It was 11:00 pm when I heard the rumbling of the floor above me. I sighed, I could hear my dad raise his voice and my mom’s shrieks. My heart cracked a little bit more. It was like broken glass that had not yet shattered. I fell into a shallow sleep that night. The kind of sleep when you are resting but still aware of reality. The painful one that I knew would appear to me when I woke. It was a demon looming over my bed.
Later, in the evening, my mom called us into the dining room for a “family meeting”. This basically meant that my fourteen-year old brother and I sat quietly while my parents attempted to justify their actions. They would raise their voices at each other while banging on the table, rolling their eyes, and breathing heavily. My eyes welled up with tears and I could feel my throat begin to close. I was choking myself. I couldn’t get enough air. This time, my mom accused my dad of cheating on her. She went through his phone and found text messages of him inviting his high school girlfriend to lunch. She kept questioning us, “Do you think this is right? Is it okay for your dad to do this while I am at home cooking and cleaning”? My dad stared at us with red, bulging eyes, he says,” I am a prisoner in this house. She keeps me in a cage. I can’t do anything”. Eventually, my dad stood and left the table. He roared, “End of discussion”. My mom, brother, and I were left in silence. The buzzing of my air condition had more to say than the three of us. She looked at us with glassy eyes and said,” Do you think I should leave and go to Grandma’s house? I need to get out of here.” This statement made me want to scream. I wanted to get out but I couldn’t. I wanted her to stay. It was her duty as a mother to stay. Not leave her children so she could get some “space”. I thought, “You brought us into this world. We did not have a choice. So make up your damn mind. If you didn’t want us just say it”. Since I was born, my parents have argued over every petty thing. If it were not for my brother and I, they would’ve divorced ages ago. However, they stay together because they love us. The burden of this knowledge weighs heavily on my heart every single day. To know that I am the glue that keeps my twisted family together.
One week later, my history teacher had a warm-up on the projector with the question, “What did you believe in when you were younger that you no longer believe in now”? I read the question and without hesitation thought “love”.