(“The Sound of Silence,” by Simon and Garfunkel).
My parents had locked themselves in a downstairs bedroom. Yelling and screaming at each other, I can hear the different noises of anger. I hear some shoving or hitting furniture. In the top room of the house, I hear all this through the vent. Why must I be subjected to this again? Too much already in terms of stress in this dysfunctional house and now more. MORE. Where is my brother? I hope he is not here, hopefully at a friends. They are still going, I don’t want to listen, but I continue. Heart ever continuing to sink. Agony of wondering when does it end?
Then silence. Nothing. Where did it go? I am afraid to leave my room for fear of what might have happened. My worst fear is that one of them killed another. I don’t put that on the back burner or with superstition. I truly believe it could happen at this point. Still nothing, and afraid to move. My keen sense of hearing is straining for the next sound of it all. Time has stood in slow motion now and here I am in bed , hiding. Hiding from reality, and not knowing what reality will be from this point on.
I guess I must have been laying there under the comfort of my covers for a half an hour. The next thing I hear is sirens. Hoping they will pass , but they only get progressively closer, and closer. Is it coming to my house? Maybe just some other house on the street.
BAM, BAM, BAM. That was my front door! I already know, but still afraid to leave my bed. Slowly , I get up, and ever slowly moving toward my shut bedroom door. Agony of not wanting to make the connections of reality unveiling. Swallowing the lump in my throat I descend downstairs to the mid-level. There they are, at least they are alive. My mother and father , and the police. The police lights shinning through the windows, and flickering. What will the neighbors think of this in our perfect little suburban neighborhood? My mother is telling the police her story but my father remains somber and not defending himself. Why does he not say anything? He looks shameful. What has happened. Then, handcuffs are placed on his wrists and before he leaves, my mother slaps him forcefully across the face. The police do nothing but lead him out. (The story I was lead to believe was not entirely accurate as I later found out in life). And silence.
My mother looks to me and I look back confused. She says nothing and goes to another room locking herself in there. There I stand in my own silence with no explanation. Why is the daughter not consoled? I am only 15, and here I stand with no one to cry to. My own mother didn’t care to console me or tell me what happened. Sometimes I wonder if what my parents do for me is out of obligation and not love. Where in the world is my brother? He must be at a friends and I think that is the best. Here I am left to grow up on my own again for the millionth time. Here I am to pick up the pieces on my own, take care of business; no one to look to and find comfort in. Fairness is not a word to me, and to this day I do not know that word.
I pack a bag and run into the night to a friends where I know their parents are very cool and laid back to sleep there. A lot of us crash there , it is as if the parents already know the dysfunction at our own homes, they can see it in our eyes. We come from all over the small city but share the dysfunction of our stories from home. You can sense it but no words are needed to say it.
The silence of the night is there, and I am left with silence once again. No one will take care of you, and if you want to do something right, you do it yourself. Learning this at the start of my adolescence , it has never left me. I rely on very little people, trusting very little; because in the end most of them are disappointing and will do for themselves first before anything else. This has been proven countless times to me over the course of my life. Prove me different, and while you’re at it, walk in my shoes.
The different stories of my life might have as well be a movie. Little did I know this at that age though.
“Hello darkness , my old friend. I’ve come to talk with you again.” (Simon and Garfunkel)