An Unexpected Change

We stepped out of the car into our garden. My parents and I. It was nearing the end of summer and the day was surprisingly cool. The sweet scent of pollen tickled my nostrils. The leaves on the tree danced lightly in the breeze. It was soothing. Relaxing.

They were arguing again. They were always at it, I think it was the only thing my parents knew how to do. I suppose I couldn't complain, they had treated me to a wonderful day out to the carnival. The lights, flashing and waving. The sounds were fast so as to get you excited. They did just that. Dad brought me on the big ride; the 'Drop Zone'. I had never been more scared and exhilerated in my life. But I knew  I was safe because my dad was sitting next to me. Then later on Mam bought me candy floss, and I will always love that sticky, fluffy texture. For me, it's the definition of childhood.

But that wonderful day had passed and I could still hear the argument from my bedroom. It sounded much like the ongoing drone of bees. Except I wasn't afraid of bees. I turned on some music, anything was better than to hear that racket, something soothing to counterbalance the difficulties of life. But I couldn't truly complain, because I had two parents who were always there if I needed them. My life was wonderful. Outside, the sun shone, the birds sang and the mood was that of sheer joy.

Later that night the arguing stopped. 'What were they arguing about?' I had to wonder. It had only been within the last few weeks that it began;  I never thought to ask what it was about. Then a call "can you come down son". It was Dad. He always called me son when there was bad news. A lump caught in my throat. But I fought it. There was no use getting emotional before finding out the problem. It was darker by this stage but the sun was yet to set. I started down the stairs as they moaned one by one. They always reminded me of how my dad would snore in the mornings as I went down for breakfast.

They were in the sitting room, together. I had no inclination as to what this was about, maybe it was nothing. I glanced at Mam's face and knew something was amiss. I sat down in my favourite chair because I loved how I could sink into it. This time I wished it would swallow me whole. "You may have noticed we've been arguing the past while" There was pity in Mam's voice, for who I could not say. The hairs on my arms were standing on end but I pushed back the fear and showed some courage. "I noticed". It was all I could manage, there was no more needed to be said. Dad's face was stern. There was no reading the emotion there. I admired that in a way. How me and Mam could sit there panicking and he'd protect us. There was comfort in it.

"Well there's something we need to tell you". Dad's voice was soft and humble. Outside, the wind became loud and ferocious. 'Summer is truly ending' I thought. It's funny how all good things must end. They told me the news. Mam croaked, then burst into tears. Dad put a consoling arm around her. Then it hit me. Like an icy wave it knocked the wind from my gut. I tasted salt and realised I too was crying. Then the chair did consume me as I curled up into a ball of nothingness, frail and insignificant. "I know it's going to be a big change, but we'll get through this". It was comforting to know they still loved me but it didn't stop this torrent of tears. "I-, I-" I choked on my words like chewing thumb-tacs. The path of my life had just detoured down another trail, and all I could see was darkness.

I awoke the following morning to the sound of rain drumming on the window panes. The good weather had finally come to an end and in it's stead there was doom and gloom. I stood at the top of the stairs and heard nothing. There was no snoring. Even the stairs would not creak. The only sound was the splutter of rain. My breakfast tasted bland and the TV was dull in colour. Life itself lost it's effect. Then Mam came down the stairs and stood in the doorway, and it was as if she held the light of the world in her hands. Maybe my life had taken an unexpected change, but I was still lucky enough to have someone who loved me. I jumped up and hugged her and nothing else mattered. Then we laughed, because a change, no matter how drastic, could seperate us in that moment.

The End

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