Dad’s Last Day
By Jackie Sanchez
I woke around 2:30 a.m. to the sounds of my parents screaming at each other behind their bedroom door. I slid out of bed to see what their fighting was about.
When I opened their door I saw my mom on the far side of the bed and my dad near the door. I smelled alcohol on his breath. I asked him to quiet down so I could sleep, but he ignored me and continued his tirade at my mom. He wanted money to go out and buy beer.
“Would you please shut up and leave my mom alone?” I said and I grabbed my mom by the arm and led her into my sisters’ bedroom. My dad stumbled along behind us.
By now my sisters had woken up, and I took my youngest sister, Kimbo, to the living room to calm her down. She was crying and calling for my mom.
Magali stayed with me to help keep my dad away from my mom. He tried coming after her, but I intervened.
My mom told me to call the cops. So I ran to the phone. I was shaking and mistakenly dialed 9911. A police dispatcher picked up, but before I could say a word my dad yanked the phone from me and flung it at the couch. Then he started toward my mom. She ran out the door and into the street. A moment later my dad chased after her. And then Margali ran after them both.
I stayed inside with Kimbo.
The phone rang. The police. I told them what was going on.
They told me they were on their way.
Before they hung up I said, “And bring the paramedics,” for at that moment my mom returned with Magali. She closed the door and locked it. My eye instinctively moved to my mother’s knee. Blood.
“What happened?” I asked.
“He pushed me to the sidewalk.”
We waited for the police. My mother filed a report.
My dad never came back.
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Photo credit: Victor Zapata