He lay on his right side with his arm above his head on the pillow.
His single bed pushed up against the wall he was staring at.
He could just about make out the frayed edges of one of his posters by the light coming in through his bedroom curtains from the street lamp outside.
It must be after 12 midnight because his parents were just home.
The voices downstairs flowed like waves crashing against rocks, then receding then crashing in again. He counted the seconds between crashes and kept count in his head who said what and how long it would take for a response.
He was good at that; counting, numbers, maths. It was his best subject in school. He loved numbers. Pity his tests weren’t showing good results. But he was a ‘stupid prick’, according to his Da.
Every night was the same.
Waves upon waves, in and out, back and forth.
They would head off to the pub earlier in the evening; the fact he was a teenager made it so easy for them both to go out.
The first few nights it happened he would creep out of his box room and stand at the top of the stairs to try to listen to what they were fighting about.
Then there would be the sound of glass breaking and the slamming of a door and he would have to scurry back to his room before the culprit came pounding up the stairs.
Tonight he decided that instead of creeping around and waiting for the aftermath of the row downstairs that he would be prepared in advance.
So here he is lying on his side, trying to make room in the bed for its occupants.
His two baby siblings, 12 and 24 months old sound asleep beside him in his bed.
He wasn’t going to let them be used as pawns in a drunken row tonight.
He was their big brother and he was going to protect them from the scary monsters that fought in their home.