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mother’s last word to her son

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He woke up again.

 

It’s three am, you’re fast asleep, and right when you hear him shoot up, you do the same. You stand up, quietly walking to your son’s room. You open the door, and there he is. Sitting upright in his bed, tears endlessly flowing in a river out of his puffy red eyes. You rush to his side, soothing with circles on his back. He had slept for three days straight right after the accident, and now he couldn’t sleep for an hour without having another nightmare.

 

“Leif, honey, you need to talk to me... We need to sort something out.”

 

All he did was nod, he nodded and he stuffed his face into your lap and he bawled into you.

All anybody saw of your son was ‘famous, teen idol, sexy!’ Nobody actually saw the vulnerable, compassionate boy with a big heart that you raised. As a kid he would bust his knees and bruise his cheeks playing sports, nobody saw that, just you. It was the beginning of the end. You could tell he was going down the wrong path, but you didn’t know what you could do. He was barely home, your son was famous for god’s sake. THE Leif Garrett. And god, was that mind-boggling to you. Once, you were a single mom raising two kids, and now you aren’t even raising your own son, unqualified carefree adults are “raising” your son by giving him drugs and alcohol! Half the time you didn’t even know, you couldn’t put a stop to it because you weren’t there. Teen girls fall at his feet, but they also try to cut his hair off and they camp outside your house and they try to take any bit of him they can get at. And it’s something you couldn’t even imagine to have happened before, but now it was real, and there wasn’t any way to escape it.

 

And now, he’s sitting crying in your lap because his heart is full of guilt, and you know if he meant it he wouldn’t be this guilty. It was a freak accident, two dumb rich wasted kids in a car, what can go wrong? Your son is caught in a deep depression and the other one paralyzed.

 

You didn’t even know how Dawn was doing, your daughter who you seemed to have forgotten about over the past week. She was in her room. And you knew you should check on her but you couldn’t leave Leif until he was back asleep. You knew he needed you more than ever right now. Dawn had always been a lone wolf, if she wanted to be involved, she would have been by now. She cared about her brother, you knew that. But she was busy with her own stuff and didn’t want to hurt him further by saying or doing the wrong thing.

You lay down on Leifs bed, pulling him closer to your chest, rubbing his neck, and running your fingers through his soft, thick blonde hair. This is what you were supposed to do, he was your son. You were so regretful for being so ignorant, for allowing him to get drunk and get drugged up and party with all of these adults. He was only seventeen, turning eighteen in a week. His life was already filled with so much sorrow, losing his father figure, being a pawn in the industry already, and now this. You didn’t know what was going to become of him. Would he die like all the other ones? Once his career is up, will he think there isn’t anything left to live for? Now, you have him stuck. You cant get him out, he’s trapped in a pot of honey. No matter how much he tries to run from it, it’ll be chasing after him. He’s caught in a contract, they won’t let him do anything he wants to do with his career.

You eventually realized he fell asleep on top of you, you gently move him off of you and tuck him in, quietly leaving his bedroom and going back to yours.


---

The next morning, you and Dawn are in the kitchen, you’re making pancakes on the stove. Dawn is reading a book at the counter. Leif comes out of his room, walking towards you guys.

“Feeling better?” You ask, and he nods.

“Yeah.”

You were still worried, but for the most part, everything seemed like it was going to be alright after all.