Bad Day: Step Up

It was a bolt from the blue that shocked the entire system,

Trouble was brewin’ but still you never saw it coming,

Looking back now on those good ol’ days, the contrast is heartbreaking,

It was laughs and good times galore, signs of a rock-solid unit,

The guardians loved one another, you and the sibs their little tribe of miscreants,

Experienced highs and lows like everyone, got back on track after every single one,

Fractured unions now a frequent occurrence but had faith Mom and Pops won’t be one of them,

Then cracks started forming on the surface, smiles rare as diamonds, as time went on and on the future seemed less certain,

Fast forward to the present Mom was glued to the tube while you were messing with the sibs,

Pops wasn’t home, still out on a work trip,

Seemed like good old-fashioned normalcy, a typical Sunday evening,

Then came the berg that sunk the vessel beneath the ocean.

Shouldn’t have been unexpected, been sailing over rough seas lately,

More than a few storms, took ‘em longer to get back on course,

Even what was trivial served as kindling for raging fires,

Old remedies failed to extinguish ‘em, their once undeniable chemistry nothing short of dire,

Still felt like a gut punch from Tyson, nobody likes to lose a parent,

You and the sibs been drifting due to changing interests, nothing like sorrow to get you reunited,

All the while you wonder, as their first-born, how the one you once looked up to, who clothed, provided for and raised you, could up and leave just like that, without a farewell hug at that?

Just a simple text message, talk about insincere, so much for precious memories from the past twenty years,

On the subject of familial breakdowns, night after night prayed you’d never join the club,

But life had other plans for ya, shit is totally fucked up.

You were thrust the unofficial role of co-pilot, Ma can only do so much on her own,

Fresh out of teens, still unsure of your life’s goals, forced into a new role, spat into a world that devours even the bold,

Work turns out to be your safe haven, a distraction from your current situation,

Away from the anguish and bitterness in equal measures, reminders of unwanted changes,

The daily commute serves as a time of reflection, though not in a way that begets enlightenment,

Rather to purge the heart and mind of inner pain and sadness, why did it have to come to this?

Got you contemplating the dark side, embrace many a broken soul’s vices,

But deep down you knew better, for all their faults they didn’t raise a fool and delinquent,

Still, the inner anger got you thinking foolish temptations,

Must be draining to go through pain alone while the world remains happily oblivious,

Misery loves company but strength of mind ain’t having it,

Gotta stay on the straight and narrow, new responsibilities require you to do so.

The fake smiles mask internal tears, got you wondering how many years before the pain subsides if at all, after all, this was one of your worse fears,

Happy fam snatched away just like that, what happened to their chemistry from the past?

Been caught in storms before, no one makes it out bone-dry,

Time and time again they made it to the other side, sometimes different brollies were required, but damn it they got out of them alive,

Then you have the mental gymnastics nothing short of soul-sapping,

You resent ‘em for blowing it, for taking away from you a complete support system,

Takes two to tango, the handiwork’s barely one-sided, but to the one that played deserter the blame is compounded,

Bitter feelings are inevitable, can’t believe he walked away,

Feeling angry, scared and betrayed, will life ever be the same?

Should’ve been here to show the way, act as your guide through life,

But now he ain’t and you don’t know why, just that he left y’all high and dry,

Fangs are out for her, too, for making mountains out of mole hills,

On his case constantly for even the most useless things, who wants to put up with that shit?

Juxtaposed against the love that offspring naturally feel for their parents,

Can try to deny it but can’t simply just forget about it,

The sacrifices made for you and your sibs, through grown eyes you recognize all of this,

Couldn’t get to where you are present had they not hustled hard for it,

As far as parenting you couldn’t ask for better, they raised you and the sibs proper,

Insulated y’all from all manner of harm and danger, guided y’all through your problems,

In many ways you kids were privileged and for that you ought to stay grateful for it,

When all’s said and done they still deserve their flowers, recent occurrences can’t and won’t erase ‘em,

So now you’re left in this conundrum, though the betrayal cuts deep,

Opposing feelings on extreme ends of the scale, haunts you damn near every night before you sleep.

So ends another day, mask on while slogging through work,

Shelved it upon arriving home, life with fam now seems rather awkward,

Before the hard part hit you, that would be the hours before bed,

Hearing sibs and mother crying, their means of purging, the sound reverberates around your head,

Trying to stay strong for their sake, takes every ounce of your being,

Nodding off, finally, a brief respite from grief and uncertainty,

Times are tough right now, Kid, but soldier on and you’ll be fine,

It’s ok to feel sad or mad, to ask and wonder why,

Life took a different turn, certainly one that’s mind-boggling,

Just know you aren’t to blame for it, not all unions go the distance,

Keep a strong front if you must, the younger sibs need someone to hold onto,

Even Momma’s struggling hard, she, too, needs a rock to cling to,

Break down if you must, let the tears fall, don’t keep it bottled up,

On your lonesome, too, if you don’t want them to see you broken and torn up,

Remember that winners never quit and quitters never win, don’t let nothing break you,

He taught you that long ago and it will always ring true,

Speaking of lessons, you can still learn from ‘em, too,

How not to communicate with your significant other, the one with whom you vowed to live happily ever after,

Not to sweat the small stuff, match your emotions with the matter,

Getting hot over the irrelevant, such behaviour does not serve to flatter,

To never quit on one another, they were supposed to be in it together,

For every problem there’s a solution, might take some effort but eventually you’ll find it,

But if the fairytale ends, if somehow it didn’t last, surely there’s better ways to part that ain’t cold, abrupt and crass,

Though you’d rather forget this particular chapter, do file it for reference later,

There’s not telling where life might take you, might find yourself in situations similar,

Until then just carry on, though it’s hard, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,

Step up and thrive where they’d stumbled, you still have a bright future.

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