This was a normal Friday evening for the boy. He never really looked up to his parents the way you and I might. Ever since he was young, he knew that the adults in his life weren’t the best role models, and it was his biggest fear to be just like them.
“You can’t do that,” said the boy. “We can do whatever we want, we’re the adults,” said his parents. “I’m not afraid of you anymore,” he quipped. “Say it again,” said his father. “I’m not afraid of you anymore,” he replied, with a tone that showed his bravery, but that bravery quickly turned into fear.
The boy dashed down the hall to his room to hide in the sanctity of his bedroom. He spent all of his time there, thinking, wishing he was someone else or somewhere else. He could hear his dad get up from his seat on the couch in the living room. The squeak from the worn springs in the couch signaled his soon to be punishment. He knew his dad wouldn’t spare him a moment to mentally prepare for what was going to happen next. His ears were locked on to the other side of the house, awaiting the sound that he probably feared the most: “Cling-Cling”. The sound of his dad removing his belt from his workpants was a sound he was far too familiar with. Even in the mornings getting ready for school he would still cringe hearing his dad getting ready for work, putting on the belt.
“You think you can DISRESPECT me,” his father roared from the other side of the house. At this point the boys’ heart was racing to beat of a song of not just fear, but sheer terror. He knew that he would regret mouthing off to his parents but, he also knew that no matter their age difference, in the remote part of this poor boys soul laid the key to his escape from the prison that was unfairness, his hard-head kept him from being swayed by the actions of his negative role models. He would make it. But, the belt wasn’t concerned with his righteousness. Had that belt known of his father’s intentions, and why the boy feared his father so much, maybe it would try and stop this travesty?
The thump of his father’s footsteps as he made his way back from his room through the living room and down the hall to boy were like that of rhinos. The belt wrapped around his hand like a boxer wraps his hands before a match, dangling limply as he strode down the hall.
The boy was hidden underneath his blankets, hiding from his impending remorse for what he had said. “Get out from underneath those covers, boy,” said his father with a loud tone of disregard. It was almost as if he felt his father was doing this not because he had to, but because he wanted to. The boy peered from underneath the blanket that was his safe haven, and that’s when he saw the anger on his father’s face. His father’s eyes were dark brown, almost black. The whites of his eyes had begun to yellow with age. Standing over the boy with his massive frame and stature, he could intimidate any grown man — but the boy was his opponent tonight.
The father ripped the remaining covers off of the boy leaving him an open target. “Cling-Cling,” the boy could hear as he lay there was with eyes closed, cowering. It was about to begin.
“CLACK,” said the belt striking the boys bare flesh. The pains reverberated like an earthquake deep into his consciousness. Every strike left him more and more animosity towards his father’s unyielding ferocity. Every part of his body felt the searing pain of “discipline”. “WHIP,” “CLACK,” said the belt. The belt demanded respect, and it was going to get it, tonight at least. The boy managed a brief lapse in the beating and saw the look of anger in his father’s face. His cheeks were grimace; his eyes were piercing as the belt began the dance the boy was all too familiar with once again. The belt waltzed effortlessly through the air almost whimsically; its partner was no novice to this dance, for his father was the lead.
With a last “WHAP,” the belt grew limp and its lifelike movements ceased. The boy laid there in a shell of red whelps. “Don’t talk to me like that again, and don’t make me come back in here,” said his father as he slowly lumbered his large frame back out of the room.
As the boy laid there crying, sobbing uncontrollably trying to catch his breath in between sobs, he was once again renewed in his beliefs. He knew that in order to escape his parents’ treachery he would have to be smarter next time he tried to stand up for himself. Life doesn’t like it when you try and stand up. But, if you take the beatings, and let the bruises heal from purple to yellow, it’s in those moments that you are weakest and the most helpless that you must to remain the most optimistic. Do it for the boy, do it for your dreams, you can’t hide from the belt of life underneath a blanket.