Johnny’s mother woke him up early in the morning to get him ready for school. He dragged himself to the bathroom and lazily brushed his teeth. Breakfast was waiting for him downstairs and he had to rush in order to make it on the bus. He sat next to his best friend on the bus and noticed that his friend had a strange look on his face that Johnny had never seen before. “Do I have something to show you!” said his friend as he pulled a magazine out of his backpack. The word PLAYBOY was written in bold letters across the front page. His friend hastily opened it up and showed him pictures of naked women. He felt strange. A feeling he couldn’t put into words. He liked what he was seeing, but for some reason he felt it was wrong.
That day they were going to have show and tell in class, and Johnny was excited to show off pictures of his new baby sister. But as he watched other boys and girls show off their new skateboard, pictures from a trip to a tropical country, new iPad, and other expensive gifts, he felt jealous. He had never felt this way before. He wanted to have what they did. In that moment he realized he was not like them.
Two hours before the end of the school day his mother came to pick him up. Johnny noticed that she had been crying and when they got into the car he asked her, “mommy, what’s wrong?” She just sat there for a minute in silence and then said, “your father and I are getting a divorce.” He had heard that word before from some of his friends, and he knew it was not a good thing. He started to cry and kept asking “why?!?”
That night his mother tucked him into bed as she always did. She kissed him on the forehead and told him, “I love you.” Although he found comfort in those words, he knew life would never be the same again.
Note: featured image by Monchi Gonzalez