This is a piece of autobiographical fiction. Space and time have been rearranged to suit the convenience of the book, and with the exception of public figures, any resemblance to persons living or dead is coincidental. The opinions expressed are those of the characters and should not be confused with the author’s.
This story is written as an example to anyone who wants to believe that we are more than the patriarchy deems us to be, more than our limitations, and more than our fears.
Jane at 11 years old
I’m at home today and I’m looking for a notebook. My old journal is filled up and I want to continue writing.
Today, Sarah and Chloe didn’t talk to me in school again. I don’t know what I did wrong to hurt them. Usually during recess, we would sit together but today, they just stood up and left when I wanted to sit with them. I feel very upset but mummy and daddy are not at home, so I want to write my feelings down.
I open mummy’s shelf and I see a notebook with teddy-bears on them. Oh! Someone has already been writing inside.
” ……….I really want to leave the marriage. But I can’t. Jane is still so young. She needs me. I have to make this marriage work so that my child can have two parents growing up.”
“I can’t take it anymore. The first time we went to therapy, he only changed for the better after 3 months. I cried myself to sleep for 3 months. Why is it that every time after we fight – he can just go to sleep while I’m still wide awake??”
“Sometimes I don’t feel like we love each other anymore. I’m just in this marriage because we can’t get a divorce. It’s not an option. My parents have also been fighting all their marriage but they have stuck together for so long. Maybe this is just what marriage is. Maybe love will always fade – but you have to learn how to love each other again and again.”
I close the book.
I find another book, this time an empty one.
I take it to my room, sit on my desk and start writing.
Today I found out that my parents almost got divorced. I didn’t know at all! Mummy says that they stayed together because of me.
Is this why they fight sometimes? Because of me?
The other day, mummy and daddy fought so bad that she left the house and didn’t come home for the whole night. No one told me why.
The next day, Mummy came home and everyone pretended like nothing happened.
Well, if mummy and daddy ever get a divorce, I’m taking Jerome. I’m almost 12 years old already. I just have to wait a few more years and then I can get a job. I will look after my brother myself. I don’t want two unhappy people taking care of me and Jerome.