I'm reading again...I'm always reading. In one hand I hold my cell phone, it's my brother. We are often on the phone together, but either of us says anything, that's alright we are always comfortable with the silence. Just knowing each other is there is enough. I hear shouting. It sounds something like my name. I hear it again, I pause my music, and I hear my mom screaming my name. It frightens me, I hang up my phone, and run to meet my mother. I say nothing. She's been drinking with my father again tonight. From what a gather as my mom clamps her hand around my wrist dragging me to her room they were fighting. They always fight when they drink. My dad sits on the, the room dark his back to my mother and I. They a exchange heated slur of words. I'm not really lisetning. After I was old enough to recognize they were alcholics, my tears and my patience for them dried up. I catch a few words here and there. Out of my house, and divorce. She says that alot when she drinks, I think silently to myself. My dad gets in his car and leaves, my mother dressed only in a night gown folows him outside. I'm embaressed that the neighbors will see and hear. I dont liek other people knowing my family's problems. I hear my mom threatenign to call the police. I hear my voice pleadign her not to. I'm tired. I want to curl into a ball and just stay there. My mom drags me back to her room, were she and I lay down on the bed. I now have to comfort her. I'm tired. I hold her as she cries, at one time I cried becuse it hurt me to see her this way. My brother and I have a soft spot for my mom in tears. Not anymore. To many broken promises, to many wasted tears. Crying will only give me a head ache. I lay in bed, somewhere in my mind I register the uncontrolable sobbbing of my mother. In my head I count the days till my brither comes home. She's still crying. I count the number of days till I graduate. She whimpers. I count the number of days till I leave to college. She's dozing now, I hear the locks in the door open. Dad's home. My mother wakes up. I run to let him in as he pounds with a fist on the front door. I turn the light on and open the dead bolt. He's not there. I look his car is in the drive way. I step outside and I here the garage door lock open. He was impatient, I called to him, he didnt hear me. I quickly head back in as I here my mother yelling my name again. She says she doesnt want to be left alone with him. She pleads for me to stay with her latching on to my wrist again. I off handedly think of the bruise that will form in the morning. She says she is afraid that he will hit her. He looks dumbfounded, I say nothing. She asks me where do I think she got all the bruises from. I remember the many times she attempted to hit me. She got the bruises from my dad trying to restrain her. They were drinking then too. I deserve whatever cuts and bruises I get, there small and heal fast, nothing serious. After all I start it, I hate when she's drunk so I mess with her till she becomes enraged and lashes out at me. But again I deserve it. I find myself back in my mother's room. She's crying, my dad is on the couch in the living room, and I sit there remembering. Soon I find tears finding their way down my cheeks. My mom turns to comfort me, I stop crying. She thinks I'm upset over their fighting. I'm not. I'm upset because I never have the courage to tell them all the things that I want too. I have always been braver in a letter than in words, I contemplate another letter to write so they can add it to the pile of other letters I write them. I wonder if they keep them in their folder of shame and bad parenting? Eventually the chaos is over and I am walking back to my room after convincing my mother that she had no reason to walk me back. What was I afraid of? The snoring drunk on the couch? I think not. I lay on my bed deciding whether or not to call my brother back. But I don't trust my voice, so I set my phone beside me and will for sleep to quiet my tired mind. The next morning I wake up. Was it just a dream? After all it's Sunday, a new day. I head out of my room to ask if we were going to church today. I needed to pick up a letter of recommendation from my uncle when we saw him. I stop as I notice the blanket that lay across the couch. I shuffle past the couch to the sound of washing dishes in the kitchen. My dad is there cleaning the kitchen, he has coffee brewing, and breakfast on the stove. Such a housewife. My mother walks in her eyes red and puffy. She kisses my dad good morning and hugs me. My father realizes I'm here and pecks me on the cheek. I sigh and I sit at the table as I watch how they interact this morning. It was no dream but it might as well be. Tonight will be no different. They apologize during breakfast, and promise to stop breaking. I don't say anything. My brother and I have heard this promise many times. This promise is just as empty as the last. Maybe my brother and I will make a bet on how long they last again. I say three days. I'll call my brother later. Recovery days are bad. We do nothing, as my parents will spend the day nursing hangovers and making promises. I guess I'll count the hours, then minutes till I leave for college. After all my brother says it's the only way to get away. Only reason he went out of state, he was tired, and now I'm tired I only wish my college was further away. I plop down on the couch, wrapping myself in the blanket sitting there. I rest my head on my knees. I feel the starts of a head ache. My parents are good people- there good parents. We have a good loving family and I love my parents deeply, but I don't love what alcohol does to our family... Soon we may not be a family.