“… impact of separation in an individual’s life”
“Don’t even bother apologizing at this point, there’s no use!”
“I wouldn’t apologize if there was a gun pointed to my head!”
I press on my ears. I’m pressing so hard that there’s white noise filling up my brain. If I fall asleep now, it will go away; they will go away. I just need to do what Vikram told me to do before he went away for college this September. I focus on my breathing: in, hold; out, hold; repeat. I just don’t understand why it’s still happening; Vikram said it would go away, but it’s been three months.
I try focusing on the breathing for a bit longer but the thing is, I get distracted by the whole step-by-step process of it that I forget to sleep. At least I don’t hear them. I don’t know if they’re still yelling or if it’s the white noise, but it’s nice. Very nice.
Breathe. In, hold; out, hold.
I wake up to the sun filling up my room. I like the morning because mom and dad sleep for a long time, meaning it’s quiet. My dad sleeps in the study now, we have a pull-out there and I actually really like it. It’s brown and leathery. He doesn’t seem to mind it, too, because whenever he drives me to school, he always says that at least he doesn’t have to hear mom snoring beside him. Mom says that he’s the one that snores and that she has lost more sleep in their twenty years of marriage than she did when she was in college.
I take out my journal from under my bed. Vikram told me to write everything I am feeling down in there, and I’m feeling kind of panicky right now. This doesn’t happen often in the morning since I like the morning, but Vikram told me to expect what is least expected, which means I’m okay. I actually do not know why he wants me to write stuff down, but it helps me because it lets me organize my thoughts.
I was always so fascinated whenever I’d go to my friend’s house. It’s quiet, but when it’s loud, it’s happy. Their loud means laughter and rowdiness which is kind of hard to understand.
I can hear my mom exiting their–her room and start descending the stairs into the kitchen. It’s a Saturday which means mom’s cooking. After a while of drawing elephants in my journal, I put it back under my bed in the far corner. Vikram said to hide it and not show my parents because it’s my journal which means it’s secret. I don’t mind that.
I leave my room and join my mother in the kitchen.
“Good morning honey, I made an omelet.”
I take the omelet and sit at the dining room table. I found out recently that my friend eats at the dining table with her sister and both of her parents every day for dinner. That’s so interesting because the last time I ate with both of my parents at the dining table was on my birthday and there were guests over.
My mom sits down beside me with her plate and starts eating with me.
“Honey, you know that I love you, right?”
“I want you to know that I will always be there for you, okay?”
Vikram came home today and he asked to see my journal and I let him because he told me that he is the only one that is allowed to see my journal besides me. We hangout for a while in my room and he told me all about college. He said that there’s other people living with him in his dorm room and that he has connected with each one of them. I asked if it was hard being in college and he said it is, but that’s okay. I’m glad it’s okay.
As evening approached, mom and dad called us down to the living room to talk. I don’t know what they’d want to talk to us about, but I heard Vikram say about time under his breath. I do not know what he means by that.
They talked with us for a while, I saw that mom was crying and then Vikram started crying, dad wasn’t. Mom and dad kept repeating that they both love me over and over again. It was confusing because I already knew that, but they acted as if I didn’t
Divorce. Vikram told me that divorce means that two people that are married split because they are unhappy with each other. I can see why they will be doing this, but I didn’t know that that meant that they were not supposed to live with each other anymore. This is very complicated for me.
All they do is talk about each other after the divorce. It is constant. They’ve done it before but now it is so much more consistent. I don’t understand why, why they keep telling me this stuff about each other, I don’t want to know.
My mom is driving me to therapy, I’ve been going for a while now because I get dreams. My recent dream was of an elephant. It was a girl’s birthday but I do not know who she was. For her birthday, she wanted a zoo in the ocean. The zoo-keepers brought all of the animals and placed them on floats. There were tigers and zebras and monkeys all balancing on floats. But, the zoo-keepers couldn’t keep the elephants on the float because they were too heavy. They would tie up the float with a lot of rope and everything would be fine; then the elephants would move and the ropes would snap. This process kept repeating. When the ropes snapped one more time, the elephants fell into the water. A baby elephant didn’t know how to swim and it kept drowning and drowning and its mom kept trying to pull it back up unsuccessfully. The baby elephant was crying and screaming. As if a shadow consumed it as it slowly lost sight of the light. It sunk to the ocean floor, the crying went away.
I woke up.
I didn’t speak to anyone that day, all I could do was cry and cry and I couldn’t stop.
My therapist asked me if I was taking the medication, and I was.
Vikram graduated college today and we went to a restaurant to celebrate. Mom and dad were there; this was the first time that they were in the same room together since court. It was nice. It was nice until they started yelling, I don’t know what, but it was embarrassing and scary. I didn’t know what to do so I hid my face in my hands.
Vikram stood up and started yelling back at them, but I could only tell because his face was angry and his mouth was wide; I could only hear white noise. I don’t know what is happening because I’m not pressing my ears this time. I started sweating and the familiar feeling returns to my body. Panic attack, that’s what my therapist told me it was called. My throat starts feeling tight and I start shivering as sweat is going down my face. My peripherals started to black out and it slowly progressed to the middle of my eye.
The approaching shadow came closer to me, I was slowly losing sight of the light. Darkness completely overcame me, and I let it.
It’s quiet, it’s nice. I like this type of atmosphere. I don’t think I ever want to leave, so I won’t.