One Poor Boy

Father’s love glitters enticingly like shards of glass. Reach out, poor little boy. Father reeks of love, for mother, for baby, for the liquid that consumes. Big brother has flown, anger in his wake. Draw back, poor little boy.

He’s eight years old and he’s rushing home from school in his uniform, his lunch bag tucked tightly under his arm. Because he stoops when he walks, the first thing he sees of brother are his shoes. He tries to step around them but a solid forearm contacts at the level of his chest. He pushes against it but it doesn’t budge.

“He’s home,” brother says.

“Where’s mom?” asks boy.

“Home too.”

Boy, more determined than ever, attempts to get around brother. This time he is held back by a hand, painfully grasping his arm.

“You can’t,” says brother.

“No, you can’t,” boy says bravely, stupidly, because he knows what is coming.

In broad daylight, with cars passing on the quiet street on the way home from school, brother passes on father’s lesson to boy.

For part two, click here.

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