Trigger ⚠️: Indicates depression
1 Week Before Mom Died
”God Marley, can you at least help out around here? It’s like your Mother does everything!” Dad had exclaimed dramatically, waving his arms around.
Mom had quietly continued to sweep the floor, not looking up at the either of us. By the time she had finished sweeping, the floor screamed in agony. The self-despair oozed off of her, like greasy, thick slime.
“If Mom needed help she would ask me to do so! It’s not like I ever see you going out of your way to clean a dish. The most I’ve ever seen you do was pick up a bottle of beer!” I screamed at him, high enough for a couple of glasses to shatter.
Dad’s face scrunched up in confusion for a moment, his arms folded. Mom lifted up her face, just long enough for me to see the dark circles around her eyes and chapped lips.
“Can you all just stop, please? My head is pounding out of this world and I can’t even-” Mom talked softly, but Dad’s voice boomed over hers.
”Go to your room now! What I do is none of your freaking business. You are a child so stay in that place!” Dad yelled, pointing his fat finger towards my room. I blew a gust of wind out of my mouth, stared at my Father in disgust, and marched to room. “Don’t come out until I give you permission!”.
The next time I came out of my room, my Mom was gone. Dead. I would never see her alive again.
1 Week After Mom Died
Dad’s drinking was out of control again. The last time I had seen him like this was when I was five and Mom had gotten fired from her job. The bottles had never laid on the ground by there selves. They always laid in pairs, like he guzzled down two at a time.
My high school career was starting but I couldn’t get out of bed in the morning. My mind was plagued with thoughts, questioning how I never noticed my Mom was suffering from depression. Me and Dad didn’t argue all the time, but we must have argued enough to be completely obvious to Mom. The arguing did stop once Mom died, though. I mean, we barely even spoke to each other. The only exception was the day I heard beer bottles clanking against each other and footsteps heading towards my door.
Knocks began to come against the door. Then, the sound of the door squeaking. “Get up and get ready for school”, he said. I could see his green eyes scan the floor of my room, seeing my scattered art papers. Art had calmed me down after the many arguments me and my Dad had. Seeing as I hadn’t drawn in a minute showed the condition I was in.
”I‘ll make breakfast, if you want. I believe we have some eggs and I can cook up and some of that Canadian bacon-” He started, putting his finger up to his chin, pondering what breakfast food he could cook.
”I‘m not going to school so I don‘t need any of your stupid breakfast”, I interrupted him and threw the cover over my head.
After a couple of seconds passed, I could hear the door close and beer bottles clanking. As I lay there for the rest of the day, I realized I hadn’t ate anything the past couple of days. The sound of breakfast by Dad didn’t seem as bad. The taste of sweet croissants spread with butter and nice, crispy sausages filled my mind. My mouth started to salivate but couldn’t because it was dry. I reached over to my nightstand to get my days old bottle of water but my hand touched a piece of paper.
It was my application to Art School, half filled. I threw the paper on the floor, smushing my pillow against my head. Mom was helping me fill out my application before she
2 Weeks After Mom Died
”Marley, that art school is calling on the phone. They need to talk to you” Dad said, standing in the doorway.
“Go away, I’m not going to school ever. Art sucks, anyway” I mumbled, slowly falling back asleep.
”Fine” He replied but left the door open. ”Hey, I’m back. Yeah, Marley said that she wasn’t going to school ever again”.
I jumped out of my bed. “Dad!” I ran out of my room, and saw my Dad talking on the phone. He looked out of the corner of his eyes and continued to speak. “Yes, she said that art su-”.
I ripped the phone out of his hands and mustered up the most mean face I could. He smiled a little before resting back into his couch seat, surrounded by beer bottles.
“Hello, this Marley Robinson. I apologize for the wait, I was feeding my cat”.
3 Weeks After Mom Died
That morning, I had gotten up to finish my application. I only had a week left before they would close the applications. If I didn't turn in my application, I would have let my dream go down the drain. I walked into the living room to find my Dad slumped over the couch cushion. Two bottles of beer lay in his lap and his mouth was halfway open. I looked at him a moment before conjuring up a plan to get him up.
“Rise and shine, Dad!” I said, throwing open the curtains. The sun beamed into the dark living room. Dad’s eyes fluttered open and he immediately covered them.
”Marley, what are you doing? What time is it? Now you pick the time to get up!” He started to rant, waving his arms around again. I sighed and sat at the dining table.
“I had decided that I wanted to finish my application” I spoke, looking over at him. I could see his eyes glisten in the sunlight before he stood up and stretched.
”What does that have to do with me? Your old enough to wake up by yourself and leave me alone!” He said, walking towards the kitchen.
“I wanted some breakfast“ I saw him whip his head around and begin to say something before I said, “I wanted your breakfast”.
His mouth closed. He scratched his head in confusion. “I guess we have some eggs and I could make some biscuits”.
I smiled at him before starting to work on my application. We spent the rest of the day, cooking and working.
4 Weeks After Mom Died
The next week, me and my Dad bonded more than we ever had my entire life. We had developed a routine. I wake up, wake up Dad, Dad cooks breakfast, and then I draw pictures for my application. We had conversations about any and everything. We even had talked about what Mom was like before I was born and how they met. Every time we ran out of things to do, I would see Dad pick up a beer bottle. I would quickly look for something to say and divert him from the bottle. It worked.
5 Weeks After Mom Died
My first day of art school, we woke up extra early so Dad could have time to cook breakfast. Plus, we had another stop before he took me to school.
As we rode along the highway, the wind crashed into my face and it felt wonderful. I could see Dad enjoying the wind blowing through his thinning hair, as well.
When we arrived I realized where he taken me. Mom’s grave. I cried before we even were able to walk over there. I sobbed over her headstone, seeing the flowers sitting there. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Dad hesitate to put his arms around me. I turned and laid into his arms, crying even harder.
“I miss her, Dad” I managed to choke out, wrapping my arms around him.
“I do too, Marley. I do too” He returned the embrace and I started to hear him cry. I had never heard my Dad cry before. “We’ll be okay”.
My tears had soaked his shirt but I know he wouldn’t care because his had done the same to my shirt. I held him tighter before realizing this was the first time me and my Dad had ever hugged.
We shared a lot of firsts that day.
”I love you, Dad” I said, letting go of him and reaching over to my Mom’s grave.
”Rest in peace, Mommy. Me and Dad will survive”.