Chapter 30- Daniel's POV

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Chapter 30- Daniel's POV

I'm walking down a long, familiar hallway. The carpet is black, with green checkers on it. It's scratchy against my feet and I'm relieved when I reach the end of the rug and land on the smooth surface of the tile. Only the relief of having my toes against the cold, flat surface soon leaves, and I find myself being lifted off of the ground. I'm four years old, still light enough for Mama to pick me up just as she does in that very moment. I turn my head and immediately see the panic and fear in her dark brown eyes as she lightly places a hand over the back of my neck.

"C'mon Daniel, lets get you back to your room. Vamos, vamos." She says, her voice thick with tears.

"Mama, where are we going?" I ask her, confusion rattling my brain.

"To your room, Daniel. Tu cuarto." She responds impatiently, only her impatience isn't directed towards me. She's afraid, I can practically feel it radiating off of her body and right onto me.

Just then, I hear a door bang open not far behind us. "Where do you think you're going?" A voice growls. I don't recognize the voice at all. And that's when I turn my head and look over Mama's shoulder, seeing that the menacing voice belongs to my father. His eyes are narrowed, he's grinding his teeth together, and his fists are tightly clenched at his sides. I feel the fear crawling up my spine and settling into my stomach, the same fear that Mama probably felt at that moment. I didn't recognize him. He looked purely evil, like a villain from a superhero movie, that was all my four year old mind could comprehend. Why he was angry, I did not understand.

"Please, Leo, not in front of the children," Mama begs, her voice desperate and high pitched.

"Who do you think you're talking to? Tu eres una perra estúpida, ¿lo sabías? Una perra estúpida, inútil," he spits.

"No! Por favor no empecemos otra vez!" She begs, backing away from him and fast walking towards my bedroom door. Just as she places her hand on the knob, she lets out a scream as her body is jerked backwards. I fall out of her arms at this point, falling flat on the ground.

"Daniel! Look what you did!" I hear her scream, "Look what you did! You hurt your son!"

"Tell me the truth about last night, Lena! Tell me the goddamn truth!" My father roars so loudly that I have to cover my ears.

When I don't hear Mama respond, there's a sharp smacking sound, and I see her stumble backwards, hitting her back against the wall with a thud. "Daniel, mi amor, go please. Go into your room," she gasps as she slides down onto the ground, her back now against the wall, squeezing her eyes shut, like she's expecting another slap.

I bolt into my bedroom, just like she tells me, locking the door. This doesn't really help though, because I can still hear their shouting reverberating off of the walls, like loud cracks of thunder during a storm. I pull myself away from the door and bury my face into my pillow, covering my ears and praying that everything will be over soon and that my parents will be ok. At some point I end up venturing out of my room and wander aimlessly down the hallway. I notice that a vase was knocked over and I almost step on a shard of glass from it being shattered. I then hear soft whimpers from the room next door. I take a peek through the door and see that it's Anthony. He's sitting on his bed, his knees pulled tight to his chest as he rocks back and forth. He doesn't notice me at the door and just continues to stare into space, his eyes all red and puffy from crying. I slowly back away from the door and start walking down the hallway again towards my bedroom. My oldest brother, Diego, isn't anywhere to be found. He must have been with Mama, trying to protect her.

Once I'm back inside my room, I lie down on my bed. This time, I'm no longer four years old any more, I'm back to my current seventeen year old self. As I try to take deep breaths and calm myself down from everything I just witnessed, my bedroom door creaks open. At the moment I don't even have the strengh to sit up and see who it is.

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