2000 Dollars

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: True Confessions  |  House: Booksie Classic
What you would do with 2000 is different than what Jeffrey would do, question is why?

Submitted: August 12, 2014

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Submitted: August 12, 2014



I would love 2000 dollars. Who wouldn’t? But where most people would use the money to buy or save for a dream or desire they have, I want the money to throw away my dreams.

I’m sitting in a hospital waiting room, and I’m too comfortable. Most people hate hospitals for its chemical smell or because they fear death, but hospital visits have become one of the only routines in my life.

 I see a mother cradling her adolescent daughter who is crying, I almost want to ask if she is okay, but I know it isn’t my business. There are a few other people sprinkled around the room in the beige waiting chairs, some of them look sickly, others look like me; tired in a way that no amount of sleep changes.

It’s then I see her come around the corner, pale as ever in a hospital wheelchair. My stomach leaps up and slams into my heart.

What was different about this time? What could have broken the numbness surrounding my core? I thought I had mastered apathy a while ago when it came to retrieving my mother form the hospital. The difference this time is that I’ve given up.


You find your mother on the bathroom floor from an overdose only so many times before you inevitably give up. When hospitals are a comfort to you rather than a place you can’t wait to leave, you have to give up. Sometimes you have to recognize when to let go of something or someone because they aren’t anything but damaging. There are these times in everyone’s life when they will have to find something else to be hopeful of, I just never thought it would be my mother.


I wordlessly take over from the nurse who had been pushing my mom, giving her a slight nod. Her name is Janie, and though I’ve overheard her being reprimanded for small mistakes on numerous occasions, she is good at what she does. She makes a patient feel like they aren’t in an entirely different world. She makes them feel like they are just in an extension of their home, simply by being good company. I cast a quick glance over for the mother and daughter, my curiosity still open to them, but I find that they have disappeared. I can’t explain my sudden deep want for their wellbeing, but maybe it is my freed up hope trying to find a home.

My mom doesn’t say anything; I know she is just going to sleep when I get her home. I pile her into the car I borrowed from my uncle, and begrudgingly pay the 6 dollars for parking.
As we drive, the silence weighs down on me, and I can feel the stressful ache in my chest because she doesn’t know yet, and when she finds out it’s going to kill me just as much as it kills her.


“Mom?” I ask my voice too strained to my own ears.

“I know Jeffrey, not now-hey. Why are we here?” I had stopped in front of her sketchy apartment building; when after hospital visits I always took care of her at my own place for a week or two.

“You don’t know mom.” Her bleary gaze falls on me, and I’m struck by it. I feel the pain and sickness well up in my stomach. “I… I just-”

“It’s fine. Jeff.” She started opening the door.

“No mom!” I feel dizzy. “Do you know what you would buy with 2000 dollars?” I rush the question, but I see her bewilderment halt her movement from exiting the car.

“I don’t want to answer that Jeff.” Her tone is firm, but my resolve is firmer.

“It’s important that you do.”

“You know what I would do! Alright?! I’m human and I’m weak! I’d buy as much cocaine as possible. Why?” She seethes at me and I can feel my heart hammering against my rib cage, my hands still on the steering wheel, begin to sweat fervently. “What would you buy? A new mom?” I know she only said that because she feels hurt at having to announce her weakness and failure, but the child in me wants to cry hysterically and hold onto her, telling her I love her more than anyone or anything in the world, but without the hope that any difference can be made, I know my caving to her guilt trip will only prolong this misery.


“No. I’d buy the same thing as you.” I tell her, and see her face of incredulous shock. Her brown eyes flecked with green widen, and I can see a flash of fear cross her face that wrench my guts further. She is scared that I am like her.

“I’d buy it so that I could show you. So that you saw everything you wanted and hoped for in front of you, and I’d throw it down the toilet and flush it. Because that’s how you make me feel.” I see my words kill something inside of her, and I see tears overflow her eyes as she stares in the silence at me. I don’t say anything more, but I know for the rest of my life that image of her eyes bright with pain will be burned in my brain.


She exits the car into the gorgeous May day, and I see her pause after she closes the car door behind her, and then I force myself to drive away.

I pull over after two blocks and throw up. I’m disgusted at myself and I’m wishing I could have kept being the loving son, but that would only prolong the hell. So instead I step into a different ring of torture, to wait in my broken state for something to be hopeful of, and know at least now there is an opportunity.

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