping that’s my biggest worry, especially those days that Pete spends the afternoon passed out and crawls around the flat all night.

Pete never tries to come into my room when Mom is in the flat, and I lock the door other times. I know that, if he bangs on it and makes a noise, old Missus Botha next door will come knocking to find out what the fuss is about. That one time Pete hit Mom and the glasses all fell off the table, Missus Botha straightaway phoned her son who’s a cop and he came over like a flash and told Pete to watch himself or there would be trouble and make no mistake about it. He meant business, that Kevin Botha. And he tore off a bit of his cigarette packet and wrote his cellphone number on it and gave it to me. “Phone me anytime Princess, anytime you feel something’s not right, you see?”

I put the piece of paper in my jewellery box, because you never know, do you?


10 Comments Add yours

  1. BFG says:

    very touching and sad. Thank goodness for good people.


  2. Adeeyoyo says:

    This makes me feel really angry that some men abuse vulnerable women. Excellent piece.

  3. theonlycin says:

    It’s far more widespread than we will ever know.

  4. Wonderful piece, Cindy. Excellent pace and flow.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I thank you Richard.

  5. nrhatch says:

    Beautiful short story about an ugly issue . . . and the good men who fight it. : )

    1. theonlycin says:

      It’s important to keep in mind that the good men outnumber the bad.

  6. opoetoo says:

    I sure am glad for the Botha’s too bad everybody doesn’t have one.
    It is a good story.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you opoetoo.

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