Broken bones are something not easily forgotten, especially when you are a kid. I remember mine, it was my arm and I was eleven. When we got to the hospital, I did just like my dad told me to do, and explained to the doctor how I fell out of the apple tree behind our house.

“It wasn’t the first time I had fallen out of the tree,” I told the white haired man who helped me onto the examination table where he studied my arm dangling.

I had stopped crying, something else my dad told me to do before we ever got to the hospital.

The doctor smiled but it wasn’t a happy smile. Then with a quick tug on my wrist he pulled the bones apart and let them snap back in place, not perfect, but good enough, as good as he would be able. I almost cried, but didn’t. I wanted to though. The pain made my world go light and dark and light again, my dad watching all the while.

I couldn’t cry, not with him watching.

As the three of us sat in that room, its big window looking out over the parking lot, the doctor plastering a cast on my now mended arm a dull thud began to echo about us.

Through watery eyes, I soon saw where the sound, frantic and dull was coming. It was from a bird that had flown into the glass of the big window that we all were looking through.

Angry and disoriented the bird, feathers mussed and bloody flew into the cold hard glass again and again as we watched; something I will forever remember from that day.

“Why is he doing that?” I remember asking and I remember the old doctor’s answer as he went about his work.

“Because he sees something he doesn’t like.”

After that day my dad never beat me again, or my brother or my sister or my mother.

This is a work of fiction dedicated to those who suffer domestic abuse and family violence. Awareness is the first step to prevention. –edward reed 2019.