Behind A Closed Door

He slid down and sat on the floor, pressing his ear to the wall. Defeated, discouraged, and diminished, he could feel his chest tighten and his stomach rise to his throat as he listened without making a sound. He closed his eyes and held his mouth shut with his fingers.

“…I can’t do this anymore…”

They yelled like this almost every night and, like every night, they locked themselves in their bedroom. They thought he couldn’t hear their voices if they were behind a closed door, but he heard. He heard every word spoken, every finger pointed, every tear shed. That which made no sound felt heavy in the air that seeped through the cracks. The door couldn’t shield him from the pain churning within. These walls couldn’t protect him from the anger.