I woke up in the middle of the night to an overly-familiar overture of a heating domestic disturbance. This had become increasingly ordinary in our household in just a few months, but I still was unable to ride through sleeping like my baby brother could. In hindsight this must've been one of the reasons for him managing a-OK in his life, while my future held a resistant depression and a prison sentence.

The heart of the disturbance was this: my father didn't feel well. Then, he vented his dysphoria out on his wife, my mother, and used to beat the living shit out of her whenever alcohol was involved. And this being a prime Finnish household, it was constantly involved. Between punches my mother would scream out and cry for me to call the police, but the punchline - no pun intended - was that my father would inevitably intervene and slap me silly. I was less than ten years old, after all.

Had I possessed the power to see the future, this I would've seen: my mother, with her face black and blue, parts of her face swollen and other sunken, missing work - again - the next morning. My brother'd think she's just a bit ill, but I knew exactly what it was all about. I had, after all, helplessly witnessed it once and again. Another vision: a few years later, my father shooting my dear dog dead due to an alleged "financial difficulty" involved with dog food. And the final vision: me ultimately stabbing my father close to twenty times, many years after the time it really would've made a difference.

Meanwhile, I was no psychic and it was once again the time for me to do the most useless thing imaginable in the situation. My futile effort.

I picked up the phone and dialled the emergency number.