I was seven years old when my mother drove me to the hospital to see my father one last time. The accident had been quite bad but my father had lived long enough to meet us. He held my hand and said, "Take care of your mother. Grow up and be strong. "
Mother had then taken me outside the room and left me waiting on the cold, steel bench. I waited until she went in to sit beside my father and cry. Her eyes were swollen, especially the right one where he had hit her that morning. He had missed hitting her straight on the eye, though. After my father had walked out the door, I heard my mother cry and roll on the floor. She made these strange sounds, "Unff! Unff!" as she stuffed lots of pills in her mouth still rolling. When she saw me by the kitchen door, she spit out all those pills on the floor, making it dirty. Some of them even rolled under my fire engine. She rushed over and hugged me tight. I could feel her drool and tears soak through. All this made me feel a little icky but I knew my mother needed to hug me then. After a few minutes, I freed myself and went to clean the floor. My father had spent all morning mopping the house and I was sure he'd be really upset if he saw this mess.
As it turned out, he never walked in again.
At the hospital, I peeped in to ask my mother to take me to the bathroom. She was crying hard and my father looked very weak. He may have even been dead by then and no-one knew it. Later, the doctor told us that my father was dead and we had better go home, make arrangements and come back later.
I sat in the front seat and even put on my seat belt, the way my father had shown me. My mother always forgot. She looked at me and now her face was very swollen.
She asked me if I understood that my father was dead.
I told her I understood.
She asked me why I wasn't crying.
I told her I didn't know.
She slapped me hard and screamed that my father had loved me so much. My face hurt but I still couldn't cry. So I didn't. Again, my mother hugged me with one arm, the other one on the wheel, and told me that she loved me. I told her to wear her seat belt.
We didn't go home that evening, though. We stopped by at the National Park, where my father used to take us often. There was a very high hill that I used to climb with him, on his shoulders. From there, you could see all the lights twinkling in the city and all the little boats and big ships on the ocean. My father would point out a house down below and tell me that that was our house. If the moon had to break, it would fall on our house directly. It would crash through our roof and the next day, we would be the only people who would see the moon while eating breakfast.
That evening, though, the moon was not out. Still, when I looked down the hill, I could see the city. I felt like crying then. My mother was sitting on a patch of grass, rocking back and forth. She was making some strange sounds and sometimes she rocked faster and faster before slowing down. I watched then I sat down next to her. After some time, she called me and made me stand in front of her. Her eyes darted from side to side.
Then she pushed me down the hill.
They say that my mother had become insane and that's why she killed her son. At least, that's what her lawyer said to get her out of trouble. But I think that she killed me because she didn't want to live with my father anymore.
These days, my mother works in a shop far from home. She doesn't take pills and even keeps the floor clean. Today, as I sat next to my mother, I saw that she had put on her seatbelt as well. She can take care of herself, I think.
Still, I will be here to take care of her.
Because my father told me to.