My father bought me a book to handle the divorce. It was a silly book about dinosaurs divorcing. They said crying was ok. Don’t blame yourself. I thought the dinosaurs were lucky because they were dead. Their moms weren’t crying anymore. The book got heavy in my hands suddenly. That’s when the coughing started.
I hated watching my mother cry. I hate when my father yelled. That made us all cry. I thought the divorce would mean less yelling, which meant less tears. The first night in our new house there was yelling but my father wasn’t there. My mother was yelling at God. She was crying at God. The tears in my throat cried themselves sick. They made me sick. The cough carried on with no explanation.
I lied to you earlier. My father was in the house the whole time because he was everywhere. He was my coughing fit. He was the God my mom was cursing. He was my sister’s loud music shaking our new walls. He didn’t buy me that book, though. But he was the dinosaur my book was about. He was dead but everywhere. He was fossil fuels filling our lungs.
My cough lasted for four hours. My mom couldn’t see well enough to drive. She was crying. My sister drove. She had her permit, I think. When we got to the hospital, I read a different book. The dolls weren’t coping with divorce. They were coping with shots. But I was shot too. Shot with surprise. When the doctor came in the coughing stopped. The doctor was a man. He hugged me. I don’t know why I remember that. I made it up. Nobody hugged me. The books hugged me. The fossil fuels hugged me. My dad didn’t hug me.
When we got home the bathtub flooded and my cough came back. My ribs hugged my lungs. They shot them. I was seven and I was getting a divorce from my own two lungs.