The Aftermath

I know every therapist in the world says that it's not my fault that my parents got divorced, but every quark in my body tells me it is. Sometimes I just lay in bed and think about it. If I hadn't said what I said, nothing would have gone wrong. Sure, mom would have gone on lying to dad, sneaking around, but there would have been a euphoric, ignorant bliss in our house.

Now even the furniture looks as if it's been lied to. It's as if I am seeing a bright world through grayscale goggles.

"Are you aware that we've had pancakes every day for the past three weeks?" Realizing how harsh that sounded, I laughed in my cheeks.

My dad threw a melancholy glance at me and slid his spatula underneath the pancake. Ever since the divorce he loosened up, but not in a good way. He was no longer his prickly self.

"I don't know how to cook." He said matter-of-factly.

"Regardless, we should switch things up. Instead of crispy pancakes, why don't we have some eggs?" I examined his outfit. He was just wearing some sweatpants and a t-shirt -- a shocking alternative to his usual navy suit.

He never answered me, instead opting to flip the pancakes until they fell on the floor. Sighing loudly, he grinded them to powder with his heel. Mom took the dog, who would have cleaned up the mess in a second.

He finally spoke. "Olivia, it's not your fault." It wasn't comforting.

"Dad..." I pushed my bangs up. "It kinda is."

-

I stared at my cell phone, at the keys, at the dust betwixt the keys, at the very atoms of the dust, at nothing.

I was deliberating whether or not to text mom about my newest painting. She used to discuss the meanings of each brush stroke with me.

The most recent painting was of a girl staring at an umbrella in the rain. It didn't mean anything. It had no hidden metaphors. It was not a scene in my life. It was just a painting that looked good to me.

Sometimes I missed mom, but the more I thought about her lately, the more I hated her.

The End

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