I loved making Val laugh. She had such a cute smile and laugh. She was only a year younger than me, and we shared a room, so this happened often. We'd lie in bed late at night, and make each other laugh by being funny or making strange noises.
That night, I made a funny noise somehow, probably a farting noise using my mouth on my arm or something, and we were giggling so hard, but trying to stifle the noise. We were supposed to have been asleep a long time before that. I was probably around five years old, and she was four. We moved to Montana when I was six, and I remember we were in our bedroom in our apartment in Orem.
Right in the middle of a particularly giggly moment, our bedroom door suddenly slammed open, and hit the opposite wall with a bang, hard enough to bounce back halfway.
There stood Dad, furious.
He ground out with clenched teeth, "WHY are you not asleep yet? Do you have any idea what kind of noise you are making in here?!"
He stormed into the room while removing his leather belt. I was closest to him and Val was between me and the wall next to the bed. I cried out, "Dad, noooo!" but he came forward anyway, and I cowered as he reached over me to roughly lift Val by one arm until she was hanging above the bed a few inches. He dropped her to her feet, and his right arm lashed out with that damned belt across her legs and thighs. She screamed and cried out, and so did I.
"Dad, STOP! Don't hurt her! I was the one who made her laugh! STOOOOP!"
He kept hitting her, over and over, and Val's little body was trying to climb that damn wall to get away.
He finally stopped, and she crumpled into a heap beside me in agony. My arms reached out to her to comfort and protect her the best I could.
All he said as he left the room was "I don't want to hear ANOTHER sound. Now go to sleep."
Oh, Val. Sweet Val. Why didn't he hit me instead of you? WHY?! I would have taken that beating instead. Why, fucking WHY did I have to make you laugh that night?