that year | By: amelia | | Category: Short Story - Friendship Bookmark and Share

that year

That year.

It was the most traumatic year I remember, I look back now and think about how my life would be if many things had never taken place. I was a teenager with many friends and a lovely family. It was 1964, the year to settle all fights, forget about the outside world and retreat to the family home, well that’s what my mother once said.
The worst thing that happened to me that year, was having my Grandfather pass away. It happened in late February, about six weeks after my 14th birthday. Floppy and I had spent all our spare time together, we were like Burke and Will but instead of countries we were exploring the greatness of our friendship. Since as long as I can remember to the day he died I told my garandpa, Floppy, all my news and he told me all his stories. The favourite of his stories, was the one he told, about me when I was four. I cant remember how it went but ill never forget why I loved it, I loved it so much because the story was about the first time me and Floppy told the nicknames we had made up for each other. I called him floppy because of his big floppy ears and he called me Rosie because my cheeks were always Rosie.
We had been so close that when he died I felt like a piece of me died too. I was in trouble at school, I couldn’t concentrate on anything, my grades were starting to suffer and so, I cried myself to sleep at night.
Floppy’s funeral took forever and the minister went on, but I didn’t really hear anything he said. I was also thinking about how awful it was that floppy’s sweet body was inside that box at the end of the church isle. Nothing special, just a wooden box to be put in the ground and left to rot, and his body to be eaten by maggots. I made myself forget these thoughts and decided to think of all the good times me and floppy had shared.
Exactly 8 weeks and 3 days after the funeral took place, I couldn’t cry for floppy. I felt as if the tears inside of me were never going to come out and that if they did it would be to flood the world and bring death to all. After I had these feelings I told myself that I would not cry over Floppy’s death again and that I would only think of the fantastic memories.
By the time my parents told me about the divorce, I was over the sadness of Floppy's death but I still missed him. Instead of keeping a diary for the rest of my life, I wrote a letter to floppy telling him all my news, just as I did when he was alive but now it had slightly changed, it was written. The only time the waves stoped crashing inside of me was for a short while before the news of the divorce
In that year a few more unforgettable things happened other than my grandfathers death: I turned 14, I worked out how much I really loved my family, and I grew further and further away from my sister- Madeline and my brother- Lachlan; Although they didn’t seem to notice or care for that matter. The reason for all these things, that I believe, is that my parents got divorced!
Before march that year my parents rarely fought and in the odd circumstances when they did, they would make sure me and my siblings would never hear or see.
Talk of the divorce started after my parents started to fight about everything. They fought about big things and small things from what they watch on TV to how they were going to pay the mortgage? Would they be able to pay the next set of bills and would dad loose his job? Us kids didn’t know much about these things, so my parents and us started living in two separate worlds. Over April I felt I could explode and by May that year my parents fought continuously and never cared or worried about who watched or saw.
With all this fighting, the only people in the family left for us kids to talk to, was each other which brought us closer and closer together.
I remember the day my parents told me, my brother and my sister about the divorce like it was yesterday. It was the 22nd of June. The day was cold so me, Mad, and Lochie were inside next to the fire. Being as close as we were we didn’t mind being stuck inside with the fighting as we had each other to help get us through. But on this particular day the fighting seemed to stop at around 4:30pm, my parents had just come out of their room after fighting and talking. We were playing Monopoly and didn’t seem to notice that they were being friendly toward each other until they called us over saying ‘we want to have a nice, family talk’. We left our monopoly game and went to listen hoping that they had resolved all there fights and we were going back to being a normal family; although this was definitely not the case.
They started by saying how they loved us very much and how they never wanted to hurt us. Then there was a silence as if the world had stoped, as if every one in the world had gone quiet to listen. Then all of a sudden my farther blurted it out, ‘me and your mother are getting a divorce’ The way he said it, it looked as if he wanted us three to be happy. But obviously we were not.
I didn’t know what to do. All I could think about was how easier the whole thing would be if floppy were still alive.
After people in the town found out about the whole divorce issue, nothing was easy. Friends said sorry as I walked down the street and people I didn’t know smiled apologetically.
A few weeks after they told us, but before they were legally divorced, I started hiding from my family and friends.
I never told Madeline or Lachlan any thing and nor did they me, we were drifting apart and I didn’t even notice. My friends started thinking of me as a lost cause and that nothing they could do could make me turn back to the bubbly, all ways around person. I couldn’t stand being around any one, and so I spent all my time alone either thinking or writing to Floppy’.
Me and Floppy had a special place. it was a park we visited frequently. When I was nine he had lost a gold watch with his real name on it, all though I had never known his name, whenever we went to the park after that day, we would look around for it before we started our fun.
The 16th of August was one of the only special days I had that year. The day had started of good when I woke up, I had woken up to a beautiful hot day and before I knew it I was on my way to visit floppy’s and my park that was about three block’s from my home, with a book to read. Although I’d visited it two or three times a week since Floppy’s death, this particular day had been special. I cant remember the book although it must not have been very good because before I had read a chapter or so at the park, I was asleep.
As I lay there sleeping peacefully I dreamt about Floppy’s watch, which he had described so vividly and the day when he lost it. Then all of a sudden I woke to a sharp pain in my thigh, it was a stick that must have stuck in to me as I moved in my sleep. I lifted it up and planned to throw it, but then realised that I was laying in the exact place that I had seen in my dream when Floppy lost his watch. I was thinking to myself about how much I enjoyed telling Floppy that loved him, and how much I would love to again, when I had the idea to find Floppy’s watch and tell his spirit, that would definitely come to see my discovery, how I loved him.
I then decided to use the stick I had in hand and start digging, and I did, I dug every where I had thought that I had seen him go in his dream when I remembered that he had last seen his watch under the tree I was sleeping at. I ran toward it but as I came near, I tripped over something that sent me falling to the ground. As I rose a man came over to me and smiled directly in to my eyes. His eyes were blue and friendly looking, he looked like the kind of person I could trust, so I told him about my Floppy, but just after I had said ‘he lost his gold watch in this park' he stood up. I thought he was going to leave but all he said was ‘hold on’. As I sat there waiting I wondered what he was doing when, to my amazement he pulled out a watch that looked exactly like the one Floppy had described to me. He then gave me another one of his friendly smiles and said ‘I think this is what your looking for. I found it in the park exactly five....years, yeah, five years ago, to the day!’
As I reached forward to grab the watch something stopped me. Floppy had never wanted me to know his name or he would have told me, I guess he liked to be called Floppy. So without any hesitation I jumped up and said to the friendly looking man. ‘keep it, it brought floppy and me enough great memories, maybe it will do the same for you’. With saying this I ran home and hugged my mum, sister, brother, and farther. I told them all how much I loved them and was sorry for not saying it enough. After that moment I didn’t worry about the divorce as much. I believed that it didn’t matter how far away my family was from each other, either mentally of physically, we still loved each other and would have each other always.
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