Tuesday, March 9, 2010

IT'S NOT YOU ~ By Ryn Cricket

By ~ Ryn Cricket

Katie and David were sitting on the couch while their mother paced back and forth in front of them.  She looked like a lawyer about to give her final argument, but they didn’t know what it was.  Both of them were doing well in school, in soccer, in everything.  They didn’t hang out with the “wrong kids.”  They had no idea why they were summoned to the couch.

“I have something to tell you.”  She began.  Minds were racing –death, disease, moving…

“Your father and I are getting a divorce.”  That wasn’t even an idea in either of their heads.  Nothing they had braced for or imagined.  By the look of shock on their faces, she felt she must continue.

“I really want you two to understand something.  I know most kids think it’s their fault when this happens, and most parents try to explain that it isn’t –because it isn’t.  But somehow, the kids never believe them.  But here’s the thing, your father and I stayed together so long because of you –not for you, but because of you.  What I mean is, as the four of us, we are awesome, aren’t we?  I mean dad coaches the soccer team, you guys play, I’m the team mom who bakes cookies, and we all go out for pizza.  We have fun.  We are a great family.  –But the two of us are just horrible.  And when you two aren’t around, it’s miserable.  When you start dating and hanging out outside without us, and go to college, we might resort to killing each other –that’s a joke…” she laughed nervously.  “You’re getting close to that age, and we can’t face it together.  I know this sucks.  I know.  It sucks for me too.  I LOVE the four of us, but the two of us, just aren’t working.

Katie and David just sat there stunned.  You could see their minds reeling through moments.  Did they miss something?  How did they not see it?  Were all of their great times fake?  There was just nothing they could say.  They didn’t talk at dinner.  Since their father didn’t come home that night, it was a very quiet house.  Both of them left the table after dinner mumbling something about homework.  And that was it.

Their mother was left sitting by herself on the couch all night, hoping, praying they understood, hoping they didn’t hate her or resent her, hoping she could do this.

The next morning passed without a word.  Both Katie and David woke up and got ready without any prodding.  They had their usual toast with cinnamon sugar and orange juice.  And they grabbed their packed lunch, without a word, without looking in their mother’s eyes, without looking at anything.

It wasn’t 30 minutes before the phone rang.  The voice on the other side said, “Is this Mrs. Haley?” 

“Yes, who is this?” she answered wondering if she should change that after the proceedings, or should she keep it to be the same as her children.

“This is the police, ma’am.”  And he paused for a long time.  Long enough to wonder what kind off trouble her husband –soon to be ex-husband was in.  Or no, maybe David skipped school and he was picked up somewhere…

“You have a son, David, and a daughter Katie?”

“Yes.”  She said almost quietly.  David would cut school, but Katie, never.  “What is this about?”

“Their school bus was in an accident this morning, and I’m sorry, but…”

 (c) 2010 ~ Author Ryn Cricket
We're proud to say . . . Written to play  ~ AT THE BIJOU

Ryn Cricket, sensitive strong and true, writes from along the shores of Lake Erie from voice and experience that knows the world. I believe her great grandmother speaks stories directly through Ryn sometimes (that novel of tales is up to page 76 already!) . . . whereas other times a spirit of peace simply (thus strongy) stirs up from this author's colourful past:

ABSOLUTELY*KATE: Hey dear lady, why is the sensation of peace used so strongly in that which ushers you in, Katherynpeace's Blog?

RYN:  The name "peace" comes from two things:  When I spent some time in an ashram I acquired the name "shanti" which is Sanskrit for peace, and also, because I was in the Peace Corps, I love that word too.  About 20 years ago I had a bracelet I wore everyday with the word peace engraved in all different languages.  And I have John Lennon doves all over my house.  So another thing in common with you, former Ohio girl.  -- That and I was called Kathy growing up too. Thanks for the wonderful e-mail though, because even your e-mails are a joy to read.

ABSOLUTELY*KATE: Same backatcha Katheryn, but our readers wonder since writing from you breezes in like when the windows first get screens in spring*time, you work hard and easy at life, don't you?
RYN:  When I talk to people, I always hear, “I always wanted to do that,” or “You’re so lucky!” I NEVER want to be the person who says those things. I am not lucky, I make things work. I don’t think I want to do that.  I do it.

ABSOLUTELY*KATE: When NIKE calls my promotional offices, Ryn, I'll be sure to send them your way! Thanks for composing this piece AT THE BIJOU and for the lovely writings from you which will appear after Harbinger*33 sets sail in my upcoming book ~ WOMEN*LOVERS*FRIENDS&MOTHERS. It's always a pleasure to have your stuff hanging 'round where good readers feast their need to read.
That reaffirming Bio'stuff: When Ryn was in the seventh grade she thought she wanted to do three things when she grew up, she wanted to be an English teacher, a writer and a mother.   All of that traveling, adventure, and Peace Corps was just research for what was to come.  After more than twenty years of being told she would never be able to have children, she had two beautiful baby girls, a year and a half apart. She spends many of her daytime hours teaching English at Case Western Reserve University, and all of the rest of her time, inspiring her two little girls, or being inspired by writing at the writers’ workshop she calls “home. More Ryn? Stories That Lift make it so.

*Clink* to always making it happen!

~ Absolutely*Kate and
our fine staff of renown,


Anonymous said...


Michael Solender said...

amen amen

Unknown said...

The turns unfold like the moment in a movie that finds you not looking (The way that I felt watching Christopher Nolan''The Prestige' for the first time, and even after other viewings, for how beautiful the movie was). The piece has a very strong lifeforce that you were able to capture in a manner that was powerful, elegant, and organic. To pull this off in such a precise space as you have did signfies a mind that has hold of her craft so well... and so knowingly.

When I read pieces such as these, I am thankful for writers like youurself and for a writers site like 'At the Bijou'.

Carrie Clevenger said...

OUCH. Heartwrenching ending RYN. Evil sneak. Great short.

Anonymous said...

Ryn, My first remark was for something else, sorry. Great twist in the end. But, I didn't want this to end. My imagination ran wild at the end.

Harry said...

So, I wonder if they'll carry on with their plans to divorce or be reunited in their grief? I was sure the phone call was going to be about the dad, making mom's speech rather unnecessary. But offing the kids??? That really jerked the camera into a whole nuther focus, turns out It WAS Them! Pretty tricky Ryn!

Ryn Cricket said...

Harry, this is just me, but I think they will end up alone. I think it sealed the deal --so to speak. I was tempted to call this "Breaking up the set" but I thought maybe it was too forward. Jeanette and Carrie, I have to admit that the ending came a day after the opening dialogue and I was a bit surprised by it too. Hazar, you are so supportive! I appreciate that so much.

Jelena said...

:( Life is not fair.