I'm going tell you a story.
This story starts off like any other story would. We have a mother and a father with three children, a happy family. The parents moved to the south quickly after their second and third kids were born. The fraternal twins were four years younger than their older sibling and were all pleased to move to a new state. As the kids grew older, their mother spent every morning preparing breakfast and making sure her kids went to school dressed and ready to go, while their father went off to work before the sun came up. Everything seemed perfectly normal, perfectly fine.
Soon things began to fall apart. Their perfect little family grew distant. The children had no knowledge of what was happening to their lives, nor did they have any control over what was to happen to them. Soon they saw their father every other weekend in a different house. A little later on, after the kids got used to the idea, they started seeing someone else at their fathers house. She looked very similar to their mother, but it wasn't her. The oldest child spoke her dislike about the new partner to her father, and her father didn't agree. So, the oldest child just focused her attention on making sure her siblings were well cared for while there. It wasn't always bad. There are memories that were made during this time that will never be forgotten. Soon after, the children began to see their father less and less. None of them had any idea why, but their questions were soon answered after they drove in the car with their mother to a strange, new building. The oldest remembered their mother calling it a "Rehab center". She saw her father walking out the front doors of the building and hop in the front seat of the car. They had a fun time that night, but their time was limited. They had to drop their father off at the "Rehab center" two hours after picking him up. The oldest suspected her father lived there and thought it was like a hotel. Watching her father open the doors back into the building, a hot tear rolled down her cheek. She didn't like the hotel. More time went by with more and more nights just like the first one. During this time, their mother thought best to send her children to a support group. She told the kids it would help them with their emotions and help them get a better understanding of what was going on. It lasted three days. Those three days, the oldest remembers, were some of the saddest days of her life.
Things got better. They always do after something so terrible. Their father was released from the bad hotel and started living with them again. They saw their father every morning and every night as if nothing had ever happened. Their parents soon decided to move again, closer to the north this time so they could be closer to family. After settling in, their parents announced that they were going to get remarried. All three children attended their parents marriage. It was a special moment for everyone. The oldest thought, this was it. Everything is going to get better. Things are going to go back to being perfect, as if nothing had ever happened.
She was wrong.
Their father went away to a different state to work for his family and help bring a better income. Their mother went back to school and earned her master's degree. It took some time to realize their mother would leave frequently throughout the day. The children never thought anything of it at the time, but later after that, their father came back home. He had quit his job. The kids didn't know or understand why. Sometimes, the kids would go nights without seeing their mother and would have their father tuck them into bed. It was soon revealed where their mother had been going all those nights. Their father was hurt, the kids left to make him feel assured, even though they didn't believe it to be true. Their mother stopped coming home altogether afterwards. Their father announced they were going to be getting yet another divorce. The oldest didn't think it would be that bad, given that they have already been through one before.
It was much worse.
It took a year for the divorce papers to be approved. The kids rarely ever saw their mother. Their father was so overwhelmed by depression and guilt that he made them believe she was a terrible person, made them think she didn't care about them, made them believe that she left them too. The kids had no choice but to believe it. They began to not have the motivation to see their mother anymore, and all at once, they stopped. It felt simple without her, the oldest thought. The middle child was the first to see her again. It started off as every Wednesday, and then progressed into staying over her house. The two sisters didn't know what to think. Their father was upset about the visits, but the middle child seemed happy. The oldest contemplated whether or not she should see her mother again. She decided to go for it. After all, that was her mother. She didn't want a life without her. It, as well, started off as every Wednesday. Things began to feel comfortable and she was soon taken to her mother's home. The oldest made him leave anytime she was there. She didn't want to ever meet the man who had broken her family, who had taken the perfect away. However, one night she did. She had no choice. She felt the anger build up inside of her and it took everything she had to suppress the anger. She saw him a few more times after that, and it soon began to be every time she went there. The anger had not gone away. She still didn't like him. Things got worse with her father. They got so close when her mother left, and once she started seeing her again, their relationship was shattered. She lost her best friend. She spent most of her days alone and most of her nights alone. This was how things went for a long time.
The divorce papers were soon approved and their next case was custody over the three children. It was a long, gruesome battle. Police appeared every so often to help with disputes. Things got out of hand more often than not. There were countless nights spent crying. Countless nights spent fighting. Countless nights wishing to be anywhere but there. The kids didn't know what else to do, they had no control over their lives. Neither did their parents. All of them were under the laws control. From that point on, they listened to the papers. The "Agreement" as their parents called it, but the oldest called it a weapon. That's how it was first used, at least. That's how it was still used.
You're probably expecting an ending, huh? Some type of resolution, some type of conclusion. Maybe, you think that was the ending. Maybe, you don't care enough to read about what happens next. Maybe, you got lost in the story that you're eyes skipped to the bottom just to make sure that girl and her siblings ended up okay. Maybe, you're like most people, and expect a happy ending.
Not all stories have happy endings. Not when life is the one writing out the words on the pages. Not when the story is still being told. That older sibling still has time left. She's still got a lot more pages to fill. She's still got time to make her happy ending. Her story doesn't end here. Each and everyday she's still trying. So far, that's all she's got, but there's still so much she hasn't experienced yet, so many stories she hasn't told yet. She's still young, she's still got a lot to write about, but for now, the ending is still pending.
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