Friday, September 21, 2012

No Better Than Before

Shan really out did himself. Even he thought it might be a small feat. He went the rest of the week without saying a word to anyone. No matter how clingy or pestering Lily got with all her silly apologizes, he never acknowledged she was there. Besides it was good to have practice of not missing her. He didn't want to let himself. Even if it were a bitter ending, it was best to cut all ties. Maybe.

He didn't let himself think of Henry, either. Even though, there was that one moment, he was sure it must have been Henry in the next stall over in the restroom when he asked for toilet paper and he noticed the raw fingernails of someone who handed him paper under the stall when he was taking a dump.

Shan was speechless. Maybe all this silent treatment was permanent.

Soon enough he was home. It was quiet there. His new step-dad was off on a business trip. Actually, Shan couldn't say he could pick the fellow out in a lineup. Although, he was young and ambitious. Maybe not that young. But a few years younger than his mother.

They seemed happy when he was around. Of course, she was a nurse. She didn't quit her job. Still, he did wonder if they were going to start a family. She wasn't that old. She could have a baby.

The thought choked  him up as he did his best to get his stuff together. The most important was of course, something in a large baggie. There was plenty of it for his little nature trips. However, Shan didn't know when those might be.

His last day home felt like such a sad song. His Mom was just as mute as he was. No farewell dinner. He popped in a frozen pizza in the oven and she got out a bag of salad to put in bowls. When it was ready, they ate in silence. Ever so often he'd look at her as if he might be a criminal. Finally, after he ate the last slice of the Italian sausage pizza, he said, "You aren't even gonna drive me?"

She chewed ever so queen like on her salad as if it was not time for her to speak. He finished off the milk just so it wouldn't go bad. He was the only one who drank it.

"He wanted to come and get you." Her straight lipt made Shan all the more angry.

"Why?" He felt as if he might crumble. He didn't want to be a little boy. He knew he wasn't but he felt like it at the moment. He always had his mother. Always. As sad as he felt now, he guess he was a Momma's boy. Yet, he'd always felt he'd protected her. Especially, from his Dad, and now she wanted him to move in with his new family.

"He's..your father has changed." The words were bitter, but she sounded so certain.

"Right." Shan said ever so softly. He remembered their fights. His father didn't seem quite real to him. She kept saying it was the alcohol. He didn't drink anymore. Still, Shan didn't want to know him. Didn't care if he'd changed. Yet in the back of Shan's mind, he was afraid he could be just like his father. He didn't want to be anything like his father.

Shan didn't bother with his regular rant how his father had hurt her. Even if it were years ago, he remembered. So many things he remembered. But it was useless to say. It didn't matter.

Shan raked his fingers through his heavy dark hair. He kept staring at his mother's beautiful almond eyes. She was truly ageless. He wanted to remember her ivory skin. Her straight black hair. If only he could see himself in her. He pushed away from the table, took his dish to the sink and washed it along with the glass.

Each small moment he wanted to savor. Why couldn't time stand still?

Finally, he felt her warm fingertips on the back of his neck.

"I don't want you hating me, because you never got a chance to know him." She said ever so calmly.

"I don't want to know him." Shan  thought he might be seething. He jerked himself away from her and went straight to his room, slamming the door shut behind him. He flung himself on the bed, hugged his pillow hard. He screamed into the pillow, hoping it would help. It only made his throat raw.

Shan rolled back on the other pillow.  The tears were plenty of abundance. He tried to laugh. Why hadn't he tried to talk to Henry? Shan guessed he was his own worst enemy, after all. 

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