It was the story of my life; really, my parent’s being divorced and married and divorced and married. I always thought this was how marriages worked, how a family worked, a father would leave for a few years, leaving the mother all teary eyed and depressed, and would come back one day, on one knee, and then a half a year later or something, sometimes a few weeks, sometimes two years, there would be a wedding. Sometimes the promise of the wedding would be all it would be, and then he’d leave again.
Never once did my mother leave my father.
To me, it wasn’t fucked up.
To me, life was just dramatic like that.
My parents never talked about anything else outside of the family, especially my father. My father didn’t like his family; it’s from him that I get my Polish and Native American ancestry, my English language, my larger, stoic nose and straight light brown hair. His brother was a gay man in New York City, someone he never liked to talk about, and his own father suffered from Asperger’s, of which I never knew about until we realized he inherited it, as well as his mother’s bipolar traits. To him, he was sane, and it was his crazy, cock filled younger brother who didn’t have a mind of his own.
My mom was nothing like my dad, she was warm and was always in touch with her emotions, letting them all out like an epic fail. Always so sensitive and cursing in Spanish, I never really liked her. I always thought where is my mother? Where did my father take her this time? Where is this locked away key that will bring back the smiles, laughter, oatmeal raisin cookies and Barbie playing, fun filled mother of mine? I want her back. I love her, not her.
Things just weren’t right, and when they split up, again, last winter, I had my bags packed and my transcripts in order, so I caught dad just as hand was on the handle and asked him if I could go with him.
“Your mother needs you here, Yesenia,” he told me. He was wearing his raggedy, black bomber jacket on with his loose dark jeans, and in his other hand was his helmet to go along with his bike.
“No buts,” He told me, not looking me once in the eye. “I’m not coming back this time.”
“Neither will I,” I said, walking down the last step and taking hold of one of his free fingers. “I’ll go with you, and I’ll work – I’ll work as a maid or a waitress, and help pay the bills and whenever there’s a lady over, I’ll –“
“No!” He said finally.
It took me a few nights of my depressed, anorexic looking mother lying there, lifeless on our old, disgusting couch and a few bills coming in the mail that I couldn’t handle this, this time.
This was my life.
A junior in high school and I had no way of going to college, of becoming a pediatrician, an airline stewardess, a freelance photographer, the owner of a magazine or whatever. I get good grades – I get perfect, the best and the most amazing grades. All of my teachers love me. I spend all of my time in the library reading books and studying, never hanging out with friends, never doing drugs, just working on getting out of here, and where would that get me if I stayed?
Sometimes I ask myself that now, where will I get myself if I stay in the closet.