I think, when people treat you like a burden, like a throw away, you start to live down to those expectations. There were occasions, when we were in that house, of downright defiance.  Of taking my life in my hands, just to spite them. Because it was taking my life into my hands.  With the things they had done, and would do, being killed did not seem out of the realm of possible.
The physical and emotional pain was intense. There was nothing to compare it to.  There was no release.  I didn’t believe I would make it out of there, many days.

This was not one of those days.

Moses, my sister, and I were thrown in the bathtub.  Something that was not, sadly, a daily experience.  Still, we were children, and even in the middle of any horror children will find a way to be children.  We were splashing and laughing. They were no where around, so we were ignored.

Moses got out of the tub to go to the bathroom.  After he had sat there for a few moments he stood up with a mischievous look in his eyes.  He put the seat up and reached down into the pot.

We shrieked. He laughed and put his hand down into the water.  Amid the squeals and laughter, he covered his belly in the stinky. When They still didn’t appear, we also got out of the bath.  Still dripping water, we all reached into the bowl, using every bit of the stinky. We covered ourselves as best we could.

Someone used a handful to wipe it on another.  Soon, we were laughing and chasing each other around the upstairs. 

Of course, that much fun could not go unabated. Soon enough, an angry mother came up to see what was going on.  Somehow, we decided we would not stop.  We ran from her.  Down the staircase and out the door. An act of defiance that usually would be far beyond me.

They were dangerous, there was no question.  Any such display should have been impossible for us. Normally, we were too cowed for such behavior.  Perhaps it was because he had joined us.  Perhaps it was so outside the expected that she didn’t know what to do.

Soon enough, the laughter and fun were going to have to end.

In that moment, however, we had the upper hand. A feeling I was going to transfer to other, far more dangerous, situations before too much time had passed.

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