You Told Me Nothing Would Change

March 29, 2008
By Allyson Blackburn, Briarcliff Manor, NY

I heard about your position over winter break. I didn’t think anything would happen, not to you, not to us. You told me nothing would change. I think that you only meant it halfheartedly, but I believed you. You spent the rest of the vacation trying to find what was happening. Even on Christmas you were glued to your phone, the way a alcoholic loves his booze. For the rest of vacation, it felt the same as always. Nothing had changed. Nothing had changed yet.

She talked about selling it. I knew she wanted to. She had for a while. What’s the point of having it if no one likes it? She would say. But it only seemed like the timing was too perfect. It scared me. I could really only think of two things. Was it related? What about what we have here?

You left at the same time as always, so early in the morning, even the birds didn’t have time to wish you luck. I was curious and I was only thinking of you throughout the day. You were in the back of my mind, a thought that would never linger away. You came home, same time as always, I never thought it would happen. You had a Cannon bag in hand, there was so much stuff in there, and didn’t it hurt to carry it? I didn’t believe it. I thought you bought a computer, but I new you didn’t. You didn’t tell me directly. Not until the next day.

You took me to dance. I rode shotgun, something you only recently started letting me do. You picked me up. We sat outside of the garage for a while. I kept my feet on the dashboard. You never let me do that. You said what you always have. Nothing was going to change. What you didn’t know was that everything already had.

You changed. I don’t know why. For a while you let us have our way. You drove us to school when I asked. You came to our games, meets and concerts. But the good things never last. You start taking trips away. Vail, Texas, Florida, what’s next? Singapore? Even when you were home you became the infamous Mr. Mom. Even when she was home, you did things, and she was annoyed, very annoyed. Then you started yelling and complaining about everything. You did nothing about it, that’s what bothered her the most. You were the only one who cared, so you changed things, very little things. But they had a huge effect.
She was changing. I was very obvious. It was slow though, like it was tearing through her. First the depression, I think this is the worst. You started getting angry. You thought she should snap out of it. What you didn’t know was that you affected all of us. She couldn’t help it, we couldn’t help it. We were afraid.

She wouldn’t let me spend my money. Then I came home and she was wearing her suit. I didn’t think she would apply, but she did. She took me to dance this time; she told me it would be full time effort. I don’t want to lose her; I don’t want it to change.

There was the letter. That is what I didn’t understand. She said we probably can’t go unless you get out of your position. Even with her possible full time effort, it wouldn’t be enough. That broke me. I didn’t want to leave. It is my home, my life. You said nothing would change, but this was the greatest change of all.
Then came the friction. Not just between you and her, but between all of us. First it was little things, just little. But somewhere along the line, something happened. I remember she was screaming. Her scream was like a siren. Your voice was only loud at times. Other times I couldn’t hear, but hers never changed. I cried, I asked for help, I was refused, just a problem to deal with. I went to my bed, face wet, and tired. I whispered to myself. Is this the day that what I have dies? The day my life as I know comes to an end? Will I wake up and this all be a dream? Do I, at thirteen, have the right to say that my life is falling apart? The life I know and love. This almost feels like a jeopardy question of life. But I can’t tell you if it is falling apart, because I do not know, but I can only pray not.
I woke up, I didn’t want to. I wanted to stay in bead all day, even for the rest of my life. I felt dead. However, I wasn’t. I got up, washed my face and went to school. That day, I went home sick. You and she were both there. Was I dreaming? Maybe not a dream, but a nightmare. I couldn’t understand, and still don’t.
Things get better, it seems sometimes, sometimes They’re as bad as always. Only from the outside, on the inside we’re a wreck, but no one can tell, it’s difficult. You are the best at hiding it. You’re the one who is always happiest. It can drive me insane, but you’re good at it and those things can be useful. Like and unlike you, I am good at it. Those who aren’t worthy to see my anger, don’t see it. Only those who need to see it can. But, unlike you, I am never going to be a happy-go-lucky person.
I’m worried about you. It’s been almost a month. She told me that the diamond doubled in price. It’s a big rock. I told her that she could sell it and buy a house. I wish I hadn’t said that. It was just an observation. She told me it was a good investment. I didn’t say anything for the rest of the ride.
I yelled at you, it was all you’re fault it seemed. I told you I didn’t want you around anymore. You were changing everything, everything that I had ever known. I didn’t want change. I said mean things. Things I wish I could take back because I could tell that they burned like mercury on your skin.
Everything has changed, and I don’t want to say that it’s all because of you because it’s not. Maybe I’ll understand one day, not in the near future. Maybe I can say that you were right for doing what you did, I wouldn’t know. You promised me something you couldn’t guarantee, why would you do that? I’m an Anne Frank at this time, not an Elie Wiesel, I cannot sort the past out because I am living it. I don’t blame you. But you told me nothing would change, when everything did.

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