Mama was quiet. She was always quiet when she was angry, but this was the longest time yet. Two days. It had been two days since I last heard her voice. Papa would try to talk to her. He made her dinner, carried the groceries in from the car, cleaned the house; he did all the things he usually never did, but it still wasn’t enough.

He was a terrible man. That’s all I knew.

Papa was an awful, sad excuse of a person because he made mama sad. I tried to cheer her up. I laid with her. Listened to the silent cries she would release in the bathroom; and she would smile at me. Pat my head as her…