Emily is 16, and her brothers champion. Her parents separated months ago and now she is all he has. June is Emily's mother and she's lived her whole life for her kids. She recently began a new relationship and is neglecting her children as a result of this. This is a story about struggle, change, and the choices we make that influence our life.
Mom and dad are fighting again. I just can’t take it. Kaden came to my room crying tonight and asked if daddy was leaving. I told him I don’t know. Right now he’s curled up on my pillow asleep. He’s such a sweetie. Why can’t they see what this is doing to us? To him? Do they even care anymore? I just hide out here and write. I really don’t know what I would do without you diary. You are the only friend I have. The only one who listens to me. But then you don’t listen, do you? And you never talk back.
I caught Chance looking at me today. At least I think he was looking at me. Boys are so stupid. Why can’t he just talk to me? I can’t talk to him either though. I hate high school. I just want to do my time and get through it. I just want it to be over. I don’t know what I am going to do about Kaden. I hope mom and dad settle down soon and get through whatever is wrong with them. I just want to hang out with my friends and have fun.
“KADEN!” Emily shoved the fruit cup into Kaden’s lunch bag and double checked her own.
“KADEN, GET DOWN HERE NOW!” God where was he? They were going to miss the bus at this rate.
“Stop yelling.” June Legan entered the kitchen holding her head. She headed straight for the coffee pot. “Mom, we’re gonna be late if Kaden doesn’t hurry up. He still needs to eat his breakfast.”
“Then go upstairs and bring him down, but stop screaming like a banshee. My head is throbbing.”
Emily’s frustrated sigh followed her out of the kitchen as she went upstairs.
“Kaden, what are you doing?!” She found him in his room, trying to shove his toy dump truck into his book bag.
“It won’t fiiiiiiiit” he whined.
“So leave it, we have to eat breakfast and catch the bus.”
“But today is my show and tell and I want to show my dump truck.”
“Kaden, we have to go, come on.” Emily grabbed Kaden’s arm and he began to cry.
“Em please,” he pleaded, “help me!”
Emily took the truck from him and began trying to make it fit in the bag. It wasn’t going to happen. The truck simply would not fit.
“Kaden this isn’t going to work. Can’t you take another toy?”
“Noooo, I want this one.”
“I tell you what; I will carry the dump truck to your classroom before I head to class. But you have to go down and eat breakfast right now.”
Kaden’s face lit up and his smile melted the frustration Emily was feeling. “Thank you, Em, I love you”
“I love you too stinker, now get downstairs and eat your breakfast.”
Emily was only 16 but she felt like she was Kaden’s mother more than his sister. Since her parent’s separation months before she’d been his primary care giver. Her father disappeared for weeks at a time and would randomly show up to take them for the weekend. Her mom had decided that it was time for her to “live my life” and was going out drinking and dancing every night. Someone had to be the adult. And so Emily decided it would be her. Kaden had to be cared for.
Emily grabbed the dump truck and headed down stairs to eat her cereal.