Frowning puzzled, I look at him and then my mom.
My mom smiles at me uncomfortably. “We have decided it would be better for all three of us if your dad moves out.”
I ask, “When are you moving out?” My voice sounds defiant. An inane question, I know, but I could think of nothing else to say. They have decided and no matter what I say, they will still get divorced.
He answers casually, “This weekend.”
There are so many things I want to say. I want to shout out at them to try to love each other again, but I say nothing. I sit back in my chair as the news sink through me.
My mom glances at me remorsefully, while she says accusingly to my dad, “You could have used more tact when you told her.” She turns back toward me. “Heather, this will change nothing. Your dad still loves you as much as he always did. We will still be a family, but we will just be living in separate houses.”
I realize even though I hardly ever see my dad, he is basically already a visitor in my life, I will now have to schedule visits with him.
My dad turns toward my mom and with a retaliating tone in his voice, he insists, “She is sixteen and not a child anymore, how much tact did you want me to use. No matter how I say it, there is only one conclusion.”
My mom goes red in the face. The glow spreads from her neck up into her cheeks. When she gets upset her neck and chest turns a bright shade of red. She often jokes and says it must be her Scottish blood. Her family moved here a few generations ago. She turns in her seat toward my dad and she bangs her fist down onto the table. Her voice is slightly raised when she exclaims, “John, we agreed we would discuss this civilly.”
He presses his palms against the lip of the table, and his knuckles are snow white as his fingers grip around it. He pushes his chair back violently, and as he stands up, he says, exasperated, “Here we go again with the accusations.”
“Don’t you dare put all the blame on me, John! How can everything always be my fault? My fault you think you fell in love with someone else!” Her voice is pitched.
I gasp shocked. They both look at me. My dad is towering over me while my mom is still sitting across the table from me. She reaches her hand to me, as she whispers apologetically, “Oh Heather, I am so sorry. You weren’t supposed to find out this way.”
Pushing myself away from the table, the chair falls over and the leg scrapes my ankle, but I ignore the sudden sting. I walk away from the table briskly and then I run up the stairs to my room, taking the stairs two by two. I walk into my room and then I slam the door shut behind me.
I can hear their voices from downstairs—another fight has started. It does not last long though because, by the time I find my music player, I hear the front door slam shut and total silence fills the house. It is not the usual silence. It is an empty silence.
I lie on my bed, curled into a ball and I vacantly look across my room through the window at the pale blue sky. Summer will be here soon. The sun is setting later and later.
Hearing a funny noise, I sit up. I listen intently and then I realize it is my mom—she is crying. I feel sorry for her, and I wonder if I should go to her to comfort her. I decide not to, we all have to deal with our pain and sorrow in our own way.
Sometimes I just hate life. Sometimes everything just seems so pointless. Do we not exist purely to love each other? What did people in olden days do when divorce was taboo? They made it work, that is what they did! Sometimes I wonder why people even still go through the completely archaic ritual of getting married. It is a total waste of money if you want to ask me for my opinion. Unwillingly I wonder when my dad met the new love of his life. Will he marry her, or did he learn his lesson the first time that love just does not last. Could people not just enjoy the brief moment they are here on earth, make the right choices like never get married, never fall in love.
I plug my earphones into my ears, this time not to block out the noise, but to block out the utter silence left after my dad went missing from my life. Granted, I never saw him because he was always at work or, as I have just discovered, with his new girlfriend, but he was always a part of my life. Now he will become my alternative weekend host.
Soon the music in my ears lulls me as I get lost in the lyrics of the songs I only downloaded this morning.