How Do I Escape?

“Hey, kid! Get me some water!”

A surly, old man shouts from his table. I fill a jug and hurry to serve him before Father gives me the stink eye. I haven’t been performing well lately. Not in school. Not here, in the restaurant. Father owns a small restaurant and earns just enough to provide for the family and to quench his thirst for alcohol. Mom manages the restaurant most of the time because of Father’s incessant hangovers.

Someone shakes my arm and pulls me out of my reverie. Father. He looks at me with eyes full of angst and a wildness that comes from inebriation. I have good reasons to be afraid of him but I try to hide the dread whenever I can. I lower my head and walk to the nearest table, throw away the mushy leftovers from the plates and wipe the table. From table to table, I serve the food and clear the old plates, adding them to the pile I’ll have to wash later. Maybe, Mom will offer to help.

I wish I could get out of here.

I’m cleaning another table when Father calls at the top of his voice,”Patrice, come here!” My pulse quickens and I scurry towards him, legs shaking. What did I do now?

“What. Is. This?” Father asks with an eerie calmness which masks the wrath behind each word. I look up to see what he is pointing at: a greasy table with an oily plate on it and a couple waiting to sit there. I clean the table as swiftly as I can and apologize to the customers for the delay. They sit down, grunting and begin to skim through the menu. My eyes slowly creep up to see my fathers’ and his look of resentment says it all.

He’ll deal with me later. Later when he is drunk and when his anger gets the better of him. He’ll probably hit me and then I’ll cry myself to sleep. It has happened twice this week.

The sun is emitting its last rays and fear grips me as the evening wears on. My hands tremble when I serve the dishes.

I don’t want the day to end. I don’t want the day to end.

Father is nowhere to be seen. He must have gone to the liquor shop nearby. I shudder at the very thought and bury myself with work to prevent my mind from wandering. Mom is preparing the dishes along with Nancy, the other cook. Mom has often tried to stop Father from drinking but that just agitates him more. Mom and Father fight a lot and once, I’d even seen him slap her during an argument. That was the first time I thought about escaping.

Father returns with a bottle of liquor and I gulp involuntarily as my heart starts racing. I serve the dish to the last customer in the restaurant, hands trembling. I accidentally drop ketchup on him and a deep red botch covers his shirt. Fury takes over the customer and he yells profanities at me. To him, I’m just a stupid clumsy kid who can’t get a job done right. And maybe, I am. Father glowers at me and apologizes to the customer for my impertinent behavior.

As soon as the customer leaves, Father clasps my wrist and drags me to our house adjacent to the restaurant. Mom hurries behind us, begging him to stop and calm down.

“Unlock the damn door!” He growls at her. Mom wails as she opens the door, pleading him to be calm.

Once we’re inside, he pushes me forward, takes a swig from the bottle and slams it on the table. Mom pulls me aside by her hand protectively. With clammy hands and tears sluicing down her cheeks, she weeps uncontrollably. Father yanks me away from her and my only protection is gone. I feel…vulnerable. I don’t want to cry myself to sleep.

He shouts incoherently, “What was that, Patrice?!” I stand speechless, motionless.

The couple could have chosen another table. I want to say it. But I can’t.

Coward.

“What the hell was that, you stupid girl?!”

I try hard to stop the tears from falling. I fail. I know what awaits me and I brace myself before it comes. He raises his hand and strikes my face.

A moment. Just a moment of intense, physical pain and a lifetime of haunting nightmares. A lifetime of suppressing the hurt and distress. Excruciating pain and fierce revulsion boils inside me. Blood rushes to my cheeks and tears obscure my vision, blocking my throat and wetting my face. Mom’s shrieks fill the silence and I just can’t lower my head anymore. I raise my head and glare right into his malicious eyes.

Father slaps me hard again and I fall to my knees, dark strands covering my face. I let out ugly sobs and look around wildly for the door. What am I thinking? I can’t run from home! Can I? How much of a coward can I be?

I try so hard to compose myself, setting my jaw and clenching my fists and I raise my face to look at him. He is about to hit me again when Mom stops him. He yells at her loudly but fatigue washes over me and I can’t hear a word he says. My abdomens feel hollow and my chest has become a tight burden. The tears block my eyes and the last thing I see before passing out is Father raising his hand again. But I don’t feel the strike. All I feel is the need to escape.


Hey guys!

Here is another one of my short stories. In some places, violence is a method of “teaching” and by teaching, I mean enforcing information into others. So this story, unlike others, is not just fiction. It is a bitter truth for many.

Also, if you’ve been paying attention then you might have noticed that I changed my username. Initially, I had used a pseudonym because I liked the idea of anonymity but now, I’d rather see my own name than a pen name, I guess.

What did you think about Patrice’s father? Have you ever encountered such situations and how did you deal with it?

Do share your thoughts with me in the comments down below.

Liked the story? Then do click the like button as well.


27 Comments Add yours

  1. Tom Burton says:

    This was so raw and powerful! Beautifully written.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Rashi Singh says:

      Thank you, Tom! And thanks for always motivating me!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Rashi Singh says:

      Thank you, Pantho!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome Rashi πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

  2. MANISHA SINGH says:

    Great piece. Keep it up, Rashi!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Rashi Singh says:

      Thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Zeeshan Amin says:

    I was about to comment “Excellent post!” but such a tyranny could be anything but excellent. A bitter but true reality for many. Powerful and intense story.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Rashi Singh says:

      Thank you much for your kind words, Zeeshan! And I must agree that domestic violence and child abuse are bitter truths for many…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. floatinggold says:

    What a great ending.
    You described all the emotions so well. You feel what Patrice is feeling as you read the story.
    Well done.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Rashi Singh says:

      Thank you so much, Goldie!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Really beautifully written! Liked it !

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Rashi Singh says:

      Thank you, Nikesh! Glad you liked it.

      Like

  6. Amazing , I am amazed .

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I’m speechless, Rashi. This is so, so, so beautiful, creative, detailed, and REAL! I could feel all the emotions! Very intense. I so much love it. This is definitely one of the best stories I’ve read this year.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Rashi Singh says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Obinna! Glad you liked it so much. Your comment made my day! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Mohit says:

    Well written.
    Came up at your blog and witnessed some nice short stuff.
    I liked it. ❀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Rashi Singh says:

      Thank you, Mohit. Glad you liked it!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. The Pensieve says:

    At first, I thought that it was going to a post on child labour/abuse, which is one of the most bitter truths of our country. And I must say that you have delivered the story powerfully. The way it ends definitely has a lasting impact on the reader’s mind. Well done!

    Although, critically speaking, this wasn’t the most ‘well-written’ story. The reason being that I found several ‘tense errors’. Meaning that you changed the narration repeatedly from present to the past tense. It kinda confuses the reader. Also, there were a few grammatical snags along the way.

    But hey, that’s how I wrote barely a couple years ago! And practice makes a man perfect. Besides, maybe I am starting to expect too much from you… For you’ve done pretty well lately. πŸ˜…

    Also, I am really sorry that I haven’t been up to date with reading your posts. I have been really caught up with life, and the only reason you see posts on my site is because they have been already scheduled a month in advance. And I am afraid that this phase might last an entire month atleast… Hope you understand.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Rashi Singh says:

      Yes, that is true…Thank you, bhaiya! And thank you for taking the time to read my post.
      I have to admit I’ve been messing up a lot with tenses lately. I guess I didn’t edit it properly but I’ll go through it again and make sure I decrease the number of grammatical and tense errors.
      Thank you once again. And yes, I totally understand. Wow. A month in advance? I’m having trouble, finding the right content. But I guess that will pass. Also, how did your vacation go?
      Hope you had a great time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The Pensieve says:

        You are welcome dear, as always! ☺️

        Actually… As you’ll see the scheduled posts are all pretty small. I had saved them up to tide a crisis exactly like this. Writer’s blockπŸ˜…

        Yeah, I am positive that it’ll pass..

        BTW… We don’t have any vacations nowπŸ˜… Our internship is a 365 day no leave thingy. Except for a few government holidays. And some Sundays. We did have a 15 day vacation up until last year though… It was my last vacation… Ever. From now any vacation of mine will be either labelled as ‘leave’ or as ‘unemployed’ Gone are those good ol’ days….

        Hope you did enjoy your vacation though! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Rashi Singh says:

      Ohh, that’s very clever of you. Being prepared for Writer’s block. And I think it has passed. Atleast, I’m able to write now.πŸ˜…
      Doesn’t that scare you? That now your “vacations” will be termed as leaves or unemployment.
      My vacations were pretty good. Not as awesome as last year’s, though. Because me parents were busy pretty much the whole vacation. But then spending the days without my parents had it’s own perks!πŸ˜ƒ
      Sorry for the late reply. School is gonna start in a couple of days. Had to complete the holiday homework.πŸ™„

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The Pensieve says:

        Well… To be honest, it wasn’t exactly planned. It just coincided. πŸ˜…

        Out of writer’s block, eh? Great! πŸ™Œ

        Errmm… No, I am not scared. For I knew it was happening. That’s… Life. πŸ˜…

        Holiday homework?! Boy, am I glad to have gone to an SSC school. We never had any of this. Holidays are holidays. No work. 😎

        BTW… I have texted you on hangouts. Please reply so that I know it’s you and we can continue any further blogging/email discussions there! ✌️

        Like

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