There was a dent in the wall in the living room.
About half way up the wall in the middle of the new cream satin wallpaper.
It is said that John had run into the wall. That they’d been fooling around while wrestling when he’d jumped up and hit his head hard against the wall. Maybe he’d been playing with the ball inside again and he’d thrown it a bit too hard. The kind of thing that twelve year olds do.
Dad would be angry.
Dad would be angry anyway, when tomorrow he sobers up and sees the dent in the wallpaper.
He’s going to blame John.
Blame John for the dent in the wall that John obviously made when he had been out drinking too much and then came home and drank some more and then got angry when there wasn’t silence while he was watching the news.
A dent only takes a second to make. The whack in the wall that sounds like an egg, thwacking in its shell against something hard. Only the egg doesn’t break but the inside turns to mush. It melts inside. Silence is imposed through ringing in the ears and a sober hangover.
A dent in the wall lasts a long time unmended. Sitting as a trophy that visitors will see, that John will see years later when he leaves home. It is a reminder of being a child and how it should never coincide with the 6 o’clock news.