Advanced Essay #1 Wes Midgett

This paper has been a great opportunity for me to explore my parents divorce and what affect it had on me as a child and now as a teenager. I didn’t realize until now the depth that this went in to and I’m glad I did. Having divorced parents has made my life so much different from if they had stayed together.

The bell rang like angels in my ear telling me I could come home after a long day at school. However, the angels were quickly shot down by the demon known as Ms. Kolansky who told us to stay in our seats so we could tell her what we learned that day. We were all so ready to leave that we could hardly remember the day we just had. I looked at the numbered circle on the wall like it was a ticking time bomb, like my dad was going to leave me if I didn’t come out into the schoolyard on time. I hadn’t seen him in a week and it was my first one-on-one day with him since my parents split.

Ms. Kolansky dismissed us after my friend Zoe told her that we learned about what palindromes were. I ran out of the room like it was on fire. My bag was only on one shoulder and my hair was like a horse’s mane behind me. I pushed through the heavy blue doors at 3:12 and scanned the schoolyard which was filled to the brim with small children running after each other and parents talking about how they should get together some time. My dad stood out in the corner being the tallest guy around with his aviator sunglasses and balding head. He raised his hand to confirm that it was him and he waved me over. I sprinted in my rainbow knee high socks and black converse to him and hugged him. He smelled like cigarettes and his work uniform felt like a cat’s tongue but I never felt cozier. He hugged me and asked about my day, I told him it was good. He handed me a canvas bag, I looked inside and there was an empty notebook. He told me it was for my art. He knew me well.

He took me to a restaurant that I’ve always loved and I ordered the mac and cheese and he stole a few pieces of my edamame. This was good, it felt normal. Like it used to be. I had been handling the divorce pretty well but that’s because I didn’t really understand what was going on. All I knew at that point was that dad wasn’t living with us anymore, and it sucked. I missed the feeling of him belonging in that house. So we finished eating lunch/dinner at around five o’clock and we started heading back home. A few minutes later I was walking through the brown door that mom thought was green. Dad followed me in and we sat on the rough red couch but we still had an hour left before it was time for our one-on-one to be over. He asked what I wanted to do and I told him I didn’t know, we decided to play a board game. I pulled out Othello from the plywood cabinets that my mom had fixed up when we first moved in. They scraped the back of my hand and fingers as I pulled out the cardboard box. I walked barefoot on the hardwood floor around mom’s dining room table onto the brown carpet with different sized red and orange dots. We sat there for an hour, going from playing board games to drawing to talking. It felt awkward, like we weren’t supposed to be there. Even though it was my home and my dad had lived there my whole life he seemed on edge and things were quiet.

My mom came home at 6:00 as planned, and the look on her face was confusing to me. She looked like she couldn’t decide whether she was confused or startled. She said hi to me and told me to go up to my room. I hugged dad and ran up the open steps, clinging to the railing mom had made out of iron pipes from work. I ran once I got half way up right into my room which was right at the top of the stairs. I grabbed for the lock on my sliding door and pulled it so that I could still hear the conversation my parents were having. They were yelling at each other again about how dad can’t be here anymore. I ran to the back of my room and grabbed my notebook. I picked up my pen and started to draw what I was feeling, salty water shared the page with the ink. That night I cried until there were no tears left and there were no more pages in my notebook. That night drawing was my security and comfort. It has been ever since.