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Romance Fiction Sad

The mother pauses for a moment and takes a deep breath before knocking on her son’s door.

“Come in!” she hears. She then gently opens the door and softly asks,

“Hey, son. How are you?”

“I’m alright. Just reading and trying to pass the time until tomorrow. You know, I’ll be leaving pretty early to visit her in the hospital so don’t be surprised if I’m gone by the time you wake up.”

With a dreadful look in her eyes, her son could sense the burden weighing on her lips.

“What’s wrong, Mama?”

The tension strangles her. She squeaks out a jumpy stutter before sighing and leaning her weight on the wall. 

“Mama, what’s going on? You’re worrying me.”

A lost mother locks eyes with her son’s.

“She’s dead, son.” She sniffles and sheds a tear.

“What? Who’s dead?” he asks without wanting to hear the answer.

“You know who. She hasn’t been well for a while and…and she decided to pull the plug.”

He jumps out of his chair and looks his mother straight in the eyes.

“But, I was just with her yesterday. She said I have nothing to worry about. She said she could leave soon. I don’t think you know what you’re talking about.”

He chuckles and shakes his head. The boy shoves his mom out his way and rushes down the stairs. He grabs the keys and his phone but he can’t find his wallet. Upon entering the living room, he pulls off every cushion until the couch is stark naked.

“Mama, where’s my wallet?!” he asks with desperation in his voice.

“I need my wallet! Where’s my fucking wallet?! I need my ID to get into the hospital!”

She slowly walks down to her son and achingly repeats,

“She’s gone, my love. I’m so sorry. She’s gone.”

With his tears locked up behind his eyelids, he earnestly asks,

“Well..gone where? Where’d she go? WHY would she go?! Why the fuck would she leave me?!”

“Come here, son.” She embraces his tense body. “She was in pain. She couldn’t endure the agony and knew that the end was inevitably the only way out. She knew it was more difficult for her loved ones to watch her endure. It was her life. It was her decision.”

He furiously slithers out of her arms. 

“What about my life? What about me?! Did I mean nothing to her?!”

The mother takes a deep breath and gathers her thoughts before responding,

“That decision says nothing about how much she cared for you, son. She just had to leave.”

He pauses, attempting to process the words but failing to do so.

“But, the doctors were trying to fix this! They knew there was hope! It’s selfish. It’s fucking selfish! What about me? I need her! Why would she choose to leave me?!”

He lifts his coat off the hanger, grabs the flashlight from the adjacent cupboard and barges out. The mother lets him go. Outside, he finds a misplaced cold night in the middle of spring. Rushedly, he hops on his bike and heads to the open field where they shared much of their lives. Upon arrival, he recklessly drops the bike onto the grass. After pulling out a cigarette he walks towards the mildly frozen lake and takes a seat. He reminisces about the warm summers they spent swimming in that lake. The picnics with her homemade jam in their tree-house. The comfort of her arms after his father died. The reassurance in his chest when she said she loved him, too. Frozen in those memories, he begins to cry, longing for her presence, her voice, her touch. And right then, it hits him like a kitchen knife to the temple. 

She’s gone. She left. Her voice has been silenced. Her scent is now odorless. Her touch is cold. He lost her. The thoughts flood in. Thoughts about tomorrow and the next day and the one after that and how they would all be void of her. Who will he be? Where will he go? Who can he share all of himself with? 

Unable to remain seated, he climbs to his feet and paces around the open field. To his left, what remains of the 8-year old tree house they built together. To his right, her deceased dog’s grave. Where there was once beauty is now tainted with decay and death. It was a reminder. Everything is provisional. He stops. 

His mind transports him two weeks back to when he had taken her to this very same lake for a brisk walk. This is where she confessed. This is where she told him she wasn’t happy anymore. The anxiety in his chest turns into a weighing sorrow. Heaviness on his shoulders pushes his body to the ground and he looks down at the lake. He finds a puddle of water frozen solid from the unexpected cold. It looks constant. 

“Beautiful..,” he thinks to himself.

He continues to stare at it with complete focus. While he observes this calming puddle of ice, he remembers her condition. He remembers the pain in her eyes every time he would visit her. The anger she conveyed at his every attempt to console. The sadness in her tears every time she would say, “I love you.” The relief in yesterday’s voice as she said, “I can leave soon.”

He sits there with his legs tucked into his chest and his arms crossed over his knees. All he does is sit there watching the icy puddle. A tear drops from his left eye and rolls down his cheek. He wants the cold to remain, but knows it will fade away. He remembers the words his mother said to him before he left. He cries and watches his tears trickle from his cheek onto the icy puddle. He shuts his eyes for a moment and instantly sees her. He smells her. He feels her arms around him, tastes the homemade strawberry jam, hears her whisper, "I love you." The sun slowly emerges from the horizon. The cold weather turns warm. And as he watches the frozen puddle thaw, he whispers to the air, 

“I love you.”

March 18, 2022 22:49

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1 comment

John K Adams
00:19 Mar 26, 2022

You capture that yearning emptiness of loss very well. The use of profanity, though understandable, is boring to read. The character may be inarticulate, but the writer should be. I recommend reading the story aloud before hitting publish. I catch many errors and cumbersome sentences that way. I look forward to reading more of your work.


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