The Best Training: A childhood – Reality

Noodle had never been so scared in her entire life. Her mother had left earlier that afternoon with her girlfriends and it was just shy of one o’ clock now. Her father was taking it bad. At first, he had been merely worried about his wife but as the night went on and his bottle got emptier, he had devolved into a senseless anger. He raved on about her supposed infidelity and spouted accusations, as if he was not guilty of the same crime.

Noodle heard the whispers about her father’s disloyalty before her grandmother set her straight.  She sat Noodle down and with a sigh, began to explain how people had been seeing her father with another woman, on street corners and restaurants and about the strange emails being sent to her father’s address. Of course, Noodle didn’t believe it. She had been with her father almost all of her life and of all the heinous things she could think of him doing, infidelity was not one of them.

It was a sunny Saturday afternoon and Noodle was in her room with her headphones on and her mind focused on the computer game in front of her. She was happy. In games, she found a peace she had never known. She didn’t have to be Noodle in her life on the screen. She could be a dragon-slaying, gun-toting, kick ass femme-fatale who didn’t come from thousands of nights trying to hum herself to sleep while her parents screamed at each other.

Noodle was halfway into a blissful daze when a sound from outside her headphones drew her attention. She stepped out into the hallway and turned left, walking to the source of the noise. “HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME!?” a shriek like a dying scream echoed down the corridor. Noodle stopped. Her mother’s voice had always had that debilitating effect. But despite the fear, her curiosity egged her on. She took another step and slowly pushed the door of the study open. Her mother was crying. In front of her was a white screen filled with text. Noodle didn’t think before she joined her mother, wrapping both arms around her in a symbol of comfort. Her mother sobbed for a few more minutes then sighed. “Noodle, baby, I need you to go back to your room. Okay?”.

For the next hour, her mother screamed into her phone. Her father, trapped in a meeting in another city, tried his best to evade her fears but all his defenses crumbled when she quoted lines from the original email. Noodle’s heart broke with each phrase and passage, every time her mother yelled “love” or “sex” or “money”, she could feel her trust and love for her father wither away. When her mother’s voice echoed down the corridor in a single phrase “divorce”, she couldn’t bear it anymore. She ran. Past her mother’s screams and out the door, away from her broken family and broken heart.

Now her mother was getting her revenge. Her father, in the last room down the hallway ,smashed another bottle against a wall  Noodle cringed then listened further. She was waiting for the sound of the front door opening, a sound she both prayed for and dreaded. Prayed for because she knew that only her mother could calm the raging storm in her father’s heart but she dreaded his reaction to her arrival. She had seen way things could escalate between them.

Convictions and defenses were shot at one another, foul words covered with shards of glass meant only to hurt the person they supposedly cared about were spat with vitriol. Explosions rocked down the hallway and bombarded Noodle’s ears, even penetrating the thick walls of cement and sound she used to block them out. Her parents had been arguing for the better part of an hour and there was no signs of them stopping. Every minute their voices only grew louder and more vicious, she wouldn’t be surprised if her mother had pulled a sharp object on her father… again.

The voices continued for another hour before they settled into quieter barbs she could barely hear. Noodle sighed. She knew that it wasn’t anywhere near finished but she hoped that they would get a good night’s sleep and discuss the matter further without liter’s of alcohol in their systems. The grumbles continued until they dissolved into silence. Noodle put down her headphones and slunk off to bed.

Chaos erupted from outside. Her father’s voice had become raw noise, almost inseparable from an animal’s scream. Her mother’s screams were choked and muffled, as if someone had forced their hand over her mouth. Reacting to her instincts, Noodle burst into the hallway and stared at the closed-door where the noises were emanating from. Her mother’s muffled screams were drowned out by the animistic calls of her husband. She had to do something but she couldn’t move. She was paralyzed. Sinking to her knees, all she could was join the chorus of screams. The femme-fatale was gone. This was her reality.

I’m sorry I took so long, but this has been plaguing my mind for a while now. I originally posted these stories as a way to honestly tell you what I’ve been through but recently I realized that this is a sort of therapy for me. I write this down because it feels good to get this off my chest and telling it through Noodle allows me to remain slightly objective as I walk through old memories.

But I don’t want my blog to be just about pain, I also want it to be about finding your happiness in both the known and unknown. So the next post will be a new series called “The Brighter Side” and will detail all the good stuff going on for me right now.


The best training: A childhood – New Year’s Tale

Blogging 101 has asked the Blogging U students to create a feature. I struggled for a while over it, I played with my woolen ball, climbed the curtains, and scratched all over the doors in frustration but I managed to decide on what I wanted to do.

A friend, back when I still struggled over my About page, gave me a comment that began with a quote from Hemingway:

‘Mice: What is the best early training for a writer?

‘An unhappy childhood.’

Though I told you earlier about the dramatic events that still scar me to this day, I never went into any detail. I believe you are ready to see at least some of my past and I believe I am ready to tell you about it, but in a way I can keep my objectivity. Through a story.

Noodle’s father was drunk. Noodle’s mother was drunk. Everyone was rightly drunk.

It was expected. After all, it was the new year. The night was loud with hoots and hollers and horrible karaoke, drunken laughter interspersed with dogs barking as the warm summer air breezed above the vulgar celebrations. People in her town got drunk every weekend. Every single weekend was the same monotonous affair. Her parents would go to their friend’s home and get drunk, dragging their 13 year old along, and then they would go home, her clutching the safety belt like a life line as her father served the car back and forth. It was only down the street anyway.

But that night was different. Her father had lost his patience with one of the younger characters, a boy closer to her age than her father’s. It didn’t take long for the argument to devolve into threats of violence, her father brandishing a belt while his opponent taunted him.

They were yelling now and Noodle rushed to her fathers side, pleading him to calm down. At first, her father resisted, the murderous rage brought about by the alcohol burned in his eyes. He strained against her until he felt wet splashes on his arm. He turned to his daughter and his rage was drowned by her tears. His daughter was crying. Slowly, he wrapped his arms around his trembling progeny and uttered silent apologies into the night.

Together, after they gathered her mother, the tiny family began the lonely trek home, this time on foot.

It was only down the street anyway.

But as they did, a vengeful soul furtively followed them. The night was far from over.

I’ve kept this brief because to describe everything that happened that night would take too much of your time. This series is me exposing myself and the more sordid pieces of my memory because often enough, people tend to look over brief encounters like this thinking that the child will forget. Children never forget such moments, they can’t.