I can’t remember if his fist was open or closed. I think I was eight. I stepped out of my bedroom and was walking down the hall, as my brother approached. We were about to pass; he pulled his hand back, and hit me hard. I don’t recall where. My face? My stomach? I remember the shock of it. The ‘why?’. A quick mental scan: there was nothing. I said something like “What was that for?” We argued. My mother appeared and wanted to know what was going on. This was open and shut; I told her he hit me for no reason. She said, “You must have done something.” I insisted. And she told me not to lie. When I said I wasn’t, I got “Don’t talk back,” and “No one likes a tattle tale.” I hated getting in trouble. And this was a hole I couldn’t crawl out of. That look came back to my brother’s face, settled in. I realized my family, and therefore the world, doesn’t work like I thought it did. It doesn’t work like they said.

Published by msdeer

I am an interdisciplinary artist, slightly incognito here.

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