Family Ties

Tyler - Glenwillow, Ohio
Entered on January 12, 2009
Age Group: Under 18

A year ago my life was thrown into turmoil. This day began like any other, except sadness loomed over our home — grandmother had passed away. I awakened, went to make breakfast, but suddenly stopped cold. Peering curiously into the bathroom, I noticed everything was displaced. Covering the floor were multi-colored towels, a torn and tattered shower curtain, and a toilet seat resembling a pile of rubble. I had to be dreaming, or maybe someone had broken in? I dashed to my parent’s bedroom and found it torn apart. Standing in the doorway, I searched for explanations, but found none. I darted down the hallway when I heard it coming from the basement — my parents screaming terrible words at each other. I was scared and didn’t know what was happening. I tiptoed into the living room, finding the front window smashed and the TV knocked over. I sat helplessly on the couch, and my little brother woke.

“Tyler what’s that noise?” he asked, with hints of fear in his voice. I looked at him, unsure how to respond.

“Mom and dad are fighting. They’ll stop soon,” I told him.

“But they never fight like this,” he said, fighting back tears.

“Go back to sleep. When you wake up everything will be fine.”

Joseph burst into tears, and ran into my arms. I’d never seen him truly scared. I held him, trying to calm him. “Make them stop,” he wailed.

I tried to hold back tears to be strong, but I couldn’t. I was terrified my parents would kill one another. Tears rolled down my cheeks soaking the carpet, and I was in hell. Knife marks bruised our walls; the front door hung from its hinges. Clearly, this nightmare had been going on for hours.

Finally calm, I walked into the kitchen and noticed a stench that made me want to puke. I immediately recognized the odor — alcohol and cigarettes. Beer cans littered our floor and countertops, some were even in the sink! I noticed our microwave smashed to the floor. At the basement door I heard violent yells. Terrible words filled my house, words I don’t dare repeat. I was sick of this and ran to the phone, only to find it yanked from the wall. Suddenly the door flew open, and Mom tumbled through it after a wild push from Dad. I was invisible to them: the punching, kicking, and screaming continued.

I ran into the basement with Joseph following. Having no clue what to do, I simply watched TV. Joseph grabbed my arm. “What is happening? You said they’d stop!” he cried. Before he said another word, I ordered Joseph to leave; I screamed and pushed him away. This chaos continued for an eternity. As a result, I now reside in Ohio.

Many things changed that day, and one thought invades my mind. What will become of my family, and of Joseph and I? I believe people don’t truly appreciate family — until they’re gone.