“Shut up! Shut UP! SHUT UP!” I’m screaming. I can feel the bruise forming on the heel of my hand. I whisper to the door now: “Not a peep out of you. Not a peep and not a cluck,” and I kick the door as I leave.
My son brightens up when I walk back into the room. “You ok, mommy?”
“Of course, I’m ok!” my voice quavers a little as I scoop him up for a hug. I am shaking with rage. “I love you, sweet boy!”
“Where de chicken, mommy?”
“The chicken is…” I hesitate. I’m not this person. I’m not the abused who longs to be the abuser…am I? How did this go so wrong?
“Honey, the chicken is in time out, ok? Don’t bother him. Just play with your trains and legos and I’ll fix us a snack!”
A snack. Crap! Do we have anything at all to eat besides damned chicken?
Something clicks. That’s where all this is coming from! Fucking chicken! I’m so tired of FUCKING chicken! But there are so many ways to fix chicken! So many delicious ways to fix those damned birds! And somehow, ever since Avagodro came here, it seems as if there is nothing in the house, in the pantry, in the grocery even. Nothing except chicken! Chicken Alfredo. Chicken breast. Chicken nuggets. Chicken with rice. Chicken spaghetti. Chicken lasagna. Chicken A La King. Chicken pot pie. Chicken noodle soup. FUCKING CHICKEN!!!!!
CHRIST! What have I done? I rush to the closet and yank the door open. He’s there, cowering in the corner, tears in his eyes.
“Cluck?” he whispers.
“Oh Avi! I’m so, so sorry, honey!” My heart is hammering. “I really mean it this time, Avi. I promise promise promise I won’t put you in the closet again.”
And I mean it. I really mean it. This time…