Domino Effect

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: September 24, 2017

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Submitted: September 24, 2017



I am sitting here, trying to study because I have a test and a timed essay in class tomorrow, and my mom is seated across from me. She is trying to discreetly call the credit card company to hear a list of all the transactions completed on my father’s credit card in the last 48 hours. I haven’t been able to study all day. I kept thinking I was stupid, what’s wrong with me, I took my pills today, I should be able to focus. Can it be that these external stimuli are having more of an effect on me than I thought?


It has been six days since my parents told me they were getting divorced. It wasn’t a shock; I knew he had been cheating on her for years and that it wasn’t fixable, but something feels finalized, like someone’s just pushed the first domino in a line I’ve been building for years, and I know it was inevitable, but I feel sad and angry and confused that it all has to go.


Can’t the dominoes just stay there forever?


I thought I wouldn’t be as susceptible to these predictable “child-of-divorce” tropes because I knew about them before they came, I would be able to catch them, stop them. But still I find myself thinking that love isn’t real, that everything good is not to be trusted, and still I cannot study because my father is in England somewhere with his mistress(es), buying three-hundred dollar suit jackets and texting me silly pictures. How am I supposed to go on like before? He is not the same man in my eyes. I cannot, cannot, cannot see a “Good Morning” text from him and smile. I cannot hear his voice and feel safe.


If I could bring myself to hate him, it would be easier. If he was plain and simple, black and white, “the enemy,” I wouldn’t be having this problem. But he is both the villain and the hero. He is the man who cheated on my mother countless times, but he is also the man who consoled me late at night in tenth grade, the night I attempted suicide. He is the man who took me to see rated-R movies at the late showing in eighth grade even when my mother said I couldn’t go. He is the man who played saxophone while I played piano at my third piano recital. He is the man who brought candy from his business trips to Europe and who always gave the best hugs.


He is still my father, and at the same time he is not.


And I will fail my test tomorrow because I cannot stop crying. My dominoes have all been knocked over and I was not even finished setting them up.


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