The bricks came in like rain and other traumatic events. 

I am fuming. Ears burning, tension in neck kind of fuming. 

I mean how could I possibly let this happen again? You see every time I think I’ve got the balance right, I let them back in and like an invoice due every quarter, they never fail to collect. Demanding things from me they wouldn't even demand from themselves. 

That’s them.

But I’m a mother now, so I definitely know right from wrong, when it comes to my kid. My issue is they never knew the right way to treat me. The first born into a storm not yet quite cleared of it’s shit, I have seen and heard things that most will avoid for a lifetime. Through suicide attempts and domestic violence, I built a web with words, covering my head with stories as if they were a security blanket. Yet that doesn’t erase the time my body was used as a barricade whilst sitting on the knee of her lap, one hand resting on me and the other gripping a meat cleaver, with the sea blue of police sirens setting the house alight. 

A gun? 

I mean who even knew he had one, until I saw them tussling outside the front door and heard the small pop of it relieving itself. Not so bad this time as the bullet only grazed his knee. I kneeled on my own two and watched though the slit of their bedroom door as he cleaned it up himself with alcohol and navy blue plaster. 

 

But some plasters aren’t big enough.

Like the night a brick unexpectedly came through my then bedroom window, narrowly missing my head. If I were to take you there now, I could show you the dent in the doorframe where it landed. And the bricks came in like rain. Every window was pane-less. I wasn’t in pain myself but petrified. He said he owed him money. Insurance covered the damage. A month later he came back and did it again. I wasn’t in that time, so I can’t tell you much about that. 

 

But there are some things I do know.

 

Like the lady i’ve been introduced to is not the same colour as me and I’ve heard her name mentioned before. I’ve been told not to tell anyone she nor her son were here. But come to think of it, he looked a lot like you. I never said anything but somehow they knew and I watched when they beat her. That was not a present. It was a rolling pin. I looked away once she fell down. Maybe she would need medicine. 

 

The tablets were everywhere. 

You were slouched on the wicker sofa, eyes toward heaven. I kept asking you for toast but you wouldn't answer me. I called them all. The ambulance arrived first. My legs swung off the counter as I tried to show the man in green your bottles. Someone came for me after that. You didn't die that day. 

Neither did he. 

It was raining that day. And he begged you to let him in and you turned him away. Blood was everywhere. He collapsed at the end of the road. Bleeding on the brain too. I didn't know brains bled. So close to death but he held on, only to repay you by treating you as the cadaver. Gone but never forgotten.

Rest in Peace.

‘They will be the death of you, kid’ he said when he was still alive. I laughed it off but deep down knew it was true. And today of all days he would be the one i would turn too. For counselling, correction, perhaps a cuddle too. But then I’ll shove him away because they said I’m too much like you. And maybe that's why they treat me the way they do. I will never forget the sting of her slap when I said how much I loved you. A traitor for loving her creator. Have you ever heard such a thing. I’m sorry she was at your funeral. Perhaps that’s why the vase broke. A representation of your anger. I do apologise. 

I do. 

Love him very much and have learned that those who never had love will mistake it for hate. So I keep ours out of searching eyes because they are ready to shoot us down. Hands on hips like cowboys. They even sat his Mother down and told her that I was ‘the worst’ half a decade later we are past five rounds but only because of divine intervention. 

 

And of course some things are missing. Because they are too painful to write. But I got a call in the early hours from Barbados, telling me all would be alright. That I was loved and would always be welcome in the place I now call home, with the people i now call family. 

 

Is that why you kept them away from me?

 

Because you wanted me all alone. Dependent upon you all forever so I would have to be an unwilling audience to trauma they have not yet devised a successful surgery for. I could die. 

But like i said, I have a daughter now and I know right from wrong. I’m trying my best to be normal. So all I ask with unusual politeness, is that you all leave me alone. 

Cx