The moment that everything changed? It was unfortunate, to say the least.
I'm fifteen and... I just lost my mother. The officials are ruling it as a suicide, but it's not. I know it's not. That's not my mother's style. I know what you're thinking. And, it's true, you can't always tell when people are depressed, but... my mother wouldn't leave me like that. She would make sure that I was okay first. Besides, she was an advocate to help people out of making that decision anyway.
That's how much of a saint she was.
My mother was beautiful with her long flowing light brown hair, her twinkling blue eyes, her naturally rouge lips curving up in a knowing smile. Everything about her was magnificent. I already miss her terribly. She didn't deserve to die.
Her one downfall? She was lonely. I mean, there's only so much her daughter could do for her. She wanted a man or maybe needed one. She never really dated when I was growing up and my father left us before I was even born. She handled being a single mom like a boss though. She was always so amazing at everything she did.
Before I was born, she had started and sold a couple of different businesses. She was good at that, too. So, we had money and I never grew up without anything I needed. I didn't turn into one of those spoiled, selfish children though. I will always be grateful for everything she taught me, the person that she raised me to be.
Then, she went on a week-long cruise and I was happy for her. She deserved a vacation and I was excited to spend a week with my best friend, but... she didn't come back alone. I didn't realize just how desperate she was to have a man around. I don't like saying mean things to my mom, but desperate is the best fitting word for this situation. After a week of being gone, she came back married!
You heard that right, MARRIED! How could she have done something so rash? I don't know what she was thinking, but love at first sight isn't a thing. It never was. It was just a fictional concept writers and movie producers incorporated in their works of art. And my mom completely fell for the facade.
Now, here we are. She's gone and I'm here... with him. He doesn't love me and I don't love him. We hardly even know each other. It's literally been a couple of months since they got back. He seemed okay, I guess, but... I could never really trust him. And it turns out I was right all along and I really should've warned her.
I tried a couple of times, but she always seemed so happy. It was hard to crush that. I should've tried harder though. I should've done everything in my power to make her see how crazy that decision was. Instead, I just avoided them. I didn't agree with what she did and I didn't want to spend any quality time with him. I would just make myself scarce.
I, stupidly, thought that was the best thing I could do for everyone involved. I thought that if I gave them enough space, that either she would come around and leave him or I would come around to accept him. I never once thought that this could be an outcome. I never thought that he'd be capable of murder. And, on top of that, I can't believe that he's actually going to get away with it! This angers me to no end. What am I supposed to do? What can I do in this situation?
I can't seem to stop crying and punching my bedroom walls. I'm heartbroken, frustrated, overwhelmed, furious, and my stomach keeps doing somersaults beneathe my skin. I bet he poisoned her. That's the easiest way to get the job done.
What if I'm next?
Then, there's a knock on my bedroom door and the monster enters my chambers. I try to keep as much distance between him and me as possible. What if he's here to finish what he started... right now? Oh, God! What's going to happen to me?
"I know that losing your mother must be hard on you. I can't even imagine such a tragedy at such a young age. I'm so sorry, kid." He shakes his head, sorrowful, and takes a seat on my bed. "And I know this probably isn't what you want to hear, but... you know, I just lost my wife, too, and I loved her very much."
I couldn't contain my chortle, "Loved her? You hardly even knew her!" he tries to look shocked that I would say that. "What? Is that too much truth for you to handle?" I don't know why I would want to egg him on considering everything, but it's so hard to bite my tongue when he says such idiotic things to me. I know, I know... not a smart move on my part.
He shakes his head and snorts, "I know it must be hard for you to believe, but your mother and I cared for each other very deeply. And I really don't appreciate your tone young lady!" He groans and stands up. He looks directly at me, "It doesn't really matter anyway, I just came in here to tell you that I don't know how to take care of you without her. I'm sorry, but after her funeral, you're getting placed in foster care." He starts walking toward my door.
"Are you kidding me? This is my house!" He faces me again.
"Not anymore, since I am your mothers' widow." He points at his black sweatered chest.
"You can't do that! You can't take everything my mother has worked for and leave me with nothing!"
"I can and I will! The only reason I ever put up with you was because of her and now that she's gone... I just can't do it." He puts his hands up and steps out of my room.
I let out a scream and punch the wall so hard that my fist goes inside of it. I pull my bloody and drywall covered hand out of the wall and begin putting together a small bag. I have no idea what I'm going to do or where I'm going. I just have to get out of here.
I don't know how to talk to any of my friends about what I'm feeling. He's already won most of them over. This is a complete nightmare and, frankly, I'm scared, but I'll be damned if I ever let him know how I feel. I just need to think and maybe drink, but I don't know how I'm gonna find any booze right now. I don't even really like alcohol, it's just what I've seen people do to get away from their emotions.
Anyway, here I am with a packed bag containing a couple of outfits, my sketchbook, and my pencils. I don't know when I can come back, so, I also grab my toothbrush and toothpaste, just in case. I sneak into the kitchen to grab some water bottles and a few snacks. It won't get me far, but it'll get me by for a little while. I shove my bag in one of the bottom cupboards because I figure it'd be good to make myself a turkey sandwich to eat soon because I'm kind of hungry.
As I'm spreading mayo on the bread, the jackass comes into the kitchen. "Look, for what it's worth, I am sorry."
I just shake my head. "I just wanted to make myself a sandwich while this kitchen is still somewhat mine. Is that alright with you?"
"Hey, I was just apologizing!"
"Great. Your apology is going to keep me warm when I'm jumping around foster homes and you get to live in the house that I grew up in. Gee, thanks." I place the turkey slices on the bread, close the sandwich, and cut it in half.
"Stop being such a smart ass!"
"What do you want from me? Do you want me to tell you it's okay and that I'll be fine? It's okay and I'll be fine. I don't need you taking care of me. I don't need this house. I need my mother, but that's not happening. I really will be fine. I'm not mad at you for not wanting me because, honestly, I don't want you either. This isn't what I pictured for my life. I'm mad at you for taking every memory I have of her away from me. And, for that, you should feel bad. You got her for two months and I had her for fifteen years, but, with the snap of your fingers, you get everything she owned- every scent, every fabric, every book... I don't get anything. So, in case you were wondering, yeah, you suck!" I start putting everything away and he leaves after a moment.
I put my sandwich in a sandwich bag once he's out of sight and I stuff it in my backpack. I quickly go back to my room and I'm about to leave out the window when I spot a picture of her and me on my desk. I grab it before heading down the trellis on the side of our house.
We live near a large forest and I move quickly, once I'm on the ground, to shield myself with the concealing trees. I let out a breath of relief once I'm sure that I cannot be seen. He's probably okay with me running away from home. It makes things easier for him and I doubt he'll come looking for me. I mean all of his problems disappeared on her own.
Must be nice for him...
After walking for a while, I come upon this clearing and I decided to finally rest and eat my sandwich. As I take bites, I look through my sketchbook. I have always loved drawing and my mother was my biggest fan. I liked drawing people and I think I'm pretty good at it. I've drawn friends and family. My favorite one that I gaze upon now is the one of my mother and me laughing. Our eyes are closed and we were so happy. She was my best friend. How can I do this without her guidance, her love?
Tears escape me and I didn't even notice until I felt a drop land on my bare arm. "Oh, mom... how am I supposed to get through this?"
I was waiting for a response, as silly as that sounds. I was waiting for her to give me a sign, to answer me in some way. I'm looking at all the trees and the great, big sky above me, but nothing seems to make sense. There is nothing, but the sounds of nature. I am utterly alone...
Then, I see something in the distance coming toward me and I squint to get a better look. It gets bigger and bigger and I suddenly realize what it is. There's a big owl, flying straight toward me. There's nothing to hide under or behind.and so I cower under my arms, hoping for this creature to just fly over me, but something strange happens just then.
The owl lands in front of me and stares at me inquisitively. I slowly get out of the ball shape that my body was in and I look back at this creature curiously, as well.
The owl makes the first move by slowly hopping closer to me until he's only inches away. I tentatively put my hand up and he pushes his head into my hand for me to rub. I smile at this magical encounter, stroking his soft feathers and I suddenly know that everything's going to be alright.
To Be Continued...
A Fictional Story