I started learning how to read you from a very young age, probably around 10 years old. I knew when you wanted to talk, when I needed to keep quiet, if you were tired and not to be bothered. I never thought of it as a bad thing. I was young, didn't understand.

It wasn't until I was around 13. My birthday dinner with family. I had a dinner or party with friends, but always a dinner with family. Family first. I was fooling around with my sister, those kinds of conversations that each thing you said caused you to laugh harder. It was my time to do a witty comment to continue, when I felt your hand closing my mouth. Your steady hand closing my jaw repeatedly while you said in a mad voice "I. AM. TALKING. I. AM. TALKING.". I didn't get out of the shock the whole night.

You never really apologized. For anything. You hated when people had something to say. It was always weird for me. I was brought up to believe that I had a voice, wherever I was. But whenever I was near you I had learnt. Be quiet, look out for body language, lips, if they where to open, then I had to stay quiet and attentive.

It was even worse when alcohol had taken over you. Which was daily, every time you were home. I had learnt to hear extremely well, whenever a beer can crashed, or that specific sound the liquor lid sounded, Ice rattling, soda opening (only came after the liquor lid) and i learnt to disappear. I was young, probably around 15, and while I was going through my rebel phase, I began shielding in loud music.

It really hasn't changed. It's so weird. I'm older, I understand better, I know how tiring it is to work, and I can't begin to understand what sustaining a family is like. But now I understand that I never was in the wrong for acting like a kid. I was a kid. It was you that was acting like a teen.

I still read you. I still open my ears whenever you're home. The liquor lid still opens every weekend and it is more usual than not that you get lost in the bottle, while I have to go back to my teenage habits os listening to the only thing that will shut you up.