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It is a night like any other one: my brother and I are sitting at the table while daddy is hurting mummy. Daddy is always different when he is back from the bar. Then he smells like beer, often becomes very angry and doesn’t call mommy sweetie anymore, but stupid cunt. He hits her a lot, too. That’s why she has so many bruises. The hitting makes mummy cry a lot. When I tell daddy I don’t like it that he and mummy are always fighting, he says that that happens with all mummies and daddies. Sometimes they just have to fight. But when I tell my friends at school about it, they all say their daddies are kind to their mummies. My daddy beats mummy almost every day, so I think it’s odd that that doesn’t happen in other families. Do my friends’ daddies do that when their kids aren’t around, then? Or are my classmates just all lying about it? And how come it is always daddy who getd angry with mummy? It never happens the other way around. Mummy is always kind to daddy, daddy is only kind to mummy when he hasn’t had too much to drink. But daddy likes to drink; he likes it a little too much. He knows that that isn’t a good thing himself: he calls it the only mistake he has ever made in his life. When I asked him about why he started drinking, he told me that after I was born mummy suddenly had to work at weekends to earn enough money. Being home alone made him feel lonely, so he just went to his friends at the bar instead. So basically it was all because of mummy and me.
He tells his friends all kinds of bad things about mummy, but he never mentions how he treats her. That’s why everyone in the neighbourhood believes mummy is a bad person and that daddy is the victim. Only a small number of people believe mummy’s side of the story when they have heard daddy’s version first. Not that mommy ever tells a lot of people: she feeld ashamed of what she has to go through every day. At school my teachers don’t know daddy beats mommy, but they know he drinkd. For Father’s Day I had to make a drawing of something that daddy liked, but I couldn’t think of anything else than a glass of beer. He loved that more than his wife or kids, I thought. My teacher didn’t like that idea, so I just drew some penguins instead, something I liked myself.
Daddy definitely has his good traits, otherwise mommy would’ve never fallen in love with him. When he isn’t drunk he is funny and kind, but he is more often drunk than sober. I want to be a daddy when I’m older too, but I don’t want to be like my daddy. Daddy may say it happens in every family, I don’t want to be like that when I grow up. I’ll never drink beer, then I will always be funny and kind and I’ll never have to beat my children’s mummy. It’s not nice seeing mummy in pain. Sometimes it gets dangerous, too: she’s been in hospital a couple of times. I just really wish daddy would stop drinking, but I know that’ll never happen. He’s promised us a few times, but he has never kept that promise.
Meanwhile daddy has gone upstairs and left mommy on the floor crying. I go up to her to kiss her goodnight. She holds me tightly and whispers: “Promise me you’ll never have too much to drink.” I nod and go to my room, knowing that this will probably all happen again tomorrow.