12 year old Livin’

Today’s Prompt: Where did you live when you were 12 years old? Today’s twist: pay attention to your sentence lengths and use short, medium, and long sentences as you compose your response about the home you lived in when you were twelve.

The title almost makes it sound like fun. Some of being 12 was fun. That was the year we put the in ground pool in. We had a choice. Vacations once a year or a pool.  A pool all the time. We easily chose the pool. Those were happy times. Our house was soon to become The House. The house everyone wants to hang at.  Not many in the neighborhood could say they have an in ground pool. Soon, ours would be complete.

Things were pretty fine for me in school as well. My junior high softball team were champs that year. The boys baseball coach got mad at our team during the bus ride home from the last game.  We sang “We are the Champions” half the way home.  After he ‘spoke’ to us, we quieted down a bit.  With the singing anyway.  He didn’t have the power to shut us up completely.  Boy were the boys quiet on the way home.  We went undefeated. They did not.

I remember my father and Pop remodeled our basement that year.  They turned a dark damp basement into two more rooms.  Unlike building a pool in the backyard, everyone was doing this. Mom’s friend turned their basement into a barroom so my parents followed suit.  One room had the couch, television, dehumidifier, and the bar.  The other room had the fireplace. Throw in some ceiling tiles, wood paneling and carpeting and you had added living space. When you turned off all the lights it turned pitch black. There were no windows. This made for the perfect atmosphere for a new game we created. It was called ghost and it could only be played in my parents barroom.

My 12th year did not stay this good.  My father left that year. My parents separated.  I don’t remember much of this time.  All I really remember is him stating, “I cannot stay sober in this house,” and he was gone. I do not recall seeing him for at least a year.

His presence was felt.

The back door of our house never locked properly. Well it locked, it just didn’t stay shut.  Even with it locked, all you needed to do was give a good shove and the door would open. The door sill was a bit off.  Not many people knew this. My father did. More than once we would come home, only to find things added, moved around, or taken away. My father was a disturbed stalker. We were his victims. It was spooky to come home not knowing what would be different this time.

The last straw was when the pool filter had electrical problems.  Mom had no choice but to call an electrician for this issue.  The information provided by the electrician was scarier than scary.  He informed us that someone had taken a hammer to the electrical box in the basement.  We were lucky the whole house had not burned down. That was the last straw for the father. Up until this day my mother’s life was the only one threatened. This time her kids were in jeopardy. This was not cool in my Mom’s eyes. Divorce was filed, child support and house finances figured out, and restraining orders filed.  My father fell in love with someone else. then someone else, and then someone else.  We didn’t care what he did as long as his focus remained on people other than us.  Eventually we all went our separate ways.  The house of my 12th year remains occupied by the father and his new, other family.


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