and the beginning of the end…

he was five, and she, just three. dressed in their favourite dresses they stood holding his hand. their father. the mother took the photo and coaxed them into smiling, but they all refused. it had been a long morning. mother had woken them up with a generous smile and a smiling voice – rise and shine, my babies… rise and shine. she did that every morning, he would recollect years later. but this morning they didn’t realise it was the first of the last.

they were to young to know what was coming. but they could sense it. the fight. the biggest fight that this was all building up into. when they woke up, it had already begun. the coffee wasn’t quite right. the bread was too hard. one slice even burnt. the shoes not polished right. and his attitude was wrong she said. he yelled too much. he made food too important. get over it.

Enough…
Whatever…
Fine…

fast words tumbled out that were just sounds at three. at five he understood a bit. and made her stop drawing at the table. he glared at her, to make her notice. but she didn’t. and so he pinched her. hard. she cried out. and cried.

and then they all needed to pose for a photograph. grandmother wanted one… mom refused to stand in it. she said her eyes were a little red and grandmom would notice that, and thats not how they normally were. he heard that many times after that. but he didn’t know then.