Jeannine and I have not spoken in a couple of weeks. Our friendship has ended, and the affection we felt for each other went down with it. All is well, all is unwell. Crickets and stars are here to keep me company. Chirping and blinking, like nonsensical, musical thoughts. It is six in the morning, yet I have not slept. Father got drunk, and there is no Jeannine to listen to my problems. Images of him beating my mother flashing through. Intrusive things, thieving things. They are taking my peace under their arms, these memories.
We are worthless, father says. Is it his reflection he sees? A projection? A cold reality? He threatens to divorce my mother. Not a threat, but a kind consideration. Then he cries, expecting his regret to wash mistakes away. This house is the center of Hell, but I stay, afraid to leave an innocent behind. My brother. He stays, afraid to leave an innocent behind.