‘I’m not calming down woman!’
Thomas reeled back and steadied himself on the bannister. Both feet planted on the floor, he pushed forward all the more. The aroma of whisky could have knocked out a fully grown adult.
Her mum’s attentions darted between Thomas and Laura.
‘Keep out of this Martha you have mollycoddled her all her life – this is all down to you.’
His hands balled into tight fists, he went to push her mum away, but Laura stepped in.
‘Don’t you dare hit her!’
‘I will do what I like in my own home, young lady.’
He slapped her face, and Laura saw the fear snake around her mum’s cheeks.
‘Not anymore. I’m keeping this baby. What’s more I’m leaving and I’m going to take mum with me.’
‘Laura please,’ her mum said, and placed her body in between them.
‘No child of mine is having a baby out of wedlock.’
‘I don’t care what you think!’ Laura said.
‘Laura, please don’t speak to your father like that.’
Even now it was her father she favoured.
‘That’s it young lady, pack your bags now!’
‘I’m gone you bastard!’ She went to turn around and within seconds she had been pushed to the floor. A deep gash opened above her eye, as she fell on to the telephone table.
He gave a short, sharp snort of anger and refused to help her up. ‘You need to go on the streets where you belong. I want her gone by the time I get home Martha!’ her father yelled, as he slammed the front door behind him.
‘Laura!’ her mum fell to her knees.
‘I’m okay Mum.’
Laura felt the kick tremble in her stomach. The decision was made. Her child wouldn’t be brought up in a house, filled with so much agony. She took the steps two at a time and yanked the rucksack she left under the bed before she piled her clothes inside.
‘Laura you can’t leave. Your dad will sober up – be horrified at what he has done.’
‘He shouldn’t have done it in the first place.’
‘Laura, you’re his little girl, and you must admit this has come as a shock to him.’
‘He’s just a nasty piece of work.’
‘But it’s the drink don’t you see. He would never have hurt you sober.’
‘Is that the excuse you tell yourself Mum? It isn’t true by the way. Can’t you see how much he controls you, even when he hasn’t touched a drop. No, I’m going. Unless you tell me you’re going with me, then this conversation is over.’