WHEN THE DUST SETTLES… (Will you still be standing?)

‘I don’t care…,’ she interjected.
‘Please listen to what I am trying to tell you,’ he pleaded.
Jaime tried to cover his ears and fall back asleep but he couldn’t. He had slept on the sofa and today they were at it again and it was not even first light. Their arguments now had become more frequent and he tried to remember when this rift between his parents had started. He thought of storming into the bedroom to try and stop them but could he really fathom why they were at it this time round?
The past few years had been bad. All around even the economy was in a sort of recession, tough times for everyone. Even at home Jaime had noticed they had had to cut back on a few things to get by. He was not worried they had always gone through rough patches but each time they had pulled through. That is what that made them strong as a family.
However, lately things seemed to have taken a turn for the worst. The animosity between his parents seemed to be growing. They appeared to assume that he and his siblings were too young and nothing really was being discussed among the family members. Or were they just ignorant? Jaime had been observing them lately and he was sure he could tell that lately their behavior gave the impression that even their affection towards each other was no longer there.
The cards were falling.
That morning his father stormed out with a small bag. All Jaime could think about was that the beginning of the end? He had always suspected that things were tough financially but to what extent he never imagined it could get to what was happening.
Years later and their normal had changed. His parents never got back together. They didn’t get a divorce either. The family structure they had grown up in was now completely shattered. It was now a distant memory of what a family used to be. Sometimes he recalled the quote, ‘A family that stays together, eats together and prays together,’ that now was a lost reality (forced forfeit in the true sense). Now they had two realities to live with.
He had gone through the phases of trying to maybe find a solution or looking for the person to blame for the situation that they were in currently. He had been to the edge of the cliff dangling off and now acceptance was settling in. He had given up after realizing one way or the other he would have to live with their current status quo. But he was bitter now. He did not ask for this. He wanted the family he had grown up in again. Why should he go through this? Who put them here? Who is to blame? Is there anything that could be done? The turmoil in his mind was enough to make someone go mad.
Today it is like living on the top floor of an apartment building that you know the foundation is faulty. With time you get used to that mortal fear of knowing that at any time the building could come tumbling down. At times you even forget the fear. But at the back of your mind there is that voice however soft that is always reminding you that you will one day be buried beneath the rubble when the foundation finally gives in. Jaime is waiting for that day.


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