Kayla hated when her dad was drunk. She hated it when she was in bed and she would hear her dad crash in through the door. She hated it when she would hear her mom get up and argue with her dad. She hated it when they fought, when they screamed, when her mom cried. When things crashed to the floor. She hated it all.
And one day she decided to put a stop to it.
Kayla found one of the rat poison bottles in the cabinet. It had an ugly red cover with a picture of an ugly rat and a skull. She unscrewed the top and it smelled terrible, like acid.
Kayla grabbed a cup and poured it halfway with the rat poison powder and half way with water. Now it just looked like blue juice. It’s okay, Kayla thought. He will just think it’s Gatorade.
When it was 11 pm and her father burst through the door, wobbly on his legs and with a dazed face, smelling like smoke and alcohol, she remained sat at the kitchen table rather than going to bed.
Her dad saw her and raised his eyebrows. “What are you doing awake?” he asked in a raspy voice.
“Be quiet!” Kayla hissed, narrowing her eyes to the hallway where her mom was asleep. She didn’t want her mom to watch what she was about to do. She didn’t deserve to see such horrors.
Her dad’s eyes wandered over to the cup in Kayla’s hand. He raised his eyes back to Kayla’s face.
“What’s that? Soda?” he asked, curious, still in the hallway. His grip on the bottle in his hand tightened.
“Not quite,” Kayla admitted.
Kayla held the cup in her hand, watched it for a moment. Then she looked back at her father, extended her arm.
“What I’m about to do,” she said, looking right into his eyes. “Is all your fault.”
She put the cup up and opened her mouth. The poison tasted bitter and acidic on her tongue, and the last thing she saw was her father’s horrified face watching as she gargled and choked.