The Divorce

The Divorce

A Story by Elizabeth Carol Livingston

When Christine's parents get a divorce, her world is shaken.


     Once, there was a thirteen-year-old girl named Christine whose parents often fought. She was really sad that her parents weren’t happy and often went out to the back yard or up to the attic while they were fighting to try to get her mind off of what was happening. Her parents didn’t know it but there was a pair of loose boards right next to each other in the attic’s floor and Christine had hidden a box beneath those two boards. It wasn’t a very big box, but it was big enough to fit a small supply of peppermint patties, snack-sized bags of chips, and a pair of miniature note pads and a pencil.

     When Christine would go to the attic to get away from her fighting parents, she often would sit up there for a couple of hours, thinking and, occasionally, writing. Being the emotional eater she was, she would often end up eating a snack or two while she was up there, a well.

     She knew it wasn’t healthy to be such an emotional eater and that what she ate when she was eating to cater to her emotions was not healthy. That didn’t really matter to her, though. All that really mattered was that she had something that made her feel happy again, that made her feel real and human again.

     While she was hidden away up there, though, she could still hear her parents fighting. If she went as far back in the back yard as she could, she would rarely hear them fighting. It never really mattered what they were fighting about, it just mattered that they were fighting and that, at a point, she didn’t really feel safe with them anymore.

     One day while Christine was sitting in the attic, she was eating some of her peppermint patties from her box. Her mother came up and found her, but Christine had heard her mother coming and had hid the peppermint patties and the empty wrappers in the box and put the box back under the floorboards. While she was sitting there waiting for her mother to finish climbing the stairs, she wondered what was about to happen and what her mother was going to say when she actually got to the top and walked into the walk-in closet that Christine had holed herself up in.

     When her mother found her, she asked Christine to come downstairs. She said that she and her father had something they wanted to talk to her about. When she got Christine to come downstairs, she sat her down on the couch and brought Christine's dad into the living room. While they were in there, Christine's parents announced to her that they were going to be getting a divorce.

     "Chris, honey," her father said, "you won't have to worry about your life changing that much. True, you will only be living here with your mom and I'll be moving into an apartment, but other than that, life won't change that much."

     "Now, I know that only living here with me will be a big change all on it's own," her mother told her, "but I know that we can all get used to it, sweetheart! And I am sure you've noticed your father and I have been fighting a lot recently, and we have tried a marriage counselor, and it didn't work. We are hoping that if we get this divorce, it will be an end to the fighting."

     “Mom, what if either you or dad just moved out for a little while instead of going all the way to getting a divorce? Wouldn't that be a smarter idea? I just don't see why you guys have to jump straight to a divorce." Christine was hoping that this was all just one big joke, but part of her knew it wasn't. However, there was also a part of her that was sure that this was all for the best. Maybe they really did need to get divorced.


     Christine's parents wanted to find some way to comfort their daughter, but they just weren't sure how to. Her father started packing his things that night. She watched as he put his clothes into boxes, folding everything up nice and neatly. She still hoped this wasn’t happening, even as the evidence was right there, staring her in the face. She couldn’t run away from this forever, she had to just accept it.

     When her dad moved into his new apartment, she was very excited to go see it, even though she knew that it would only cement things for her. When she got into his car, she was a little nervous about what would happen but soon realized that nothing about their relationship had truly changed. They were still father and daughter and they still loved each other.

     If anything had changed, it seemed that he was much more easy-going now. When she went to spend the weekend with him, he would let her have sugary cereals for breakfast if she really wanted to. He would get her practically anything she wanted him to, as long as it was within his financial scope of things. She didn't have to worry about what she wanted to do, because he let her do so many things that he and her mother wouldn't let her do when they had been married.

     When she was at home with her mom, it was a slightly different story. It quickly became apparent that it had been her mother who had made all of the decisions about how to raise her. Her mother still insisted that she only eat foods that were organic and foods that she deemed healthy enough for her daughter's body. Her mother wouldn't get much of what Christine asked her for unless it was school supplies.

     The first time that Christine saw her parents interact after the divorce, it was a rather awkward situation. They hadn't really interacted that much between the divorce and this particular interaction, which was about two months later. All they really had done was talk on the phone, and Christine could only hear one end of that. Seeing them now, though, she saw that, although it was awkward, they could talk better now than they had been able to when they were married.

     She watched them as they interacted more and more when her father came to pick her up for the weekend or would drop her off after hanging out after school. As time went on, things got less and less awkward. Christine could finally see that her parents could now be friends, even after all of their fights and screamed accusations at each other. Christine finished high school knowing that her parents were finally friends and could even sit next to each other at her graduation ceremony and at a celebratory lunch afterwards without much harm being caused.

     They didn’t exactly live happiest-ever-after as Christine had hoped, but they lived happier-than-ever, and that was all she could really ask for.

© 2012 Elizabeth Carol Livingston

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Added on October 24, 2012
Last Updated on October 24, 2012
Tags: divorce, junk, food, Christine, parents, separation


Elizabeth Carol Livingston
Elizabeth Carol Livingston

Burlington, VT

I love music and writing. I particularly love writing short stories and short novels. more..