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My Greatest Fear

My Greatest fear is that my parents are going to get divorced. I canít stand all the shouting, crying and slamming of doors. Mum pretending through red eyes that everything is fine. Dad working late, leaving early - scarcely spending more that a nanosecond in the same room as her anymore. Something has happened. Iím scared itís something bad. Mum busies herself cooking and cleaning. She seems so lost. It was her birthday last week. Dad didnít even give her a card. "I forgot." he said. He needs her to remind him of everything.

I heard them talking the other night. "Whatís her name?" Mum kept asking. "Thereís no one else!" Dad kept saying. But heís lying. I saw his credit card statement. He left it beside the computer. I read a couple of items on it - shops where he had bought things. Rigby & Peller. Tiffany. I donít know what. But I can guess. I want to ask him but Iím afraid where it might lead. I think Dad is straying. He has someone else and Mumís too sad to fight it.

We all sit down to dinner every Sunday. My chair faces the wall with their wedding picture smiling down at me. I look at it across the tension of the table. They seem so happy. So in love. I want to eat with that couple in the photograph. Not the troubled strangers flanking me, with indifference on the one side and heavy heartbreak on the other.

Story by:

Laura Notley

submitted at 3:49pm

21 March 2009