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Getting used To
My parents got divorced when I was six years old. Although this short story is 100% fictional, a lot of it reflects on the changes I had to make in order to get used to the changes.
I spent my day trying to recollect all I can remember about what I was
leaving. But nothing came to mind. I guess it’s worse after time goes on and those memories begin to come back. But as of this moment, I am distraught how I am supposed to feel. I can’t put anything together. The longer grass, the empty house, the abandoned driveway, and the painted fence looked too unfamiliar. I stood there with my sister as she cried into my hip, and held my mom around my waist as we looked at our sold house on the sidewalk.
“Can we ever come back to visit, momma?” My sister pleads, tugging on
my moms skirt.
“The new owners said we can come back any time we like. But we have
to work on getting used to our new home, Madeline.” My mother addresses.
For the next few days, all of our stuff and belongings from before had
entered a new setting. Our new apartment was a ten minute car ride from our old house and laid dead center in the downtown area of Arlington Heights, Illinois. Getting used to our new place wasn’t as hard as it seemed. We just had smaller bedrooms, a smaller kitchen, a smaller living room, and basically smaller everything else. It was things like this that my sister couldn’t understand why we downgraded from all the privileges we had before.
“When are we going to get a TV, momma? How come we had to get rid
of the TV if we had one before?” My sister asked.
“We will get a TV, Madeline. It will just be some time until your father's
next check comes in.”
We haven’t seen our father ever since the day of being told about the
divorce. He had took off a month of work to go up north fishing, probably to distract his thoughts. He had no plan to move anywhere and nowhere to go otherwise than his buddie’s cabin in Canada- where all of his belongings left from the divorce went with him. I don’t know why he wouldn’t want to see Madeline and I, I guess it would just take some time getting used to the changes.
The divorce had took a hard toll on my mother for the first couple weeks.
Madeline and I weren’t at an optimal mood either, but hearing our mother cry each night over the divorce even though she was the one that evoked it was devastating. She wouldn’t tell us why she decided to get one, all Madeline and I know is that she wanted one for a specific reason, and the constant fights between the two didn’t help either. The divorce was probably better for the two, but again, changes take getting used to.
The summer had passed, and school was beginning. For me, I was
going back to the same school I was going at before, but my sister was not. I went to a high school with large district grounds, so our new apartment was within lines of the school I went to before. My sister, on the other hand, had to switch Elementary school’s due to not being within lines of the same school she went to before.
“I’m not going!” Madeline shouts to us, undressed and hysterical.
“Madeline, come here honey. I know it’s hard-” my Mother says to calm
her down, trying to hold her shoulder.
“DON'T TOUCH ME!” Madeline cried.
Madeline was horrified over the fact she couldn’t see her friends every
day in her classes. My mother and I have talked over the fact that, yes, going to a new school is tough. Being the newbie is not fun, and threading your way to find a new friend group is not always as welcoming as it may seem. Bullies exist and so do assholes. But Madeline was not the type of girl to be afraid over the fact of making new friends. She is very outgoing and open for her age, and we believed she could find friends within minutes of being there. But Madeline has never had confidence in herself to do these things, they really just come naturally for her and she doesn’t realize it.
“Trent, can you please try talking some sense into Madeline, she’s being
hysterical. I can’t handle this.” my Mother says to me, teary eyed.
“Sure,” I say. “Hey Mad…” I yell across to her room.
“WHAT!” She fired back.
I walk up into her room and see her bundled beneath all her blankets, still completely undressed.
“You know you underestimate yourself, Mad.” I say. “You make friends so easily-you still have so many from-”
“I don’t want to make new friends!” Madeline started caving in.
“Yes you will. Otherwise you'll be alone at your new school with no one to talk to. You can still see your other friends like Sally and Marissa like you’ve done all summer. It just takes some time to adjust to your new setting, thats all. Some getting used to…”
There was a long pause as Madeline would look down at the floor, and
then up to me. Suddenly, by the look on her face, it looked as if she gained all confidence back. That all her worries were gone, and that if she just sucked it up- she can start a whole new chapter to her life despite all the changes.
Soon enough, it seemed as if all of our lives kind of came back to
normal. We had a TV and new furniture in our apartment by the end of the year, Madeline has made new friends and most importantly, we had finally seen our dad after two months. He has now been living with his new girlfriend Jenny while he took some time to find a new house for himself.
“Here, kids!” We heard outside our apartment door. Dad was here to pick
us up for our weekend visit. Madeline ran to the door to open it, and jumped right on him and wrapped her arms and legs around his torso.
“I missed you! Are we seeing a movie today?” Madeline asked.
“Do you want to see a movie today?” He looked at Madeline and then
panned to me. I shrugged.
“I don’t care, sure.” I said.
That night we saw the movie What happens in Vegas with Ashton
Kutcher, and then had dinner with dad’s girlfriend Jenny. It was weird seeing dad have a relationship with another woman unlike mom, but this being the fourth or fifth time of me meeting her, both me and Madeline have adjusted really well. It took some getting used to her extrovert personality.
With all the changes that have gone on the past year, Madeline and I, I
believe, had to make great strides in our character. It wasn’t easy to be the new girl in school for Madeline, but a strike of confidence made it otherwise so. She now has had more friends than she did before. It wasn’t easy not seeing dad for weeks and weeks for him to cope with the divorce, but now he seems as happy as ever. It wasn’t easy seeing our mom struggle on her own in order to take care of us, and now she can support us by herself completely. And it wasn’t easy leaving all that we had under certain circumstances, but in life people have to move onto things that their not familiar with, it just takes some getting used to.