“Let’s go son, while there’s still time before he comes.” My mom told seriously and with a hint of panic while packing her woolen sweater in her suitcase. The suitcase was almost bigger than me, a seven year old boy.
“Why mom, where are we going?” the tears were already forming in my eyes and I saw her blurry.
“We need to go to the Grandma’s home.” She answered while hurriedly taking pants and shirts from the top shelf of a wardrobe. My tears were growing bigger.
“Who is coming? Is it dad behaving bad again?”
“Yes.” Her movements were brisk and nervous. I followed her every move to our white car. She carried two suitcases and was slightly bent over. I carried a smaller one. Then I followed her back into the apartment and we did this many times until the car was filled with luggage, bags, and grocery store bags from which clothes and cosmetics fell out onto the car floor.
“Hurry up, climb into the front seat.” She held the door open for me.
“Wow, I can ride in the front seat.” I turned to her with thankful eyes.
“Sure, you are a big boy.” She needed to slam the door shut few times before it got properly shut.
Within seconds we were passing by my favorite supermarket with yellow and white pictures of chicken and milk and words that I recently learned to read. Soon after that, my mom parked the car. I was watching in amazement how she turned the steering wheel left and right.
“Can I turn it, mom?”
“Not now. Let’s go. Grandma is expecting us.”
“Yeee, now I’ll have the room where she keeps her funny smelling coats.” The excitement returned.
After settling in my room I looked around. I had a big window from which I could see some trees in our back yard and the neighbour’s house that was slightly higher than ours, on the higher part of the hill. Christian lived there and he was older than me. I saw him playing with his dog.
Then I started to roll on my bed that was so big that there was almost no chance of falling from it.
In the evening we watched TV. This one was farther away than the one in our home so I sat closer. I was turning my head here and there because of the new sounds of the room and the street. The bus that was passing below sounded bigger and faster.
“Ok, it’s time to sleep.” My mom said. She took my hand, led me to my room and tucked me in.
“Leave the door open.” I said.
“Sure” she said and left the room. I turned and hugged my teddy bear.
I was awaken by the noise. There was loud banging on our front door. Outside was dark. I jumped off the bed and ran to my mom’s room across the hall. I saw the shadow outside. I ran even faster.
“Mom! Who is that? Who is yelling?” I jumped onto her bed and held her tightly.
“Shh!” She held me closer. “It’s dad.” She kissed my head.
“My dad?” I looked at her, pondering the words.
“Open up! I said open up!” I recognized his voice now and my stomach started to hurt me. ” You cannot leave just like that. You are mine!”
Now crying I asked: “Why is he here? I am scared. Will he knock the door down and beat you up again?”
“No silly, don’t worry. We’ll be ok. Just let’s keep quiet until he leaves.” I felt my mom’s warm breath on my hair and head.
“Open up! I saw the light in the house, I know you are home!” he was ever louder.
Grandma and mom whispered something to each other. Adults always whisper when they want to hide something bad from the kids. I shivered.
“What will happen?” I said through the tears.
“Nothing. You are safe here.” Grandma said.
After a long time the banging and shouting stopped. I heard the footsteps fading away.
“It’s ok honey, you can let my hand loose now. It’s fine.” Mom said caressing my hair.
I went back to my bed. I listened attentively for a footsteps to return. They didn’t. I saw the first light of the day.