Some things you can never get back. I had dreams and I had a planned future. I wish someone had told me how quickly events can change once the truth surfaces. This is my story.
My name is Slater Price. I know what you're wondering who would name their daughter Slater? Well, the answer to that question would be my parents. Well, my mother to be exact. She had it stuck in her head ages before I was conceived that she would name her first born Slater, boy or girl. A lot of times, I wished I had an older brother or sister so that I hadn't had to carry the name, but alas. Things didn't seem to work out that way. In the spirit of honesty though, I think it only fair to tell you that my mother was a huge fan of the 80s sit-com Saved By the Bell and that that is how she chose my name. Lame, I know.
My mother and father went their separate ways when I was nine. Neither of them filed for divorce, so I guess you could say they're technically still married. I won't pretend to understand what happened or why, but I haven't seen or spoken to my father in eight long years. Do I miss him? Sure. However, it's hard to miss someone you barely knew. Mom has been my rock through the last eight years. We rarely talk about him. It works for us. Secretly though, I think she misses my father more than she will ever admit.
When I walked into the house from softball practice on Friday afternoon, I was surprised to find my no nonsense mother sitting on the couch. Her eyes were cast downward and she was fidgeting with the hem of her shorts. I slammed the door loudly behind me to announce my presence. Her head snapped up and I could tell she'd been crying. My mother never cries so I knew this was something serious.
"Slater. You're home. Go put your things away, then come back in here." That was all she said before she returned to the stare-down she was having with her shorts.
God, this can't be good. I thought to myself. "Yeah, sure thing Mom."
I made my way past her and into the hall toward my bedroom. Our house was small. Two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room, a kitchen, a dining room, and an office. Everything you needed all on one floor. Walking down the hall, I passed the row of family pictures on the left side of the wall, none of which featured my father. I've never bothered to ask her why.
I shoved the door to my room open and tossed my bags down on the floor near the foot of the bed. I decided to change out of my sweaty practice clothes, and put on something a little more suited to having a conversation with my mother who may or may not be falling apart finally. I kicked my sneakers off and tossed them in the closet.
The layout for my room was pretty standard. When you came into the room, the bed was directly in front of you. There were two windows just to the left and right of the bed. The closet and my dresser were to the left, a night stand next the bed and a desk off to the right which held everything I needed to be a senior in high school, a teenager, and a softball player. The walls were a deep purple, and the bed linens were just a shade lighter to accentuate the sheer plum colored curtains that covered the windows. Mom insisted on the curtains, I would have just been happy with the blinds alone.
Once my shoes were in the closet, I grabbed a change of clothes out of my dresser and quickly changed. I tossed my dirty clothes in the hamper, turned off the light, and made my way back down the hallway.
I stopped to study the woman sitting on the couch who had raised me all by herself. She looked as if she'd aged five years in the time between that morning when I left for school and when I returned that afternoon. There were a few things I knew for sure.
First, Allyson Price was beautiful. At age thirty-seven, she was absolutely stunning. Her chocolate brown hair was long and straight, just like mine. Her eyes were a clear, sparkling blue, a trait that I unfortunately didn't inherit. My eyes were storm cloud grey, just like my father's. I may not remember very much about him, but I do remember his eyes. Eyes like Roger Price's are pretty hard to forget.
Second, no one could put you in your place quite like my mother could. She had this way of looking at you, and you knew that you'd better keep the next few sentences to yourself; otherwise you would regret it pretty quickly. That could have something to do with the fact that being an author, she was a walking, talking thesaurus/dictionary, but that was neither here nor there.
Third, I had never, I repeat never, seen my mother this upset. Not even the night my father peeled out of the driveway as though Satan himself were chasing him directly into the fifth circle of Hell. Therefore I knew that whatever had happened in the nine hours I was out of the house was a pretty big deal.
Oh God! Did he finally send divorce papers? Is he dead? I could do nothing to stop the thoughts from spinning out of control inside my head. Something in the back of my mind told me though that she wouldn't be this upset if he had petitioned for a divorce after all this time. Oh shit, he is dead. I'll never see my father again.
Looking back on it now though I realize how much of an over-exaggeration that thought was, but in that moment, standing in the archway separating the hall from the living room, and seeing my mother falling to pieces in front of me, it was the only thing that made any sense at all.
Remember how I said that I wish someone had told me how quickly things can change? Well it was happening to me in that exact moment and I had no way of stopping the chain reaction that was soon to follow.