“Hey mom, where’s my breakfast?”, I called out from the kitchen.
Mom popped her head out from my brother’s room, “I’m sorry honey, I’ve been cleaning all morning, I didn’t have any time to prepare breakfast for you.”
“Now what am I supposed to do?”, I grumbled, rolling my eyes.
“I’m so sorry honey, you know I love you but your younger brothers are quite a handful”, Mom tried for a smile, but I turned around and ignored her.
“What about my coffee? My morning coffee?”
Mom froze and put her hand in her head, “I’m so sorry honey, but I can only do so much…”
“And does that explain the reason why I was the only one without presents this Christmas?”
“Honey, I didn’t think you would want anything this year – remember we already took you on a big trip this winter!”
“What about school? You drive the boys and I’m the only one that has to walk TWO MILES BACK AND FORTH TO AND FROM SCHOOL EVERY. FREAKING. DAY!!!
“Honey… I told you, I have limited time each day, I’m so sorry I couldn’t -“
“Whatever”, I screamed down the hall, wanting to hurt her.
Before she could finish her sentence, I charged at the door calling out, “I’m going on a walk, but I’m sure you won’t notice the difference!”
Grunting, I kicked at the snow, frustrated.
It had finally stopped snowing, after so many days.
The first of January had begun.
I barged through the snow, venting out my anger as I whacked the trees with sticks and kicked away the snow.
Stupid mom and her stupid excuses.
I mean nothing to her.
So she means nothing to me.
Slowly, my body gradually tired, each stick harder to throw, each layer of snow harder to kick through.
I dropped to the ground, landing in the soft blanket of snow, as I saw the sun peek in from the clouds above.
Slowly, small specks of snow drifted down from the sky. My eyes followed a single snowflake, the calming sensation of drifting away from reality. Slowly drifting into space.
A world with no worries.
A world with no feelings.
And, slowly, the little snowflake – delicate and vulnerable – faded away with the world.
I shot up, my arms flailing in the air, as a tried to grasp my surroundings. The hazy world around me slowly came to a focus.
Where am I?
Soon, the day’s events returned along with all the anger and annoyance.
Right… that happened…
I must have fallen asleep…
Sighing, I hauled myself up, groaning as I stretched my back.
Mom probably hasn’t even noticed the fact that I hadn’t come home.
Then realization struck.
How long had I been sleeping there? It’s daytime already!
“AUGH!” I screamed at nothing in particular, hoping my steam would blow off with time.
Well… I guess I should start heading home.
I marched ahead, the way I came from home. I trudged ahead, tiring quickly. The cold air burned my lungs, as I sat down to rest.
Expecting the crunch of snow as I sat down, I squeezed my eyes shut. To my surprise, I heard nothing.
“Huh?”, I wondered aloud.
I stood up and started stomping on the snow.
Not a single thump.
Then I froze.
I looked down, and the snow was pure white, perfectly level with all the other snow as if I hadn’t even poked it.
Not a single dent in the snow.
Slowly, I turned to face the path I took to return home and grew dizzy with shock.
Not a single footprint was in sight.
“AHHHHH!!!”, I stared at my hands.
Everything seems fine… although nothing was fine.
Fear curled around my heart like a fist, dissipating enough anger to let the realization trickle in.
What happened to me?
I slowly bent down and reached my fingers into the snow. I felt nothing. Not even cold.
I collapsed in shock staring at my hands, as I tried to lift the snow up that went straight through my hand.
No such luck.
Am I… dead?
MOM! I wonder if she can see me?
Without another thought, I hopped up and dashed through the snow, running faster than reindeer on a sleigh. I ran and ran until I came to a stop…
Through the window, I saw Mom, face in her hands, curled up in a ball on the ground.
Mom? What are you doing?
I tried to push the door open, but staggered straight through.
Curious yet scared, I squat in front of my mom, and waved my hand in front of her.
“Mom! Mom! I’m back!”, I cried in glee, as I hugged her.
A wave of sadness washed over me as my hands slipped right through her, and my call appeared unnoticed.
“Mom?”, I whimpered, edging away into the wall.
“Mom…”, I whispered, no louder than the soft touch of a snowflake on the ground.
A soft whimpering, like the sound of a sad puppy, started filling the room.
“Mom? You okay?”, I walked back to Mom, wanting to see what had happened.
“My poor baby, I never do enough for him… I’m so sorry baby, I’m so sorry” Mom whimpered, her words stabbing me, sharp as a knife.
No. No mom, I knew you have cared for me. If only I could appreciate you… If only you knew I loved you… Maybe if my anger hadn’t chained me… If only my frustration hadn’t pushed me away like the wind to a cloud…
She looked lost like a little bird, curled up in her nest.
Locked in a cage.
Lost and alone.
“Oh, baby, where have you gone?”, Mom started to tear up, the tears soon falling like waterfalls flowing into rivers.
“Mom…”, yet I knew no matter how close, no matter how desperate, I would never be able to tell her… I was right next to her.
“I’m sorry mom, I’ve been a jerk. I know you care about me. I know you love me. But I’ve never been able to tell you that I love you, and I’ve lost that chance already. I know I won’t be able to make it up to you, but I hope that someday, you will find out that I really do love you… I really do.”
“OH, BABY! YOU’RE BACK!”
I tumbled over onto my back, as Mom charged at me with a great big hug.
Together, we cried in each other’s embrace, hugging each other tightly.
We never did question what exactly happened that day.
I chose to forget it altogether.
But I always remember to say what matters.
“I love you, mom”.
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