A bitter change for the worst


Illustration by Amber Wang

Gabrielle Deckelman, staff writer

And this was the beginning, to the ending of forever: a few blunt text messages in the middle of the school day, two unplanned phone conversations and a long, tear-filled car ride home. The words slipped out of his mouth, bitter and wet, just like the news he was about to tell me. My heart began to race as I tried to figure out why this conversation between my father and I was so urgent, and why it had to happen before I got home from school that day. Only seconds into the conversation, my world was suddenly flipped upside down, everything that made sense for so many years suddenly disappeared. “Your mother has filed for divorce,” my father said, and there I sat, in the middle of the school parking lot as if my stomach was swallowed into my chest.

My mind began to spin; how could my father tell me something this tragic over the phone? I tried to remember the last 17 years of my life, with both mom and dad in the picture. It was almost as if my whole life was played in front of my eyes, I was not ready to see the best parts go, not yet. I was left with only the cold drips of my tears to awaken me to the reality of what was happening. I thought I had heard the worst, and then I got home.

My mom’s words sounded even colder. I wanted to laugh because what my mother had just told me made my life feel like some sort of heart-sunken tragedy; I was already drowning. If you don’t love some one anymore, then end the relationship. It’s as simple as that. For so long I have looked up to a person whose world seemed so bright. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone fade so fast, at least not someone who meant this much to me. I didn’t think anything could change this quickly, not in the blink of an eye, not in this world, and certainly not for me.

What is a 17-year-old supposed to do when they are involuntarily granted a front row seat to their parent’s problems, when they get twisted and tied in between a million lies? How does she escape? I cannot help but want to know every little piece of every little detail, but I know that is not my part, and avoiding conversation with my parents is what I became best at quite quickly. The awkward, unsteady conversations only reminded me more of the truth; my family was slowly deteriorating.

They say you do not know what you have until it is gone, and that one day it could all disappear, but then you rethink that phrase and reassure yourself that something like your parents getting a divorce would ever happen to you. When it does, you suddenly begin to appreciate all the little things that never really mattered before. It is like you have been given a new pair of glasses to see the world in a way you’ve never seen it before and quickly learn to appreciate the little things that come with it. I still wait for the sound of the key inside the door, knowing that my dad is home from work. I caught myself the other day asking my mom when dad was going to be home, and then it hit me. Dad would never be coming home from work; not to this house. I never thought that I cared so much about my dad being home, but the click of the key in the door will be forever locked in my memory.

My heart breaks watching the two people who lit up my would for so long act as if they don’t even know each other at all. This silence is ear piercing. The days drag on as my mind is fills with more worries and stress than I have ever asked for. Sometimes change is good, but not when it means splitting up your family. Wake me up when this is all over.