I wake to the sound of glass shattering. I open my eyes one at a time, slowly adjusting to my surroundings in the darkness. BANG! I hear mom throw plates against the wall, one by one, as they fall to the floor. I jump out of bed and tip toe to my door, pressing my ear against it. I can’t make out a word. I prop open the door slowly, listening carefully as I try my best to remain unheard.
“Please Julia, put those down and just listen to me for a minute!”, I hear my father exclaim.
“NO John!” she screams throwing something again, “how could you do this to us? You made a promise to this family. A promise to love us – to stand by me and our three children no matter what. And what, now you want to throw it all away?! How could you?” I hear what must be her hand, swiftly gliding across his face with a loud clap.
I slowly inch half way down the stairs, where I can see them ever so slightly in the kitchen.
“Julia, I know this is a lot to take in right now, but I can’t keep going on like this. I’m not happy.”
“You’re not happy?” I see her start to laugh, but not as she usually does. I’ve never seen mom laugh this way… it’s frightening.
“I’m the one who has been taking care of this family from day one”, she says as her laughter fades, transitioning into a fierce rage. “I’ve sacrificed everything to make sure you and our children are always happy. I gave up a career I loved just to stay home with the children, I make you home cooked meals every night, I plan date nights for us each weekend and YOU’RE not happy?!” She asks in a fury.
“I don’t think it’s best if I stay here anymore…. We’ll have to work out an arrangement for me to see the children” dad says, as I watch him walk towards the door.
My mother, now sobbing, follows slowly. With mascara running down her face she looks him in the eye saying, “just know that if you leave now, you’ll lose everything”.