Diane knocked on her daughter's bedroom door as she opened it.
"Can I come in?"
"Yeah," Josie whispered. The girl was on her bed with her legs pulled up to her chest and Diane could tell that she had been crying.
"I'm very sorry that you and your sister heard all of that. I wasn't thinking about anything except how angry I am. That's selfish of me."
"Okay," Josie didn't want to cry.
"Baby, you can tell me how you feel."
"You'll be mad."
"You need to say it."
"I don't understand why you're so mad at daddy. I don't know why he has to leave. Daddy loves you and I thought you loved him."
"Your father is the love of my life. I can't explain to you what happened because you are too young to understand. Daddy and I are taking some time away from each other to see what we want."
"You mean if you want a divorce?"
"Yeah, but right now I'm not focused on getting a divorce."
"Mama, can I go live with daddy?"
Diane felt like she had been punched in the gut, "um, we'd have to talk to daddy about that. I don't know what his plans are with work." Diane was desperately trying not to cry.
Charlotte walked in at that moment, "do you feel better?" she asked her sister.
"Mama said she'd talk to daddy about me living with him."
"You're going to leave me?"
"Come with me."
"Mama would be sad."
Diane stood abruptly, "um, it's fine. I mean, you do what will make you happy. I...I..." Diane couldn't hold it in anymore, "I can't do this." Diane fell to her knees with her head in her hands. "I'm so sorry, girls. I have ruined your life."
Josie got off of her bed, grabbed the tissues, and walked over to her mother. She rubbed her back along with Charlotte.
"Mama, don't cry," Josie said.
"I'm a horrible mother. All of my children want to leave me and want nothing to do with me. I'm so sorry."
"You the best mama ever," Josie said. She placed her hands on her mother's face to get her to look up. She used a tissue to dry her mother's face. "I love you so much and I don't want to leave you. Daddy will be all alone and that makes me sad."
"We're going to make sure you see us both," Diane said softly.
"Mama, don't ask daddy about me living with him. Not yet," Josie said.
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, right now you need me more."
Diane pulled her daughter into a hug. She found herself being able to count on her five-year-old daughters. Diane thought if she could just get through this, that she would be alright. She had lost, for the most part, everyone, and pretty soon, she would lose everything.