“These walls have confined me for the past fifteen years of my life, and now as I sit here waiting for my life to be over; I don’t regret the things I’ve done to the people that I loved the most in this world. I honestly believe that everything happens for a reason and my son is the reason that I turned into the monster that everyone has grown to hate.
It started after I got home from the war, things were…different. They had always been between me and Matt but, they were extremely different. I think right after I got home, we tried to pretend that things were normal and fake a life that both of us new was a lie. We became strangers to each other. But as time went on, we tried less and less, until we talked only when it was vital to us. You know, about what to make for dinner, or who would wake the dog later that day. I would sometimes ask him why we had separated so much and he would often say something along the lines that “I” had changed or that the war changed “me”. But I never really thought anything of it. We had our own spaces and did our own activities during the day. For me, a bottle of gin would do just fine and Matt would come and go as he pleased. It wasn’t until he came home from the fabric mart with what looked like 20 different clothes and about 100 buttons that I started to really notice this odd… behavior. When I asked him about it, he said he was just making some costumes for a class he was taking at school. After that encounter we barely talked. Honestly, I loved my boy more than I had ever loved a single human being in my life.” He paused and carved something into a long piece of wood, inhaling slowly and exhaling. “You know, I gave him everything. I went to a god damn war to show him how much I love him and for him to do… to do this? Anyway, I guess I might have had too much to drink or it might have been the medication mixing with the gin… I don’t know. But I remember I started yelling, I picked myself up and started banging on his door. He kept screaming for me to go away. But I wouldn’t stop.” Tears fell slowly down his cheeks and slide onto the faded piece of wood he held solemnly in his hands. His hand rising, to wipe the tears, he whispered gently, “I mean, I don’t regret what I did. Pulling the trigger,” he breathed at a barely audible hiss “wasn’t hard. I don’t really remember it. It’s how he tried to explain himself, to prove himself to me. As if he even needed too. He came down the stairs… which was strange.” He looked off into the distance his eyes fixed on remembering something that was no longer part of him. “I just finished my bottle, tired, the beginning of anger setting in as I remember the bitch he had of a mother. Matt tapped my shoulder, handing me two glass roses. I remember looking into his eyes feeling pride as my son told me he hand made them because he knew they were my favorite. His smile was so sincere, so loving, so innocent. And as I looked him in the eye he spoke the words that have changed my life completely. The words that provoked me enough to end his life. I threw the roses so hard into the wall they shattered into a million pieces. All the time, he was telling me that I was the one that changed. I never changed, he did. He was a disgrace to our family. I remember feeling resentment towards him. Hate even. And as he ran to his room, fearing the consequence of the news he just told me. I went to the office and loaded my gun. Feeling the gin give me the liquid courage that I needed; I walked slowly towards his room. Waiting until I no longer heard him rustling inside. I opened his door… walked toward his bed, and moved a few stray hairs that fell awkwardly on his forehead. I remember kissing him softly and saying my last goodbye to him as I brought my gun to his head.” He started chuckling, looking at the face of his new inmate, he breathed slowly. “I loved my boy. That’s why. I loved him.” And they sat in silence, as he slowly carved at his piece of wood; it began to take the shape of a long stem.
“Harold Reynolds. It’s time to face the punishment for the crime you were convicted of 15 years ago. Please stand and come with me.” Harold tucked the slender piece of wood into his orange jump suit, following the officer as he led him to the chair. They entered the room, and Harold looked out into the crowd of people waiting for him to die. He smiled as he saw only one lady with grey hair crying in the third row. Her hand made handkerchief embroider with the initials M.R. “Do you have any final words Mr. Reynolds?”
“I loved my son.” Harold whispered. And as the electricity began to race through his body a single rose made from the wood he carved fell from his hand, and with his last breath on earth he spoke “Matt.”
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