My dad came home, put his briefcase on the floor in a tired manner, and sat down on his side of the couch. He moaned after his long day of sitting by himself in a cubicle in front of two computer screens with loving smiles on the walls and color coded graphs surrounding him as he asked what was for dinner. It was a Friday and the stock market had gone down that day. You see, his mood depends on the market; if it goes up, he can come home with open arms greeting us with, “I’m home!” but if drops then you should not say a word to him. It was one of those days and my mom had pushed his buttons by ordering the wrong kind of pizza. She walked into the house with a half cheese and half mushroom and green pepper thin crust pizza from Giuliano’s in Hinsdale. He used to love mushrooms but that night it was one of his least favorite toppings. His face turned red slowly like a thermometers red liquid going up as a fever rises. Names were yelled and mean, hurtful words were said. The conversation, or confrontation in this case, was dominated by my dad, just as all previous fights had been. My mom tried to get a word in but when she did, the only thing my dad said was how stupid she was and how she just did not understand the situation. After about fifteen minutes of a pointless fight, my mom left the room and went upstairs, locked her door and cried. When she left the room, I just looked and my dad with pain on my face. Hate and anger rushed to my arms and down to my hands, making me want to hit him with every muscle I had. Before I had made a wrong move or said anything I would have regretted, I followed with tears about to fall down my cheeks up to my parent’s bedroom. I unlocked the door with a bobby pin and as I sat down beside her on the bed, she turned to me and said between gasps of air, “I’m done! I can’t deal with him anymore, Kristina. I’m leaving. I have to. I’ve put up with his sh*t for too long now.” She stopped talking as my sister walked into the room and pleaded her not to leave. Before my sister or I could say a word, my mom rose to her feet, wiped the tears of pain, sorrow, and hate from her face and slowly walked downstairs. My sister and I followed as we watched her walk right past my dad as she headed for the laundry room to put her coat and shoes on. She put on her black Merrells? and her winter coat and walked back into the kitchen to grab the keys from the counter. She left through the garage door and got into the car. After she turned the key in the ignition, she sat in the car as she was parked in the driveway. Three minutes had passed and they felt like the longest three minutes that I had ever waited for someone to do something. After the long agonizing minutes, my sister and I watched our mom drive away from the house. The taillights became dots in the distance as she drove farther and farther away. She was gone and it felt like she was not going to come back. Was she going to come back? Were we ever going to see her again? So many questions came to mind all at once. Forty-five minutes had passed before she returned back home. She pulled in the driveway and walked into the house. Without removing her shoes and coat, she walked up to her room, shut the door, and went to bed for the night without speaking a word to any of us. It was hard to see my parents fight worse than they ever had, hard to watch my mom cry, hard to watch her leave, but when she came back, I knew she was back. She was not going anywhere as long as my sister, brother, and I were a part of the picture, this I knew and was right about. To this day, my parents fight just as any other normal parents would. They may argue more often than necessary but at least I have them both, in the same house, whenever I need them.
She Could Have Left
March 22, 2010