The Separation

 /   /  By Emma Birches
Stone Soup Magazine
May/June 2014

Isabella Reyes

A haze filled the air, it was a warm summer day. I was awakened by the glistening sun rays that wrapped me so tightly in their heat. Shortly after I woke up, I was greeted by my mom and dad, smiling and happy as always; but I had noticed something very peculiar about my mother. She seemed uneasy, in a way I couldn’t put together. I didn’t pay much attention to it and shrugged it off. After eating a delicious breakfast, I took a shower, got ready, and went outside. I stepped out onto the porch and sat on the steps. The summer haze covered me in a blanket of warmth; I loved it. I loved summer, I loved Iowa, and I loved my life. I didn’t have a worry in the world. From the lush green grass that tickled my feet, to the clouds bouncing above my head, I was content. This was July 15, 2006.

My father is a wonderful man, but he has flaws as everyone else does. With his jet-black hair, amazing smile, kind heart, jolly soul, and humor that could brighten up anyone’s day, he was my father. He had friends everywhere we went. On the other hand, with a temper as short as a wick on a firework and anger as powerful as a raging bull, he was Eddie Reyes. The few times that I’d seen him argue with my mom, I never thought of him as my dad. I always liked to believe that he was actually just another person. How could my loving, caring, funny dad be such an angry and spiteful person? What I believed or wanted to think wasn’t important at the time because my mom was done with him. She was packing up boxes of clothes inside the house and was getting ready to load them into our truck. She was leaving and intended to take me with her.

the separation girl sitting on the porch

I loved summer, I loved Iowa, and I loved my life

There was shouting from inside the house, I knew my dad had blown up again, and he was making a grand scene. Through the large glass window, I had seen the other person, I had seen Eddie Reyes. His face a burning red, a flame. He was shouting at my mom, saying that she wouldn’t leave, that she would be back. Soon, he stopped, ran out of breath, I guess. Hesitantly, I reached toward the doorknob, afraid of what the future could possibly hold, but before I could get a hold of the doorknob, my mom charged though the front door with the boxes in her hands. She started loading up the truck with boxes, and it seemed as if I didn’t matter at the moment. I was just sitting on the porch watching, wondering what would happen to me when the dust settled. I wanted to talk to them, tell them to stop and apologize to each other, but I couldn’t; I didn’t have the courage. So I just sat there, as time moved so slow it almost froze. All I could do was wish, wish for a better day, wish it would all stop, or wish it was a bad dream; but all the wishing I had done, did nothing.

The time had come where I had to make a choice. It felt like hours had passed. My mother came over to the steps, looked me in the eye, and formed as much of a smile as she could at the time. My father, who had been sitting on the couch in deep thought, rose up and walked out to the porch. You could feel the tension. The hate that was in his eyes was beyond scary. My mom took my hand and led me towards the truck. We got to the door, when suddenly, as if he just realized I was leaving, my father objected, saying that I should choose who I go with. My mother slowly and carefully thought it over, then asked me if I wanted to go to Chicago with her or stay here with Dad. Well, the obvious answer was my mom, but if you take away all the fighting and anger my dad had, he was the best dad ever. I was also scared if I didn’t pick Dad, would he get angry with me like he did my mother? My dad was smiling at me, my mom as well, and I didn’t know what to do. I was six years old and I had never made such a big decision. I chose my mom, my father’s eyes softened, his face flushed, and his smile turned into a quivering lip. He was hurt and disappointed, but not angry. I felt somewhat guilty, as I never wanted to hurt my dad, no matter how scared I was. My stomach in knots and my body shaking, I jumped into the truck. I said goodbye to my father, and my mom and I were off.

It’s a three-hour drive from Iowa to Chicago. It was the longest trip of my life. I sat back and just watched as the green fields and blue skies slowly turned into city streets and tall buildings. I hadn’t slept the whole drive. I was too busy trying to figure out exactly what just happened. I knew my parents didn’t get along, but I figured they would stick it out and someday we would be happy again. But I guess things don’t always turn out like they do in movies; I learned that at an early age.

The truck had stopped. I looked at where we were, and I recognized the house. It was my aunt’s house. It’s a cozy little place with a fence and park across the street. We were welcomed in, I reacted slowly and was still in shock but they didn’t seem to mind. My cousins and aunt were so friendly and kind that for a second I forgot the things that happened, and I could tell that this was a new beginning. I must admit, sometimes I wonder what it would be like if we had gotten through all the pain and stayed. But I now know that everything happens for a reason. Don’t wish for a better day, because those bad days make you who you are, and those better days make you who you wish you were.

the separation isabella reyes

Isabella Reyes, 13
Burbank, Illinois

the separation victoria d'ascenzo

Victoria D’Ascenzo, 13
Lincoln University, Pennsylvania

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