“You’re WHAT?!?!” my oldest brother Zach exclaims for the fifth time in this conversation.
My dad sighs impatiently, “We’re getting a divorce Zach.” You can tell my dad’s getting tired of saying this over and over again, he has his impatient-face on and you can see in his eyes that he’s ready to just bolt out of there. Zach, on the other hand, sees no problem in pestering my parents again and again as to why they suddenly decided to get a divorce and leave all nine of us here by ourselves.
Yeah, I said nine. Nine may seem like a big number to some people, but for us it’s almost normal. I don’t think any of us could live without having the usual army of eight behind them, it would probably make us feel vulnerable and lonely in this ongoing war with the world around us, so we rely on each other for more than just the usual sibling things.
“This is ridiculous! How can you just leave us like that?” my second oldest brother Jason asks.
My mother tries again, “Guys we know this is a big shock to all of you, but we truly believe this is for the best. Your father and I just can’t be together any more, it hurts us to do this to you but…… it has to be done,” her face lights up as though she just thought of something amazing “ you’re going to get to be here all by yourselves, doesn’t that sound like fun? Well of course we’re going leave Rosa (our maid) here to cook and clean for your guys but still look at the bright side of this.”
She was trying to make us feel better, but by looking at around at the faces of my seven brothers and one sister, I could tell it wasn’t working. Jason’s right this is ridiculous, how can they just get up and leave nine kids behind? Zach’s just thirteen, the twins just turned seven and the rest of us are in between. This just doesn’t make any sense to me; ok they’re getting a divorce. Fine. But just leaving us to basically fend for ourselves? I don’t see the sense in that. I’m about to voice my feelings when my youngest brothers, the twins, simultaneously burst into tears.
“Now look what you did!” Zach yells at our parents. I’ve never seen Zach so angry before. Angry and ……..hurt.
“Boys, please, don’t cry. We still love every one of you, don’t think that we don’t. We jus-” Mom’s cut off by the twins running up stairs to their rooms, once the two doors slam the rest of us get up, ignoring our parents protests, and walk upstairs to our rooms.
By the next week our parents are packed and ready to get on with their new lives. They promise to come visit every chance they get but I know they won’t. They’ll be too busy with their new lives and probably new families to even give us a second thought. So there the nine of us stand together, holding hands and refusing to say another word to our parents as they drive off in separate directions and away from us.