I was eight years old when the first truly horrible moment of my life came about, and I remember this because it’s one of my biggest regrets. Nothing happened to me, I wasn’t raped, molested, or even harmed. But my older sister was, and what makes it even worse than that was the fact that it was our father that committed the act. I know, in the grand scheme of things it’s not completely unheard of, unfortunately, but it’s something you don’t forget, even when you’re young. You also don’t tend to forget when you react in a way that’s bound to stamp itself on your psyche for the future to come.
I killed my father.
I don’t mean accidentally, and I don’t mean that I just couldn’t stop. I mean that I killed my father. The defilement of my sister had been ongoing for some time, and I can recall my mother telling me that she had two decisions, as she saw it. She could stand up to my father, and he might have killed her for doing so, or she could run. She chose the latter, and once she was gone I never spoke to her again, and neither did my sister. I can see it happening in front of my eyes once again as my younger self comes home from school one day to find my father once again forcing my sister to do something against her will. I won’t tell you go into detail, but I can’t look away.
I fully remember grabbing the baseball bat from my room, the heavy, wooden thing that I practiced with before and during every baseball season to get stronger. I remember the feel of it, of how light it was in my hands, of how the grain of the wood appeared to conform to my grip just right. I know now that it was because of my familiarity with the bat after so many hours spent swinging it to hit dingers across the field. But at that time it felt as though the bat understood my pain and was saying ‘go for it, hit a home run’ in its own way.
Here it comes, and BOOM. I watch my young self lay a heavy swing into my old man’s lower back, and I can still hear bone crunching to this day as he’s forced to disengage from my sister, who screams as she backs away, gaining as much distance as she can. I swing again, and the old man’s knees buckle. I’m still swinging as he goes down. I know what I’m doing, I’m not lost in a red haze, I’m not beyond rational thought. I know just what I’m thinking.
He’s the reason mom became a coward, he’s the reason my sister can’t sleep at night, and he’s the reason why I would have nightmares until I was in my early 20s. My sister, she would get over this, but me, I’m the guy turning my father’s body into a sack of bruised and broken meat, with broken bones rattling and shaking on the inside. It’s only when he stops moving that I stop, my chest heaving and my breath coming in ragged gasps.
Good lord, that was the first vision? Before I can think twice about what might come next, the first vision winks out, and the second makes it’s way forward. Oh, thank God, it’s a good one…
(to be continued)