Everything grew quiet as I sat on daddy’s lap with my face buried in his chest, feeling the hurt and the love in his emotions. We both heard a click, click at the window, and our sorrow was interrupted. “Shhhhh!” Daddy said as he placed me carefully on the chair near my messy bed. The window to my room was lifting. Soon a leg came through. Daddy raced toward the window with open fury and grabbed the rest of the body through the opening and slamming it to the floor.
Angela had on a different outfit than she’d worn during the party. She sported a leave-nothing-to-the imagination, white skin-tight jumpsuit and silver stilettos with white tassels. Although she was being thrown to the bedroom floor, I couldn’t help but notice the interesting way she’d dressed herself. “Where have you been?” Daddy demanded, but he didn’t wait for any deceitful answers, rehearsed lies, or a peek of anything to come out of her red crimson lips.
“I—” That was all she got out before Daddy slapped her three times across her face, sending her sprawling across the room. I curled up in a ball and prayed, for the first time, for protection over Angela. I felt a deep sorrow for her and a profound regret that this was happening to this woman. Undoubtedly, she deserved it, but I didn’t want her to be in pain. “I’m calling the police,” she said. “How dare you hit me like I ‘m one of your thugs on the streets.” Angela was redder than a hot tamale, and you could almost see the fumes coming out of her dammed soul. “Good, call the police,” said Daddy. “And make sure you let them know you left an eight-year-old little girl in the house by herself, with the window wide open so that any predator could come through and take her.
Anything could have happened to her!” Daddy charged at her again, pushing her up against the wall hard enough that it shook. “And I will tell them you sell crack cocaine, and your precious little girl would be in foster care, where I should have placed her a long time ago.” Angela’s face was still red from the blows she endured and flushed from her contempt for me. Daddy slowly walked over to Angela, lifted her in the air by her blouse, and threw her forcibly against the wall again. “I would love to see a dead woman tell. That would be some kind of come-to-Jesus’s miracle!” “I hate you, Trey. I detest you, and you’re going to regret the day you put your hands on me, and as far as that little rat child of yours goes, she’s going to regret she ever had you as a father. Mark my words.”
It wound Angela that the person she wanted so badly to marry was now physically abusing her. “I’m going to hurt you in ways that’ll make you wished you were never born, and I’ll take you out to pasture, where not even the dogs will go sniffing for their next meal.” Daddy’s words blazed like fire. Angela tried to get to the bedroom door, but Daddy stopped her every attempt by pushing her back and pulling her hair until she screamed in frustration and, more so, in pain. The back-and-forth bantering and fuming at one another seemed to go on for an eternity.
I wished I were a bird, so I could fly far away into the beauty of the blue sapphire sky, where the angels live and give me a place to hide. “Look, if you didn’t want my child, you could have given her to me and went on your happy, black nappy-haired way.” “I tried. You remember? You wouldn’t let me go.” Angela placed her hands on her hip as the tears flowed effortlessly down her flawless brown face. Daddy punched the wall, leaving an indentation of his fist. “Go ahead. Get by me. Go on and call the police. You and I both know how many police offers I have in my pocket. Do what you got to do, Angela, but first, give me my ring. Then get your ignorant self out of my house.”
“What? Where am I supposed to go? You know you and my baby girl are all I got.” Angela whimpered as if she were begging the court for mercy. “Please, Trey, don’t do this. I’m sorry. Please don’t push me away.” Angela sounded like a foolish woman. “You are an evil monster. You have my daughter frightened to death of you, and—” “What did you tell your father?” Angela snapped at me. “She didn’t have to say anything, Angela. She thought I was you and almost peed herself in fear. I can’t have you in my life, and definitely not my daughter’s life, so get out now.”
Angela ran to her and Daddy’s room and started rummaging through drawers and throwing things out the closet. She kept saying, “Every dog has its day. Just wait. Payback is coming.” “I don’t want to hear your mouth, Angela. I’m only giving you three more minutes to grab what you can, and Mr. Playboy can get you the rest of what you need. You’re lucky I’m letting you take anything out of here.” “Whatever, Trey. You act like you just didn’t ask me to marry you and now you treat me like trash, like you don’t care what happens to me.”
There was tremendous pain in Angela’s voice, but even I knew she was only sorry she got caught. “You got one more minute, and then I want to see the door slamming behind you.” Angela charged out of the room with an enormous suitcase and a duffle bag. She stopped and stared at Daddy and me, pleading for mercy, but there was none for her. “I hate you, Trey!”