Chapter 1

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She shifted her glance for a moment, from her father then back to her mother. She is use to the fighting, but somethings seems different this time. Worse than usual. Even I know it. Usually, the fighting has died down by now and Gracie's mother has stormed off into the kitchen leaving her husband slouched down into the recliner chugging a warm beer he found on the coffee table. By now, Gracie and I have usually wandered up to her room, locked the door, and settled into her bed but not tonight. Her fathers on a ball tonight and he has no intentions of calming down just because Gracie's mother has been pleading him to the past hour when he stormed into the house roaring drunk.

He first came in as calm as he could be until he realized that he couldn't find his remote and blamed it on Gracie. His calm demeanor suddenly changed and his face contorted in an all consuming anger; his nostrils flaring, his eyes flashing from one person to the other, his mouth quivering, spitting, slurring words that were simply unintelligent, vulgar words that came spewing like a vicious volcano erupting, releasing his bottled up emotions and his drunkenness into the room. He threw the blame from person to person until he came to a final conclusion that the three of us where all to blame. 

He darted around the room in a drunken fit throwing down lamps and pictures, vases and papers in a mad desire to find the remote. Now, I watch as Gracie's mother tries to to calm him down. She wraps her arms around his arm and begs him to stop. He rips his arm away and shoves her to the ground and she doesn't move.

Gracie's mother isn't the bravest woman in the world. She's a frail woman too, weak from stress, too busy working to take care of herself. However, she doesn't complain. Not in the least bit. Her stringy untamed blond hair falls in her face as she continues to fight with Gracie's father again. She scrambles back to her feet and points an angry, frail finger at him as if he'll suddenly become afraid of her and submit to her. He shoves her again with a harsh, relentless passion. Though, she doesn't back down. He turns away and focuses his anger and sharp words at Gracie now. 

He calls her every name in the book then finds his self even more angry that she deosnt speak back. She only stares at the ground as tears fall down her cheeks. He walks to her side the lifts her chin up and shouts in her face until her mother comes to her aid, pulling her father away.

Her fathers anger could shake anybody to the core and he isn't exactly little. He is probably one if the biggest men on this block. If I had to guess, I would say he is about 6'1 and around 230 pounds; big enough to easily man handle anyone who stands in his way. His huge broad shoulders move up and down as he breathes heavily with anger. His face is wrinkled with heavy bags under his eyes from exhaustion and, none the less, doesn't make for a warming sight.

I suppose I should be scared out of my mind but this isn't the first time Ive been with Gracie during one of her family's fights. More like the thousandth time now. I know Gracie is embarrassed by it all. I feel bad for her, mostly I feel bad that I cant help her. She wouldn't let me even if i could. She has always been stubborn and prideful. She refuses to let anyone know just how broken she really is. She tries to mend her own heart but sometimes I wonder if shes hurting herself more than anything.

The cuts on her wrist tell me my wondering is probably right. I suddenly feel saddened just at the thought. To imagine my very best friend in the whole world sitting alone in her room, slowly, painstakingly dragging a blade across her already wounded wrist... I shake my head as if it will help to get the thought out of my head. I know Gracie isn't as strong as she looks and acts. I know that better than anybody. She practically lives in World War III at home and lately I know it has been even more than she can bare. Still, she does the best she can. 

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