by Angela M. Spencer

When a family’s bond of love and trust are destroyed by domestic violence, a traumatized young boy is raised in the church and struggles with loss and vicious emotions until he is able to forgive his father, and lets go of his haunting past.


Daddy and I sat on the side of the bed playing my favorite game, Super Mario.  I loved doing things with my Daddy.  I smiled thinking about the good time we just had watching the kite that we had made together swirl up into the sky as we launched it on a spool of string.  Mommy walks into the room with her hands on her hips.

“Can anyone tell me why my good sheet is cut up into shreds?” Mommy said.

“We needed it to make a tail for the kite so we could fly it,” Daddy said.

“But, those were my good sheets,” she said.

I saw his face tense up.  He took a sip of his beer and glared at her.  I could see the rage was brewing inside of him.  I’ve seen him look this way just before he’d lose his mind and slap her around.  Mommy gave me the look and I knew I had to runaway to the secret place.  Before I could move he grabbed her by her hair and smashed his fist into her face.  Her jaw swung to the side and blood gushed out of her mouth.

“I HATE YOU DADDY!” I screamed.

Tears pour down my face, and the blood surges to my head as I watch her fall.  THUMP, went her head on the bedpost.  Mommy is on the floor helpless.  All I see is red, and I jump from the rickety bed and leap onto his neck before he can hurt her any more.  He snatches me off his neck, slings me in the air, like I was nothing, and my body slams up against the wall.  I land on the floor banging my head.  Paralyzed, I can’t move.  My eyes were tightly shut and I drifted into the darkness.  When I opened my eyes he was gone.  I see my mommy – still – lying on the floor.  “Oh my God.  Pwease mommy, don’t be dead, I cried.  Mommy, pwease, wake up, don’t be dead.”

My body wrenches with pain, and I am shaking uncontrollably.  I wipe the tears from my eyes and run to the bathroom to get a cup of water.  It works in the cartoons, I thought.  Trembling, I climbed up on the side of the tub, grabbed a cup and filled it with water.  “Mommy has to get up.  I can’t breathe without her.  Mommy has to get up.”

As I enter the room, she lifts her head, her lips swollen and blood is dripping from her mouth.  Her eyes search the room.  I drop the cup and run to her.  Shaking uncontrollably as streams of tears rush down my face, I cry out, “Mommy, mommy, are you alright?”

“Yes, baby I’m alright.  Just remember this,” she gasped, “you can’t do anything with what you have no control over.  Forgive and be a better man.  I love you so much.”

“Mama,” I cried.  She was gone.

I became a ward of the state.  I was seven years old.  The counselor there was very nice.  Her name was Angel Santamaria. She talked kind of funny like she was singing every word.

“Hi Nick,” she says.  “Youse de handsomest lil maaan.”

“Nick, ju wanna go play with de other children?”

I nod my head, my eyes dart across the floor.  “I want to play.”

With her gentle hand on my shoulder we walk to the playroom.  Standing in the middle of the room playing video games is the prettiest girl that I had ever seen besides Mama.  She has a knot on her head, like mine, and shiny dark eyes, just like Mama’s. “Maybe we could be a family, just like me, mommy and daddy.”

“Hey Shorty, you wanna play?  We can play video games together.”

She turns to look at me with her hands on her hips and tells me, “my name’s not Shorty!  My name is Leslie.  Yeah, let’s play.”

I can’t explain what happened next, but I grabbed her by her hair and slapped her face.

She snatched away from me, and slapped me back and said,  “my mommy says love don’t hurt.  You hit me again – I’ll kill you.“

Ten years later … (to be continued)

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