The man with the shiny tooth is at a lot of family get togethers. He acts pretty nice, always joking around and laughing. But there’s another side. Does anyone else know? Is it only me?
The man with the shiny tooth always has a drink in his hand. His breath always wreaks of alcohol. I’ve never seen him without a drink, that is one of the things I remember most about this not quite family, not quite stranger, shiny tooth man.
The man with the shiny tooth likes to hold me in the hot tub. One hand with a drink, the other where I don’t want it. There’s so many people here, can’t I sit with someone else?
The man with the shiny tooth says he likes my fashion show, with all my new Christmas clothes I modeled for everyone. I always get a lot of new clothes at this Christmas party. I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to show everyone the cute new undies I got, I am only six. They all laughed but the man with the shiny tooth changed after that. I didn’t know I wasn’t supposed to show them.
The man with the shiny tooth has a sharp knife. He shows me upstairs when no one else is around. He tells me what to do, and what not to say, and I guess that’s why he showed me his knife. I am little and I don’t like this. He should do this with his wife I think. Not me.
Everyone thinks I’m sleeping, because it’s so late. But do they know he’s here too? Did they notice him follow me upstairs? Do they know about his knife? What are they doing? Are they opening presents without me? I would rather be with them. I feel safe with them.
The man with the shiny tooth likes to take me for golf cart rides. I don’t like where he takes me. I didn’t want to leave with him. Everyone else is always laughing and having a good time, do they not know?
Why does he have his hand over my mouth? Doesn’t he know I won’t scream? He showed me his knife, I won’t scream. I’m a good girl, I do what I’m told. But listening doesn’t make me feel so good. It makes me feel bad. It’s confusing. I am little. But he makes me do big things.
The man with the shiny tooth died recently. I suppose that’s why I felt it was safe enough to remember. He can’t hurt me with his knife now.
Years later I will struggle with the smell of alcohol, and having something cover my face. It all reminds me of the man with the shiny tooth.