It is 2000. I am not celebrating the millenium. My mum has picked me up from school (I am in year nine) and has paused on the way home in a little layby on the country lane.
She is telling me something ridiculous. Impossible. Something that makes absolutely no sense, follows no logic. Something that makes me no better than all those kids I don’t respect. All those kids that are stupid; whose stupidity is blamed on their situation. I am a stupid kid now.
She tells me that she and Dad are getting a divorce. I have an inkling that it is her decision, despite the shell-shock suddenness of the fact that they are even parting. This was never an option. I have clever parents. I am infallible.
Yes, they are miserable, but no, they would never break up. Don’t be stupid.
I cry quite a bit, I’m not sure why really, and I think of these things; who my parents will be friends with (who will get the old friends, and who they will find anew), where I will live, the inevitabile Choice, Christmas, school, explanations, associations, prejudice. I feel confusion most of all.
Eleven years down the line, my parents are still bitter and childish when it comes to speaking of each other and their doings, their habits, their traits. I can’t count the scoffs, the rolled eyes, the bitten tongues. If I’m brutally honest, it certainly did change me. I avoid them like the plague, moved so far away for university that I made it difficult, near impossible, to visit them, and when I do actually get to spend time with them I watch my language like a nursery assistant. The smallest trigger and they’re off.
However, two very positive things have come out of it – my family my be didvided, but it is growing, in the shape of my step-mother and her new bump. We’ve never had littles in the family before, and my brother and I can’t wait. Perhaps the prospect of a little practice for my own future endeavours, with one so close to my heart, will shorten the distance of the journey ‘home’.
And that concludes my wayside series. I’m sure, however, you feel there is something I’ve left unsaid… Tell me your stories.