My mother walked out of court without even saying bye to us, and for that, she doesn't deserve a place in my life.
When my brother and I were still young, school-going kids, my parents told us they were getting a divorce. While this news shattered us, I comforted my little brother who was afraid he was going to lose both his parents. Mind you, I was only older by about a couple of years, but I knew I had to step up and take care of my brother because my parents couldn't, owing to the taxing divorce process. Mom and dad were busy meeting lawyers and I was sure it was because they wanted to find a way to keep both of us in the picture. I felt like I knew my parents enough to assume that neither parent would have sole custody over us.
With just weeks remaining to the divorce's final decision, it seemed like my mom wanted to say something to me, but she just couldn't get herself to. One thing was very clear—she couldn't stand in the same room as my dad. Honestly, I did feel a bit bad for him. He seemed exhausted while mom seemed like she just wanted to get this over with. On the day of the final hearing, we all went to the court as a family for the last time. Honestly, we had no idea what was going to happen, but we held on to hope that we'd be able to see both our parents even though they wouldn't be living under the same roof. But I definitely was not prepared for what was to come.
"You and your brother will live with your father, he has sole custody over both of you," said the judge, and I felt like the world was slipping away from under my feet. Why didn't mom want us anymore? Was the divorce because she didn't want us? Both of them said nothing to us, so all these questions remained unanswered when she walked away without even saying bye, leaving us with dad, who seemed heartbroken, just like us. We went back home to find that mom had moved all her stuff out. I wanted to ask dad where she was going, but I didn't have it in me to talk about her. She'd broken my heart. She'd abandoned me, my brother; my family.
I couldn't think of mom without breaking down in tears or getting really angry, for a while, I felt like she owed me an explanation, so that would give me some kind of closure, but she didn't and I was suffering. One day, years after the incident, dad and I got to talking. We were discussing the future and I asked him about the divorce. He'd never married again and seemed disinterested in even a relationship. That's when he told me that my mother didn't want to be a mother and she was tired of taking care of us. I felt so horrible, words can't even describe it. She just didn't want us, even though dad tried his best to convince her otherwise.
He then told me that the reason he's stayed single for all these years is that he didn't want another woman to come into our lives and then leave again. He didn't want us to go through this pain and suffering ever again. I understood what he meant because I don't think I would have ever been okay with another woman trampling all over us again. Mothers are supposed to stick with you through thick and thin and love you unconditionally, but that's just not how mine functioned. We have had no contact with her since the divorce five years ago. My dad probably knows where she is, or if she's got another family, but I haven't bothered to ask him, and neither has my brother. We are happy with what we have and I guess that's enough.