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Hello, I’m Lucy. My life has been divided between two houses, but I never thought I would become an employee in one of them. And this fact makes me feel constantly exhausted.
My parents have been divorced for a long time. Me and my older sister stayed with my mom based on the court's decision, but my dad was also allowed to spend a lot of time with both of us. That’s why we used to spend, like half of our weekends and holidays at my dad’s place. I love both of my parents equally, but honestly speaking my dad’s temper is pretty terrible. Sometimes we'd have days where he would just yell and punish me and my sister whenever we did the littlest thing wrong. I will give you a vivid example. Once we were spending Halloween with my dad. We had been working on making our costumes for an entire day and had gotten really hungry. There was almost nothing in the fridge and my sister Annie decided she wanted to order a pizza. She asked dad if that was OK, but he said no for no actual reason. He suggested that we cook something on our own, but we didn’t want to and we were really in the mood for pizza, especially since it was a holiday. Dad went crazy. He yelled at us and locked us in our room with no actual dinner and, of course, with no trick or treating. So, we stayed hungry and totally upset until the next day. Since then neither I nor Annie were big fans of Halloween any longer.
Dad was not always that bad, but since Annie is 5 years older than me, she would be punished more often. At some point, when she got big enough, she said that wanted to live with my mom permanently and no longer visit our dad. But I couldn’t do the same, and I probably didn’t want to. Days at dad’s house started to be even less fun without Annie. I mean, I had some friends from the neighboring houses there, but I was not supposed to play with them all day long, because dad would say he wanted to spend some time with me. But we'd usually ended up watching sports on TV while he was trying to teach me about different teams and coaches and players and stuff. I can’t say that I was totally unhappy because I still had my dad next to me in my life.
Then my dad married Julia. She was not bad, actually, but we barely interacted with each other, because she was pretty busy with all of her trips to the beauty salon, yoga classes, and Zumba dancing. A few months later my dad called me into the room and said that my step-mom was pregnant and that I was going to have a little brother or sister. That was great news for me, because I always wanted to have a younger sibling. I was really excited about that and even promised that I'd take care of the baby when he or she was born. What made me speak up, I still have no idea!?
Now, with a new wife and a baby on the way dad was working all day long, even while I was visiting him. That’s when Julia would start to watch me while he was at work. Her pregnancy made her really big, so I had to help her with cooking, dishwashing, house cleaning, and other stuff. At first I thought that it was really hard for her to do all the housework, but then I realized that she was just using me so that she could chat with her friends or read some parenting magazines in her room while I was slaving away downstairs. I tried to complain to my dad about the situation, but he was totally on Julia’s side. He’d even take away my phone so that nothing would disturb me from being her assistant. Things didn’t changed much when my little brother was born. Except that now in addition from cooking, cleaning, shopping, and bringing groceries up the stairs for my step-mom, I also had to babysit my baby brother while she was resting. I literally felt deprived and had zero fun that summer.
The final straw came when my dad took me out to eat and invited me to come to live with him and Julia permanently. You know, I can’t say that I was surprised, because a couple of times I remembered Julia telling him that she couldn’t live without my help when I’d go back home. And now, if I lived with them, dad wouldn’t have to pay my mom any child support and he would get free labor. I was confused and promised to think over his suggestion. I just couldn’t refuse him right there, face-to-face, because he’d probably get mad at me and I didn’t want to piss him off. Besides, I got into really deep thought about my little brother and I was afraid that my dad’s bad temper would ruin our times together. So, you know, having to think about all these things was tearing me apart inside.
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