February 2, 2018
By Mystical_Peony SILVER, Seattle, Washington
Mystical_Peony SILVER, Seattle, Washington
7 articles 2 photos 0 comments

Favorite Quote:
"A flower doesn't compete with the flower next to it, it just blooms." -Zen Shin

I lay on top of my bed, inspecting my new flip phone. I’d begged my parents for a phone about a week ago. The conversation had ended with them going online and ordering me a flip phone on craigslist. It was not what I hoped for… I couldn’t imagine the kids at school thinking a stupid flip phone is cool. Now I lay in my room, struggling to type with the tiny buttons. I sighed. I had thought my skills of persuasion were better than that.

“Ugh! You can be so infuriating sometimes!” I heard a muffled voice shout. It sounded like mom. Who was she yelling at? I pushed myself out of bed and slipped off my slippers in an attempt to have silent footsteps. I took tentative steps onto the hardwood hallway, wincing with each creak of the floorboards. When I reached my parents door, I quietly moved into a kneeling position before placing an attentive ear to their door. It sounded as if they were in the midst of a heated argument, nothing new.

“That Macbook Pro cost us almost two thousand dollars!! Did you really need that touch bar?” Dad got a new Macbook? He’s only had his old one for 6 months!

“Well, for your information I spent my money on the Macbook, so you don’t have to bug me about it.” “Fine. If we’re playing this game, you spent my money on that Prada purse you recently purchased.” I heard my mom muttering something that I don’t even think my dad could understand. Huh. Since when is it his money or her money? I thought it was always their money.

“Well I’m done funding your pointless shopping sprees, from now on you can use your money and that’s that!” Dad shouted.

“Fine, but if you find yourself struggling financially, don’t come crying back to me,” Mom replied darkly.

“Fine,” Dad told her. Their confusing conversation was too much for my mind to handle, I could feel a headache starting up. I reached up to pinch the bridge of my nose. I had to lift the hand that was keeping me balanced in order to do so and I began to topple over before catching myself. My stumble caused the floorboards to creak loud enough that my parents could hear it.

“Who’s there?” Mom asked.

“I’ll go check,” my dad reassured her.

“Okay, I’ll stay here,” Mom agreed. Wow, they actually agree on something. I realize that I need to move, so I get up and hurry back to my room, not caring about the noise I’m making in the process of doing so. I get into the room and practically leap onto the bed and under the covers. I then get out my flip phone and pretend to text someone.

“Hey Austin? You awake?” I hear my dad call.

“Yeah I am Dad, do you need anything?” I call back.

“No, it’s okay son. I was just checking on you. Your mother and I heard a noise outside our room and wanted to make sure you were okay.” His tone was gentle, probably in case Mom was listening, but his eyes were like laser beams burning holes in my forehead.

“Oh, well it might have just been me grabbing my phone. Thanks again for agreeing to buy it for me,” I say, trying to ignore the pressure of his stare.

“Your welcome. Goodnight son,” he says, even though I can hear the doubt and suspicion in his voice. I watch him walk out of the room briskly and quietly close the door behind him. I smiled to myself. Dad was clever, but I was smarter.

I sat at my desk, mindlessly drumming my fingers across the wooden surface. “Austin Reid?!?” Mrs. Harrison shouted. I looked up to see her pointy nose, inches away from my face. I dug my hands into the pockets of my grey sweatshirt and shifted around uncomfortably. It wasn’t like I was scared of her, but her breath smelled like two rats having a farting contest.

“That’s my name.” I told her. “Don’t wear it out.” I smirked, but she wasn’t amused. Mrs. Harrison gave me an icy glare as if she could scare an apology out of me. Okay. We’re playing this game? If only she knew what was coming for her. I returned the glare. There was a determination in my eyes, a fire refusing to be extinguished. I watched, fascinated, as her eyes started tearing up from the strain and her face started going through fifty shades of red. I studied her face, with her pointy witch nose, squinty eyes, and square jaw. Then I moved down to her outfit. Mrs. Harrison’s sweater had the words, ‘I’m the Grammar Snob About Whom Your Mother Warned You.’ The word mother struck a rare spot of vulnerability in my heart.

I was sure that my parents had been arguing for a long time now, but last night I got my first taste of it. They had argued about the best use of their money, whether they actually loved each other, and what would happen to me if they got divorced. Divorce. I hate that word, when I have to say it I scrape it off my tongue like it’s poison. I try not to think about my parents getting divorced, especially not at school. Any sign of weakness would ruin my too cool for school vibe, my top notch insults, and my award winning jokes. I didn’t want people to start thinking of me as some sissy. For now, my classmates had to think I hadn’t a care in the world.

“AUSTIN REID?” I snapped back to attention. “Day dreaming again?” She snarled. I shrugged. “Well Austin, I just asked the class to turn to page 43 in their Midnight Rider books. I suggest you do the same.” I sat there, staring at her. “Come on!” She urged, “Get on with it!” I shrugged my shoulders,

“I don’t have my book.”

Mrs. Harrison frowned, “And where is your book?”

I leaned back in my chair, “At my house.”

Mrs. Harrison sighed, exasperated. “And what is your book doing at your house, may I ask?” I thought about a good answer to that, when it hit me I smiled to myself.

“Probably having more fun than I am!” I resisted the urge to laugh. A good comedian never laughs at his own joke. The class burst into fits of laughter and giggles. Mrs. Harrison however, did nothing but purse her lips.

“Class?” Mrs. Harrison called. My classmates snapped back to attention. “You appear to be too distracted to do some Midnight Rider reading, so thanks to your friend Austin here, we’ll be doing some review on the different tenses. The class let out a series of groans. The person behind me, a boy named Ralph, passed me a folded up note. Scrawled onto it were the words I Hate You. I turned around to face Ralph and laughed. I reached out my hand to shake his and with a surprised expression on his face, he shook it.

“Wow,” I told him. “If you just started hating me now, you ought to win a reward!”

He was about to say something when Mrs. Harrison shouted, “Austin? Stop distracting Ralph and get up here!” I gave her a puzzled look before releasing Ralph’s hand and walking up to the white board. “Because you seem so confident in your abilities that you don’t bother listening to the lesson, you will get the first question,” she lectured. She paused, trying to think of a good question. “If I say, ‘I am beautiful.’ What tense is that?” Mrs. Harrison looked at me expectantly, waiting for my answer. In my head I was laughing, she’d made this too easy. I looked up at her and a wild grin spread across my face as I said,

“Uhh… past tense?” She registered that for a moment before letting out something that sounded like a mix between a growl and a cat with a hairball in it’s throat. Mrs. Harrison’s voice was scratchy from the strange sounds she had previously made.

“You,” she pointed at me coldly. “Out!” She howled, “Principal Mathews can deal with you! I’m fed up with your jokes and your lack of interest in my lessons.” I stood up, made a big show of gathering up my stuff, and walked out the door. I was happy to leave that boring class, but I wasn’t going to the principal’s office. I wasn’t sure where I would go, but one thing was certain. No principal for me. Principals kill my vibe.

I walked down the empty hallway, quiet except the squeak of my high tops on the rubber tile. As I rounded the corner, CRASH! I quickly jumped back, startled. I brushed myself off, recovering from the impact. I looked up slowly, my mind going through endless possibilities of who it could be. Then suddenly my vision focused and I gasped. I found myself face to face with Principal Mathews. Just my luck, the one person I was trying to avoid.

“Austin Reid?” Principal Mathews says, surprised, “What are you doing out of class?” I said the first thing that came to my mind,

“Going to the bathroom, what are you doing, sir?” Principal Matthews squinted at me darkly,

“Don’t talk back to me young man, where is your hall pass?” I started to panick. A hall pass? Of course I didn’t have a hall pass. I was supposed to go to the principal’s office for god’s sake! Beads of sweat started appearing on my forehead and I watched as a smug expression crossed Principal Matthew's face. He must’ve thought that he had caught me red handed without a hall pass.

“Oh. I believe it’s in my pocket,” I stalled. I knew that he thought he had won, but I was not ready to give up just yet.

“Well, take it out then,” he encouraged me. I fumbled around in my pocket and and then continued to fool around before my fingers finally found the laminated hall pass. I let out a sigh of relief. But how did I have a hall pass? I thought, confused. I handed the pass, although my mind was still spinning with questions. Principal Matthews examined every nook and cranny of the small piece of paper, before nodding and handing it back to me. His eyes still looked suspicious, but he couldn’t do anything more, I had the evidence and he didn’t
A memory came back to me and I nodded to myself. Of course! That’s why I had the hall pass… Yesterday I had needed to go to the workroom to copy the spelling test for Mrs. Harrison. Being as clever as I am, in addition to copying the test I had also made a copy of my hall pass.

“Well I’ll see you later Austin, have a nice day,” said Principal Mathews, “Yes, see you later, sir,” I said politely. He walked away briskly, humming a tune. I watched, satisfied as he turned the corner and left my sight. I had gotten past the principal, my parents, and Mrs. Harrison. I felt invincible.

I slid onto the couch, listening for the sound of the creaking springs. I groped around for the TV remote before my fingers finally reached the smooth surface. I was about to turn it on, when I heard footsteps coming towards me.

“Austin?!” My dad called in a gruff and angry voice, “care to tell me about what went on at school today? Oh, I don’t know… maybe an explanation of what caused me to get a phone call from Mrs. Harrison!” I gulped. I had to be very careful when Dad got riled up like this. I started regretting purposely acting out today in order to have a chance to talk to my dad. He didn’t usually give me the time of day.

“Austin! Stop spacing out and answer me!” I looked up, surprised to see his heated face inches away from me. His face was beet red and there were veins popping out of his forehead. I blinked repeatedly, my eyes trying to adjust to how close he was in relation to me.

“Don’t worry Dad.” I said, “It was just a few harmless jokes,” Dad’s eyes narrowed,

“A few harmless jokes? Jokes don’t lead to a trip to the Principal's office and a phone call home!” I was about to argue that some people are too uptight for jokers, but dad spoke before I could even gather my thoughts,

“And to top it all off she makes a comment about you forgetting this ‘Midnight Rider’ book. I thought I told you to put that in your backpack yesterday!”

“Well maybe it grew legs and walked out of my backpack…” I grumbled, rolling my eyes.

“Don’t you roll your eyes at me young man! You know just as well as I do what you did to get yourself a trip to the Principal’s office!” He yelled.

“Well, truthfully I know more about it than you do, because I was actually there.” I thought out loud. Dad let out a deep, menacing growl. With a quick sweep of his arm he grabbed a book from off the coffee table and brought his arm back behind his head. He’s not going to throw it, I told myself. He wouldn’t. Would he? Dad had never gotten this angry at me before. But still, would he harm me. No. I tried to convince myself. He wouldn’t.

I watched, paralyzed, as the book left his hand and soared towards me. I hurriedly shuffled backwards towards the wall. I then turned away from the flying book, anticipating the impact. I flinched, bracing myself. Then suddenly, the book found it’s mark. But to my surprise, it crashed into the wall above me. I looked up just to have pieces of chipped off paint, followed by the book itself crash onto my head. I stepped away, rubbing my head in order to inspect the damage. There was a book shaped dent in the wall and I could see the wood behind the white paint. He threw it at me. I was shocked. This was a side of Dad that I had never seen before and that I never wanted to see again.

“Boys? What’s all that racket?” I heard my Mom call from her office.

“Oh nothing Lauren! We were just discussing Austin’s day at school!” My dad said hurriedly. I rolled my eyes, but didn’t interrupt. I didn’t want to face my father’s wrath, because there were still three books left on the coffee table.

Although Dad had tried to prevent Mom from coming to investigate, she came anyway. I watched the expression of shock and horror cross her face when she walked into the living room. Her eyes took in my father’s menacing demeanor, the dent in the wall, and the bump on my forehead.

“Scott..” She stuttered, looking at my father with sad eyes, “what did you do this time?” This time? What’s that supposed to mean?

“Look Lauren, I can explain.. You see we were simply discussing Austin’s…” Mom sadness turned into hatred before my eyes.

“What you did was inexcusable! You threw a book at your son! My son! And then you try to justify it? By claiming that Austin got what he deserved for the a phone call home?!? I will not have you hurting my son!”

“Well technically he also was sent to the principal's...” Dad tried to object, but stopped short when he say Mom taking menacing steps towards him. Dad tentatively stepped away and raised his hands above his head.

“Enough!” She screamed. I watched, horrified, as Mom flung herself at my father and slapped him in the face. It was a powerful slap. It looked like it hurt. A lot. It was easy to tell where she had hit him, because there was a red handprint temporarily plastered across my father’s pale cheek.

Mom stood in the center of the room, breathing heavily. She shook herself off, erasing all traces of anger, before turning to me. Her eyes turned sad again as she walked over to me. She reached out to stroke my cheek, but I flinched at her touch. I was scared of the physical force I now knew my parents were capable of. It felt as if the two people who I knew best had turned into strangers before my eyes. I timidly looked back at Mom, just to see the hurt in her eyes. She left the room, her eyes on me the entire time.

Anger bubbled up inside me, like a volcano ready to erupt. I was mad at my Dad for overreacting, I was mad at Mrs. Harrison for calling my parents, and I was mad at my Mom for becoming distant and violent. Lastly, I was mad at myself, for being stupid enough to think my parents would ever listen to me.

I walked into the living room to find my parents sitting on one of the light gray couches. I had wanted to watch a show, but not while both my parents were in the room. Especially not after that spectacle yesterday. I turned back over my shoulder to leave the room, but my parents had already seen me.

“Austin?” My mom asked, “Do you have a minute? There’s something your father and I need to talk to you about.” I sighed, there was no backing out of this one.

“Sure,” I told them. I walked over to the couch opposite the one they were sitting on and started playing with the drawstring of my Lakers sweatshirt. Mom and Dad looked at each other uncertainly, as if they were unsure how to tell me what they needed to let me know about.

“Austin... “ Mom began, “As you know, your father and I haven’t been getting along too well lately. We thought it would be best if we, you know… took a break for a while.” Mom glanced at my father, checking to make sure she’d said the right thing. I stared at them in shock as the weight of her words hit me.I had known they were fighting, but I didn’t think that they were actually going to get divorced.

“You're getting divorced?” I stuttered. I was shocked. How could they do this to me? Didn’t they know how much their actions affected my life?

“Listen Austin,” Dad began, “We’re just trying it out, it’s only temporary.” I glared at him,

“No! It’s not temporary. Things like this are never temporary.” I scowled at the two of them, sitting on the couch casually as if everything was fine, when what they’d just told me was tearing my life apart.

“Austin, sweetie..” Mom crooned. I growled at her, anger seeping through me.

“Don’t ‘sweetie’ me! I can’t believe that you would do something like this!” I pushed myself up off the couch and stormed out of the room. As I was nearing the stairs I shouted back at them, “Don’t you see that my glass is already broken? Why do you feel the need to shatter it?!?”



“Thank you for staying after school, Austin,” Mrs. Johnson said gently. I shifted around, uncomfortable. During history class Mrs. Johnson had asked me to stay after school to talk to her. I knew that it had something to do with the way I “vandalized”  the map of the U.S. Even though I thought adding doodles and captions would make it easier to look at. I realized that Mrs. Johnson, was still watching me expectantly. When I continued to stare blankly into space, Mrs. Johnson continued talking.

“Why don’t you come sit at this table here,” Mrs. Johnson encouraged me. I sat down in the chair and started fidgeting with the drawstring on my sweatshirt. “Well come on,” Mrs. Johnson said, “what’s going on?” Her voice is harsher than usual. I turn my attention away from my sweatshirt and look up at her, surprised.
“What do you mean?” I say, confused.

“Austin,” Mrs. Johnson starts, “I know something is wrong, so do not try to hide it. You never act this way! Sure you’ve always acted out, but never at this large of a scale. And that kid Eli? The kid who’s chair you kept using as a footrest last period? He’s been to the counselor’s office three times this week, all because of you. So tell me, what’s going on outside of school?” I stare at her blankly, trying process what she just said. I was very confused. How did she know that something was going on? Also, why did she think I would tell her?

“And why do think I would tell you what’s going on? I mean… if something was going on.” I stuttered. Great! Now she’s just going to keep bugging me. I stared at her white, long-sleeved shirt with black polka dots and her black pencil skirt. With her fine, blonde hair and blue eyes she’s what some of my friends consider “pretty.” Staring at Mrs. Johnson is the main cause for boys failing their history tests.

“Austin,” Mrs. Johnson said, interrupting my daydream. “You can tell me anything that’s bothering you. I just want to help,” her voice was very singsongy. It made me want to barf. I rolled my eyes,

“Mrs. Johnson, I am not going to tell you and that’s that. There is no sappy voice you can use that would change that,” I stated matter-a-factly. Mrs. Johnson’s eyes narrowed.

“Austin Reid! You will tell me what is going on right now. If I don’t know what’s bothering you I can’t help. If you don’t tell me what’s going on right now I will tell your parents and Principal Mathews about your stunt with the map.” I stared at her, stunned. I found it amazing how she could change her expressions and voices so fast.

“Ok! Ok!” I said quickly. Her gaze softened.

“Great,” she encouraged me, “go on then.” I took a deep breath. I didn’t feel comfortable sharing my secrets and insecurities with Mrs. Johnson, but I couldn’t risk my Dad finding out. If my dad had another outburst like the last one, I had no clue what my mother would do to him.

“Ok.. here goes..” I started, “So pretty much my parents are fighting a lot and they don’t have time for me which makes me feel sad and mad and lonely, so I release my anger at school and then my teachers get mad. Once my teachers get mad they contact my parents and then my parents get really mad at me and start fighting over my punishment. So… yeah.” I said at lightening speed. Mrs. Johnson pinched the bridge of her nose, trying to piece together what I had just said. Then calmly she responded,

“Austin...do you think your parents are going to get divorced? I stared at her, shocked. Who did she think she was, butting into my life.

“Why do you care what’s going on in my life! It is none of your business! Yes, my parents are going to get divorced. Yes, I’ll try to stop them. But will that make a goddamn difference? No. It won’t.” I said, fuming.
Mrs. Johnson nods to herself, “You know Austin, my parents got divorced when I was your age,” she said, her voice distant.

I look up, surprised. “They did?” Mrs. Johnson wants to help me because she experienced the same thing.

Feeling much better I ask her, “what did you do about it?” I drum my fingers across the smooth desk, anxious to hear her response.

Mrs. Johnson smiled, “My parents started fighting with each other when I was almost 13, a bit younger than you are now. They started considering getting divorced, which made me defiant and angry. I tried and tried again to change their minds, but it was no use. They could not stand being together and would not listen to my protests,” I listened to Mrs. Johnson’s story, nodding along. I had found it incredible that her story was just like mine, “Once they got divorced,” Mrs. Johnson continued, “they moved into separate houses and went to a court to determine what they’d do with me. The court decided that since both of my parents had decent living space and adequate jobs they’d get to split their time with me evenly. For that reason I switched houses everyday. At first I was unhappy with the change, but I eventually came to realize that my life was better that way. My parents could spend less time fighting and more one on one time with me.” I tried to process that, could that really work? Could that give my parents more time for me? “Austin?” Mrs. Johnson asks quietly.
“Yes?” I respond. I was now very fascinated in what she was saying. For years my best friend had been my conscience, but now I had someone who had had a similar experience to mine. I look up at Mrs. Johnson as she finished what she had to say,

“Austin, my advice to you is to go to your parents and tell them how you feel. However, you should also tell them that you accept their decision to get divorced. If I could do it all again I would’ve told them that then and there,” I nod, my decision made.

“Thank you Mrs. Johnson,” I said, grateful. I looked up into her blue eyes and smiled. Mrs. Johnson smiled back.

Mrs. Johnson stood up from her chair and smoothed out her pencil skirt. I stood up as well and pushed in my chair. Mrs. Johnson beckoned me towards her. When I got within arms length of her, she pulled me into a hug. I stiffened, surprised. I had never been hugged by anyone other than my parents before. Tentatively I lifted my arms and awkwardly returned the embrace. “Thank you,” I whispered into her shoulder. By the way her muscles changed I could tell she was smiling. We pulled away at the same time and started walking towards the door. “Bye,” I said quietly.

I stood before my house’s white door. I looked down at my feet and took several deep breaths. When I had left school I’d felt confident in my decision, but now I wasn’t so sure. What if my parents weren’t even considering getting divorced and I just sparked the idea? What if they get divorced, but we continue to be unhappy? My conscience fired doubting questions through my head, causing questions to ricochet around my skull.

I pushed the negative thoughts out of my head and reached a tentative arm towards the doorknob. I reached into my pocket to grab my keys then wrapped my shaking fingers around the brass doorknob. With a screech I jumped back. The doorknob had been baking in the Los Angeles sun all day and was roasting. I put my key back in my pocket and simply rang the doorbell. I twiddled with the key in my pocket as I impatiently waiting for someone to open the door. Then the door creaked open to reveal a familiar face.

“Hi Austin! How was your day at school?” My Mom called. She smiled her warm smile and instantly my spirits lifted.

“Hey Mom!” I said enthusiastically, “School was fine, sorry I’m late...I was talking with Mrs. Johnson.”
“Well that’s fine honey, you're here now aren’t you!” I grin. Mom’s dark hair was pulled back into a messy ponytail and her dark eyes had dark rings around them from her lack of sleep. She was wearing black yoga pants and an old USC shirt from her time in nursing school. I realize that I need to follow through with the decision I made and take my focus off of my mother.

“Hey Mom, is Dad here? There’s something I’d like to talk to you both about.” Mom’s smile turned into a frown,
“Does Dad have to be there? I feel like we could have a much more pleasant conversation without him.” I sighed.

“Please Mom, this really means alot to me.” She nodded although her expression was one of annoyance.
“Fine, but don’t expect me to act as I’m happy he’s there.” Mom huffed. She turned away from me and walked briskly into the living room., “Scott Reid! My son wants to talk to you!” Mom called, My son? I rolled my eyes, now they’re fighting over me too? I heard my dad’s footsteps pounding down the stairs.

“For the last time Lauren! He’s my son just as much as he is yours!” I saw my dad’s broad figure appear at the top of the stairs. I watched as he walked into the living room where my mom was and I could here them starting an argument. Sighing, I walked down the hallway and into the living room where I found my parents sitting in a huff on opposite sides of the couch.

“Austin? Can you get on with what you have to tell us, I have a work call I need to make,” Dad complained. Mom rolled her eyes.

“Scott? Don’t you see that what Austin has to tell us is important. I’d think you would be able to find enough time for your only son.” Mom snapped. I take a deep breath.

“Okay guys! Are you ready to listen?” I asked. I sat down on the couch opposite the one my parents are sitting on.

“Yes,” my parents mumbled their reply.

I lower my voice so that they can tell I’m serious and begin, “Mom, Dad, you guys told me you were going to get divorced yesterday and I freaked out.” I reminded them.. Mom and Dad nodded, unsure of where I was going with this. “I am not apologizing for the way I acted, but there is something important I need to tell you.” They turned to look at each other and had a silent conversation with nothing but their eyes.

“Listen Austin,” Mom soothed, “We’re doing none of this to harm you, we just want to spend less time fighting and more time with you honey.” I saw my dad nodding along. I took a deep breath, it was the moment of truth. Would I be able to follow through with my decision? What if nothing turned out the way Mrs. Johnson thought it would?

“Mom? Dad? I wanted to tell you, that I have thought about it, and I’ve decided that I’m okay with the fact that you’re getting divorced. If it makes you happier, then I will not protest.” I say matter-a-factly.” I stood up and brushed myself off. “Well, that’s all I have to say. Now you can get on with your busy lives,” I snap. As I’m walking away I feel a tug on my arm. I whip around to see my mom looking down at me with her dark, puppy dog eyes. She looks sad, proud, and heartbroken.

“Austin?” Mom’s voice cracked, “If I did anything to hurt you physically or emotionally, I am truly sorry. I hope you can forgive me,” I smiled up at my mom to let her know that I’m okay, before turning back around. As I was walking out of the living room I heard another voice,

“Austin?” My dad asked. I turned around once again,

“Yeah?” I respond, I wondered what he was going to tell me. My dad took a deep breath before starting,
“I just wanted to tell you if you really don’t want us to get divorced, we understand. We could cope with delaying our divorce a little longer until you’re ready, but if you’re sure…”

“I’m sure,” I say quickly. I was now confident in my decision. My dad beamed at me,

“Then I guess we should get along with it,” I waited for my parents to stand up before the three of us walked out of the living room, arm in arm.

We pulled into the parking lot of Sharky’s Mexican Grill. I was having a great day. Mom and I had just seen the movie Hidden Figures. I thought it was sort of boring, I personally prefer action movies, but Mom loved it. It was one month since my parents got divorced and I switched between their houses every two days. Mom and I went on an outing every Saturday and today we were eating at my favorite restaurant, Sharky’s!

I open the door to the restaurant and here the quiet jingle of the bell. Mom looks over the restaurant and asks,
“So Austin, booth, round table, or high table,” I consider my options.

“Well.. we sat at a high table last week, so how about a booth?” I respond. We walk over to a corner booth and slide in. The benches are bright red which contrasts with the restaurant's white walls. Mom drapes her Patagonia jacket across her side of the booth before standing up again.

“Okay sweetie, what do you want to order?” Mom asks cheerfully. She’s been in much better spirits since the divorce, and so have I. I remembered that Mom had just asked me what I wanted, she always did that even though I always ordered the same thing.

“I’ll have a bean and cheese burrito, some chips, and a coke. Thanks Mom!” I tell her. Mom smiles and heads to the counter to order. I found it amazing how fast someone’s life can turn around. Now I could go on different outings with my parents and they could spend less time fighting and more time with me. I also was trying much harder at school (except in Mrs. Harrison’s class) and Mrs. Johnson was now my favorite teacher.

My life had never been better. I felt as if a knife had come to pierce my heart, to break me, but I had avoided the impact. Life had thrown many obstacles my way, but still I remained Unbroken.

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