Make Up Your Minds
Jonathan D. Weiss

A t night, from his bedroom he could hear his parents arguing. Numerous times he heard his father asking her for a divorce. Begging for it. And she would scream back. She would remind him that when she had asked him for a divorce, his father begged her to stick around.

"Now you're stuck with me," she said.

Frank didn't care one way or the other. He only wished they would make up their minds.
Next to his bed was the telephone. In the middle of the night, Frank reached over and dialed his parents' extension and when his father picked up the phone, he said, "Make up your minds."
Then he heard them to start to argue again about who had called.

"Who the hell was that?"

"It's the neighbors."

"So help me God if it's the neighbors."

"Maybe it was the police."

"The police. They don't have our number. How the hell could it be the police?"

By then, it was too late for him to fall asleep so he put on his clothes. He went outside and walked over to the fence that marked the end of his parents' yard and the beginning of the woods. He stared out at the woods for a long time before returning to his room.

There, he closed his eyes until the sun came out. Then he left without eating breakfast. Later, when he came home, the house was empty.

He had looked around but, from what he could tell, nobody else had this going on in their house. If they did, he would have been surprised. They may have had other things, but nothing like this.

First published: February 14, 1999