Never Here (Vivian’s Story)
A Dramatic Short Story by Ana Govindasamy
Court was 17 years ago.
17 years ago, and I still remember it like it was yesterday.
What went through my parent’s mind’s, I don’t know. They were civil. At least after the initial two weeks, the silent weeks of dagger-sharp stares, thick fogs of tension and screaming silences.
But even then, there was no throwing herself at dad’s feet, crying and begging for forgiveness. She acknowledged what she did was wrong, and respectfully moved on while they sorted out the legal parts.
I still hate her.
The judge ruled joint custody. Does that mean she ever gave a damn about me after that? No. She had an affair, fine, but then married him, had three kids with him, and moved to Toronto.
In what universe is that OK?
At least she didn’t make dad’s life hell.
And I sound like a hypocritical child. I mean, dad married again after too. At least he waited six-odd-years to do that. And I love my stepsister more than anything.
It still hurts what she did, though.
Now, I can’t call anyone ‘mum’.
I mean, Paula has been an amazing mother figure. But I don’t call her ‘mum’. She’s my step mum. And we’re fine with that title. Gotta hand it to dad, marrying an Enchantress, then a vampire, that takes true love.
And I don’t think the former Enchantress, Lyndsey Greenwich; no, Cameron, deserves her title.
As a mother, or an Enchantress.
I only kept her name after dad convinced me. It serves to remind me of my magical lineage. Not that I need reminding, I’m a Head Sorceress for God’s sake, at the same Coven that Lyndsey went to.
But to be honest, Greenwich sounds better that Cookson.
That’s about the only thing good she left me.
And good. Good, that I sound like a child. Because I still am, deep down. I’m still the four year old who didn’t get why my parents were leaving. Or what court was. What custody was. I’m still that child, torn and confused. Clueless.
I didn’t know a thing.
Other than the fact I was alone.
I was alone, as my dad and I walked out the courtroom. Alone, as Lyndsey got into a different car, a sleek, expensive one with a man who wasn’t dad, and drove away. Alone, as I was told that mum would pick me up from school on Fridays, and she never came.
She was too busy in her frozen wasteland called Canada.
Alone for every minute I spent in after-school-club, oldest one there. While everyone else had cancelled clubs and parents with long hours, I didn’t know what I should’ve put in the box next to my sign in time.
The words that the ink spun out were far from accurate. But it was all I wanted to put.
And every Friday night, I’d go home. Late, tired, overrun with homework and angry.
I’d go home to my dad’s empty king sized bed. Home to to the last few minutes of an Eastenders episode, it’s conflicts dramatic, drawn out, and inaccurate.
Every divorce was messy. Every breakup was violent. Every family turned on each other.
My parents’ didn’t.
So why did I feel they way the characters did after each and every slap, when my dad, Lyndsey or Paula had never laid a hand on me?
Every Friday, I’d go home, to a home that never felt like mine. And never was.
Even when Paula and Marissa came into our lives. Rissa had lost her dad before she was born. She didn’t know what it was like.
Nobody knows what it’s like.
I hate her, but sometimes I miss Lyndsey. Sometimes I call her ‘mum’. Sometimes, all I want is for her come back, or to get on the first plane to Toronto and hug her.
Sometimes I just hate her. Sometimes I want to see her get fired. Sometimes, I want to burn her and her house and her ‘family’ down. Sometimes I want to call her old number, the one that I know doesn’t work, and leave a voice message of all I think of her.
Most times I do nothing but think.
There are thoughts I tell Paula. The ones I tell dad. Then there’s the ones I tell Rissa, like how I wish I could just douse Lyndsey in gasoline.
But the ones I keep to myself. Those are the worst. The ones that eat me up.
It could’ve been my fault she cheated. I was too much work. Too much stress. And dad was working. And she just needed an escape.
I’m a perfectly rational, successful 21 year old, and I still think that. When it’s dark, and I’m in bed but I can’t sleep.
That’s one of the millions of thoughts that bounce around in my head.
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This was a really emotional, touching story which told clearly what life after a divorce for a child can be. The thoughts are perfectly captured. Great job!
Thanks so much, Dhwani!
This was really excellent. The initial exposition and conflict rise in vibrancy and misgivings. I did get slightly confused with all the names, but it's okay. Lyndsey getting in a car with someone other than your dad seems to be the climax, where the tension shifts.
Thanks so much, Eugene!
I loved this story. The emotions were very raw and lifelike. It was relatable in so many ways but maintained its individually. I read your comment that this is an excerpt from a larger story, which made me understand why the paranormal aspects came into play. However, I still found them to be unrelated to this short story as it stands alone from the larger one. It was a bit distracting how it came in early on and then wasn't mentioned again. Loved the end, by the way. The acknowledgement of the characters success alongside the continued f...
Thanks so much for the kind words, Joy!
This was beautiful, sad but very moving and the wording and phrasing was amazing as well as the ending. Good job!
Thank you so much, Hugo! It means a lot!
No problem, keep up the good work!
So sad and powerful, I loved reading this! A few things though: You said “thar” instead of “that” in the beginning of the story You said “that take true love” instead of “takes” Also there’s no period at the end of “what if” but other than those there’s nothing nothing wrong, love this story!
I've changed it now, thank you for feedback, Svara!
So this is a shortened extract (the real ending is better and longer) from my WIP (the first chapter, The Rising Ritual is in here too) and also the backstory of one of the characters, Vivian. Vivian is the Head Sorceress of the Coven where the book is set, and this is her coming to terms with her parents’ divorce, even as an adult, a good 17 years after it happened. This is very different to Sienna's Story as it isn't in the book, and this is an extra part I'm doing, to make sure I understand their backstories. I hope you enjoy, I know it’...