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He was drunk. I had gotten used to this, as I rarely even saw him sober. There was something different about him tonight. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but there was something quite off about my father. Something frightening.
He sat in his lounge chair as he usually did on Saturday nights, with remote control in one hand and an almost empty bottle of vodka in the other. My father wasn't watching television though, he had his eyes fixated solely on me. I tried to ignore him. I tried to convince myself that he wasn't there, that the slumped figure I was seeing out of the corner of my eyes wasn't real.
After what seemed like an eternity, my father spoke. “Marie,” he said in a slurred, tired voice, “Can you be a doll and fetch me another drink?”
As my father spoke, he never broke eye contact with me. He just sat there with a small grin on his face, watching me.
My mother was in the kitchen, washing dishes. “You've had enough for tonight, Jack. I think it's best for you to just go to sleep.”
My father didn't move. His smile faded into a scowl, and he said in a soft, calm tone, “Marie?” My mother looked up from washing the dishes. “Yes?” She said. My father exhaled, and broke eye contact with me for the first time in ten minutes.
I felt a small weight be lifted off my shoulders. My father then looked up to my mother, and stared at her. His dark, beady eyes fixated on my mother. After what seemed like forever, my father spoke. He said in a dark, ominous tone: “Marie, go get me another fucking drink.”
An angry look fell upon my mother's face. “Go get your own goddamn drink,” she mumbled under her breath. I don't think she meant for my father to hear her, but she said it just a bit too loud to go unnoticed. This sent my father into an absolute rage. He stood up, and darted forward towards my mother.
My father then brought his hand back, and smacked her. She cried out in pain and fell over, holding the right side of her face. “Jack! Calm down!” She screamed as she fumbled frantically to her feet. As my mother got up, there was a red handprint imprinted on her right cheek.
“That's a good look for you.” my father said. After he said this, he went into a hysterical fit of laughter. As my father was laughing hysterically, my mother opened the kitchen drawer to get the longest, sharpest knife we had. She slowly backed away from my father and towards our phone. “Just calm down, Jack. I'll get your drink for you...just go sit back down.”
My father looked up, still laughing, and saw her heading towards the phone. “Oh... you... bitch,” he choked out between his hysterical laughter. My father charged towards my mother, and viciously ripped the knife out of her hands. He pushed her into a corner, and kicked her several times in her ribcage.
He never stopped laughing. I looked away. I hid my face into my open hands. It wasn't happening. Tears streamed down my face. I heard my mother's gurgled cries of desperation as she was stabbed multiple times. My father never stopped laughing.
After my mother finally ceased screaming, there was only silence. My father slowly walked out of the kitchen, and slowly turned his head to look at me. He smiled. It was the kind of smile only a madman could make.
My father laid down in front of me, and pushed his face up against mine. I could smell the alcohol on his rancid breath as he said, “Why...so...serious?” I ignored him. He wasn't there. He wasn't real. He held my arms down and placed the blade of the kitchen knife into my mouth.
“Why...so...serious?” He said again, this time in a darker tone. He laughed a long, strenuous laugh. My father's voice was becoming increasingly strained.
“Let's put a smile on that face.” He snarled as he cut deeply into the sides of my mouth. The cuts he had made somewhat resembled a clown's everlasting grin.
He never stopped laughing.
And that, is how I got my scars.