August 23, 2020
I hate him. I hate him right now more than I’ve hated anything in my life. I hate him to the core.
Today, like every single day in my life, I fought with Nathan, who, by the way, is an absolute asshole. He came home at 8:00 PM, late as usual, missing dinner, as usual. To be honest, by now, I’m used to this crap that he pulls, but today was different, today was Mikey’s birthday, and he came home late.
I lost it. I completely flipped out at him, screamed, yelled, and cried, asking him why he was never home for dinner, why he never spent any time with Mikey and I, and why the hell he didn’t just drop his company and find a normal job that didn’t require him to work overtime EVERY SINGLE DAY, a job that didn't require him to invest all his time and energy in.
As usual, he fed me all this nonsense about how he was working so hard for US. He wanted to create a better future for Mikey and I. He argued that everything he was doing now, was to ensure that we could live a better life and in better conditions.
"I'm not working day and night for myself." he said. "I'm doing it so that when it comes time for Mikey to inherit my business, I can hand it over as it's thriving and flourishing, not as it's on the verge of bankruptcy. In order to do that, I have to dedicate a lot of time to developing the company. Why don't you understand?" his voice was sharp and exaggerated.
I didn't believe a single word he said. That was the biggest bull shit of a lie I’ve ever heard. Developing the company my ass. I know what he’s doing out there. I know it because every night, I can smell a different scent of floral perfume reeking from his clothes. I know it because every night, the first thing he does is check his phone and smile that goofy smile of his which used to be reserved for me. I know it because every night, he’s too tired or “over worked” to spend any real time with me. Tonight, the fact that he missed his only son’s 13th birthday only confirms everything I’ve known. Even if he was extremely busy "developing the company" as he calls, he shouldn't have missed his son's birthday. He really needs to stop making excuses for himself.
It’s too late though. I’ve married him, moved in with him, and had a child with him. Hell, I literally quit my job and dropped everything I was doing so that I could raise our child, and yet, this is how he Mikey and I.
Tonight, before Nathan came home, I sat with Mikey at the dining table, just the two of us. I baked a three layer marble based cake with sweet vanilla buttercream smeared on the edges and top. I hadn’t had time to cook dinner myself, so I went to the local Italian restaurant a few blocks away and got us some spaghetti with breadsticks on the side.
Mikey had stared into space as I spooned a bowl of spaghetti out from the plastic takeout container, set it in front of him, and did the same for myself.
“Mikey, honey, are you alright?” I asked. Stupid question. Of course he wasn’t alright. It was his birthday, that one special day in a year that was meant to be spent happily with friends and family, and yet his goddamn asshole of a father decided to miss it. It was one day; One day out of 356 days in a year, and he couldn’t even sacrifice it to celebrate his only son’s birthday!
“Sweetie, do you want to start eating now? I don’t think your father will be able to make it tonight.” I said. Not that he made it home any other night.
Mikey had turned his eyes to look at me and nodded, “Sure, we can eat.”, and began shoving a forkful of steaming hot spaghetti into his mouth. As he did this, I saw tears in his eyes, and my heart broke. It literally broke.
I stood up abruptly out of my chair, wrapped my arms around him like I did when he was just a baby, and whispered into his ear, “I’m sorry Mikey. Mommy’s really really sorry. Next year, I promise you it won’t be like this. We’ll throw the biggest party and invite all your friends. How does that sound?” I placed my hand on his head and stroked his hair.
He didn’t respond, and tears flowed down his cheeks even more rapidly than before. I couldn’t understand why, but I didn’t ask. I simply held him in my arms, and we sat there in silence for a few minutes. Then, I lit the candles on the cake, switched off the lights, and sang him a solo of “Happy Birthday”. I told him to make a wish as he blew at candles and turned the lights back on.
After that, I cut each of us a thick slice and sat back in my chair, “Happy Birthday, Mikey. I love you so much.”
“Thanks, Mom.” he said lethargically, taking a few bites out of his cake. Then, he stood up and his chair screeched against the wooden floor. “Thanks for everything, Mom. This was great, but I have some homework assignments to catch up on, so is it alright if I excuse myself?” he asked.
For a second, I stared at him blankly, then walked over to the kitchen and pulled out a small black box with a red ribbon wrapped around it that I’d kept hidden under the counter. I handed it to him.
“Here’s your birthday present, dear. Happy birthday!” I hugged him one more time as he thanked me and dragged himself up the stairs to his room.
Now that I think about it, I probably should’ve insisted he stayed with me a little longer. We should’ve watched a movie or something. I mean, what kid has to spend their birthday alone in a room doing homework?
God, that just makes me ten times angrier at Nathan. How could he neglect his son like that. If he doesn’t want to spend any time with me, he could at least make space in his schedule for his son!
I hate him.
August 23, 2020
I don’t understand her. She’s just so unreasonable, so clingy, so irritable. I just don’t get it.
I came home from a long strenuous day of work, and the moment I set foot in the house, my wife decided to go berserk. Ally screamed, yelled, and cried, asking why I was never home on time, why I didn’t spend time with our son, and why I didn’t just drop the company and get a "normal job". You would think the answer to that question would be obvious, but to her, I guess not.
So, I told her that was ridiculous, because it was. First, there was no way I could just drop the company that I created after years of blood, sweat, and tears. It was impossible for me to just quit and leave my company. Second, I tried to tell her that I was doing all this for our family, for our future! I was trying to make the company the best it can be so that when Mikey takes on the business, everything will be smooth sailing for him, and he won't have to work his ass off every day to keep the company running. And to be fair, I do try to make it home, I really do try, but lately our projects have been given strict deadlines, and the schedule is extremely tight. Now, as for Mikey, yes, I know that I’m probably not the best father to him, but I swear it’s not because I don’t care about the kid. He’s my son, I love him, and everything I'm doing now is to help him have a better future, but Ally doesn’t seem to believe that.
She always looks at me in a funny way when I come home, like she’s an undercover detective, and I’m some criminal that needs to be inspected. When I get home and slip my work clothes off, she stares and eyes me with an almost murderous look in her eyes that sends chills down my spine. I don’t get what her problem is.
Each day, after getting off at the bus stop, I pass a floral shop on the way home. Every time I walk by, they have a different bouquet of flowers displayed in front of the shop. Today, they were Gardenias. Ally loves Gardenias. I had thought about buying them for her, but when I walked up to the shop, I realized that they had already closed.
Now, I wish that they hadn’t. Maybe, if I’d brought Ally those Gardenia’s she could have been less pissed off at me for getting home late and missing Mikey’s birthday.
When I finished arguing with Ally, I walked up the stairs to Mikey’s room and knocked on the door.
“Mikey, it’s Dad.” I said quickly, “Can we talk?” I asked.
“Yeah, whatever.” Mikey responded from the other side of the door. He didn’t open the door, so I decided to let myself in, turning the knob as I swung the door open. Mikey lay on his bed staring up at the ceiling. He had headphones placed on his ears and his phone in his hand. On the other side of the bed, I saw a black leather journal that I don’t remember him having before.
“Birthday present from Mom?” I asked as I sat on the edge of the bed next to him.
He nodded without saying a word.
I cupped my neck with my palm and sighed, “Hey, I’m sorry kid. I know I should’ve made it home for your birthday. I’m sorry we didn’t throw you a party this year.”
Mikey closed his eyes, “It’s not just this year, Dad. It’s every year.” he pointed out bluntly. I swore I saw a tear stream down his cheek, but I didn’t say anything. I should’ve said something.
“Yeah, I know.” I responded as I shifted my weight in the bed, “And I’m sorry for that son. I truly am. Once I’m done with my current project, I’ll make sure to make it up to you. We can go and get ice cream from Callie's Custard Shop. I know you love that place.” I told him.
Mikey rolled over in the bed, turning his back to me. “I liked that when I was five, Dad. I’m not five anymore.” he said, “Thanks though.”
At that point, I wasn’t sure what to say anymore, but then I remembered the gift that I’d bought for Mikey a week before. I hadn’t had the chance to give it to him yet, and I guessed it was the perfect time. So, I slipped it out from my pocket where I’d kept it tucked safe and hidden.
“Hey, Mikey. Happy Birthday.” I finally say as he opens his eyes to see me dangling the present in front of him. It was a white dial black leather watch with a stainless steel case and bezel, a galvanized white silver plated dial, and had scratch resistant sapphire. At least, that’s what the ad said.
Mikey pushed himself up from the bed, leaning back on the palm of one hand. With the other, he took the watch from me and ran his thumb on the surface of the dial. Then, his eyes glanced up at me, and he feigned a smile, “Thanks, Dad.” he said.
I could tell he wasn’t actually happy. I could tell that the watch he held in his hand, hadn’t been the gift he had wanted for his birthday. I knew that what he wanted was much cheaper, but much more costly at the same time. I knew that he just wanted a dad who was at least able to sit at the dinner table and sing “happy birthday” to his son just one day out of the 365 days in a year. Just one day. Yet, I had failed. I have failed. Not only as a husband to my wife, but also a father to my son.
Now I wish I hadn’t argued with Ally the way I had when I came home. I think I’ll have to apologize tomorrow. Yes, that’s a good idea. I’ll apologize tomorrow.
August 23, 2020
I hate myself. I hate this life. I hate everything about it.
Today, in the morning, I woke up as usual, brushed my teeth, got dressed, and made my bed. When I went down to the kitchen, Mom had prepared some instant oatmeal and set it on the dining table in a microwavable bowl. I didn’t bother to heat it up and ate the cold mushy cereal, forcefully shoving each bite down my throat.
When I finished, Mom walked out from the pantry and gave me a hug.
“Happy Birthday, Mikey.” she said as she squeezed me hard.
“Where’s Dad?” I asked, hopeful that maybe, just maybe, he’d decided to stay home later than usual so that he could send me to school. It was my birthday after all.
Mom’s lips drooped, her shoulders sagged, and she wouldn’t meet my eyes. “Off to work as usual.” she told me, then added, “I’m sorry he wasn’t able to stay longer. He’s really busy. Or at least that’s what he says.” Mom said as she nearly slammed the empty oatmeal bowl into the sink. Her fingers clenched the counter tightly, and I watched as she took in a few deep breaths and counted to ten.
“Mom, are you alright?” I walked over to her and put my hand on her shoulder, something I could now do easily after growing several inches over the summer.
Mom looked at me apologetically, “Yes, I’m fine dear. I’m sorry about that. I didn’t mean to scare you. I’m just a bit stressed out with your father right now.”
I told her it was fine, but we both knew it wasn’t. We both knew that he’s hardly ever home and hasn’t made it back for dinner in months. We both knew he rarely had free time to spend with the family and that most of the time, it was just Mom and I. We both knew that on this day, one day out of 365 days, he didn’t even stay home long enough to wish me a happy birthday. We both knew, but neither of us said anything. I wish she had said something. I wished we could have talked and worked something out with Dad, the three of us, but it didn’t happen, and I ended up going to school as usual, hating my life and hating myself.
During lunch, one of my friends Luke bragged about how his dad was taking him to the lake to go boating over the weekend. He boasted how great his dad was and how he and his family would be spending their weekend at their lake house. At some point, I couldn’t take Luke’s rambling any longer, so I stood up with my tray and left the table.
Tonight, it was just Mom and I again. She’d prepared a cake but hadn’t bothered to cook, instead opting for takeout from an Italian restaurant nearby. I’m not sure exactly why I let it happen, but I broke down in front of Mom and cried. Tears flowed down my cheeks, and all I wanted to do at that moment was crawl into a hole and die. I felt so alone.
Mom did her best to comfort me, but it didn’t help much. Eventually, she got up and lit the candles, telling me to make a wish as I blew the candles.
After that, I did my best to shovel a few bites of cake into my mouth before I got up and asked to be excused. My stomach turned, and I felt like I was going to throw up. I’m guessing Mom could see how upset I was because she didn’t ask or question. She gave me my birthday present, this journal I’m writing in now, and let me go. Now, that I’m writing this. I wish she had asked. If she had asked, maybe I’d feel different right now. Maybe I’d change my mind.
Dad came in a bit after and pretended like he cared. He apologized and said he was “sorry”. He told me he’d throw me a big birthday party next year. He promised that when he finished his project, we’d spend some more time together. He told me we could get ice cream or something like that. I think all that might be fun, but I won’t ever get a chance to find out.
I’m actually kind of glad Mom gave me this journal. At least I got to write out my final thoughts. I don’t think many people get that chance.
Steinfeld Medical Center Report
Case #: 14-276
Date: Sunday, August 23, 2020
Deceased: Mikey Malcom
Summary: On the 23rd of August, 2020, Mikey Malcom was announced dead at 9:30 AM by Stacy Lowell, M.D at the Steinfield Medical Center
Hospital #: 76688768
Admitted: Around 8:56 AM on the 23rd of March, 2020, the patient was admitted by ambulance from the patient's home.
Symptoms: Excessive vomiting, irregular breathing, low blood pressure, shock
Notes: Patient was never diagnosed with any sort of mental disorder or form of depression. Pills taken which caused overdose were not prescribed
Body identified by: Patient’s parents who came to the hospital with patient via ambulance
Immediate cause of death: Overdose on antidepressant pills
Due to: Severe case of clinical depression
Other conditions contributing but not relating to the immediate cause of death: No prior conditions identified