Feb 08

Choose

It was the night of my birthday, that's when my parents decided to drop the news on me. The news, they were splitting up.
"Petunia, dear. We are so sorry!" Mom said. I didn't accept it. I had heard fighting, but not enough for a divorce!
"Why tonight?" I asked. My parents shrugged carelessly. My jaw dropped in disbelief. "You chose the one night that's the most important thing to me, to just casually say, 'we're splitting up'. Ugh." 
"Petunia, we're sorry. But, we got you good news!" Dad said, trying to help. I rolled my eyes. "And bad news." he mumbled under his breath.
"Dad, don't think that I didn't hear that!" I scolded. I crossed my freckled arms across my chest. "Good news first." I demanded. He grinned. 
"You're mother and I got you..." he started, then Mom said,
"A cat!" Dad scooted a cardboard box that was behind him to in front of him. He reached in and his hands came out with a cat clinging on for dear life. The cat was calico, dotted with brown and black spots in splotches everywhere. He had a brown spot circling his left summer green eye. 
"A cat."
"Yes," Mom said.
"A cat," I repeated, softer that time. Then I realized that I had agreed to the bad news. "Bad news?" I said nervously. Dad took a deep breath and rubbed his forehead, his blonde, shaggy bangs wiggling like noodles as he itched.
"Bad news," Mom looked at Dad, "we want you to choose whose house you'll stay at mostly, mine, or Dad's." she explained. Immediately, all hope was lost. It drained down my brain, to past my lungs, to beneath my belly, and out to the cold evening from my toes. 
"What!? I'm twelve years old today, and you chose to do it now? Do you know how big of a decision this is for a twelve-year-old? What is wrong with you? Y'all are not good parents!" I shouted angrily. Mom and Dad exchanged glances, but said nothing. I froze. "Wow," I said, "you guys are even jerky enough to not respond. I honestly cannot believe y'all right now." 
"Go up to your room, young lady." Dad demanded.
"Oh yeah, like I did something wrong!" I yelled, storming up to my room. Once I reached the top of the stairs, I pivot turned around to face the bottom and yelled, "I wish y'all were never my parents!" 
Silence.
A peep from a bird outside could just slice it in half, or even to a million pieces, that's how fragile silence is. 
I trudged into my bedroom and slammed the door loud enough for the neighbors next door to hear, a few houses down. I leaped into my small twin beds with a sunny yellow comforter. I tucked myself under it, and shoved my head under my white, fluffy pillow. I cried. 
After I was done crying, I called my best friend, Caroline. I was about to hit her number in my contacts to call, but then my cat       who I decided to name Bandit     came jumping on my bed. He curled up on my pillow, right next to my head. I smiled, then called Caroline, my face hot from crying. "Hey girl, what's up?" she asked over the phone. 
"Not much." I said.
"I can't wait for your party next weekend!" she exclaimed. Oh right. I had forgotten about my party. It was going to be me, Caroline, and Bailey, my best friends.
"Yeah." I agreed, my voice cracking.
"Petunia, what's up?" she asked. She probably figured out that I'd been helplessly crying the past ten minutes.
"Not a lot, only that my parents are splitting up." I explained the whole thing     the choice, everything. She stayed silent when I was done. "Carrie?" I called her by the nickname I made up for her, just to check if she was still there.
"Wow," she said. "I honestly wasn't expecting all that."
"Well, that's reality for me, Petunia Reagan Walters." I said truthfully, "but, I did get a cat!" 
"REALLY?!" she shouted into the phone, forcing me to lift my phone off my ear, which by the way, my ear was double pierced. 
"Yeah, I decided to name him Bandit," I explained. We chattered on and on after that. I liked it. 
Finally, my parents had the gut to walk up the stairs, knock on my door, and wait for me to welcome them in. I did, eventually. "So," Mom said. "Have you decided?" Dad sat on my bed, a few inches away from her. I took a deep breath, and stroked my straight, strawberry-blonde hair behind my ear. Then, the thought came to me; they were basically asking me who I loved more, Mom, or Dad! What would I do? 
"Yes," I finally sighed, "But why? Why are you guys asking me who I love more?" I stood up, lifting myself off my bed. Instead of saying something sweet, all they said was,
"Because we need you to choose!" I froze again. 
"I don't understand," I said softly, then I stormed out of the room. 
I sprinted down the staircase, then past the living room. I knew they were just sitting on my bed, stunned at me behavior. I didn't want to choose! I didn't know who to choose. 
I wanted to hear what happened, and how they came to the decision. 
I went back to my room, tears streaming down my face. I pretended not to notice it, but it was practically impossible to be unnoticed! "Why? Why do you have to get divorced?" I begged. They looked at each other. They look nothing alike, my dad with blonde hair and almond brown eyes, my mom with red hair and green eyes.
"Because...," Mom said.
"Petunia Reagan Walters, we love you. But it's been hard with your mom and me. After you go to bed each night, we fight," Dad started.
"What do you fight about?" I interrupt, my left hand on my hip, my right brushing away a tear with the sleeve of my new fleece from Grammi. Then it hit me. Grammi lives near here, maybe she could volunteer to be my guardian! I'd also have two guardians because Grammi has a wife, Grandma! I love her like I love my parents, and she's only sixty-two, she very much could have! I didn't pay attention to what they were talking about. Suddenly, the home phone rang.
Grammi and Grandma.
"Would you like to answer it?" Dad asked. I nodded, smiling from ear to ear. I skipped over to the phone.
I picked it up. 
"Rachel, Stephen? Is that you?" Grammi's warm voice asked through the phone. I shook my head, then remembered she couldn't see me. 
"No," I said, "It's Petunia."
"Is that really my Nia? Well, you're exactly who I want to talk to! Grandma and I have decided to give you the choice to live with us! Part time, of course. Your parents have decided to move into the apartment soon! While they're moving, you'll stay with Grandma and me! We love you, and you didn't think you'd never see one of your parents again, right?" 
I was frozen, again. I was so happy! I would have to choose a schedule, not a yearly visit!
"Yes," I said. "I'm so excited."
"Okay," Grammi said. "See you in a bit!" 
I was so happy, I accepted that warm hug from Mom. Dad even joined in. Bandit scratched at my ankle. "Silly dude." I said. 
But I'll get to live with Grammi, Mom, and Dad. I guess this'll be a good twelfth year after all.

Note from author,
This was fictional, not from my perspective, but I really had a good time writing this! I hope you all like it!
-OceanSymphony