A Catharsis On Divorce

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A creative writing assignment.

Submitted: November 28, 2011

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Submitted: November 28, 2011

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“You have to choose: it’s your mother or me,” he spit, waving the knife, tearing gashes in the air.

It was, of course, a butter knife, and significantly duller in comparison to the conversational munitions I was currently subject to.

Silence poured from my lungs, preventing any answer’s escape; I turned to run from him, and the hallway stretched thin with a never-ending distance. Upon seemingly reaching the unsure end, I glanced over my shoulder: at that moment I was met with the stagnant yellow of our kitchen light as it washed over the negative space of every twisted muscle of irrevocable pain in his face.

My father’s illumination consumes me with guilt.

 

It is summer: we are in a centrifuge of our backyard, melting into barely perceptible blurs of­ marigold: the yellow and orange vomit of our composition soaking our feet. We are nothing but porous bone and wire, and my limbs splinter at the turn of his question.

“How can you tell me you love me when you’re so quick to call another man your father?”

Swiftly, I shrink. And as I invisibly claw at the shards of myself from the sidewalk, I realize their irreparable new permanence. I gape my lips: his oratorical slaughter robs me of an answer, replacing it instead with poignant exhale. I look up: guilt’s claustrophobic grip tightens on my neck as the sunlight behind his face blinds my gaze.

The spectra infect every old family photograph: I can see it in the smiles.

 

Fauverette: my only friend; my ghostly satirical companion.

Covered in a cotton sheet was the only fashion in which my sister called me friend, and babysitting the only method by which we associated. And by association, I mean her sardonic attention for my inability to socialize properly.

“Don’t you want to come inside?”

Seeing her face under the fabric wrought reality into my seven-year-old mind: appearance is a deceptive deity, eager to please with delusion.

Denial is easier than believing I am alone.

 

“This floor has to be haunted; who wants their room in an attic anyway?” In retrospect, I should probably be able to remember this house, but I can’t. It exists now as only the attic on an elevated pedestal, bordered by jagged chasms; we’re surrounded on all sides by an encroaching absence that will eat us soon, gnash us in its golden teeth.

My sister was right: that house haunts me.

 

By this point tears are bleeding from her eyes as his fists trample her war-torn features, the scope of his victory zeroing in.

Scream for help.

I only want her regret. A trivial fight swells to burst, and misplaced rage spills from its gut.

I painted them.

The time was never and I was late; he would sooner paint her flesh on the pavement than release her from guilt.

“Why did you take her doll and paint its nails red; I’ll paint you red.”

Any answer she could’ve mustered died that day with her hopes for a straight nose.

I made her suffer. I disfigured my sister with favoritism: the quintessential family fault.

 

And where was our mother? I’m not sure either.


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