Sometimes when I stepped into the warmth of my home I caught a whiff of Mother’s sweet, apple pie. If a pie had hands and arms it would have wrapped me up in the fluffiest blanket as if I were a newborn, clinging to me and offering comfort like no other.
When the smell of cinnamon and apples danced through the kitchen walls I knew today would be a special day.
Sometimes it was a birthday, perhaps my older sister, Mara’s. Or perhaps father had obtained yet another promotion. Other times it came down to one simple thing: Mother was in a darn good mood. Her baking told me so.
Last time it had been my very own birthday. Mother always knew I wasn’t particularly fond of birthday cakes or birthdays for that matter.
And yet she always baked me an apple pie, adding a generous layer of apples just for me. Just how I liked it.
But one day changed everything.
From then on, I couldn’t bear to stand an apple pie in my sight. It was as if staring at a sweet, harmless pie would cause my eyes to pop out of their sockets, dangling on my cheeks with fear.
You see, on one summer day Father had come home from work–tired and with a look, I had never seen on a man.
His eyes glowed with menace. He snatched Mother’ s apple pie and began relentlessly pounding at it with his fist. Bits of apple splattered all over mother’s panic-stricken face. The pounding quicker and stronger with each passing moment, like the sound of a drum gone mad.
Then he turned to mother and yanked her delicate, auburn hair, began pounding her head to the floor. He had a rage of a beast that had been caged for his entire life and just now had been set free. The ugliness set free.
Bits of red splattered all over my face, and I stood there in utter shock. Too scared to even let out the slightest gasp.
I was frozen like a rock, a rock that had witnessed countless crimes and tragedies but could never manage to move, to do something–anything.
But if you could feel my beating heart, you would know I wasn’t empty. I was screaming deep inside. Blood, apples, and cinnamon mixed, creating something different, something dead.