Echoing nothingness…I can’t hear anything. My vision is blurry, but also clear. I was like a ghost watching my body stand in front of me.
“………..” Jerry standing beside me, “……..Du….de….?”
What was happening? Dad was sitting on the opposite couch with his head in his hands. Jerry was motioning to my Dad to get his attention back on me. Now Dad was looking at me, a look of panic was glued on his face. Dad was shaking…me…I could feel it, but more like an after shock. Then somehow I was sitting on the couch. Dad was pulling out his phone and was urgently calling someone. Jerry was pacing in front of me. Mentally I was stretching out a hand and stopping Jerry, but my arms didn’t move. My vision was beginning to blur and I felt like closing my eyes… should probably go to my room…laying down would be nice…
Opening my eyes, I am blasted with brilliant ceiling light. Moving my head slowly looking around, I see a Jerry asleep in a seated position on the table, and Dad was sitting on the floor next to the couch I was currently laying on. Blinking and looking around I finally realize I am still in the living room. ‘What happened in this living room was just an awful dream right? It didn’t actually happen?‘ Wow, my limbs are burning; I twitch trying to move my stiff shoulder muscles.
Dad jumped at my movement, “Son? Are you okay?”
Jerry had also sat up startling and rushed towards the back of the couch, “Yeah you good Bro? You almost gave me a heart attack collapsing in front of me. You suddenly were standing, and then wanted to lay down in the air!?!”
“Yes, thankfully Jerry was by you; he caught you mostly and placed you on the couch. Are you feeling alright? Doctor Mark came by and said, due to emotional stress and shock you fainted,” Dad was gripping my hand.
‘I fainted? Emotional stress…shock?’ “What are you talking about? Why would I be emotionally stressed?” Completely confused at what Dad and Jerry were saying.
Jerry and Dad exchanged worried glances. “Son, your mom was just here and she…” Dad finally answered me.
It wasn’t a nightmare. It actually happened. I actually said those words to her; I thought it was just something I dreamt up. No, it actually happened…
Opening my eyes, I realize I am in my bedroom. Last night was crazy. First my mom tried to forcibly make me stay with her and ruin my dad’s life in the process. Now, realizing our exchange of words were real, I feel empty. Like my mom was actually gone; I felt partly hollow now. My dad’s terrified and worried expression is still drilled into my brain; I never want to see that expression again. Also after realizing I was okay, Jerry went to the guest room to finish the project himself and let me rest; Jerry is awesome like that.
“Son? How are you doing?” Dad was standing in the door frame.
“I’m better. What aboout you?” I sat up in bed, my muscles were not as sore as last night.
Dad came into the room and sat on the bed, “…are you really good? You scared me half to death when you fainted. I was already shocked from your mother’s selfishness, to then meet your collapsing body.”
Dad looked haggard. As I really look at my dad, I see the worry lines in his face. Since the start of the divorce process, Dad hasn’t aged well. Unexpectedly Dad grabs my shoulder and then brings me into a big bear hug. “Dad…”
Still squeezing, “I know you can’t, but I hope you can not be stressed about anything. I really do hope you can just forget what happened last night and focus on your swimming and school. Do you think it’s a possibility?”
“Dad…I…ugh…” Dad probably didnt notice he was sufficating me.
“Oh sorry,” Dad said letting go of me, “I guess I don’t know my own strength,” then sarcastically showing off his muscles.
“Haha, sure Dad. But I don’t know if your request is possible. To be honest, I feel partly hollow. Will this emptiness ever go away?”
“Son. I too feel the hollowness. I assume overtime that hole will be filled with something new. Our hearts will heal and become whole overtime.” Dad began the statement confidently, but as he continued it wavered to uncertainty.
“Well…I will try. Because knowing Coach, if I am not giving practice my everything he is going to kill me. I think it will be best if you tell me everything that happens; because, I think it would be better for me to not be surprised anymore.” Looking up into my Dad’s face, trying to believe my own words.
“Okay Son. Well, we should start the day. Jerry is still asleep in the guest room. He stayed up late finishing the project. I helped as best as I could; Highschool science was a while ago for me. I’ll make sure to write you a note for your teacher. But let’s get going,” Dad stood up from the bed and stop just before the door, “and you might want to shower before school; you look awful.”
“Thanks,” rolling my eyes and swinging my legs off the bed. “But Dad…”
Dad paused in the hall and came back into veiw, “Yeah?”
“You too. Don’t stress too much. I also want my dad to focus on what makes him happy. All things will work out in the end. Also, let’s be up front with what we are dealing with. Let’s not be stereotypical guys and keep it bottled up. I will promise to tell you what’s up with me, but you have to do the same. Deal?” Giving Dad the ‘no crap’ stare.
“Sure thing Son.” Dad said smiling, “You’ve grown into a great young man. Thank you Son,” Dad left and continued down the hall.
Getting up and walking to the bathroom, I look myself in the mirror; for once, Dad was not lying to me; I looked awful. Laughing to myself, I begin my shower.