Sobbing Saturday

February 24, 2010
“I win”! My brother eagerly yelled. It was a typical Saturday for us. We were sitting in my brother’s room, playing Super Smash Bros. on the Nintendo 64. I was nestled comfortably on the floor, while he was on the bed. Our eyes glued to the tv set while gripping our controllers tightly in our hands.

“Robert, you always win”, I snapped, putting emphasis on the always. What was a 5 year old to do? My brother was a 10 year old genius when it came to video games. He would win every single time, no matter how hard I tried. Truthfully, I was starting to accept the fact that I may never beat him at any video game, particulary this one.

“I know”, he laughed, with a huge grin plastered on his face. I glared at him.

“Won’t you just let me win just one round?” I asked. I put on my “puppy dog face” and prepared for his answer, as I knew he would say no. He shook his head.

“Nope, sorry”, he breathed. Damn. I was never going to win. Then all of a sudden, I heard a big crashing sound so loud I nearly had a heart attack.

“What the heck was that?” My brother screeched. I then heard screaming and yelling. I couldn’t quite make out the words, but I instantly knew it was Mommy and Daddy going at it again.

“Mommy and Daddy are fighting again”, I sighed. They had been on eachother for the past month. They were fighting almost every night, and even when they weren’t, you could tell the atmosphere around those two were very intense.

Concern and curiosity washed over both my brother and I. We both walked to the door and my brother slowly opened the door so we could make out what my belligerent parents were yelling at eachother about…and apparantly throwing.

“What the hell do I have with you Bill?!” My mother screamed. “You’re always out drinking, and you come home drunk. And when you’re not drunk, you’re in here smoking in the bathroom!” There was glass all over the floor. Now, we knew what the crashing sound came from.

“Shut the hell up!” Daddy ordered.”I can do whatever I want. I’m a grown man.” I could tell this wasn’t going to end well.

“You sure don’t act like a grown man! You have two children! When are you going to start being there for them? You’re basically trading in your life for booze and cigarettes!” Mommy yelled. It was true. Daddy was coming home every night drunk, and the house would always smell like cigarettes because he would smoke in the upstairs bathroom. It was putting to much stress on Mommy and I could tell she was going to crack…soon!

“I am NOT”, Daddy argued. He was getting very angry.

“Yes you are!”, Mommy shouted. “When was the last time you’ve spent time with your son, Bill? You blew off his 4TH grade award ceremony so you could go get drunk with your buddies”! I glanced at my brother. Pain was written all over his face as the memory of our father not being there for his award ceremony took over his mind. A single tear shed down his cheek.

“What about Juliet?” my mother continued. My heart stuttered as she said my name. “She’s only 5 years old. She doesn’t need to be in this kind of environment. You’re going to be sorry when you give our kids lung cancer from second hand smoke!” Second hand smoke? What in the blazes was that?

“Stop it. I know what I’m doing. I can stop whenever I want to”, Daddy murmured. I don’t think we could yell anymore, he was getting tired.

“Okay, then stop right now. Or I’m leaving you”, my mother stated. I gasped. My brother and I both stared at eachother in desperation. Praying to god it wouldn’t come to such measures.

My father remained silent. He knew when my mother said I’m, she also meant my brother and me. Realization hit me like a truck as I knew that my father would never change his ways. It crushed every fiber of my bieng.

“That’s what I thought. I’m sorry Bill. But I can’t do this anymore. Until you get your act together, the kids and I are going to my mothers”.

My father stood there. He as stunned. My mother climbed up the stairs, only to find my horrified expression, and my brothers teared stained face. She knew instantly that we had heard every word. She looked at me apoligetically.

“I’m sorry, sweatheart”, she whispered in my ear. “But this is how it has to be”. Tears started pouring down my cheeks and I started sobbing. Devastation pulsed through me as I knew what would become of our family if my parents did divorce.

“Pack your stuff, Honey”, my mother said soothingly to Robert. He looked up at her, no emotion showing on his face. He’s in shock, I thought to myself. Mommy kissed him on the forehead. “Go”, she continued. My brother turned around got out his suitcase and started packing.

“Mommy”, I choked.”Please”. I was truly sobbing now. I didn’t want to leave my father. He needed me. I needed him. He was my best friend.

“I’m sorry, Baby”, Mommy breathed. “But your father would rather mess around with his life”, she said bitterly. That one hurt. I held back a sob. “I’ll be up here in a minute to help you”. She kissed my forehead and made her way downstairs. I walked over to the balcony and looked down at my still shocked father. This couldn’t be happening. It’s a dream right? More tears started pouring down my face and my throat was hurting. I went into my room with a tear-stricken face, and starting packing the first things I saw. Why was this happening? Mommy and Daddy always worked things out.

“Jenny don’t do this”, my father begged. I stopped packing and stiffened. My mother already had a suitcase and her hand her purse in the other. I almost collapsed from my emotions..almost. My brother walked out of his room with a suitcase in his hand. I looked down at mine. It was almost full. He put his down and helped me pack the rest.

“Kids”, Mommy called. We knew what that meant.We were both crying. His shock had worn off. He took my hand, our suitcases in the other, and walked down the stairs. I saw my father staring at us, tears in the corner of his eyes. I couldn’t look into his eyes because the pain and depth of them would penetrate the wall I was trying to build so I wouldn’t break down in front of him.

Daddy walked over and hugged us both and kissed us on the cheek.

“We will be a family, I promise”, he stated. I pulled away, and the tears started pouring again. It was a promise broken before it was ever made.

“Goodbye,Bill”, my mother said. She walked out the door. My brother sighed and pulled away from my father’s embrace.

“I’m sorry, Dad”, my brother murmered. He was on the verge of tears again. He picked up his suitcase and walked out the door.
I sobbed again. This was too much. I had to make this goodbye count. It was my last words to him before our family would forever break apart.

“Goodbye, Daddy”. I’m going to miss you”, I sobbed. We wound his arms around me in another hug.
“Take care of yourself,sweetie”, he whispered. With those last words in my head, I pulled away from him and walked out the door. I just left my father. Tears started pouring down my face as we drove closer to my grandparents house and farther away from Daddy. At that moment, I knew our family would never be the same.

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