When we were in the truck mama told daddy that after this trip she was done. But not long after she said that she turned to me with a big smile on her face.
“You ready to go find our room baby?” She asked
As soon as we walked through the door the smell of stale cigarettes and the ocean stung my nose. My teddy clutched in my hand, we walked in and jumped on the bed closest to the door.
“Smell like shit in ere.” Daddy grunted tossing down the bags and walking out to the patio.
“We call this bed,” I said waving Teddy’s hand to mama.
“No baby, you and I are sharing a bed,” Mama huffed picking up the bags off the dirty carpet floor.
I flopped back on the bed burying my head into the pillows. “But mama!” I groaned.
“Hush up fore I tell your daddy you being bad.” She snapped
“Someone’s mad,” I whispered to Teddy.
Daddy’s a tall man so as he walked back in, he had to duck his head so he wouldn’t hit it on the door frame. His face was all scrunched up slightly different than his usual scowl, so I knew he was still angry. He walked through the room stopping at the door.
“Going to the store.” He murmured and walked out the door.
Mama scoffed looking down and shaking her head. She didn’t like when daddy drove when he was mad. She would say, “He might as well be piss drunk, driving that truck during one of his temper tantrums.”
“Let’s watch a movie,” I said grinning at her.
As mama looked for a movie, I made me and teddy comfortable. Fixed the pillows just right and pulled the blankets down so mama could get in. She grabbed some chips she packed, and we started watching. I wish it was always like this. Mama was happy I was happy, and we were watching a funny movie. But not long after we started it daddy walked in with a 6-pack and a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. He walked straight through the room and out the sliding door.
Mama got up fast,” Stay there and finish the movie.” She said before following him out the door.
As soon as she crossed the threshold, I turned the movie off, it wasn’t fun anymore.
“I wanted to watch with mama,” I said to Teddy. “I don’t think she’ll be back in anytime soon.”
Mama and daddy weren’t outside on the patio long before the arguing started. Like every time I’m around when they fight, mama brought her mad voice down to a whisper, but daddy’s gruff voice could be heard from the next couple of rooms over. The sliding door was cracked so I could hear all daddy’s cussing.
“Why are you acting crazy right now? I was only gone for a minute.” He said throwing his hands up.
I didn’t hear what mama said but it must have been something bad because after that it was quiet. I looked out the glass to see mama holding her cheek. I didn’t see what happened, but it didn’t take much to know that daddy had hit her. After that, the silence stayed for a moment, and then mama closed the door. Mama never got that loud when they would fight. But now I could make out her words through the glass.
“You’re going to get your bag, keep your mouth shut and leave.”
“You can’t- “He started but mama cut him off.
Getting in his face she said “I can and I am. We are going to my mom’s, and I’ll be by the house to get our stuff.”
I had never been scared of my mama but in that moment, I would have been if I was daddy and it looked like he was. He came inside and did exactly what mama told him to do. He grabbed his bags kissed my forehead and left. Never in my life had I seen my daddy look that small.
Mama watched him go then came and wrapped me in her arms. “I’m sorry baby.” She said.
I didn’t know what she was saying sorry for, but I knew it wasn’t for what just happened and the other thing I knew was my daddy was leaving and I was never going to see him again. My mama said she was done and she meant it.
Maia Perez is a student with the goal of being a writer.