The Spaces Between Your Fingers

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It is fall of 7th grade and I am 13. My mother rented a town house and moved out of my fathers house, taking my brother sister and I with her. This is about that first night, as we were taken to the new place abruptly after school one day. It was very stressful and upsetting, but the arival of my best friend Sam helped me mentaly. The picture is of her and I (in the background) in highschool.

Walking up the stairs my mom guides me to the room that is to be my sisters and mine. The darkness of the evening doesn’t reveal much but it is bigger than my bedroom at home. “It’s going to take a bit of work but it will be all right.” My mom is hopeful, but feel worry setting on my shoulders.

The light switch is easy to find, but it only changes the room from dark to dim. Currently they were four heavy, flat cardboard boxes lying on the carpet, but that was all that was there. Finding that the boxes rattled a bit when shook, specifically that they rattled when almost tripped over, this must be what my mom had mentioned. In the boxes are two twin beds from IKEA, daybed style made of metal painted to look like wrought iron. Or at least that is what my mom described them as. Going back downstairs is not an option, talking to the people there won’t help. I could just sit in the corner and cry instead.

Nope, that doesn’t help either. I guess I will put the beds together, doing something is better than moping.  Grabbing scissors I open the box labeled 1, pull out all the pieces and start on the directions.

As my body and conscience are going about the tasks: Put part A against Part B. Grab the Bolt, screw it tight with the Allen Key. Now grab part C…. the rest of my mind slides back in thought. How did I get here to this random townhouse, with this empty room and tears streaming across my face? I want to be home, back in my own room. But this is what is best for Mom, Divorce.  Even thinking the word is shocking, I’ve tried to ignore it since my sister told me it would happen six months ago, but if I ignore it, it won’t happen. Wrong.

A soft knock on the door, “Come in” I choke out, tears still streaming. In walks a skinny girl, shorter than me with wise, calming eyes, Sam. Downstairs I hear her mom’s voice. Without a word, she walks over and gives me a hug, and holds me as I cry. Now we build.  The repetition calms me and Sam helps build me back to normal by helping me build the two beds.

“Thank you” I am ready now to face the truth. My parents will never be together again, and I will work on being ok with that. 

A New IKEA Bed

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Fall of 2004
New Townhouse

It is fall of 7th grade and I am 13. My mother rented a town house and moved out of my fathers house, taking my brother sister and I with her. This is about that first night, as we were taken to the new place abruptly after school one day. It was very stressful and upsetting, but the arival of my best friend Sam helped me mentaly. The picture is of her and I (in the background) in highschool.

Decade: 2000s
Rating:
Recorded by Emily Barth on June 8, 2014
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