He sit at his desk, pen above the paper thinking how to begin. His hand shook as he started with I don’t want to live anymore. There it was out and he’d said it. I can’t go on, he added. Chewing his tongue and whispering to himself, he looked at the words before putting on the next line, it’s not your fault I was born like this.
She sat on his bed, stroking the soft worn fur of his favorite teddy bear. Deep tear lines marked her red face and in the quietness her sobbing was too loud. Rain tapped against the window as if asking to be let in and the sea was business bashing its anger upon the rocks. She looked at his letter and re-read words she’d never be able to let go of.
Curling himself into the desk, he lent across the paper and struggled to write. He wanted to thank her. She was a good mother and she’d done everything she could. He looked down and tried to state that, but he didn’t know how. Instead, he wrote, I can’t deal with things anymore.
She looked out the window and saw the middle of the night. Tiredness and coldness ached through her bones, forcing her to lie down on his bed. The pillows smelt like him. She breathed in natural white soap and baby clothes washing powder. The memory of holding him for the first time flooded her.
His computer hummed and he woke the screen up. An empty virtual page appeared. He had meant to type the letter as it would have been easier, but something had drawn him to hand write it. He closed the page and looked at the computer game he’d been working on. It would never be finished now.
Slow tears dripped from her face. Her thoughts tumbled with all she had scarified for her special little boy. She had brought him here away from the cruel world so he could be happier. The burdens of society gone, he could be him.
She had failed him. Failed as a mother. She hadn’t been able to give him what he’d so longed for. What she had never known he’d wanted. Burying her face in the teddy bear, the last line of the letter took shape before her.
I can never be free from myself.