I curl up into a ball, waiting for it to stop. Waiting for him to get bored, to stumble of to the fridge. One particularly savage kick to my chest and I hear something crack. Probably a rib. The continuous stream of blows raining down on my body suddenly stops and I hear him padding drunkenly down the hall, replacing footsteps with thuds on the linoleum floor in the kitchen. I hear the clink of beer bottles as the fridge is wrenched open, and I finally relax, unfolding from my foetal position before willing myself to my feet and staggering to my room. A sanctuary of sorts, with a flimsy lock that wouldn't stop anyone as wild as my dad in one of his drunken rages.
My hands shaking, I lock the door and collapse onto the bed, looking round my room, one-eyed, my left caked with blood. A bed, a cardboard box with my clothes, of which there aren't many and a cracked mirror in the corner over a tiny grubby sink, the once white porcelain stained with my blood. I jam the plug in and run some water. Cupping it in my hands, I glance into the mirror and freeze. This is much worse than the usual kicking. My messy pale brown hair is matted with blood, which runs down my face in rivulets, pooling in my left eye socket, sealing it shut. Split lip, chipped tooth and from the look of it, another black eye. That makes twelve this year alone.
Splashing water in my face, I blink until my eye is clear. I dunk my head in the sink, tenderly rubbing my scalp to wash away the blood. It looks worse than it is, head wounds always are. I should know, I've had more than my fair share. I surface, watching water trickle down my face, washing away the blood. My wet hair flops into my eyes, making me look younger.
My side twinges. I lift up my shirt to reveal a multitude of different coloured bruises, some old and faded, some brand new, just forming. I prod at my side gingerly. There seems to be a lump. Fantastic, I think. That's definitely broken. My thoughts are disrupted by breaking glass. 'Adam!' he roars. 'Get in here now!' I look in the mirror once more.
I am Adam Ross, ten years old, and a punch bag for my drunken father. One day, I will fight back, when I m too big for him to hit. But until then, all I can do is curl up and take it.
Adam woke up, gasping for breath, sweat streaming down his face. Even now he could still feel the lump in his side where the broken rib hadn't set properly.
Why did he have to be such a pushover? Why had he stood there and let his dad beat the crap out of him?
His self loathing was interrupted by his cell ringing. Mac wanted him at the lab. Another day, another case.
He pushed all thoughts of his bullying father out of his mind and grabbed a shirt from his open wardrobe.
Summary: Why didn't he stand up for himself?