I stared at the dull navy sky, which looked blurry through my damp eyes. The sky had a purple-gray tinge, with a scattering of stars if I tried to look extra hard, a mark of the polluted Los Angeles air. In the country, I knew, barely an hour away from where I lay in my backyard, the sky was white from the blanket of stars, with only a smattering of deep blue in between every one or two. A complete inverse, I thought. How apropos.
My life’s sky wasn’t Los Angeles or the country, it wasn’t dull or blazing—I thought of it as something in the middle. Still, with Dad moving out for good, it was impossible for my world to remain stagnant and stable. But how would it change? My heart was in uproar while my mind drew blank. Cheating, divorce, custody battles…it was all out of my control.
Which was another problem. Who asked my parents to decide everything without knowing my opinion? Did anyone care what I thought, what I felt? No, of course not, because how could little me have an opinion, despite the fact that I was in high school. And so Mom and Dad huffed and puffed at each other, building a whirlwind big enough to demolish my entire life, and I was expected to be swept along without feeling the damage.
Well, I wouldn’t have it! By now I had worked myself up so that my tears entirely drowned out the smog-filled sky. In a fury I swiped my eyes, stood up, and huffed towards the gate separating my yard from the street. I would run away, move into my friend’s house, anything to get away from this Hellhole!
Perhaps my mom was more attentive than I’d given her credit for. My mom’s soft call pierced my passionate heart, though my mind remained a smooth, empty surface. I stood frozen, my hand on the latch of the gate, my right foot poised to take the next step out of the property.
“Sweetie, where are you going? It’s 9:30.”
My response was automatic. “Nowhere, Mom.”
Then my mind started whirling. I’m flaking, I thought. I’m so weak if I want to make a change I need to do something I can’t just give in…
“Mom? I need to talk to you.” The words slipped out of my mouth, almost by accident, and I bit my lip. This was the moment where I could say “nevermind” or tell her how I feel about everything. I could tell her my worries and fears about the divorce, I could tell her the custody schedule I’d like. I could even tell her what I needed to get through this.
My mom stepped outside and quietly closed the door behind her. “Of course, honey. I was wondering when you would speak up. I noticed that you’ve been looking very troubled and ponderous lately…which is to be expected.”
My heart fluttered a little. She had noticed my signals! Maybe she would be receptive to what I had to say. Maybe I had been too quick to judge her actions.
I turned from the gate and walked towards where my mom stood in the grass. Gazing upwards quickly, I could see a few bright, white stars in the Los Angeles sky.