Lesson learned far too late

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short, true story about my close friend and his life. After hearing his story, I asked him to rephrase it in my own way and I'm glad I got his "yes". It's a story about relationships between children and parents and how children often judge without asking "Why?".

Submitted: July 08, 2013

A A A | A A A

Submitted: July 08, 2013




People always learn ... but we often learn some things far too late. I'm one of those people - my learned lesson costed me my heart ... the lesson I will never be able to get over.


I was sixteen. I lived with my mother; my father worked in another city and hasn't visited for two years. I've always wanted to be like him; he did all he could to feed his family, while bleeding and sweating to the bones. My relationship with mom was stiff, formal; she often hung out late so I didn't see her often, unless I get home back late as well. She'd often smell like alcohol and cigarettes. I never said anything to her - all my attention was focused on my studies so I can finish with the best grades possible and enroll in the best possible collage, to become a person like my dad. 


It was rather dark day when my life took a major turn; I was going back home with some of my friends after hanging out. As every high school kid, I had my group of people - four of us would often hang outside, staying almost until midnight. That day wasn't any different; while we walked through the wet streets, we laughed rather loudly, paying zero attention to the things that surround us - our world was our own. I think that most people understood that and that's why they left us alone, although we were never lacking in department of "hateful looks". In that laughter, one of my friends shook me by a shoulder and pointed in a direction of old, rotten building with a sign "Motel" which flickered in the night. Beneath the sign, at the very entrance, I noticed a familiar face. "Hey ... is that your mom?" one of them whispered.


I knew it was - long, dark hair, fake smile drawn over her face - that was her. Next to her stood an older man with grey hair, black suit and fat body. Whenever I'd ask her what she was doing late, she'd always say "I was out with some of my friends from work". She never told me what she was doing - I didn't ask, though. There was a certain, unwritten "rule" between us to never question the life of the other - so that we both had freedom ... but I never meant this kind of freedom. I stood frozen in a place - just like my friends. Not late after, my mom and old man entered teh building, hand in hand, both laughing.

We stood in silence; I knew this was awkward ... odd ... not just for me, but also for them. I turned around, lightly smiling and saying "I'm in a hurry" before running through the familiar street. I always thought our family was rarity - my parents never fought, they never hit me and they never got home drunk. While my father is dying from work somewhere to keep us fed, she's whoring around - those thoughts wouldn't leave me. In that hatred and I entered our house and started breaking things; I broke everything that found its way under my feet and my hands, while nothing remained whole. I waited for her, in a destructed room, while sitting, with my head buried in my hands. 


The doors opened around 3 after midnight. I waited in silence, in darkness; I heard her as she locked the door, dropped her purse, and took off her shoes and coat. She walked silently, calmly, as if nothing happened - as if just a few hours ago she didn't sell all of her vows, betrayed her entire family. She turned on the lights as she entered the room and froze herself; terrified, she gazed through the room, looking for something - and then her eyes froze on me. She quickly fell on her knees and pushed herself forward, to hug me - no, not with those arms ... not with those arms, whore. 

I pushed her away roughly, quickly got up and kicked already broken lamp in her direction. She moved backwards, against a wall and started looking me - terrified and confused.


"What --- what happened?" she muttered without moving.

"While he's dying" I shrugged through my teeth, spitting at her "While he's bleeding to earn us some money so that we can live a normal life ... you're fucking around, in motels, with old fuckers. Do you know how I felt when my friends pointed at you? Do you understand how I felt when I realized you were a whore?"

"No! You don't understand! Please --- give -- give me a second to explain ---" she tried to get up, lending her arm towards me. Instead of accepting it and listening, I kicked her away, pushing her deeper into the wall.

"No! You don't have any right to speak to me anymore! I don't want to see you ever again! You hear? I want you out of this house by tomorrow! My eyes can't look at you anymore!"


I rushed out after that, red in face and with wounded pride. In the end ... even now I can't understand why I was so angry. Even if she was unfaithful to my dad ... I should've understood. She was a young woman, beautiful and cheering - I should've known it wasn't easy for her either. Still, I think that I was hurt the most because my picture of the perfect family was shattered in pieces. All my dreams and ideals that were built up about family were gone, broken into millions of pieces that will never pick up again.

I spent the rest of the night lingering through the streets, like a dog without a master, cold and broken. With the first ray of dawn I headed back home - my anger disappeared. I was even ready to listen ... but I knew she wasn't there. I knew she was already gone. And then I got angry again - I wondered how can she leave her under age son? 

I started running, probably the fastest I've ever ran, hoping that I'll catch her before she leaves. All I've found was the same, destroyed room and wet sheet of paper on the floor. I slowly picked it up, afraid of what I'll read. Goodbye letter to her son?


"Forgive me ... please ... if you ever find it in your heart, forgive me. Your father abandoned us two years ago because he found another woman. By his words, he fell in love too much to ignore her. I should've told you back then but ... I was afraid. I was afraid you were going to think I've lied; that I pushed him out and that you won't speak to me, ever again. I've tried to find work ... but no pay wage nearly the same as your father's. That's ... that's when it all started ... forgive me ... I know I've wronged you ... but ... I've never been the smartest person. Goodbye ... and ... know that I've loved you more than anything."


I stared at that short text - of course, I didn't believe it at the start. But the warmth of her tears was still there - and they were followed by mine. The phone rang. I didn't have to pick it up to know what it is about. I fell on my knees and pressed a small sheet against my chest with all the strength I had. I started screaming, yelling and crying as if I was a little child - I've finally understood what and who I am, that I don't deserve the given tears.


Her body was found on the concrete, in a nearby park, cold and dead, just after teh dawn. She jumped off a building, fearless, bearing great pain in her heart. I found out later that I was late only ten minutes ... if only I went back eariler ... if only I were faster ... if only ---


I spent two years of my life at my father's, leaving the moment I turned eighteen. I didn't want to look at him - neither him nor his other family.


That day i learned lesson never inhaled - parents often lie to their children ... but it's up to the children to understand why - not to judge. My lesson, learned far too late, costed me my heart and my childhood ... and it wasn't worth it.


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