From One's Heart
Come, sit down and listen, mom said.
She was bleary eyed, an eyebrow lower than the other. The way she always looked when things began to fall apart. The last time I observed her in this condition was over dad’s gambling. At the time it meant little food in the ice-box. And I liked to eat.
We have decided to separate. Dad looked lost, his head bent.
Those words struck me like lightning bolts. Catholics were not supposed to. It’s just the way it was in 1956.
S e p a r a t e I mumbled.
Now you have to make an important decision. She said it without emotion and stared into my eyes.
I’m glad I was sitting down. 14 year-old boys don’t cry, do they? At least they are not supposed to.
You have to decide with whom you wish to live. And you have to make your decision today.
It was four o’clock on a Saturday afternoon and my heart felt like it may explode. I turned away as tears began to fall. Whatever happened to marriage vows-–
til death do us part?
(c) 2018 Richard L. Provencher