My dad is the hands-off, emotionally unavailable type. My mom is the touchy-feely, weeps-at-weddings type. It's amazing to think these types of people can even think about marrying each other. Of course, it didn't last. Sometimes I wish it never happened, but that's not unique of me or anything.

I have two brothers, who have both fled the nest- who ran as fast as their feet could carry them. My oldest brother, Lukas, has eight years on me, and my younger brother, Conrad, has six. Every once in a while, I debate over whether I was meant to happen or not. Six years is a long time, and I feel that a lot. When I was learning to read, Conrad got his first drive around the parking lot. When I finishing elementary school, Lukas was starting college. So when my parents got divorced, they heard it over the phone. But I heard it over the TV, at dinner, and through my pillows.

Lukas and Conrad were both daddy's boys. I was and always will be a mama's girl. Everyone knew it. That's what made staying with my dad even harder. When she got the new job in Oregon, I don't know what kept me with my dad. It wasn't like I had friends who had tethered me down- it's not like I had this great social life I would be leaving behind. No, it wasn't anything like that. I had my own private lunch-eating spot in the quad, where no one came near except to walk to the bathroom. When it was raining or when it was cold, I had one corner of the cafeteria to myself. Those were the days I dreaded most. Although it never happened, I was always afraid that my medicine wouldn't work, and my brain would go haywire. Then, everyone would see me. Some might scream, if they didn't know who I was and what was wrong with me. If they did know, they would laugh and point. That's what they did. When I woke up later, I would always wonder how you could laugh at something like that.

When she left, I watched her drive away. I watched her drive until I couldn't see her car anymore. As she drove, I thought I might run after her, waving like they do in the movies. But I didn't, because I knew it would make her too sad. She was very sad- that I knew. I knew that if I ran after her, she'd be too sad and she would turn around and come back. It wouldn't be right if she did that. My mother was forty-eight years old and divorced, with no real job. That's not a life she wanted to live. She was the kind of girl who studied abroad in college, who travelled the world, and who wore her hair long after she had been a mother. She never dyed her hair like I know many mothers might do, and she embraced her first gray hair. My mother would tell me, "As long as I'm not looking down when I find one." She was that kind of mother too. My mom had been a doctor, but retired after I was born. She had published medical articles ever since. But she missed all the hands on things. She was offered a job as a pharmacist, which paid well because of her experience in the field. It would be good for her, both financially and mentally. My aunt Michelle tells me there's nothing more freeing for a woman than making as much money as her divorcee. I could tell she wanted that job so badly, but she was hesitant to leave me.

Keeping her from getting that job was keeping her from a new life. My mother had been my best friend for so many years, and who seemed to be the only person who could overlook every flaw about me and love me until her heart hurt. Maybe that's the power a mother has, but I loved her for it. She had given me life and happiness, and if I kept her from going to Oregon, I knew I would be taking that away from her- life and happiness.

So I let her drive away, and when she was gone, I felt like a part of me had left with her.

When my parents told me they were getting a divorce, they didn't actually tell me. They didn't say, "Georgia, we are divorcing each other." It didn't work that way, and I guess I'm glad it didn't. Sometimes, it's better to realize the bad things in life rather than have them jump on you without warning.

We had gone downtown to the fancy movie theater since they were having showings of John Hughes' movies, who was my mother's favorite director. That night was Ferris Bueller's Day Off. While we were buying tickets, the ticket holder caught my eye. He was very attractive in one of those artsy, skinny types. I could see him reading poetry in a café or something. He looked at me and stared at me for a while and smiled. When we were walking to the theater, my mother leaned over and said, "That boy was looking at you." I felt so happy. The movie was great, even though it was probably the twelfth time I'd seen it. Like my mother, I could recite all the lines.

Afterwards, we went to the fancy steak restaurant, where some entrees could cost more than sixty dollars. I ordered a filet Oscar, which was probably one of the best things I'd ever eaten. Although it was very rich, I ate the whole thing, while my parents only finished three-quarters of their meal. They were very surprised that I could eat the whole thing, but I had been heavier back then, and eating more than I should have had been a habit of mine, really.

That night was very nice, but it was ruined when the check came. Immediately, my father reached for it, and my mom smiled at him and grabbed onto the check as he did. "This is a new age, Kent; therefore a woman is allowed to pay the bill." My mother was always talking like that, like some kind of feminist. I never really got why she even pretended, because she wore bras all the time, and liked to wear makeup, and didn't mind having a husband who made all the money.

"I'm being a gentleman," he said, although his tone was different. "I'll pay…" And under his breath he muttered, "Like I always do."

Both my mother and I caught what he said, and I was very quiet about what happened to next. I didn't say anything, but I was very angry that they had ruined everything, like they always did. "You never let me pay, and you know it," my mother said angrily. "If it bothers you so much, then I'll pay right now. I'll pay for all one-hundred-and-fifty-four dollars of it!"

"Yes, Nicky, with my money."

"You can be such a d-" She didn't finish. We were in public, and calling my father a dick was just not a good idea. Dad took the check and slipped his credit card in it. I sat in my chair, with my arms folded over my stomach, silently listening to my parents' marriage fall apart.

It had already fallen apart, I found out. We had taken the metro train downtown, and we were quiet as we rode to the parking lot. No one was on the train with us. My parents were still arguing. I don't really remember about what, but I looked at them both and said, "Are you getting divorced?"

My parents were surprised I suppose. But did they think I was stupid? It doesn't take an IQ of, like, 150 to understand a failing marriage when you can hear them argue over something as simple as what show to watch before they go to bed.

Besides, the types of people that my mother and father are don't mingle together.

I'm sitting in my room, practicing cello, when Dad knocks on the door. I put down my bow as he walks in. He holds the phone and hands it to me. "It's your mother," he tells me as he leaves the room. Like it would be anyone else? I think bitterly, bringing the phone to my ear.

"Hello?" I say.

"Hey, monkey," my mother says. "How are you?"

"I'm… I'm good." Good means nothing's changed, really. My mom knows that it really hasn't been good for me in a while. It's nothing new.

"Well, I think I can change that," she says happily. From the tone of her voice, I know that she is about to burst with some piece of news.

"Oh my god," I say. "Did I get in?"

She pauses for a moment, then shrieks, "Yes!"

My fingers almost let the phone slip, but I grip onto the fingerboard of the cello and lean forward. "Are… are you sure?"

"Well, I'm pretty sure. Acceptance letters can be very elusive. Yes, honey. You sound so surprised."

"I just… I just didn't think I could get in. It's a fine arts academy- it's top notch."

"I know, Georgia. But so are you. I don't know a lot about cello, but I know that you are good. In fact, you're better than good."

"So, did I just get in for cello?"

"No, you've been accepted in cello and theater!"

A smile erupts across my face, and I just want to drop everything and scream until my jaw aches. But I can't, because Dad's neighbor, Mrs. Richards, is a crazy old hag who would call the police on me. "You're joking."

"I promise I'm not. You made it, Georgia!" There's a noise on her line. "Oh, sorry honey, I have to get back to work. I'll call you later tonight!"

She hangs up, and I set the phone on my bed. Slowly I lower my cello to the ground, and then run downstairs. "Dad, Dad!" I say excitedly- I almost dislocate my knee down the stairs, but I'm so happy that I could care less.

"What?" he says, looking up from his newspaper and coffee.

"I got into Lakewood!"

He lowers the paper, and then stands up with a smile. "That's great, Georgia. That's really great. I knew you would make it."

While he hugs me, I feel a little bitter towards him. He really didn't think I would make it. Although he remained supportive and never said that I wouldn't make it, he was always making the Plan B, in case I didn't make it. He would always say, "Just in case- what classes do you want to take next year? Do you want to sign up for drama class next year? Are you doing orchestra next year?" It was frustrating, to say the least.

But I don't care. Because I got into Lakewood School of the Arts, which means that I don't have to go to my high school anymore. It means that I won't know anyone there and they won't know me, which is something that I've wanted for a long time. To be completely unknown, to recreate myself? Of course I want that.

Also, I'll be with my mother. She makes everything better.

By going to Lakewood, I'm not only 'exploring and enhancing my artistic abilities' as the school says it's what I'll be doing. I'll be who I wanted to be. For years, people have tormented me over something I couldn't help. There was no way I could get away from it, but Lakewood is my escape.

When I go to school, it's all normal. I eat in the quad alone, listening to my iPod- music helps me survive every day. Some people come by and say things to me, but I don't pay attention to them. I know that what they say is mean, or gross. It's always the guys that make the gross comments.

Besides, these people don't know that I'll be on the other side of the country by the time that the next school year starts. Then they'll have no whipping dog to make fun of anymore.

They treat me like they always do. Most people just don't talk to me. They avoid me as if I have leprosy or something. The other ones- the bolder ones- really like taking a bite out of me. They have nicknames for me, like Twitchy. Sometimes they'll say, "Danny Glover wants his seizures back."

But this'll be gone. There're only a couple days of school left, which Dad said I could skip. Besides, I need to get to Oregon as quickly as possible to arrange everything down there.

They won't miss me, and I won't miss them. In some ways, I feel bitter about that. I wish people would miss me. I wish I had people who would miss me. But I don't. I don't have any friends here. That's why I want to go to Lakewood so badly. I want to have friends. I don't want to look back on my high school life and be glad that I got out of it. That's what middle school is for. And believe me when I say that I am very glad to have gotten out of there.

It doesn't matter anymore. Pretty soon, I won't ever see any of these people again.