His mother wasn't one of those people who was from or lived anywhere; She was someone who was of places. She was Gwen Renyolds of the New York Renyolds or at least she once was. His father on the other hand wasn't of any where, a self made man, a fact David believed his mother always had resented despite the fact she claimed she had married him for love. David didn't trust his mother enough to believe this to be true, his father might have been new money, but new money was still money all the same.
David knew these things because he was an observer. A man of science despite the fact he was only a boy of thirteen, much too young to know the things he knew. He saw things like other boys his age probably never would and he understood these things in ways they couldn't ever dream of. But the other boys his age did understand that he was different from them. He understood that too. Instead of worrying about such trivial details, David immersed himself into his studies of human nature. His favorite subjects to observer were his parents.
Whether or not David's mother had ever loved his father in the beginning was not something he could quantify so he general let the issue slide. Something that was very quantifiable was the fact that his mother did not her husband very much at all these days. David counted the times they spoke to each other each day, it was on average three.
In the mornings their exchanges were a script they rarely deviated from.
"Good morning, I am low on money this month."
"You are always low on money. Ask Joan to transfer some more into your account"
"Thank you. Work hard today."
At dinner it was more of the same, only slightly changed around to give the illusion of variety.
"This is very delicious, what is it called again?"
"I don't know Maria made it, something French I suppose"
"I have to make a business call, excuse me."
For a while Sam thought this was it, twice a day his parents would act out these little parts, but one night as he passed their room he overheard the third act to their little three act play. They had forgotten to close the door all the way and Sam could hear the whole thing as he leaned against the wall greedily listing to his parent's voices.
"Will you divorce me yet?"
"Not until you divorce me."
"I should have made you sign a pre-nup, this all would have been a lot smoother."
"We are exactly where we were the day before so the point is moot anyways."
"Turn the lights off; I want to go to sleep."
David let their word fill him up and sink into his skin. While he was old enough to understand such words he wasn't scared by them, he was fascinated.
He peeked in on them through the crack in the door and observed them sleeping in the same bed, but completely separated from each other. His mother snored lightly while his father tossed and turned in his sleep. They were like animals at the zoo, but they were also David's parents. His parents had never been so real, so human. It was the first time he had ever really seen them as people before and he wanted more.
The next night he waited for them, but the door was shut so he pressed his ear to the crack under the door. I wasn't as good as the nigh before, but he could still hear them.
"I am sleeping with the pool boy."
"Funny, so am I."
"I'm being serious."
"The pool boy quit a month ago. He had problems with his green card, he was sent back to Honduras."
"I could have slept with him before he left."
"Yes, I suppose you could have."
"But you don't care?"
"Are you going to leave me for him?"
"Then I don't care."
"Turn off your light I need to go to sleep."
David waited for a moment until he thought he could hear the muffled hum of his mother's snore and then opened the door enough to stick his whole head through. He watched them for a full hour until he too felt too tired to go on and made his way back to his own room.
The next night David got their too early, their door was still open and his father was reading a report on top of the covers while his mother was taking off her face in the master bath. He was petrified, afraid of being caught in his intrusions into their private lives, but they didn't notice him. They were too wrapped up in their own worlds.
David's father had his glasses on, but he was still squinting to read the page having declined to change his prescription at his last eye exam, refusing to believe he was getting old. The door to the master bath was shut tight, his mother not wanting anyone to catch a glimpse at the illusions she created to remain beautiful. David thought for only a moment then crept into the room.
He crawled along the edge of the room, heading for the closet on his father's side of the room. When he tried to open the door a little more so he could slip in the hinges let out a small creak and David was sure he would be caught. His father did look up, his reading glasses still slipping down his nose, but he still didn't notice his son frozen at the door of his closet staring back at him, so he continued to struggle with his business reports.
Not even wanting to let out a sigh of relief, David made the final dash to the closet and pulled the door mostly closed behind him, leaving a small crack large enough to stick his nose through. Luckily it didn't creak this time. He waited in the dark for the show to start, like he was at the theater after the lights dim to get everyone to pay attention.
David's mother came out of the bathroom and started in on her husband right away.
"Your secretary, Joan isn't it? She is very pretty, don't you think?"
"I never really noticed, but I'm sure her husband agrees with you."
"Can't you do something wrong just once! I can't take this much longer."
"I'll sign the papers as soon as you file them."
"You know I can't do that without a legitimate reason."
"You hate me."
"That isn't enough these days."
For a moment there was silence. David pressed a little closer to the closet door, leaning hard against the wall.
"Is it this hard for everyone?"
"Getting a divorce or being married?"
"I wouldn't know, this is the only experience I have on the subject, on both subjects."
"Do you think David knows?"
At the sound of his own name David fell through the closet door and into his parents' sights.
"Yes, yes I think he does."
"My God! David how long have you been listening there?"
"Don't yell Gwen, he must have a lot to take in right now. This isn't the way any child should find out about these sorts of things."
"Oh my God, what kind of mother am I?"
"You must try and stay calm; we have to explain to David what is going on."
David's mother sobbed into her nightgown, his father uncomfortably rubbing her back. In the lull of his mother's sobs, David spoke,"Dad? Mom? I do know what's going on and I understand it too, I've known for a while actually. I don't care about this any of it. I don't think it is the worst way to find out. It would have been worse if you tried to sugarcoat it for me."
He paused for a second to gage his parents' reactions. They were silent, waiting for David to continue. "I do wish you would stop pretending though, this act isn't fooling anyone. It you don't love each other than get on with it and get over it. I don't care if you get a divorce or not, but stop faking life for my sake." He finished with a heavy sigh and left his parents alone to think.
His mother hiccupped and started to laugh. David's father looked shocked at the door his son just walked out of and then down at his wife who was getting to be hysterical. At that point he couldn't help it, he had to laugh too, it was all too ridiculous for words. For a while, neither of them knew for sure how long, they just laughed together, tears pooling in their eyes.
When they final let the laughter subside and all that was left was a few wayward giggles, Sam's mother smiled and brushed an eyelash from her husband's cheek, "He's just like you when you were young, back when we first meet."
"Like me? That sure of myself? No I was sacred to death of everything back then, especially when we first met."
"Of what was there for you to be afraid of? You had just gotten everything, power, wealth, and a future."
"Exactly! I was scared of all of that, but back then the thing I was most scared of was you."
"Of what I would do if I couldn't have you."
"Oh, I never knew. You were always so forthright with me, I was sure you just thought you would get anything you wanted, including me."
"No, you were always just beyond my grasp, even now. So far away."
"John, I'm right here. I've always been right here."
From just outside their still open bedroom door came a yell, "Dad! Kiss her already why don't you!"
David's father couldn't help but smile and do as his son had told him too.
It was funny he thought, how a conversation on divorce could make him the happiest he had been in a long time.