I heard dad call. By the tone of his
voice, I knew that what had happened earlier hadn’t been revealed.
I ran up to my room, throwing my
handbag and the paper bag from the newsagent’s, containing the time-delaying sketchpad and pencils onto
my bed and lay down on the floor, staring up at the ceiling. I know that sounds
like a weird thing to do, but staring up at the quotes helps me so much. I
didn’t want to hate mom, but I didn’t want to love, or even like her either.
Then one quote seemed to jump out at
me. It was one by Marilyn Manson. “If we are taught to love everyone, even love
our enemies, then what value does that place on love?” I found myself reading
it over and over again.
I stood up, tossed the unwanted
stationary into the drawer of my bedside table and walked downstairs. I was
going to tell dad (I mean about the slap in the face, not the sudden reading
and re-reading of a Manson quote).
I walked into the kitchen and found
dad working on his laptop. Or playing solitaire.
“Dad, I need to talk to you about
something that happened today.”
I said, my voice shook a little.
“At the party?”
“No, before I went to the party.”
He closed whatever computer programme that he was in
and shut the laptop.
He asked me, so I went on to explain
the whole thing, the argument, the slap, everything.
“Mom really hit you?”
He said, sounding ever so slightly
“Yes, even ask her, I know she’ll lie,
but it’s worth a try. Just ask. Where is she?”
I gave him a pleading, wide-eyed look.
It’s the nearest thing you can do to puppy-dog-eyes at fourteen.
“Fine, I’ll ask. She’s upstairs
cleaning out her wardrobe. Again.”
Dad sighed. He told me to wait
downstairs while he went to ask mom whether or not she’d hit me. My heart was
beating so quickly and so hard that I felt sure it would burst through my
chest-bone at any moment. Mom might tell
the truth, she always claimed to hate lies. But there was an equal chance that
she would lie to save herself from an argument.