My parents got divorced approximately 10 years ago. The divorce was long overdue. One cold winter afternoon my father packed his things and moved out. Out of the house he built, out of the house that was my hell on this Earth.
He offered my mother to split the house between my sister and I, but my mother refused saying she will not let me get half of it. The only thing left to do was either walk away with nothing or go to court. And of course, my father filled with hate and revenge, went to court which brings me to present day.
The lawsuit is now on its 8th year. Eight years of court appointments, appeals, hearings, different judges and different verdicts. I have not been actively involved in the lawsuit in the past 8 years. That is until yesterday when I was summoned to court as a witness. My father made me believe I would be asked a few questions by the judge, with only his and my mothers lawyer present. Well, guess again.
So I arrive at court fairly calm, completely convinced the whole thing will be over in half an hour, I’ll be in and out of that courtroom, I will tell the truth and everything will be fine. I step into the court house, go through the metal detector, up the stairs and I come to a halt. In front of the courtroom number 114 is my mother, my sister and my aunt. All eyes are on me. Nobody speaks, nobody says hello. My mother turns to my sister ‘Oh, my daughter came.’ By that time my legs turn into jelly, a rock sits in my stomach and my hands shake with fear. There she is. My mother.
I sit down in shock. I did not expect her there. I was not prepared. I did not want to see her there. A woman walks over to me and introduces herself as my fathers lawyer and says ‘Aren’t you going to say hello to your mother?’ My world tilts again. ‘No.’ ‘But she’s your mother.’ At this time it all feels surreal. My father’s lawyer reprimanding me for not saying hello to my mother. Yeah, fucking surreal.
My aunt testifies first. I wait outside, trying desperately to calm myself. How am I going to do that? How will I go in and face my mother there? I am called in and the whole thing now feels like a bad episode of reality tv. The questions start innocently enough; I answer truthfully, I make sure to point out that my father built the house on a piece of land which was given to my mother when she wed and that is why its only fair that each get half. At my side my mother grunts every time I open my mouth. And with each of my answers to the judge’s questions the whole thing gets uglier. It isn’t long before I hear that ugly, nasty voice which I have been listening to all my life no matter what I do and no matter where I go.
‘You are a liar.’ – Judge, she is lying.’ – ‘I hope you have children one day so you see what its like to have a kid like you.’ – ‘You’re disgusting.’ – ‘You’re a bitch.’ – ‘Bitch.’
The voice might be quiet but to me it feels larger than life. I do not turn to look at her. I think about it but I am not entirely sure I will be able to keep control if I do look into her evil eyes. And as I am once again beaten by her words a small smile forms on my lips. Because I know in my soul this will be the last time I see her; my last memory of her will be her evil voice whispering ‘bitch’ to my ear. This is where our story ends.
‘You may call your next witness.’
My Anxious Heart