The divorce rate in the year 2010 was 10.2% and I just so happen to have been included in that 10. My parents were together for 13 years before coming to an uneasy end. Being an 11-year-old while all of this is happening was rather confusing, to say the least. I would hear my mom on the phone and gather bits and pieces, as I did the same with my dad. I couldn't piece it all together until last year. There were so many sides to this perplexing story that even at one point I convinced myself it was my fault. Little did I know that this was the beginning of the most twisted story an eleven-year-old girl could fathom.
The first time I ever saw my dad cry was the spring of sixth grade. I came home from a typical day of school to not the usual smell of dinner being prepared, and my dad in the living room staring vacantly at the floor. I also noticed my mom's car absent from the driveway. The feeling of home was nowhere to be found in that house that afternoon. My dad still absent-mindedly staring at the ground, looked up at me with puffy eyes like he'd been crying for a while, maybe even hours. As an eleven-year-old I was speechless as to what to say so he spoke before I did. "Things are going to get bad before they get better." It made no sense to me at the time but I was in no place to question what was going on so I just hugged him. I hugged him until we both started to cry, not knowing what I was crying about just knowing that my dad was upset and it felt safe to be in his arms. I'm not sure how long we sat there but I knew I would stay there until it was time for me to head up to bed.
That evening my mother didn't return home. When my younger brother, Brandon, and my younger sister, Breanna, questioned the absence of our mom and why dad wouldn't come out of his room, I felt so incredibly helpless in a situation I was still so left out in. I lay in my bed that night with a jumble of different emotions.