Mia opened her eyes. Her lids, with the long black lashes that her Auntie Patsy said made her look like a “living doll”, were heavy with sleep. She rubbed her eyes with the back of her wrists in a circular motion and yawned until she heard that little click in her jaw that had existed since that time he had slapped the left side of her face with the full force of his flattened hand because she had “talked back” to him.
He had been stupid drunk then. He was, she guessed, drunk now too. It had been the reckless, clumsy banging of the front door that had awoken her again. The walls of their tenement block of flats were paper-thin so she could easily hear her Ma skelling him out.
“Jacob Hendricks!”, she reprimanded him in a hushed, hoarse whisper. “What time is this to come home? And during Lockdown, past curfew? Never mind the state of you! Do you want to get arrested?”