My sister-in-law showed up with my nephews, very upset, and asked me not to tell my brother she's here.
She won't say what happened and explicitly asked if we could wait until the kids are in bed. They are 5 and 3, but they are upset and anxious and apparently got dragged from bed to come here, so I popped in Toy Story and found some ice cream.
My brother called and I hit ignore. We aren't really close, but we grew up through hell together and I'd hate to alienate or help deprive him of his kids because they had a fight or whatever. He's really the only family I have and I'd like to be closer.
But she looked spooked. I barely know her and she barely looked at me and her lips were busted. I was sure he'd never do anything to her like that (if only because our dad did and he knows how wrong that is), but she seemed pretty desperate.
I ended up meeting with my brother the next day, when I called him back that morning I suggested we meet for lunch since it seemed like he had a lot to talk about and we both had work. He reeked of alcohol when he showed up and confessed he hadn't showered or gone to work that day. That he had no idea where his family was and it was driving him insane.
I asked what happened before she left. He said they got in an argument over Chase not getting in bed, that she never lets him discipline the kids, and that he lost his temper. They screamed some and he went off to cool his temper and she was gone.