That night after midnight, I heard a commotion outside.
Curious, I crept downstairs, tiptoed across the kitchen, slowly opened the sliding glass door, stepped into the screened in porch and stood in the shadows.
Fifeen feet from the porch they were fighting next to a big elm tree in the back yard while I stood motionless listening to their heated exchanges.
Donna was growling louder and louder, getting more hysterical by the moment sounding like she’d lose control, break through the sound barrier any second and start screaming.
With a forceful guttural sound Deac hissed at her to shut up.
She continued as if she hadn’t heard a word, in greater frenzy, closer still, to completely losing control, when I heard a piercing crack similar to the sound a whip crack or a snapped branch would make.
Things briefly quieted down. Then I heard her whimper. I slowly backed into the kitchen, closed the sliding door and crept back upstairs too afraid to listen further.
With a sense of heightened anxiety, I climbed into bed and hid under the covers where I convinced myself that what I’d heard and seen was ‘normal’ in some adult way.
Of course, I didn’t know at the time I had entered into the world of denial. But then, what does a 10-year-old kid know about denial?
Next: The Last Time I Saw Janey