As a boy, he used to hide behind the wall, ears stretched out. He wanted to hear what they were arguing about, what all the yelling was for. Deep down, he knew he was too small to make a difference – although he certainly wasn’t too small to know that a physical confrontation between man and woman wouldn’t be a very fair one. It was up to him to do something if it ever got to that point.
His mind would race with scenarios, both wild and pragmatic – he would listen for crashes and thuds, for sounds that would suggest that a certain level of violence had just occurred, a level of violence that had clearly crossed the line – even if he had no idea where or what that line was. In his mind, he would rush out from his hiding corner, reveal himself, and stop this madness – perhaps like a superhero.
Please stop! He would yell. Please!
But then he would look his father in the eye and see that reptilian rage within him – and it’d scare the living hell out of him. It was already too late. Reasoning and words, would no longer be enough. Only time. Only time. Only time would calm those fires within.