The front room is empty. We’ve not much furniture and I’m sitting on a kitchen chair, kicking my legs off the edge. Mam’s upstairs, talking to another of her “friends”. She seems to have a lot of friends. I can hear the other bairns outside, running around and laughing. I don’t play with them much. I don’t think they like me. At school they avoid me, even when I’m looking at them. I get really angry sometimes and stare right into their faces. I can see them get frightened. On the window sill I can see a bottle. It’s one of dad’s bottles. Empty. He must have finished it last night. I heard him and mam having a fight afterwards. When I got up this morning she had a right shiner. Black and purple, right across her face. She didn’t say anything but I knew.