8 P.M.

It was around 7 in the morning when the boy came over to take the door off the frame. It hung there so loosely from its hinges. As I was crawling up the stairs back to bed I completely forgot about the fact that it was a giant hole leading towards the inside of my house where the wind just blows leaves in.

“Alrighty then, that’ll do.” He said, dusting his hands of the ash and residue from the cement wall he had been bashing in. The particles of matter caved inwardly as he climbed the stairs behind me.

“Oh… alright.” I wasn’t quite sure where he was headed but I knew where I was going.

He had green eyes and a stark beard, his face was square while his hair cut was boxy. He was the kind of white man you couldn’t miss. The jaded way he looked at me made me feel as though whatever was going to happen would happen, and I didn’t have a choice.

I walked into my room and he followed me around the corner, his helmet still on his head from working. He forced me onto the bed and instantly I began to see nothing but darkness. I watched him as he took off his pants, ripped off his shirt, but my mind was thinking about just how hungry I was, my body frozen.

He was telling me that he liked things to be rough, I heard him but I couldn’t quite reply back except for a small, “Uh huh…” I was more concerned with how I would have to sweep the leaves out of my kitchen in a little while.

It was going to be around nine in the morning when I would go downstairs and begin to clean everything. I hated washing all of the dishes that the kids made but it was necessary in order for me to cook. They always wanted pancakes and Jimmy Dean’s sausages with nice fried eggs on the side. It was a tiresome meal to make, I couldn’t take the smell of pork but they loved it so much.

I kept Barnie on downstairs for my two toddlers to watch simply because it kept them hypnotized. The “I love you” song that is always being sung is what made them happy. I can’t think of time in their three years of living that they didn’t feel happy or smiled while clapping their hands to the beat. Anyway, I loved my babies more than living itself. I would do anything for them.

Three months later the construction worker called me and I couldn’t remember his name, but I knew of his face. I had one more child by then, Audrey, and she was my little princess. I ignored his call but I hadn’t moved so he knew just where to find me. He came ranting at my door around five one evening and Dylan answered thinking it was his father; they had the same facial features.

“Daddy?” His voice was a bit confused on who the man was, and I didn’t realize until I came out of the bathroom that he had been let it.

“Dylan, baby, that’s not your father go in your room.” Dylan and his sister picked up the toys they were playing with and started to make their way towards their playroom. “What are you doing here?”

I already knew what he wanted but I just couldn’t find it within myself to deny him or call the police. Those jaded eyes looked at me and the only thing I could think about was, maybe he does love me after all, he came back. I had been thinking and thinking about him for so long, never got a phone call from him, and wondered whether or not his life was going well. But, from what I could see he was nothing more than a drunkard looking for yet another score.

I didn’t get many words out of my mouth to him, not that I ever do, until I was talked into going back into my room. I wanted to tell him to stop but he kept making me laugh and giggle. I didn’t really find his jokes funny but he knew what funny bone to tickle. I kept telling him that I didn’t want to but he said that the sexiest words women have ever said to him were, “I don’t want it,” it just made him want them even more.

Those jaded eyes looked into my soul and I could feel myself inviting that same shadow back into the room. It was around eight in the evening and I would have to start cooking dinner in a little while. The ravioli that I feed the kids wouldn’t keep their little bellies full.

The curtains that drape my windows need to be changed but I never know what color to buy, guess I’ll log onto Pinterest later in order to find something new. Maybe fuchsia would look good in this room, I’m tired of the green pillows and yellow carpet. This room just looks too optimistic. I want to change the way it feels in here, I need to get rid of those butterflies on the wall, they look a bit tattered and I’m not in high school anymore.

Two days later I went to work in the office and my boss called me into a private one -on-one meeting, he noticed that I’ve been coming in late. I told him that I was sorry and would be on time. I started going in on time.

I was late on the fourth day of trying, but I didn’t care, the work was still the same, fill out that paper, write up that report, change that number. When I got off it was around five in the evening and I had to get the babies from daycare, once they came home I turned on Barnie for them and we started singing the “I love you” song. It was nice.

My mother called and said that some mail came to the house for me. I went over a couple of minutes later to get it. She said that I look as though I haven’t been sleeping; I have been, just not as well. She wanted to know what exactly was on my mind but there wasn’t much to talk about. I suggested that me and her take a trip to the local zoo with the kids and she thought it an amazing idea.

We went to the zoo and I came home to make them dinner. She said that I wasn’t really enjoying myself, me and her began arguing because she’s always critiquing me. I didn’t want to hear, “Honey, there’s bags under your eyes” or “You just didn’t smile, it was like you were just there.”

I am just here.

A few weeks later Dylan’s father called, he was going to come over to pick him up. I felt this cringe of terror come over me as I thought about his reaction to my newborn, Audrey. I knew how Steve felt about the birth of Jackson and Bean so I knew that there would be nothing but shame.

Steve got here around 10:15 in the morning on Friday, when he saw my three, four, and eight year old in the living room rocking a new born back and forth he did nothing but shook his head. “When are you going to stop having kids?”

There weren’t really any words to come up out of my throat except, “His bag is over here.” I handed him the overnight bag, Dylan was excited to go with his dad and then said, “Daddy, I saw a big man.”

Steve looked at Dylan and then back to me with eyes that were mocking my existence, “Who?”

Dylan said, “I don’t know, he broke the door.”

He pointed to where the door was off the hinges months ago. I just stared in disbelief. Steve grabbed the kid’s hand and said, “Your mom is delusional if she’s still bringing men around.”

At 10:23 I got a text from the carpenter saying, “I’ll be there at eight.”

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