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Escalation

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The small compound like villa where this story took place

I quickly wiped bits of sauce and broccoli from the marble floor, scrubbing away reminders from the day before. A trail of crust lay strewn in what appeared to be a pattern, tiny ants marked the trajectory and angle where the incident had occurred. Sponges and towels soaked in warm soapy water washed away a favorite meal but could not obliterate the stain of shame and humiliation. I worked in a swift but guarded fashion, hoping to finish before he resurfaced from his basement enclave to dissect and lay blame for what had transpired the day before. The kids remained in their rooms, uninterested in leaving except to eat and use the bathroom. I monitored the villa, patrolling the halls and rooms in an attempt to contain and isolate the rage.

The sound of his clicking ship ships (sandals) on the staircase startled me and sent the customary wave of panic through my boggled mind. I struggled to stand and straighten my back, shuffling into the kitchen to avoid any further discussion. As he rounded the corner I lowered my gaze hoping to fade back to the invisible fixture I had now become. He continued through the hall and out the large metal door. A small and momentary reprieve.  I stood in the kitchen scanning the room for any remnants that had been missed, hoping that wiping it away would erase what had happened. Foof entered the room and asked the usual question, “Is he gone?” I was too ashamed to look at her, but nodded a quick yes. In a household where the word Geez, shoot and darn were seen as profanity and any waste no matter how small was an unforgivable sin, the incident and escalation loomed heavy over the villa.

His plate slammed down hard on the table repeatedly, punctuated and in sync with his words.   The children stood wide eyed as his rant escalated and ended with chicken pot pie being thrown to the floor, his plate, fork and food scattered throughout the room.  He paced and marched, ranting, pounding and screaming. I rushed to shut windows, to explain and utter useless words and excuses. The rant ended with a warning, to never use the computer on this table. “Move this F***ING computer, if I ever see it here again I  will break it into a million F***ING pieces, do you hear me, a million F***ING pieces.”

 

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