She comes over with a smile and says 'hi honey.' I peck her cheek just light enough to keep her on her toes. It tells her to watch out and leave me alone. Sure enough, her smile becomes somewhat uncertain. A subtle cloud arises between us just the way I wanted.
I suppress a chuckle with pursed lips. It's the oldest trick on earth--the best defense is an early offense. She is weak as usual to counter my game plan.
The kids stand half way on the stairs and say hi to me before quietly going back to their homework. I stop and listen for a while--it is quiet upstairs as usual. They know the rule: no TV before finishing their homework. I will not have a noisy house when I come home, and this assures it stay that way.
They are good kids--if you think getting good grades at school and not rowdy like other teenagers are good. I make sure they understand where they are in my eyes. When she showed me the daughter's report card with all As, I reminded her that she was not in the special program for gifted kids. She got quiet.
Don't even try to imply I am stupid because I didn't finish college. I easily proved to the three of them I was smarter than any of them. Now they tip-toe around me just as I expected.
It is even easier with the boy. He is a happy little guy with short memory span. There is no lacking of words or opportunities to put him in his place. "Dumb-ass" seems to quiet him down fast enough.
I provide this home for them, and I make sure they appreciate it and worship me properly. I need them to show that nobody is more superior to me.
She is cooking something in the kitchen. I walk in there and take a silent look into the pan. I walk out with a glass and a bottle opener. This will no doubt make her doubt her own cooking and leave me further alone.
I listen to the soft chatters between her and the kids in the kitchen while quietly nursing my White Zin in the living room. I know she glanced at my direction a few times, wondering what was wrong. Just the way I wanted her to feel.
I might open a second bottle if the moods fit me. This should teach her a lasting lesson.
She had the nerve to challenge me to stop drinking. For a whole month! I told her I could stop any time I wanted, and I took up her challenge successfully for two weeks. That should be more than enough to prove that I didn't have a problem. I saw no point in continuing it. So what if I drink a bottle or two after work? It's not a big deal, and it irks me that she thinks it is. It's the reward I deserve after a day in the office.
The best way to make her stop challenging me is to turn the table on her. I did it for years, on many people. I knew it would work, and it did not disappoint. I took over control on everything within a month.
The old man's face slowly surfaces as I start the first glass. The anger I felt when he raised his fist to my mother, the shame I felt when he called me names, and the worst of all: the fear and powerlessness he made me feel every time he had a drunken rage. I take a big gulp from the glass to dampen the nameless anger rising inside.
I swore I would never feel that way again--by anyone. I make sure she knows I have no problem raising my fist to her--the way I did to the one before her. I am, after-all, three times her weight. I could break her with two fingers. She knows very well that I am a real man. Too bad the old man isn't here, but she and the kids are.
It is getting late. The house is quiet. They know I don't like laughter or noise. The old man's face starts to fade as the White Zin goes down in the bottle. I think I will open another one just to make sure he vanishes completely.
When I go up there she has better be ready. The king of the night will take whatever he pleases.