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This is Lenny, and he feels really offended. You might laugh when you hear his story, or you might just be confused – who knows. The thing is that his mom hid the truth from him for quite a long time, and it was very upsetting for him when he realized why she did it.
Lenny’s story starts as millions of other teenage stories around the world do – a happy family, everything going fine, until one day...“Son, we have to tell you something: we’re getting divorced.” Just like everyone else, Lenny was perplexed and a bit offended, but, well, ok – life goes on. He wasn’t a child anymore, and even if it’s an unpleasant moment in your life, you have to live and let live. Both of his parents were thoroughly decent people, and he was sure they knew what was best for them. Lenny tried to ask them what the reason was, because everything seemed to have been going quite well, but they remained vague. Well, love sometimes just ends.
He stayed on living with his mom, but he’d always had a very close relationship with his dad, and so he spent half of his time at home and half at his dad’s place, normally at the weekends. And then one day, he noticed something strange when he got back home after a long weekend at his dad’s. There were definitely traces of another person who’d been staying with his mom while he hadn’t been there. He found two empty wine glasses in the kitchen sink, someone’s t-shirt he had never seen before, and even a new toothbrush in the bathroom. His mom removed it quickly, thinking that he hadn’t noticed. But he had.
Lenny felt pretty uneasy. You know, it’s almost a stereotype – normally when two people get divorced, they spend some time thinking it all over and feeling very down, or at least that’s what he thought they did. But his mom definitely didn’t want to waste her time feeling sad.He had the idea to go see his dad and ask him if he knew something.
Strangely enough, his dad again stayed vague. He was normally a very straightforward person, and it was strange to see him avoid answering. Of course, it heightened Lenny’s curiosity even more. But he didn’t push him. His dad had tried not to make a drama out of his divorce and he was visibly uncomfortable about discussing it. However, Lenny was getting irritated. He was 15, nearly 16, close to being a grown-up man and he was convinced that he couldn’t be traumatized by anything! Why didn’t they just clear things up for everyone? It just didn’t occur to him that they could have been keeping the truth to themselves not to protect him, but to protect themselves.
Lenny found out the truth almost casually. He entered the living room and saw his mom together with some woman on the sofa watching TV. He greeted them casually and went to the kitchen to get himself a glass of water, lost in his thoughts. Then he paused for a moment and was like, wait, what the…he didn’t know the woman. They were holding hands and she was dressed in some kind of pajamas, which meant she was sleeping there. His mom joined him in the kitchen to ask why he was home so early. She had that tone to her voice – you know, when you hear it you know at once that something’s up. And her face was somehow embarrassed even if she tried to hide it.
“Mom, who is that?” “Oh, that’s Lana, she’s just a friend who came to visit me and watch a bit of TV” she answered, with that unnatural voice. And that’s when Lenny erupted, because understatements are ok but he hated it when people lied to him. “In pajamas? Come on mom! Tell me what’s going on here!” That’s when his mom sighed and sat down in a chair. “Ok, we need to talk”. “Oh come on, cut that ‘we need to talk’ stuff! Who is she, your girlfriend? Why can’t you tell me directly, are you ashamed?” You should have seen his mom’s face, a weird mixture of embarrassment and relief. “Well”, she said, “yes, she is my girlfriend. I just didn’t know how you would take it.” It was a bit insulting, to be honest. Who did she think he was, a caveman?
It turned out that that was the reason his parents had broken up – his mom fell in love with Lana and couldn’t help it, so she felt it fairer to ask for a divorce. She begged her dad not to tell Lenny anything, because she thought that he would be disgusted or hate her. Ok, Lenny then said, what would be the difference if you had a boyfriend? Live your life, just introduce him to Lana, she was spending lots of time in their house and he didn’t know anything about her! Lana turned out to be a very nice woman and all in all they’re now living an absolutely normal life. Lenny feels a bit sorry for his dad, but these things happen in life. And here’s some advice: if you think something you do is embarrassing and you hide it from your family, the chances are you are making a mistake. Sometimes understatement is more offensive than the naked truth.
Music by Epidemic Sound: https://www.epidemicsound.com