The Family I Used to Have- Kits Writing Contest

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
this is my contest entry for Kitamuritsu, haha or however you spell you're name! :)

Submitted: January 07, 2012

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Submitted: January 07, 2012

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I sigh, looking at my tiny apartment room. It’s the only one I could rent on such short notice. Hardly any of my possessions are here, most of them I left back with Katie. I don’t need them—I don’t need anything having to do with her. Of course it figures that she got the house—she was in such hysterics that I was afraid to take it from her. I think she knew it was coming, and especially after her last lie which even she knew was too big to hide, it was only a matter of time.

Things wouldn’t be that hard if it weren’t for the child; poor Kelsey, only five years old. I look over to the bedroom where she’s lying now. If I made sure to take anything from Katie—it was her. I was not going to leave Kelsey with that ungrateful lying bitch.

I slowly lower myself onto the couch and then pick up the nearest box. It’s marked ‘MEMORIES’. I stare at it for a while, so vulnerable in my hands. I could light a match and destroy these all right now, but I know I don’t have the strength to do it. I also don’t have the strength to go through the box, to lay my eyes on any of the good times, because it seems like right now, all we have are the bad.

I set the box back down and pick up another marked ‘BED’. Knowing this box is safe, I begin to tear at the tape trapping its contents inside. Once I get it open, I realize it’s just a big box full of blankets. Reaching in to take them out, I realize they are all from our old shared Queen bed. I slowly take my hands off of them, letting them fall back into the box. I quickly shut the top and throw the box onto the other side of the couch. I can’t touch them. I can’t even look at them. It reminds me too much of her.

Seeking an escape, I walk to the single bedroom to check on Kelsey. Quietly, I walk through the door, making sure not to disturb her.

There she is, her tiny thumb stuck in her mouth. She’s really too old to be doing that, but I’m not going to be the one to tell her she has to stop. I’ll leave the dirty work to her mother. It was the dirty work that tore us apart.

“Kelsey baby,” I say quietly, my intentions to slowly ease her awake. I watch as she opens one of her eyes and takes her thumb out of her mouth.

  “Daddy,” she says softly, frowning at me. “I was dreaming about mommy. She said she wanted me to go back. She said she was lonely.”

I stare at Kelsey sadly. I knew it would be like this. I knew she would want her mother more than she would want me. It’s only natural, but it still hurts worse than anything else about this divorce has so far.

“How about we go see you’re grandma?” I ask, trying to smile to encourage the idea.

“Meme?” she asks, sitting up. Her eyes grow wide and excited, and a smile quickly spreads across her face.

Good, I think to myself. This won’t be as hard as I thought it’d be.

 

After Kelsey gets dressed and we both eat breakfast, I take her down the six flights of stairs to the ground floor, and then out to my car parked outside. She slides in the backseat and I pull into the front, closing my door with more force than needed.

I wonder how they’ll take it. I wonder if they’ll understand… but I mean, of course they have to. My own parents will have to side with me, right?

I pull out of the parking lot and start driving down the street in a daze, trying to think of how I’m going to tell them.

They always loved Katie. Said she was the nicest person they’ve ever met. Well, they didn’t know the other side to her—the lying, cheating side that I was forced to accept after our marriage. I had to face that side of her full on, and they never did. That’s why I think they’ll be upset with me. I can see them now, fuming and telling me I’m ruining my life with this decision.

They won’t understand.

“Daddy?” Kelsey asks from the back seat.

“Yeah, honey?” I ask, trying to keep my voice light. I wish she knew how much I love her, and how much I wish she never had to go through this.  

“When are you going to love mommy again?”

I stare forward at the winding road, my eyes beginning to tear up. She’s too young to understand any of this, and I feel so bad for her that she had to be dragged into it. “Kelsey, I will always love you’re mommy.” I keep watching the road for a while, and then add, “But sometimes people need a little space and time to forgive other people, and that’s what I’m doing right now. I’m just taking a little space and time.”

“So when are you coming back?” she asks. But I don’t have the strength to answer that one. I don’t have the strength to turn around and tell her that I’m never going back, that I’ll probably never again see her mother like I did before. But I will never forget her, and someday, when Kelsey’s older, she’ll realize that that’s all that matters.

A few minutes later we pull up to my parent’s house and I get out to open the door for Kelsey. She hops out of the car as if there’s nothing wrong—as if there’s no impending argument or devastating fight against you’re choice to move on from what you had. But there is for me, and I have no other choice than to take it and hope for the best.

Kelsey runs up to the door, but I make sure to take my time getting there. Once I’ve climbed the concrete steps I stand at the entrance for a while, just preparing myself for their harsh words. Even after I’ve been standing for five minutes and Kelsey is pulling at my hand begging me to ring the doorbell, I still don’t have the strength to do it. But I know I have to, so I press my finger against the small round button and wait for them to answer.

“James!” My mother says as she opens the door. Her eyes switch to Kelsey and her smile grows wider as she opens her arms for a hug. I watch as Kelsey runs up to my mother and embraces her like they’ve been separated for years. They pull away and my mother invites us into the house, still smiling. For me, though, I am as sullen as I’ve been in months.

“It’s nice to see you, son,” my father says, wrapping an arm around my shoulder. I nod my head slowly, my mouth still set in a frown. My father notices and asks, “What’s got you down?”

“Well,” I begin, pulling away from them both. I look for Kelsey and find her engrossed in the tinker toys her Grandma has gotten out for her. Hopefully she’ll be too interested to overhear. “It’s about Katie…”

“Has something happened?” My mother asks, instantly at fear for my Ex’s welfare. I shake my head sadly, realizing that they’re never going to come to terms with my decision.

I sit down and motion for my parents to do the same. They sit together on the couch, my mother clutching my father’s hands. It makes me sad to see them like this, to know that my actions are causing them to be like this.

“We’re getting a divorce. Well, I’m issuing it, really,” I say, weaving my fingers together and setting my elbows on my knees.

“James,” my father warns, ready to stand up and shove me out of his house.

“I have my reasons,” I explain, thinking of her second life that I had just recently become aware of.

“Whatever they are I’m sure they can be dismissed,” my father says, his anger rising. “There is no reason for you to ruin your relationship with that beautiful lady!”

  Kelsey looks up from her toys, but I give her a glance telling her it’s okay to keep playing. I should have done this alone.

“She cheated on me,” I say slowly, realizing it’s the first time I’ve said those words. “More than once.”

“Oh, James,” my mother sighs, her hand rising up to rest on her heart. My father is silent, giving me a look so intense I almost flinch.

“Don’t you understand?” I ask him, confusion blurring my vision.

“I understand that every relationship has their problems, and a real husband would get back over there and comfort their wife in a situation like this,” he says, trying to control his anger.

“Comfort her?!” I ask, my volume rising. “She broke my heart!” At my voice, Kelsey looks up from her playing again. I hardly have enough time to notice, though, before my father starts at it again.

“You know perfectly well that she was a perfect wife, and you just couldn’t take the burden of being a father. You left her when she needed you, and you’ve lost all your chances. You’ve gone and ruined everything and she’s never going to take you back!” he yells, standing up. I also stand to defend my position.

“She was sleeping with other men! She doesn’t love me anymore! I did the only thing sensible!” I exclaim, my hands balling into fists.

“It’s all because you’re the weak link in the relationship! I knew you could never handle being a man! I knew you would always act like a child! Try to put some more thought into you’re next move, would you? Because I sure as hell don’t see much thought in this one!”

I clench my jaw, staring at him. Then I get closer to his face and stare at him with as much hate as I can muster. “I am not the child for learning to walk away.”

Then I turn around, grab Kelsey and walk out the door.

“Daddy!” she protests, reaching for the toys. It hurts me to do so, but I have to drag her away from the house and back towards the car. I shouldn’t have brought her.

“James!” My mother yells, stumbling out of the house. I turn the car engine on and pull out of the driveway as fast as I can without scaring Kelsey. Then, I take one last look at the man who used to be my father.

He is standing in the doorway, a weary look in his eyes. He makes no moves to try and stop his hysteric wife from running to the car, only stares straight at me.

He will never accept me or who I’ve become, and he will never accept my choices, no matter which ones I make.

I don’t know how he can even stand to call me his son.


© Copyright 2017 Br00ke232. All rights reserved.

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