Tears of understanding

October 23, 2017
By Anonymous

“Welcome home,” I smirk at my brother, “miss me?” His bag lands on the couch with a thud. His eyes travel upwards to meet mine, full of vexation. I want to laugh at his pitiful attempt of threatening me, but I couldn't even force a smile for a puppy. I scoff and take small steps towards him, “no answer? I'm your little sister.” The malice clear in my voice. My brother had been gone for a week. Considering he’s still a child, that’s not good. “It's fine,” I continue, “ i’m sure you had much more fun drinking with your friends.” Like always, he ignores me and starts up the stairs, to go to run and hide. It seems the only thing he knows how to do properly is run. “ “Bye Jason,” I call after him in the sweetest voice I can muster. When he doesn't respond rage builds up inside of me. “ See you next week.” I snap. As I turn to walk away, my honey locks whip my shoulder biting me in the back. I wince but my silence gives way to Jason’s voice, “goodbye Alison.” I walk towards my room pleased to at least have gotten a word with him but my smile vanishes the instant I hear my parents voices.
I slam my book shut, unable to concentrate with shouts echoing in every room. My parents and Jason's voices blend together. I fume as I rethink earlier. I don’t get it. We used to be so close, he even told me about his first girlfriend. Then he started going who knows where and not telling anyone. I take deep breaths trying to control myself. The second I hear a door slam I can’t hold back. I will for my shield of confidence to protect me so I can go and take out all the rage in me, but it doesn't come. Instead tears file out of my eyes and I can’t stop myself from hyperventilating. I try to stop but the only phrase bouncing through my mind is: I Can’t do this.

After a while I'm able to calm myself. I step out into the hall and walk to the bathroom. The water feels cool on my face leaving me refreshed. This time when I call for my confidence, it comes. I walk out of the bathroom and hear hushed voices coming from my parents room. My curiosity takes over and I creep towards their door. Careful not to make the floor creak, I press my ear against the door. “Listen,” whispers my father, “ Ali and Jason have a right to know.” My breath quickens. What is it? What do I have a right to know? “I know, I know,” my mother's voice unsure, “but this is huge. I don't know how they will take it. Especially Alison.” My shirt is damp from sweat and I can feel my mind getting more and more knotted by this suspense. I clench the end of my shirt while the pressure in my head is getting heavier by the second. My father's voice is sharp, cutting through the gentleness that was previously there. “If we don't tell them about the divorce then who will?” My head starts to spin. Divorce, my parents are getting a divorce. No longer able to hold my body, I fall against the door causing is to open. I see my parents eyes in shock, knowing I overheard them. I stumble and try to hold my weight and run away but I crash right into Jason. I don't have the patience or time or energy to be angry. I just want to collapse and stay there. This is too much for one day.

I barely make it downstairs before I fall onto the couch; my lack of breath making me lightheaded.
I take the few seconds I have alone to verify and imagine my parents getting divorced. My mom comes first. “Ali! Ali, are you alright?” I bury my face into a pillow and refuse to look up. Before I can wonder where my dad is, I feel his reassuring hand on my back. If I was a house my usually locked window of vulnerability would have been wide open. I feel my face, still dry but most likely red. I sit up slowly to see my mother and father staring at me. “Why?” I manage to croak out. That's all I can take before I sprint up to my room. My thoughts are still on the divorce. I lay still on my bed wondering. Why? I think up a million different reasons and settle on one that has the most evidence. My one question to confirm my thoughts would be: Is Jason the reason why?
When I wake up the only thing I see is a dim light seeping in through my window. Groggily, I rub my eyes and sit up close enough to see the figure of my brother loading his car. My teeth grind together making a sound no one wants to hear. Why is he going?! Doesn't he know how distorted we are already? Before I can think I grab my jacket and lunge towards the door.The door slams behind me as I dash towards the stairs. I slow my pace and swiftly run to his car. I beg for him not to look in my direction; if he's going to run, he's going to get scared first. I open the passenger door and climb in taking deep quiet breaths. I can almost feel the fury running in my blood. I sink down into the seat as he gets in. The second he turns his head to start the car an immense sound echos through the vast lot.

The palm of my hand reddens by the second, identical to the mark on his cheek. “What the heck! What is wrong with you Alison!” he screams so loud I'm scared my parents will wake up. He grabs me by my wrist and yanks me back up from the protective position I was in. “ Oh i'm sorry, did that hurt?” I scoff. The cold wind picks up freezing me to the bone. “Well,” I continue, “you did deserve it.” My tone getting stronger and more forceful every second. “Why did I deserve that!” he shouts shattering my threatening, soft voice. The air arounds us stills and I scowl. “For leaving you Idiot,” I whisper. Everything is uncomfortably still and silent. His face suddenly morphs into mine; this was clearly a subject he did not want to talk about. “Listen Ali, I know you don't get it but it's something I can't talk about now,” Jason whispers. Of course my older brother is locking me out. “Can't or won't Jason,” my tone raised as I open the door to walk away.
It feels like minutes pass by as I walk away. I reach for the door handle and attempt to pull it open. I hear a car door open. “Ali, wait,” he starts, “I'm sorry but I have to go. I can't stand it here and I have to go. You forget that they expect more from me yet still treat me like nothing.” He checks his watch. “As of now,” he continues, “I'm not theirs. Happy birthday to me.” I stop thinking for a moment. Jason's eighteen, this mess happened on his birthday. My scowl drops for a second. Then I remember the divorce. “ I'm sure the present of breaking mom and dad up was enough for you,” I snap back. He starts to smile, a devilish smile. The trees rock against each other creating a drum in the dead of night. “You think I wanted this?” His voice softer than a shout, “I never wanted this. This is one of the reasons I'm going. This divorce, this family, this town.” I take a deep breath and focus. He didn't pull this family apart. He didn’t cause us to crack. He needs to go. “What am I supposed to do?” I ask. “Wait here for you to comeback while watching mom and dad break?” Jason moves closer to me. His arms engulf me and I fall into them. The wind is slow now. I breathe for the first time and let go. “Be strong, I won't be back for a while,” Jason murmurs. “You can still hate me for leaving but I will never hate you.” He let's go and walks towards his car. I see it drive off as I think. I will always hate him for leaving but he caused none of this. I grind my teeth at my parents but I know it won't help. I need to let go.

Drops of rain tickle my back as the sun rises. I haven't left all night and I feel at peace for the first time. Yes, my life sucks. Jason left, my parents are getting a divorce and I can't do anything about it. I stand up and watch the rain dance over the trees. The majestic pink glow calms me, and tells me to let go. I walk back inside my back turned to the wondrous sight. I won't break, not for anyone. I'll hold grudges that will be there forever but I don't care. I'm beyond furious at my parents and it will stay like that for a while. I stalk back up to my room and lay down. Things happen for a reason and sometimes you change because of them.

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