“Mother, remind him of what?” what is she trying to say? Was she going to tell him the reason for this hatred, something that he had wondered for years..
He turns her face to focus on him “Mum..tell me,..what do I remind Gerald of, please tell me for once mama “ he says
Thelma focuses her eyes on Adam, tears filling her eyes “You look so much like Damien, I see him in your eyes, I see his smile, even your laughter… I wonder..does he get cold where he is, does the sun burn him, the bed of the earth..does it bleed his skin, does he..does he..who is there, Damien, is that you honey..come sit with me and your brother..Adam, don’t tease him..” she says turning away to face the wall, playing with the inside of her palms
“Damien..my boy, my sweet boy..he left me, he is cold down there Adam, did you cover him up..my boy, my sweet boy” her tears drop, Adam wipes her eyes, going closer he takes her head to his bosom, holding her there, as his own emotion takes over..
“I am sorry mama, I am so sorry mama..I am sorry, forgive me..forgive me” he cries silently into her hair
Marybeth quietly leaves .
Not understanding what she just witnessed. What did Adam remind Gerald of that made him hate his son so much. What did Thelma do, what made Gerald angry. What happened years ago. And why was Adam apologizing to her, what did he do, what is he sorry for? So many questions running through her head. But one was evidently clear..
Part of Thelma’s sickness was attributed to that trauma… And then there was “Damien”
It was clear Adam isn’t the only child of the Pope’s, Damien was the second child..
“Was he cold, does the sun burn him down there, the bed of the earth..” she repeats shaking her head, hugging herself, she felt cold really cold.
She must have fallen asleep.
She wakes up, heading back into the room to find Thelma asleep.., and Adam, still there, his head under her hand, a book beside his leg.
Running her hand through his hair carefully she smiles, remembering how she wanted to do that the first day she saw how beautiful his hair looked, ..he doesn’t wake up.
Checking on Thelma, she was okay. She made to leave them for awhile not wanting to wake them, but something catches her eyes, the book on the floor had a picture of a smiling face she had seen not so long ago. Bending low she picks it up, ..
That smile, that face..
Turning the book over, the title read “THE GOOD SON” , piqued, she takes the book, and leaves.
It was a story of a boy, who began being a man from ten, and a father who was long gone, and a mother who he saw as his everything.
And then an angel, comes, clothed in beauty, love, another chance and then something happens, he brought the family together even for a little while..
It told the story of the little boy who always wanted to feel loved, who wanted to give out all that he had just to be held by the one who he could not wholeheartedly call “FATHER’’ and he gets another chance to be someone to someone else… “A BROTHER” and he poured his love, into that little heart and swayed in the brightest of his eyes.
The book felt like the raw emotion of the writer, every pain, every disappointment, every tear, every brokenness, the happiness, the joy, the love..every emotion was vividly put down, Marybeth didn’t realize when a tear drops, wiping it she continues to read..
Sometimes she laughed, sometimes she cried, and other times she couldn’t bear the pain the writer felt.. she continued reading
And then his little world of happiness shatters..one day he pushed the Angel off the cliff, not because it brought his mother happiness, or because it brought his father back to them, but because he didn’t see, the small boy was blind, the world was like a darkness and the angel was like a bright light for him, in the chaos in which he lived and it gave him hope..but that wasn’t why he pushed him off the cliff..
The Angel had wanted to fly, to live..to soar..and he didn’t see, the little boy didn’t see..and while he flapped his hands, both of them went off the cliff..the angel falls, his wings shatters, and dissolves into the earth..the little boy could do nothing..for he was broken already..
And his mother..dies slowly, his father…never returned and he, never remained the same again.
But the Angel was the only good thing he had, the only sparkle to his already hardened heart..he was THE GOOD SON, who left too soon. The ANGEL he wished he could bring back and take his place, maybe his mother and his long lost father would have found that love that was lost..
Marybeth wipes her eyes..
“Dedicated to Damien” she reads the cover.
Why did it feel as though she just read about Adam’s pain and happiness, as if she felt and smiled with Damien, heard his voice, saw his dreams and laughed in his happiness, saw him through his eyes..and felt the pain he felt when..he shattered..
This book… shows her everything Adam was, his suffering and desires and dreams..but one stood out, the absence of a father but the emotion that couldn’t be missed, was the undying love for this “Damien’’ and his mother, and one he had tried to mask so much but couldn’t, the one he longs to give to his father..the man long gone
She wipes her eyes, and turning with a smile “Hey, Thelma awake?”
He shakes his head, seating opposite her, noticing the book..
“Marybeth…” he frowns
She follows his glance “ I am sorry…I just…Oh Adam, I don’t know how to describe this book…, you should publish it, its sad and revealing and beautiful and..sad,”
He shakes his head “I don’t want anyone to read it..these are my thoughts I just didn’t want to loose them, this is the only memory I have of..of him” he puts his heads in his hands..
“Damien..your brother, tell me about him, “
“That’s all about him..in there, every laughter, every word..this is my memory of him, mama’s memory of him, even Gerald’s..when he talks about him when he thinks I am not listening or looking..I put it all down…I don’t want to forget him and… Mama, when she gets better I want her not to forget him too..and I know Gerald loves him..and I loved him too… I can’t forget him I don’t want to and.” he cries into his hands “it was my fault, I killed him I killed him’’ he broke down, his mother crying in there had brought the memories rushing down again “I was driving that night, he was so happy, mama was, even grumpy Gerald, he didn’t love me, he didn’t want me as his son I knew that, I accepted that a long time ago but Damien brought back the light to her eyes, he brought Gerald back to her..he was my joy, my little brother..he was the Angel to this family, I didn’t have it all but with Damien I felt I could rule the world with him and mama at my side and I didn’t care if Gerald didn’t love me, Damien’s love was enough, mama’s love was enough but I killed him, we went off the cliff and I was driving and he died. I killed my baby brother and I can never forgive myself” he cries “And Gerald hates me more for that and I made my mother sicker, how do I live with myself’’
“Oh dear lord Adam” she stands up and gathers him to herself.. rocking him
Men don’t cry, she was told. So if they did, it was something that hurt them deeply
“It wasn’t your fault Adam, I am sure it wasn’t’’
“It was, maybe I wanted to kill him, maybe I was jealous that Gerald loved him and not me, maybe I was angry he was the reason for the happiness in this dead family..maybe just maybe I couldn’t stand him..and I wanted to kill him..and end it all. Make him feel the pain he put me through for years and I drove off the cliff and killed him-“
She grabs his face “Ssssh stop it don’t say that Adam..you didn’t kill your brother ..you loved him, this ..this “ she waves the book before him “ is proof”
“Just words any writer would have made up…you don’t understand Marybeth “
She shakes her head “ this is proof, your heart is proof, your pain is proof, the love for your mother is proof and even for your father”
He scoffs “He is not my father and I don’t love him”
“That’s a lie Adam, you don’t know it but you do, those words you try to hide behind, the hurt in your eyes when you both fight, the pain in your words in that book, it’s evident..Adam, and maybe you and your father just need to talk it out and open up to each other”
“No” he pushes her away, standing up and cleaning his eyes
“Adam you are hurting, your father may be hurting too. And you both are just hard and arrogant and can’t put this past you. You lost a brother and he lost a son, for the sake of your mother you both need to work it out, maybe your mother may be bedridden but she needs her heart to be healed too, she lost her son, and may have lost her husband too, does she have to lose another son. Think about her too”
“I think about my mother ‘’ he snaps
“Don’t assume because you read my book you know me or because you take care of my mother you are an expert at family values or because we slept together you think you understand what’s going on in this family, let’s not forget your place here, you are nothing but a nurse, a night in my bed gives you no right over my life or my family, so if you want $3x let it be $3x..nurse ”
The slap stings his face, she blinks, hurt.
“You will not talk to me like that like I am some cheap slut.” taking a step back “Thank you for making me know my place here ..Sir” with that she turns and walks away
He doesn’t stop her, he never would have allowed a girl hit him twice like that, he saw the slap coming, he didn’t duck. He was hurting and he just wanted to lash out. It was stupid to say what he did, he regretted it as soon as he said it but it was too late, he saw the hurt in her eyes, so he welcomed the slap.
He was sorry he hurt her, but right now he was in pain…. he just wanted her to stop talking and wanted to be left alone.
He goes back to the cottage, not seeing her there.
He doesn’t go search for her..