I woke that morning filled with an emotion I didn’t recognize. Hope. I didn’t know if any of my plans came to pass or if it all blew up in spectacular failure, but I felt hope. I didn’t want to get out of bed. What if father lived? I wanted to extend those glorious moments of the possibility he was dead. I pleaded with Ray in my mind as if he were god, begging for it to be done.
The sun pressed humidity through the window, stabbing my eyes and forcing me to roll onto my side. I tried to hold onto to the image of Ray’s face, but I heard steps in the hallway. Panic slid down my legs as the clicking receded toward the kitchen.
A dish crashed in the sink and I put a hand over my mouth to keep from screaming. Fear kept me pinned to the bed wearing only a tee-shirt, my limbs useless to move. Pots rattled and the fridge door slammed, killing the last shred of hope anyone except father made the noises.
Thoughts of the cake Ray made for my birthday cut through the fear and I realized it was the only thing to eat in the house. Rage propelled me from the bed and I knew before I entered the kitchen what I would find. My foot slipped on spilled beer and I slid on the linoleum, my eyes taking in a panoramic snapshot of father drunkenly feeding on my birthday cake.
Digging my fingers into the doorframe to stop my momentum, I launched myself towards the table and took the chef knife he used to cut the cake in my hands. His eyes, weary red and angry, locked with mine.
“What are you going to do with that knife?” he slurred at me.
Instead of an answer I jammed the blade into his neck.
His rose from the chair, blood spurting from the wound onto the cake and charged me, which caught me by surprise and sent me to the floor. I couldn’t believe he was attacking me with a knife sticking from his neck. He collapsed on me, fingers squeezing my windpipe.
I’m not going to die at the hands of my father. This thought repeated like a drum beat in my mind. I fought and managed to get his fingers from my neck. He swayed, weak from blood loss with a further attempt to grab me ending with me snapping his index finger. He screamed, which caused the blood flow to increase and allowed me to pull the blade out. I rammed the blade into his neck again and again until the strength left his arms and he rolled off my body, dead before he hit the floor.