He stares at me from in between the door frame. Eyes staring daggers into my soul. One kick of his muscular leg and I go careening down the stairway.
Hands helplessly clawing at the walls, as my feet betray my desire to stand. The air rushes out of my lungs as I collide with the damp concrete.
A loud bellow escapes my lips as a laugh escapes his. I stand up, woozy and unsure. Hardly able to move at first, I manage my way up the stairs.
I emerge into the kitchen, trying to hide the pain he inflicted upon me. My limp is the second time today my legs have betrayed me.
He sits behind his newspaper, hiding that hideous smile.
Mom hands me my backpack, hiding bruises of her own. A pain we share and hide from the world.
I leave a house of torment and fear. Only to arrive at a school of ridicule and humiliation.
(This was a work of fiction, and while this wasn’t a true story for me, it’s close enough to events in many people lives.)