It was just your typical Wednesday night. The family had eaten dinner without dad, yet again. Then it was off to their rooms for Carson and his brother Christopher to do their homework.
The silence throughout the house was suddenly broken by the sound of a diesel engine and insistent beeping of a backup alarm. In response, the boy’s flung open their bedroom doors with a bang and their scampering feet could be heard as they rushed down the hall to the kitchen.
“What are the two of you doing here?” asked their mother Maryanne. “You know the rules, stay in your rooms until you are called. Now get.”
“Yes Mom,” they replied in unison, as they turned to walk back to their room’s moping.
The kitchen door swung open revealing the smiling hulk of a man standing there blocking out all the light.
“Lucy, I’m home,” he announced as he ducked to walk through and into the kitchen.
Lou is a big guy standing at six feet five inches, with wide muscular shoulders. With his build, he had to duck and side step through most doors.
“Not funny Lou,” Maryanne snapped back at him with disdain. “Just like it wasn’t funny last week or the week before.”
“Don’t start with me, I’ve been driving all week,” he replied. Working as an over road trucker keeps him away from home for weeks at a time.
“Really. Like I couldn’t hear your rig backing in” she replied as she took another long sip from her open beer. “Your boys are waiting to great you.”
“Carson, Christopher, Daddy’s home.” He bellowed in his deep sing song voice.
Like a bolt the two boys barreled out of their rooms. Carson pushed his little brother out of the way so he could get to their father first.
Lowering himself to one knee Lou waited for his boys. As they ran into his waiting arms almost throwing him off balance and onto the floor. His two boys were the one thing he missed most while he was out on the road making a living.
“Okay you’ve said your hellos. Now Carson get back to your room and do your school work.”
“But, Mom,” he moaned in response with a pout on his face.
“Don’t you ‘But, Mom’ me. Until you get your grades up all your free time is taken up with studying.”
“Maryanne, I haven’t seen them all week.”
“Don’t you start Lou! You can visit with Chris, but, Carson is off limits until all his homework is done.”
“Okay. You heard your Mom, back to your room Cars,” replied Lou with a tone of authority. “The sooner you finish, the sooner we can talk.”
Putting on an even larger pouty face Carson turned on his heels and left the kitchen. Sounds of him stomping his feet could be heard down the hall before being punctuated by the slamming of the bedroom door. A tense silence fell over the kitchen as light sobbing could be heard coming from Carson’s bedroom.
This silence didn’t last long as it was quickly replaced by yelling from Lou and Maryanne as they had yet another argument. In the meantime, Christopher stood there in horrid shock as he watched the events unfold before his very eyes.
Neither of the parents were even aware that he was standing there cowering in the corner. That was until a crystal vase meant for Lou’s head missed as he ducked out of the way, shattering on the cupboard above Christopher’s head.
“Aaahhh,” screamed Christopher as shards of glass showered down on his head. “Stop it,” he yelled as he broke into uncontrollable sobs.
With the sounds of his brother screaming, Carson ran out of his room at full speed.
It was far from the first time they had heard their parents argue. Each one seemed louder and more intense than the one before. However, it was usually from behind their closed bedroom doors.
Rounding the corner into the kitchen, Carson got between his father and brother. Checking to make sure that his brother was unhurt from the ordeal. He hadn’t even noticed the glass as he stepped on it cutting his stockinged feet.
“Stop it both of you,” Carson screamed as his parents. “You could have really hurt Christopher,” he stated as he took his brother by the hand leading him out of the kitchen.
“Carson, you cut your foot,” stated Lou as he reached for his son’s arm.
“I’m fine,” he snapped in reply as he avoided his father’s grasp as he led his brother to the bathroom to shower so he could get the glass out of his hair.
Luckily Christopher wears glasses and they protected his green eyes. Carson was not able to see any blood in his brothers red hair.
As Carson bandaged his cut foot they could hear the back-kitchen door slam shut. That was something new in one of their fights. When the diesel engine made an eerie sound as it roared to life in the darkness outside.
Heading towards the kitchen to clean up the broken glass, Carson could hear the gravel from the driveway hitting the side of the house as his father pealed out of the driveway in his big rig. Deep down he could tell things in their life had changed the night for ever. It was the last night they all lived in the same house together.
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