"Just say it." I sit on the oak bench in the stone cold, gloomy hallway outside of the courtroom, bent over propped up with my elbows on my knees staring at the white tiled floor. I don't look up at my dad, standing before me, when I speak but just keep my head down and focus on his black dress shoes that he bought to match his new suit just for today.
"Honey," He says trying to urge me to look at him.
"Yes Richard," I say in my annoyed "mom voice".
He let out a deep sigh. I can't tell if he's annoyed at me for not looking at him or just annoyed with me completely. Either way I know it's not good. I finally look up at him. I see his tired eyes wrinkled from stress and many sleepless weeks. He is tall and strong. He looks business-like in his new black suit; a look I'm not accustomed to seeing. Dad has always worn the same style in clothes since I can remember. The same old blue jeans and a normal plain t-shirt. Sometimes he changes his style by wearing a polo shirt but that's as far to a style-change he ever comes to. His brown hair is starting to gray in places and thin. I've never really looked at my dad until now.
He rubs his blood shot eyes and sits down beside me. The old bench creaks loudly when he sits. He sits in silence while I stare straight ahead acting like he's not even there. Truth is, I wish he wasn't at the moment. "Please just say it," I say getting annoyed with the silence.
"I won the custody case," He finally says with a tightness in his throat. He clears his throat then continues. "The Judge thought I should get custody since your mother is in-between jobs," He stares at me to see my reaction. When I do not give one he continues, "I thought you might be happy," he pauses then continues, "I know I am. I thought this could be a good thing ya know? This will give us a better chance to become closer."
I turn to look at him with a blank look. How could he possibly think that my parents getting a divorce and having to go to court for custody over me could be a good thing? "Yeah ,like we have for years now, right?" I make sure to put as much sarcasm in the question as I possibly can. When he doesn't say anything I roll my eyes and look away. "I need some time to think."
"Sure." He replies with a sad and quiet tone. He stands and walks down the hallway towards the exit.
As soon as he left I hear my mother's high heels coming down the hallway toward me. She comes up to me and stands in front of me. I look up at her with tears in my eyes. She holds her arms out as I stand. I hug her, which makes a new steady stream of salty tears roll down my cheeks. She pulls back and looks at me with shiny green eyes. "Oh honey, it will be alright. I promise." She brushes my hair back that's clinging to my wet cheeks.
"How do you know? What if I never see you?" I ask, panic rising in my voice.
She laughs to her self and says, "Honey, if I thought for a second I would never see you again I would kill your father," she winks at me with a smile. I try to laugh, but I only come up with a tight grin. "Maybe this will bring you all the adventures you've been looking for," She looks at me hopeful. When I don't respond she hugs me once again and walks out the exit heading to the car.
When I hear the heavy doors close I turn and look at them. Knowing that as soon as I walk out those doors my life will chance drastically. I walk toward the doors and stand before them looking at how intimidating they look. They're tall and dark with very little light coming through their dusty rectangular windows. I close my eyes and sigh. Then I pull myself upright and slam the handle bars down pushing the door open and walk out into the bright sunlight.
I may not know what's to become of me and my new life, but I do know that I am not afraid of a challenge.