I first realized that my story was exactly like everyone else's when it changed and became its own thing. I mean, when I was wishing for it to change, it wouldn't. Now that I didn't want it to change, it does. I had everything that I wanted and more. I had a family that loved me and an awesome boyfriend that wouldn't give me up for anything… or so I thought.
The first thing that tipped me off that something was happening was when he dumped me. We were two weeks from celebrating our one year anniversary, and he dumped me. What's up with that? Kinda cruel, don't you think? And then, he starts dating my best friend, Brit. I remember thinking, Could anything cause this day to be worse?
Yeah, something could. When I got home from school, my parents were waiting for me. They were in the living room, sitting on the chairs that were only used on special occasions because of their discomfort. Well, was this some awesome special occasion? Had I been accepted into the Georgia Institute of Performing Arts and Design?!
No, of course not. They would have come to the school and burst into my class to tell me. No, they were shifting in their seats, looking very uncomfortable. They both opened their mouth to speak, but I beat them to the punch.
"You're getting a divorce, aren't you?"
"Now, honey," my mom, Cathy, said. “Why do you always go to the worst scenario? Are you emo or something? You are so pessimistic."
"Cathy. Don't distract her. She's much more perceptive than you give her credit for," my dad, Ken, said.
"I'm right?" I asked. "Wow... that's a first," I said, shocked into noticing only the trivial things. "Wait. You're getting a divorce?! Why?! What in the world could possibly separate the two of you? You're like two peas in a pod. You both look the same. You act the same. What. Happened?!" The shock in my brain finally trickled into my voice. They were getting a divorce.
"Now, Kyria, keep your head. Your father and I are as bland as..." she struggled for the right word. "Forget that. We just think it would be good for all of us to take a break from each other. We rushed into this marriage in the first place and we’ve only stayed together this long because we wanted you to have a real family while you were growing up. Let’s just take a break from each other."
"What? You're sending me away?! You can't. I'm in the last semester of my junior year! I can't just not finish it!" I sat down on the couch.
"The acceptance letter came from the Arts Institute today. You've been enrolled and they said they would let you into the classes immediately. As soon as you could get there.” My dad looked uncomfortable. He shifted in his seat again.
“Let me guess,” I said, shifting my attention to Mom. “You packed for me.” My voice was accusing. My face probably was, too.
She looked sheepish. Wait. That was the wrong word. She looked… disgruntled and guilty. That’s how she looked.
“Honey, I’m leaving for my mom’s house tonight. You are leaving tomorrow for Georgia. Ken is staying here. He can’t get away from work.”
“Ken. Cathy.” I said their names indifferently. If they were sending me somewhere without a second thought, I wouldn’t care about them either; how this worked out or where they went. “I want this to work out. But, if it does, I still won’t come back. I have already been accepted to the Institute and I won’t have to come back for anything. After I finish school, I’m going to find a job acting or dancing. Some kind of arts job. ”
“Why would you do that? You know we want you to stay with us,” Ken said.
“Do you really? You’re shipping me off to Georgia and guess what. You warned me after you told me that you were separating. I understand what you think is more important, but you would have come up to the school to tell me I got accepted if you really cared what happened to me. I want to stay away from people who don’t care enough about others to consider their feelings.” I was ranting a little because I was upset. I knew that.
“Okay. You don’t want to come back. Will you at least visit us once in a while?” my dad asked.
I sat down on the couch, which was much more comfortable than the chairs they were sitting in, and thought about it. I remembered the way I always liked visiting my grandmother. I always loved when she told me about my past and hers, too. I also thought about how my father always acted more himself, and less protective, when Mom wasn’t around. Thinking of Mom just reminded me of all the times that she had been at work or doing something else whenever I really needed her.
“I’ll visit once in a while, sure. Keep in mind, though, I will have an apartment in Georgia to go back to. I won’t stay if I don’t want to.”
My dad breathed a sigh of relief. He was the one who loved me. I was his little girl. Mom just looked more uncomfortable.
“Honey, my plane leaves for Alabama in an hour. I have to finish packing. Can I have a hug?” she asked hesitantly.
I didn’t really want to give her a hug, but she was my mother. What could I do? Refuse to give her a hug? That’s just cruel. So I got up and hugged her. It was a little awkward, but we managed.
My dad was another story. Ken came up behind me and wrapped his arms around my shoulders. I could hear my mother’s footsteps walking towards her bedroom. I was trying not to cry when he said something.
“I really don’t want you to go. It was your mother’s idea. I wanted you to stay here with me. But she was afraid that would give me unfair advantages in a custody hearing if we did…you know. She didn’t want you loving me more than her.”
I got the impression that this was really hard to say for him. He loved my mom, and he didn’t want to talk bad about her. She was going too far though, in his mind. She was making him give me up.
I thought about that while we stood there with our arms wrapped around each other. It was too late for her anyway, I thought. I already love Dad more.
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