“The difference between boys and girls, is that boys are big bullies!” I stop washing dishes to hear what Sarah says next, but the crash of the Jenga blocks and Jack’s giggles prevent further sage words from my five-year-old.
On any other day, the sound of Jack giggling would make me laugh, but today I want him to be quiet. I need to know if Sarah has anything else to say. Did she hear us last night? Maybe she heard the thud? God, I hope she thought we were playing Jenga!
Jack crashes through the swing doors and into my legs. I wince on impact but can’t resist ruffling his blonde curls with my wet hand. He wriggles with delight at the sensation. I instinctively bend down to take him in my arms and wince again. Please don’t let him notice my pain.
He runs back to Sarah and their game begins again. All talk of boys, girls and bullies is forgotten. Had Jack been listening to his big sister when she shared her wisdom? Maybe I had misheard her. Was she talking about something else? She has a busy social life now that she is in school.
I shake my head, as if the movement will clear my thoughts. I grab a stemless glass from the drying rack and the bottle of Sauv Blanc from the fridge. It doesn’t feel like day drinking if there isn’t a stem. I pour a glass. I glance at the kitchen clock. Not much time. A swig. Another. One more for luck. I rinse the glass in the lukewarm water and return it to the drying rack.
I hear keys rattle in the front door. Shrieks of delight from the kids, happy barking from the dogs. I breathe deeply and I brace myself.
- Wordcount: 300
- Prompt: Men and women
- Genre: Family, drama
- Warning: Domestic violence