Last Saturday was a doozy. It wasn’t like most Saturdays in the country. Bee and her two brothers, Quentin and Spencer, didn’t rush though their morning chores, yank their bikes out of the garage and pedal off to the convenience store to spend their allowance on candy. They didn’t follow that weekly tradition with a sugar-induced tickle fight or game of “Gladiators” in the basement. They didn’t finish the day crowded around the tv with pizza on their laps, watching a movie together. Instead, last Saturday while Bee’s dad was at work, Bee’s mom pulled her and her brothers aside from their chores to inform them she was leaving their father. To some, this isn’t such a horrible thing. It can often be a really good thing. But to Bee and her brothers, it came as a shock. Bee had always been quite close with her brothers and up until then had enjoyed an easy life of school, play, homework and more play. She had the occasional fight with one of her brothers (I mean come on, Spencer was FIVE years younger than her and Quentin was five years older. Sandwiched between those two, who wouldn’t pick a fight now and then?) But Bee couldn’t understand why her Mom would want to move away from her Dad. Bee thought everything was fine. Her parents never fought, they hardly even spoke to one another! Oh… so maybe that could have been a small indication that the split was coming.
As Bee sat still, stone-faced trying to make sense of this news, her mom dropped another bomb on Bee’s happy existence: she was to go live with her mother, leaving her two brothers behind to live with their Dad. “After all, can you really see your father buying your tampons?” Her mother asked, patting Bee on the knee. Her mother didn’t get a reply.
Bee would have loved to say she handled the announcement like the grown up she nearly was… but in reality she tore out of the room, out of the house and into the field that bordered their country home and sobbed by some cows. Bee often hung out with cows. Very calming. Very good-natured. She had only complimentary things to say about cows.
Afterwards she packed her clothes and books as her mother instructed her to, and watched as Spencer and her Mom loaded up the small car. Quentin was nowhere to be found and Bee wished she could disappear as well as he did. She was told twice to help them but couldn’t seem to move her feet. She just watched Spencer’s feet and waited for them to stop shuffling back and forth between the trunk and the front steps of the house. It didn’t take nearly long enough for them to load up the car with all of Bee and her mom’s possessions and soon Spencer’s Reeboks came to a stop beside hers.
“Don’t make this harder than it needs to be,” their mom warned, “it’s not like you won’t see each other every weekend. We’re only moving into town.” Bee and Spencer stared blankly at one another for a few moments. What more could they do? And that was that. Bee watched the farmhouse get smaller as they pulled out of the driveway and drove down the long gravel road to the highway, then she turned back around in her seat to face the road ahead. Only she didn’t face the road ahead, she stared at her hands in her lap.