The Mystifying Move

After a dozen of lawyers, papers, arguments, and empty bottles, my incompatible parents finally agreed to sign the divorce papers. The judge left me to decide which parent I should live with-my, all-the-time wasted mother, or my never-at-home overworking father. The odds in favor seem to go to my father, and my mother didn't really seem to care. My father was glad I picked him, even though he was twenty minutes late, trying to finish some work before court. A few days later, I was packing to go live with my dad.

It took me less than I expected, I guess I just really wanted to leave. When I was done packing, I lagged down the stairs, caressing the ancient railing filled with memories of when I was smaller, younger; around the age of princesses and pirate ships; when my father and mother loved each other, before the drinking, the work, and the fighting. I shook the memories away, thinking, that life is over now, and I just have to deal with it. I reached the last step of the stairs, and I looked around the house, placing my hand on my chest searching for the necklace supposed to be there, then I realized that I placed it in a box that I left in my top self in my closet. I hid it there when I went to court for the divorce trial. I raced back upstairs thinking how I could be so stupid forgetting the most vital thing to me. I reached my room, the door open and I faced my closet, barley full of clothes. Where did I put that box? I thought while rummaging through the top self. I felt a flat surface behind an old sweater. I wrapped my fingers around it, and brought it down, and went to sit on my bed. I opened the top of the box and there lay my Nonna's necklace, a heart-shaped amulet heirloom, with delicate elaborated roses at the corners of the heart, the roses were surrounded by detailed leaves, followed by two entangling stems filled with thorns. It's hard to describe it, but at the end of the heart, there was a pendent, clear as glass, almost transparent. I sighed in relief and headed back downstairs, I saw my mother passed out on the burgundy couch. I smiled a sad knowing smile and walked to the couch. I leaned over and kissed my mother softly, on the cheek, saying right after, "Goodbye, mom." I left the house without looking back and silently slid inside my father's silver Acura, and my father drove off and I lay my head against the window and stare off into space.

The drive was short and sweet, but on the plane, my father tried to make small talk… He laughed nervously, rubbing his palms on his faded jeans. I noticed what it meant right away. He only does that when he needs to tell me something important, I thought remembering when I was five years old; I got a goldfish for my birthday, and two weeks later it was floating, its stomach facing up, its eyes covered in a white substance. My dad was doing the nervous- laughing and his-palms- on- him-jeans trying to tell me that the fish has gone to heaven, and he was in a better place. I just reacted by reaching into my dress pocket and handing him a dollar. I remember telling him "okay, but can you buy me a cat next time?" I smiled in the memory of that day. "…dall? ...ken…?" my father's voice snapped me out of the Memory Lane. "Kendall? Kendall? Did you hear me?" He sounded worried. I looked at my dad, and I answered, "Wait, can you repeat that?" I smiled sheepishly. He shook his head and smiled, his back relaxing just a little bit. He started going the laugh-nervous rub-palms-on-jeans, and I knew where it was headed to. "So what did you want to ask me?" He looked at me, surprised and then he looked down to his hands, fumbling over his fingers, and saying, "Well, yes, I do need to tell you something and you may get mad," he snuck a glance my way to see my reaction. I raised an eyebrow as a reaction. He continued, "I…um… I met somebody." My mouth dropped open. He met somebody? A woman? I was about to scream. Somehow I maintained my calm. "Y-you met somebody? A woman?" I gripped the armrest, waiting for his reply. He took a long pause. Then finally he replied, "Yes," I nodded slowly, taking it all in and then asked, "How long did you know this woman?" He thought about it for a minute. A very long minute. At long last, he answered. "About a month ago, but sweetie, look; when two people love-" I cut him off, with a, "What? Did you just say when two people love each other? How ironic, you know, for you to say that!" My dad flinched at that remark, and I regretted saying that as soon as I said it. I added a quick, "I'm sorry, it's not my pla-" and got interrupted by my father. "No, you have a right to get mad. Keeping it from you for so long." He looked down, avoiding eye contact. "Does mom know?" It barely came out and it sounded like a whisper. He looked up now, staring into my eyes, and I noticed how he has been planning this conversation and it has been stressing him out, his light green eyes have bags under them the result of sleepless nights. "Yes, she did. We agreed to see other people when we couldn't afford a divorce. You were just thirteen years old at the time, and we also agreed to keep it from you until you were a little older and we got enough money." He said this quickly. I was about to explode. He kept this from me for three years? I gritted my teeth, and bit my tongue. I said this in the calmest way I could handle it, but it sounded as if I was talking back. "Y-You kept this from me for three years?" I exploded. My father was trying to calm me down. "Kendall, Kendall! I'm sorry but your mother and I thought it was the best choice and you were very young and you wouldn't have understood." "Yeah, whatever, we'll talk about this later." I looked to the window, making it clear to end the conversation.