When my mother died, I knew I had to take care of her son

on

But when it came to my little boy, I was not at all like my mother.

I’d never had one of my own. But I loved him with every breath I’d
breathed, his body, his voice, and more. When his mother died, I felt a sudden
jolt of sorrow. I had always tried to look after him, to keep him safe and
sound. Now I was left with this woman’s son.

The moment I’d met him, I knew that I had to take him in.

Our first day was awkward. When we parted and he was off to his
grandmother’s, I was going to go visit him the next day. My husband would
have kept an eye on him. I was going to meet him at his grandmother’s. My
first thought upon his return was that I didn’t want to let him out of my
sight. But as time went by and he never came home, I realized there was
nothing I could do to protect him.

I decided to wait. I figured waiting for him to return would give me time to
gather my thoughts and to get things sorted.

I didn’t have to wait long. Three days after that first awkward meeting
with his mother, I’d visited our house. My husband was at work. I found
him, he found me. We walked up to my bedroom. My son was sitting on my bed.
His eyes filled with tears when he saw me.

I held him tightly to find the strength to look into his eyes and to
tell him everything had to be okay. Because I knew it would never be okay.

I wanted to save him.

But I didn’t have a choice. The tears came because I knew what was
coming. He’d never really given up. He’d never really let go. In fact, I
could see that he was not really aware how much he’d already lost.

He had always looked out for me. I’d always admired him for it. My
son even once told me, before he lost his mother, that he would be able to take
care of and protect me. That his mother had been a bad mother and he was going
to take care of me.

I know this only from my son’s words.

I told him I’d give him a chance, but that I hoped in time he would learn to
be on his own. With the love I’d always been able to give him and the
strength he’d always offered, I hoped it would be enough.

But even before that he’d told me he wished I were dead. With that he got out of his bed and walked over to the door. He opened it and slammed it behind him.

***

I walked up to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. I was holding my son in my hands. Looking at his beautiful eyes, he looked up at me. I was a mess. I knew that he had lost his mother, that she was always going to be gone because it was not a good idea to let someone suffer so for so long. He was never going to be a good man to me. He was not my responsibility. I was too late for his mother.

I cried for him. But then I cried for myself. I cried for being a selfish
mother. I cried for being a foolish woman.

I told myself that it wasn’t my fault. It was my baby’s.
He’d been given to me. It had to be his choice to leave me.

***

My second born son is the one that I knew I would have. I always knew that I
would have. My son was always my son. From before he was born, I knew he
would be a prince.

I’ve told myself that I must have done a good job. That my husband did not abuse him in the slightest. That he was always sweet and gentle. I can only guess at what I would have done if I’d known what had happened but now, knowing it, I feel like I’ve failed him. Failed everyone to do what was best for him. And that is the saddest thing about this.

I’m so sorry mom, I’m sorry dad, I’m sorry everyone that he ever hurt. He was my child.

***

“Oh, no, please, don’t go,” he said. I was about to say that it was okay, that
everything would be okay, when he broke down and sobbed. He couldn’t stop
sobbing. I walked over to him, holding onto him with all my strength.

“Mom, it’s not your fault. It’s not in your hands.”

“And yet, I am the one whose child is the only one who’s lost a parent.”

I looked into his eyes. I knew that I had failed him. I’d failed everyone
to do what was best for him.

“I still have you,” he said in a faint whisper.

And I did have him. More than I wanted to admit. More than I deserved. But I
had him. And because of that, I couldn’t ever let him go. I couldn’t let him
fail. I couldn’t let him lose everything.

I held him tighter and told him that the only thing he could choose to do, was
to stay with me. And to love me.

***

I found my husband on the road. I had to catch a plane to meet him. No one knew I was coming. No one could have seen my car, not even my husband.

It was just after sunset. He’d walked all day and was on the verge of falling
asleep. I couldn’t wait any longer to be with him. I told myself that I would
be safe, wouldn’t anyone find me, wouldn’t anything ever be wrong?

But I’d never been on the road at night, never driving in the dark, without
a car or a flashlight. I didn’t know what I could do, and I knew I wouldn’t,
but I had my husband and I couldn’t just let him go.

I could not let him leave me.

So I was driving, my head in my hands, tears flowing, my eyes filled with the
images of him that seemed to invade the driver’s seat. I couldn’t stop the
memory. Like a horror movie, I was there, I was there, I was there, I was
there.

“Please, Mommy, don’t say anything to him. Mommy, please don’t tell him.”

So I’d seen him. I’d seen him kill the other one. I’d seen him take my
child.

Share this
Tags

Must-read

Tommy’s mission was to escape from the waking world

He needed to figure out a way to get back to his own body, so that he could complete his mission without having to go through the motions of a waking life. There was...

Beth stood atop the headland, watching the waves crash gently onto the ocean, feeling suddenly as if she was being pulled away from herself,...

Yet as she gazed out into an ocean that seemed to beckon as an unknown singer sang a song of longing, Beth felt suddenly as if she had been the one to place the...

The green eyes looked at Danielle, and then at the knight

“Sorry,” Danielle said, as she saw the last of the needles float out of sight, and the wall in front of the knight collapsed. She looked back down at the green eyes. “Is it...

Recent articles

More like this