I drove through the streets, my winding roads overlooking the bay. The heavy black clouds hung low and my mom sighed in the seat next to me. I looked to her. She had her eyes closed and seemed to be relaxing. She was in the midst of Chemotherapy, which drained her of her energy. She kept insisting she as fine, always fine. I knew better by the bags under her eyes and how often she slept.
I told myself to remain strong and not let her see my tears. I didn’t want her to hide anything from me, like she always tried, always trying to protect me. My hands gripped the wheel tighter and my heart seized. My knuckles to turned white. Anger and sorrow built up inside me, each warring with the other.
Dante had managed to weasel his way into my mom’s heart, which surprised me. He looked like the Devil dressed in black, one sexy Devil dressed in black. I shook my head to dispel the thought. My mom encouraged him to come over, and often. She liked him a lot, and it seemed to me like she wanted us to be together.
I clicked the stereo on, but kept it low. I noticed that my mom was sleeping now, and I didn’t want to wake her. I wanted her rested for dinner, which Dante was preparing now. It was going to be spaghetti, at my request. Something easy to make and easy to chew.
I pulled into the drive way and my mom instantly woke. “I’m awake!” She sank back into the chair. “We’re home already?”
“Yea.” I said. “Dante started dinner already. I invited him.” I continued, getting out. My mom followed suit and when we entered the house it was spotless. Dante stood at the kitchen door way, a stupid smiled plastered on his face. The sadness that choked me all morning faded away as my mom’s smile beamed out. I smiled back at Dante. “Good job.”
“Very good job.” My mom chirped and walked into the kitchen. I kicked off my slippers and followed. The table was set as well, which earned another smiled from my mom and I. Dante snuck in behind us. His hand touched the small of my back and I knew that I was beginning to like him.
He hardly knew us, barely met my mother a month ago and here he was, taking care of us. Whoever raised him did a hell of a job. I took my seat across from my mom , next to Dante. He served us.
“How was Chemo?” he asked, toping my mom’s plate. She already looked tired.
She heft out a sighed, “Same always. It made me so tired, I passed out.” I watched her lay her hand on Dante’s arm. “Thank you.” I felt like there was an underlying meaning behind the gratitude, but I kept that to myself and I ate my dinner in peace. I listened to their conversation drift from Chemo to school. I ignored much of it, enjoying the fact that my mom was laughing, something that seemed rare since she was diagnosed. Dante laughed with her.
My mom pushed up from the table, which snapped me out of my thoughts. I watched her moment. “Mom?” She looked to me and gave me a sad smile.
“Let me help you to bed.” I said, getting up.
“No, I can do it. You just keep Dante company.” She gave me a warmer smile so I settled back down and watched her walk away. Dante leaned over to me and covered my hand. I looked up.
“My mom had cancer too. She died a long time ago.” I took my hand back.
“My mom wont.” I said stiffly, grabbing my plate and pushing away.
“I didn’t say she would.” I heard the sorrow in his voice so I looked at his face. There were worry lines beginning to form, but I didn’t notice to that. His eyes looked so sad. I walked behind him and crossed my arms around his chest.
“I’m really sorry, Dante.” I whispered. His hand laid across my arms and his head against mine. I knew his eyes were closed. “It must have been hard.”
I felt him nod. “It was. But like I said, it was a long time ago.” After I let him ago, he stood up and took care of things. “Your mom offered me to stay tonight, only if you wanted.”
“It’s not my choice.” I answered, bringing my plate to the sink. He took it without looking at me. “I am going to bed, however.” I stretched and left the kitchen. “Lock up after whatever you choose. Goodnight.”
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