I Looked Up at the Raining Sky

June 9, 2008
By Quan Nguyen, Houston, TX

I looked up at the raining sky and collapsed on the soft, green grass. My own tears blended in with the sky's tears. If our family was going to split up, what was the point of life?
"Why?" I cried out. "Why, Dad? Why did you have to leave? You promised-- you promised that we'd always be together...the three of us..."

I was coming home from school that day. As I walked up our driveway, I noticed that Dad's car wasn't there. I naturally assumed that he was working late. Again. I hurried through the front door before rain could fall down from the stormy clouds above. What my eyes saw before me was nothing short of horrifying.
My mom was sprawled across the living room floor. In her hand was a pair of scissors glinting menacingly. In the other was a bunch of our family pictures. My brain clicked as I figured out what she was trying to do.
“Mom! No! What are you doing?” I shrieked. I threw myself out in a desperate attempt to save the p pictures.
My mom looked up at me, and I gasped. A shocking wave of pain came over me as I looked at her face. Her eyes were completely red and swollen from crying.
“Mom, what happened?” I asked.
“Your dad is gone. He won’t be coming back,’ she said bitterly.
“What do you mean?” I cried.
“He doesn’t love us anymore. He’s found someone else.” She broke into another sobbing fit.
I walked away from her, my head swimming with puzzling thoughts. Unbelievably, I’d almost known this was going to eventually happen. The fights, my dad disappearing mysteriously at night, my mom locking herself up in the bathroom -- these were all symptoms of an unhappy marriage about to collapse. Even though I knew this was going to happen, it didn’t mean I wanted it to, or that I had to accept it. I decided to call my dad, and maybe give him a chance to change his mind. My heart pounded furiously as my sweaty fingers dialed my dad’s cell phone number. I waited anxiously for him to pick up.
“Hello? Who is this?” my dad asked.
“Dad. It’s me,” I said slowly. He sighed.
“Is it true that you’re leaving us? Don’t you love me anymore?” I asked quietly.
“Honey, you have to understand. Things aren’t what they used to be. I can’t--“
I slammed down the phone with all my might.
“No! This isn’t how it’s supposed to happen!” I screamed. At that point, something overcame me. I felt a huge, terrible wave of anger building up higher than Mount Everest, ready to explode at any second and destroy everything in its path.
With one gigantic sweep of my hand, I threw everything on my desk, bed, and table down onto the floor. I pulled down all of the clothing hangers in my closet down and tore every piece of paper in sight. When I finished, I still felt the strong urge to damage more stuff. I stood still for a moment, then I ran out of my room, down the stairs, and out the front door before my mom could say a word.
I was running to the only our family had experienced happy moments, the local park. We had spent many warm, midsummer nights laughing together and counting the stars. Now, I wasn’t even sure if those moments were real. I collapsed on the wet grass fresh with rain. I breathed in the fresh, woodsy, musky scent of the trees and grass. The familiar senses seemed to calm my anger. I didn’t feel the need to rip up blades of grass anymore. I just wanted to cry. I cried for my mom and me, because I didn’t know how we were going to live now. I cried for my dad because he would miss the experience of watching his little girl grow up under his eyes. But most of all, I cried for the families like ours-- the ones that had no chance of getting back together ever again.
I looked up as I heard footsteps. It was my mom. Her arms were reaching out to hug me, but I quickly turned away.
“Honey, I know you’re mad. But everything’s going to be okay,” she said.
I struggled as my mom tried to hug me, but she just held me closer and tighter. Finally, even though it hurt me to do so, I slowly hugged her back.
“Everything’s going to be fine,” my mom repeated softly.
“I know, Mom,” I whispered back. “I know.”

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