Chapter 10 - Misery
“I can’t believe he’d be this irresponsible,” Olivia exclaimed.
John was now standing in the doorway to their son’s room. “What?”
Tap. Droplets of blood fell to the hardwood floor rhythmically from the two bandaged fingers on his right hand. The gauze was already soaked, sopping with claret, and every three or four seconds it released a fresh droplet. Tap.
He couldn’t hear the splash of blood: his focus was on his wife, who stared at him defiantly.
“Who are you talking to, Olivia?”
“I specifically told him to clean up his room before he went out, John, and I have had enough of being ignored.” She stared right at her husband – but she didn’t see him.
“You’ve got to talk to him, John. Set him straight.”
“- tell him that he can’t cut corners –”
“Olivia, Tommy is gone. We buried him two days ago,” John croaked.
But she kept going. “-like this. He’s been getting away with too much, John.”
He moved forward and took her by the shoulders. His right hand left a bloody mark on the shoulder of her robe.
“He’s dead, Olivia! You were there! We buried him. Please stop this: I can’t do this alone.”
She fell silent, his words finally breaking through, her face dawning with comprehension – and then she started to scream.
John drew up his hand, ready to slap her, an arc of blood spattering on the World Series Pennant that hung above Tommy’s computer desk.
Then she said something that stopped him.
“He came out of me,” she cried. “He always listened to you and loved you more, but he came out of me. I carried him all those months, Johnny. I loved him just as much as you, but he loved you more.”
John Parkins stood frozen, his eyes welling up with tears. Then he dropped his hand in shame and pulled her toward him.
“He loved you too, sweetheart. Every boy loves his mom.”
“I want my baby back, Johnny! I want him home!”
“He’s gone, Olivia. I’m sorry. It’s my fault! I should have taken the day off. It’s all my fault!” he cried. “He’d be alive right now if I had been a good father!”
“He came out of me, he was my baby and I want him back!”
They held each other in the emptiness of their son’s room, drowning in despair. Surrounded by the memories of what was taken from them, little league pictures, baseball trophies, and from all sides pictures of their smiling little boy. Gone forever.
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