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Five: July 4th
Uh-oh. Another big wave coming in the wave pool! I hear the screams of people from a distance away, as I cling on to the bars on the wall. The giant flow of water runs past me, as I laugh hard. I walk up the stairs away from the wave pool to see Mommy and Daddy.
They’re both sitting under an umbrella at the Las Vegas hotel, chatting about their first date together in college.
“Hi honey, you need something?” Mommy asks with a smile. She’s in her indigo swimsuit. Daddy picks up his glass of iced-tea and takes a sip, taking off the lemon.
“I just wanted to say thank-you for taking me to this fun place. It’s really fun.”
“Oh, come here and give me a hug, Ronnie,” mom says. “Ronnie honey, are you hungry? I can get you a sandwich or something,” Daddy offers. I feel my stomach. More screams from the wave pool. I’m okay. Not that hungry. I see the blazing sun has already dried up my light skin. I pull my wet blonde hair back.
“I’m okay. Do you and Mommy want to come to the wave pool with me?” I ask. They agreed with their little four-year-old. Their little treasure that they will cherish forever. Their little daughter that will always love them.
Seven: April 26th
I sit on the rug that’s placed on the hard-wood floor right before the door. I know Daddy will be coming home from work early…for once out of like what? A gazillion years maybe. I’m so excited to see him. The sunset outside the window amazes me. How beautiful nature is indeed.
The door creaks open fast. I’d just finished building a toy ship that I’ve worked on for a while. I hold it up, so Daddy can see my creation. Mommy’s working on dinner. I think she’s making minestrone soup today. That’s my favorite. Daddy’s too.
I look up, smile, and see Daddy walk through. He doesn’t look down, but he smiles. I wonder if he misses Mommy and me. I bet so. Daddy walks by me, but gives me a rub on the head. Doesn’t say a word and walks up-stairs. I don’t like that he does that, but maybe he’s just tired. Maybe.
The rest of the day doesn’t go well with him. He ignores us, as if this is just a hotel he enters and leaves. He doesn’t eat dinner with us. What’s wrong? Did I do something bad? Was it Mommy? I don’t know.
Seven: April 27th
Vroom vroom. An engine starts. I blink my eyes. They’re tired. I give a yawn and look out the window.
Oh no! He left and didn’t give me a chance to say good-bye. No.
I sprint my way down the stairs and rushing toward the door. “Daddy!” I call out. I don’t think he can hear me though. It’s only six in the morning.
“Daddy!” I call even louder. I run up to the small Honda as he speeds away. I miss you Daddy. Remember those times when you used to spend time with Mommy and me? When you used to go on picnics with us and pick cherries? When we go on family vacations? When we go camping during the summers? When we go sledding during the winters?
I don’t think you remember anymore. I don’t think so. I think we’ve done something wrong to upset you, Daddy. But please don’t be mad. If we did, it was just an accident.
I walk into the house, bursting into tears, as Mommy sits at the dining table, crying hard. I think she’s hut too. I go over there and we hug each other. I can feel her warmth against me. I hold her tight. Never wanting to let go.
Ten: December 24th
Aw, I hate it when it’s Christmas. I know it’s one day away and probably all the darn kids are freaking out about getting so many presents, but not me. I know I’ll get lots and lots of toys, but I really don’t want them. I just want my parents to stop fighting.
I sit up in my bed. It’s late at night, but I don’t have to go to school, since it’s winter break. Mom and Dad think I’m already asleep, though I’m just shivering in my blue pj’s with a quilt wrapped around me.
“So all of a sudden it’s my fault that we can’t pay off our mortgage? We can’t even pay off our bills!” Dad yells at mom in the kitchen.
“And when were you planning on telling me this? Huh?” Mom screams loudly back at Dad.
“Telling you what? You already knew. You were the one that was spending all the money on your junk. We have bigger problems to worry about.”
“Don’t give me that! You’re the one that’s tearing this family apart.”
“Tearing apart our family? I’m the one that’s holding it together! Let me go to work at six every morning! And I’m so sick of the fact that you don’t even care! I’m so sick of it!
“You don’t care. You don’t care about anything or any-one. All you care about is yourself!” Mom yells and I hear someone throw some glass at the other. I can hear Mom weeping. I’m worried that they’re going to leave each other. This has been going on for so long, I don’t even know how many years.
“I’m so sick of your trash! Get out!” Mom yells fiercely. Tears stream down my face rapidly. I don’t want them to get divorced. I don’t want to intervene. I don’t want us to shatter into glass. But the least I can do is go downstairs to see what’s happening, because I know they’ll probably become a little calmer knowing their child is down there.
“What’d you do that for? Damn it!” Dad screams angrily at Mom. I hate emotional turmoil.
“I’m sorry honey, did we wake you up?” Mom asks sweetly. Since when did your temper drop? She gives Dad an ugly glare. I sob softly, looking down at the wooden floor.
“We were just discussing…uh…something,” Dad says, ashamed, as he reaches his arm to the back of his neck and rubs it. I hope everything will be okay.
“Sounded like a pretty loud discussion to me, Dad.” Mom’s long face gets longer. She sits down on a chair in the dining room, sighing.
“Okay, sweetheart, go back to bed. Be a good girl.” Oh yeah. Sure. I’ll just go back “to sleep” while my parents are having a darn fight, and I can’t do anything about it.
Well, at least they aren’t yelling so much, though I know that frustration still stirs in them.
I go back up to my room, as I hear Mom weeping some more. What am I going to do? Darn it. Is it my fault that caused the conflict? I don’t even want to think about it, though I will have to…sometime. This is not looking good.
Ten: December 25th
Christmas. I swallow hard, hoping everything is okay. Tears stream down my face. I sniff my nose a little. Please let everything be okay.
I take steps slowly out of my room, into the office, down and down to the kitchen, where the big Christmas trees with ribbons and lights all over it. Ornaments fill the pine leaves. I swallow again.
“Where’s Dad?” I ask mom.