25. I think I’ll collapse right here, thanks
Daddy was angry. Daddy was angry a lot nowadays. He wasn’t as angry when he went to work every day. But lately he didn’t go, he stayed at home a lot. He drank beer and he watched TV and sometimes he yelled at Mommy and Barney and him, Clint.
Clint was scared when Daddy was angry. He yelled at Mommy at the moment because there was no beer in the fridge. Mommy forgot to put it inside because she had to look after Barney’s homework. And now Daddy was angry.
“Is there anything you can do right?” he screamed and Mommy stepped back, her back hit the fridge and she shook her head.
“I’m sorry, Harold, I just forgot it,” she said when Daddy yelled at her. “But Barney…”
“I don’t care!” Daddy screamed. And then he raised his hand and Clint knew he would hit Mommy. Clint hated when Daddy hit Mommy because she cried. She hid in her laundry room and cried.
“Do I have to teach you again?” Daddy just yelled and Mommy tried to hide her face. He knew Daddy would hurt Mommy.
“No!” Clint screamed and ran to her. Daddy stopped, saw him coming, his face angry and then he just hit him, Clint.
He slithered through the kitchen and hit his head at the door. It hurt. It hurt so much! Mommy stared open-mouthed for a moment but then she ran to him. She moved her mouth but Clint couldn’t hear her. His ears rang. It was an awful sound and it didn’t stop, not even when he shook his head. His ears hurt and he couldn’t understand Mommy.
She moved her mouth and Clint looked at her and he cried. He knew that he cried, he could feel the tears on his face but he couldn’t hear himself. He could only hear the loud, ringing sound.
Mommy reached for him, wrapped him in her arms and checked him out.
‘Mommy’? He said but he couldn’t hear himself. His ears didn’t work. They only made this awful sound. ‘Mommy’?
Mommy sat back, she looked at him and she talked but Clint didn’t know what she said. He looked at her mouth.
Mommy turned around and yelled at Daddy now who just glared at the two of them. But Clint couldn’t hear what she said, what he said. He took a bottle of beer and went back to his armchair and Clint just cried. He reached up and touched his ears because they hurt. And then Mommy grabbed his hand and stared at it. There was blood on his fingers.
Mommy turned around, she moved her mouth and said something to Daddy but Clint had no idea what she said. But then she grabbed him and dragged him to the door. She shoved Clint onto the backseat of the car and drove away.
‘Mommy, where are we going,’ Clint asked and he saw that Mommy said something but his ears still rang and hurt. Tears ran over his face and Mommy drove faster. And then Clint saw where she drove to. It was the hospital. He knew it because he’s been there before when Daddy was angry at him.
She parked the car and took his hand to lead him into the emergency room. Clint remembered that word, he had heard it a few times before. That was where the doctors looked at him. Mommy talked to a nurse and they had to wait but not very long. They went to a doctor’s room and he sat down on the bed and the doctor looked in his ear.
When Mommy started to cry Clint knew something was wrong. She moved her mouth and the doctor moved his mouth but Clint could only hear the ringing in his ears. Mommy went to him and wrapped her arms around him again and now she cried, too.
His ears didn’t stop ringing.