p r o l o g u e
My life has always been simple. I grew up in a home with both parents, a scientist and an English teacher. My dad, Martin, spoiled me and my mom, Shelia, taught me everything there is to know in order to be an independent, self-reliant woman. Our suburban home was always primped and polished. The grass was green and made our neighbors even greener. I got good grades, had a couple of friends. Life. Was. Simple.
Until May 17, 2017. While sitting in AP algebra I was summoned to the counselor’s office. She sat me down the took her own seat directly across from me. She slid me a box of tissue decorated with a little brown puppy jumping through a field of bright flowers. She sat staring at me, her eyes occasionally shifting to the box of tissue like I was somehow supposed to know what to do with them. Then, she finally grabbed onto my hand and very bluntly said, “Brent, your mom’s dead” as if that small sentence wouldn’t crumble my entire soul.
My dad and I struggled to come to terms with it but after a few months, things were semi-normal. I returned to making stellar grades. Lost a couple friends but I guess they weren’t really my friends to begin with. What kind of friend would leave you at a time like that? My dad began coming home early again instead of letting work swallow him up. The dinner table remained unused but we were us again just forever changed.
Now, two years later, as I lay across my bed, phone in my face watching the latest Netflix craze, something catches my attention. I hear my dad’s tires screech into the driveway. I hear the car door slam, the absence of his keys, the front door closing, and his feet thundering up the stairs. Unbeknownst to me, change was coming again and it was traveling up the stairs with him.