K. Mennem 7:17 p.m., June 17
Sitting in my parent’s house, I stare at the spot on the living room floor where I broke up with my boyfriend of nine years.
He had fallen to the floor in a moment of dramatic melancholy when I told him I couldn’t do it anymore. I remember his awkward heap, my torn dress and my thoughts that kept drifting to “when is this going to be over?” I looked at the door, yearning for its lacquered wood to open up into a break up vortex that would suck this moment away into vapor.
I continue to sit, still staring blankly into this memory, waiting for my parents to get home so we could start cooking dinner. I shake off the zoning out and stand up. I look around, lost, in the house that is no longer mine. The kitchen is not comfortably filled with fragrant coffee waiting to be brewed, fresh veggies, bread I baked and cheese. I walk to my bedroom. My mother’s obnoxious black treadmill is shoved against an untouched backdrop of my childhood: dusty stuffed dogs, bunnies and etc, teenage knick knacks and a framed pencil drawing of Bruce Lee and son. I stand there, in front of the bed, swallowing memories. I laugh as I remember the angst and arguments involved with moving out at eighteen.
The bed was a terrible place to fill out my college applications that would take me far from Westminster. I sat there, on the bed, skinny and draped in sweatpants. Desperation throbbed in my head as I filled out the FAFSA…I had to get financial aid or I would be headed to Goldenwest College and living in this room. I worked quickly, darting my eyes between my bedroom door and the form in front of me. I wondered what time my parents would come barging into my room with love and food asking about what local schools I was applying to. I would not tell them UC’s Berkeley, Santa Cruz and Davis. I would have to tell them UCI.
My eyes affectionately trace my bedroom doorframe as I walk away and into the kitchen to forage for a snack. I’m starving and tired of the past. There is nothing snacky in the oddly modern fridge. My parents sprung for the stainless Steel whirlpool fridge and then filled it with last night’s curry, bagels with no cream cheese, fresh ginger, curry leaves, limes and onions. With limited choices, a plain bagel sounds better than gnawing on ginger root. I pull off a bite of the cold bread and look at the once lacquered front door and get lost again.
Gripping the phone, I waited to call my best friend to tell her that he and I had finally broken up and I needed to come over. I watched impatiently as he unfolded from his heap for a final teary hug. He dampened my left side as he cried and squeezed and all I could think about was the tear in my dress, the door, and maybe Vegas. I held him tightly with my eyes shutting back years of too much. Ready to let go, I opened to glance sideways at the freedom of this good bye.
“We’re home…can you please go help Thathie get groceries from the trunk?” I started into the glaring presently open door and my mother’s voice. I sighed relief…they were finally home.
“Sure,” I walked toward my mother and the door.
“No, no, baba,” my father walks in right behind her teetering sid to side with ten bags, “there’s no more. This is everything.”
“Ok, but let me take some of these.” Memories stilled as the bustle of plastic grocery bags, my mother’s directions and chopping began. Thank god they’re home.