Take A Step Outside

Mary knew that her sons were growing up, she knew that it wouldn’t be long until her eldest wasn’t even living in the same home and that, not long after (to her reckoning) her youngest would also ‘leave the nest.’ She both was and wasn’t looking forward to it.

She was looking forward to it because it meant that her sons had lived long enough to move out. It meant that they were able to support themselves and possibly a family of their own. It meant that she would no longer have to work as hard to hide the grief at the loss of her Bonded.

She wasn’t looking forward to it because it meant she would be alone more. Her sons might not visit very often or even call. Hadn’t her coworkers often complained at the lack of interaction with their grown and moved out children? It meant that the emptiness that was forever within her at the loss of Warren would no longer be partially covered up by the sound of Warren’s sons. It meant that the urge to end this existence sooner rather than later would also be stronger.

Mary was afraid to be by herself. She was very afraid.

What Mary didn’t take into account (what she so often forgot) was that her sons were aware of her feelings in this regard and were working to take steps to avoid the thing she feared most from happening.

“Terry, we can’t leave Mom like this, she will die if we leave her all alone.”

“I knot that, little brother, but I don’t know what else to do!”

Matt nodded an agreement with his elder brother, something that he’d thought as a child he’d never do. “She doesn’t want us to stay living with her once we’re married because she thinks that newlyweds need their own space, but doesn’t want us to invite her to live with us after the newlywed phase has passed.”

“Why is Mom so insular?”

“That’s a big word coming from you.” the younger of the two retorted on principle alone.

Neither of them really knew why their mother didn’t seem to have any friends. They didn’t even know why their parents had separated as there hadn’t been any kind of fighting that most other kids whose parents had divorced talked about.

Terry sighed and closed his eyes. He knew that his brother liked to pick at him, he liked to pick right back, but they needed to talk about this, not ignore it like they’d been doing most of their lives.

“Sorry,” Matt mumbled, “It’s just so much easier-”

“I know,” Terry interrupted, “but we need to have some kind of plan if we’re going to convince Mom not to finish closing herself off to the world.”

Matt hung his head, “I…I don’t know how we can do anything about it. She’s never really listened when we’ve tried to get her to have some kind of life for herself. She always replies that we are her life and that it’s more than enough for her.”

“She’ll die if we can’t help her, I don’t care if she’ll still wake up and eat and move about, inside, she’ll die.”

They didn’t know what to do, but they wouldn’t let the woman who brought them into this world and raised them to fade away. Now if only she would give them some kind of clue on how they could do it.


Inspired by Light and Shade Challenge.

Missing Person

Mary was really starting to worry about her eldest son. She knew that he was an honorable teen (well, as honorable as a teen could be in this day and age where such things weren’t really thought of on a conscious level, unless you lived in Asia somewhere) but the fact that most of his time was spent in nocturnal activities for his new boss made her uneasy. She didn’t see him as much anymore, only caught him as he was on his way out the door, whether to work or school only depended on the time of day and whether or not it was a school day.

Mary missed her son and she knew that, though he would never admit it, Matt missed his older brother as well.

Of course, getting Matt to admit to such a thing was a course fraught with peril.

“Why would I want to hang out with that dweeb anyway, Mom?”

Mary smiled, “Because he’s your older brother. I remember when you used to toddle after him begging for his attention.”

Matt turned red, “That never happened!”

“And you dragged your little ducky blanket along with y-”

“NEVER! HAPPENED!”

Mary’s smile didn’t fade, though she did wish that Terrence was here as well to help her poke a little fun at her youngest.


Inspired by this week’s Three Word Wednesday prompt.

Also, I’m really tired today.

Ringing Silence

The room was quiet and Mary sat staring out the window. The lights were out and her sons were asleep though she could hear the sounds of Terrence tossing and turning even from down the hall.

A small smile graced her mouth, he had never been a particularly quiet boy.

The smile faded just as easily as it had come, but he was far more guarded then ever before. He hadn’t been happy when his parents had separated. No one had been happy, but it had been necessary for the work that Warren was doing. Matthew hadn’t been happy either, but he hadn’t been as vocal about it as Terrence.

Terrence (Terry as he was more and more insisting on being called) was rather translucent about his feelings though Matt wasn’t far behind. This was the reason (other than their young ages) that the boys hadn’t been told about the plan. They were the children and they had responsible parents, parents who could conscience the idea of putting that kind of pressure on their sons.

They wished this hadn’t been necessary at all.

Mary shook her head, these thoughts wouldn’t help her. She looked down at the black clothing she was still wearing though her shoes had been placed by the door as always. It would be some time before she changed out of these clothes and into a pair of Warren’s sleep clothes, ones that he had left behind when he’d initially moved out.

It was eerie how little like him they smelled.

(She had only been wearing them every night since the separation had begun. The boys hadn’t known as she always went to bed after they did and woke long before they started to stir for the day.)

Once she had changed into the sleep clothes, she reached down to where a pocket in the pants would have been located, her hand seemed to disappear into a pocket though if anyone had looked closely (there was no one else in the bedroom) they would have realized that the pants had no pockets. Once her hand came back out, it was holding a simple golden band. It was larger than the one she still wore on her hand.

Mary slipped it over her thumb and spent the few hours she tried to sleep turning the large ring over and over with the fingers of her right hand.


Inspired by the words from this week’s prompt in Three Word Wednesday.

Sorry! You’re Obsolete

Out of everything she’d ever seen come and go, the thing she missed the most was the ability to simply sit around a table and play board games with her family. The advent and spread of video games, both on the computer and it’s smaller cousins or on the television. She missed having her husband at the other end of the dining room table with their sons on either side.

Mary entered her apartment and was greeted by the sounds of her youngest playing…something…on the small handheld that he had received from his older brother for Christmas. With a glance, she saw that Terry was sitting at the sofa working on some homework or maybe something else. She wasn’t entirely certain as he was working on those tablets that had become popular in her early years in this world.

If she was lucky, they’d agree to a quick family night tonight and do something together. If she was even luckier, they’d agree to a game of Sorry! as long as she was able to keep it a quick game.

Her eldest was often called in to work strange hours at his job.


Written for today’s Daily Post prompt: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/going-obsolete/

Also written because a few nights ago we were able to sit down and play a round of Sorry! which isn’t something that we’re always able to sit down and do. I miss the family game nights of board games…

Absent

What’s love got to do with it, got to do with it? …Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken. -Tina Turner

When you love someone, you give them the power to hurt you. The more you love them, the more power they have until they hold enough to completely destroy your life.

If you’re a special kind of lucky, then they can destroy the lives of those around you as well.

She missed her family, missed them with something that boarded on hysteria if she allowed herself time to think about it. But she didn’t really have much of a choice here.

(She was lying to herself, she had a choice. It’s just that the consequences of the other choices available weren’t something that she could live with.)

Mary glanced back at where her sons were sleeping. She’d left the cameras installed after Warren had left out of reflex. If it took longer than they’d initially predicted then he’d still be able to watch over his family even if he couldn’t be there in person. The fact that she now needed to use them for the same purpose was not reassuring.

“Maybe I should have left this to Al to take care of like he offered,” she murmured to herself as her youngest rolled over in bed, his face scrunching up.

Matt was likely having a nightmare, again. And she wasn’t there to sooth him through it should it actually wake him up this time. She’d likely not be there in the morning either.

It broke her heart to know that she was losing both her sons so slowly, but as Warren had said when they’d first separated, if they would live to grow up then the price was worth it.

Hope

She glanced over the property as she walked the grounds. They would need a lot of work (a lot, a lot of work), but the potential was there.

“Mom!”

She smiled as she looked up and caught sight of her youngest. Matthew was standing at the foot of a large tree with fantastic branches reaching up, up, up above his head.

“We could totally build the coolest tree-house ever!” he called as he tried to pull himself up the trunk.

“Don’t climb too high!”

“I’ll be fine, Mom!”

She glanced over towards the old, dilapidated house once more. It looked more sad than she had ever seen a house look in this day and age, but with her boys and with her family, she was certain that it would be made beautiful again.

This house was more than just a forgotten building, it was hope for the future.

Image Credit: We Heart It

image from: http://magicinthebackyard.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/fwf2.jpg?w=610

Written for this FreeWriteFriday prompt from a few weeks ago: http://kellieelmore.com/2014/03/07/fwf-free-write-friday-image-prompt-16/

I’m sorry it’s late, but I had to write for it.

Not Wanted

The funeral had been hard to sit through. Her sons were angry and sad and didn’t know just how much he was missed.

Mary sighed as her eldest slammed the door behind him.

This isn’t what I meant.


Written for this week’s Trifextra challenge: http://www.trifectawritingchallenge.com/2014/02/trifextra-week-103.html

A little interlude somewhere in the Former Guardian story after her estranged husband dies.