Alone Wishing for Before

January 24, 2009
By Julia Howell, Valencia, CA

As we drove home from the game I was nearly bouncing out of my seat with excitement. We had won and I had secured the victory! I couldn't understand why she had that look on her face. Shouldn't she be proud or at least happy for me? She asked me to txt my dad and ask him where he was. My arrogant air vanished in an instant like someone let air out of a balloon. "Why?" I asked hesitantly.
"Because he was supposed to come and surprise you," she admitted.
So I did and let out a gasp when the reply came in. The text read, "I'm on my way to Mammoth."
The next hour was one of the worst of my life. When I told my mom, she called my dad right up and they started fighting the whole way home. I had never been more scared of divorce before then. My grandma did her best to comfort me over the phone, and it kind of worked...but I was still terrified. We left for Palm Springs that night to stay with my mom's mom. I had never felt more alone in my life. I kept asking myself, "What's going to happen now?"
My dad had suffered from depression, and I didn't realize that it was so bad. I got even more scared when my mom considered getting a job, because she didn't have one just then. There wasn't a day that went by that I didn't hear them fighting in their room. Not a day went by where I wasn't crying for fear and wistful longing that everything could go back to how it was 2 years ago. Before one of my mom's best friend was diagnosed with cancer, before she died, before her son turned into a jerk. That was when it all started. I keep on wishing for before...and still do.

The author's comments:
I never knew what it would feel like if a parent left. Suddenly, I was whirled up in that terrifying prospect of divorce. I was feeling more alone than ever. Never take your family for granted.

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