“C’mon Dad, let’s go! I’m gonna be late if you don’t get it in gear!” Kyle yells at his father.
“I’m coming, I’m coming! Just one sip of this coffee and I’ll be ready.”
“There’s no time. I gotta be at the school at nine sharp. The coach will kick me off the team if I’m late by a minute.” Kyle says.
“Fine, fine. Let’s go then. Get your gear and go get in the car.”
“My gear is already in the car. I’ve just been waiting on you,” Kyle casts a scowl in his father’s direction and slams the door of the house on his way out.
Chris mumbles to himself, “jeez-us H Christ, that kid is always in a frigging hurry.”
He gulps down the last of his coffee, burning his tongue in the process. “Goddamnit.”
He kicks off his slippers and bends to tie up his sneakers. He shrugs on his Red Sox hoodie and then pulls on his Patriots cap in order to cover his unruly hair. He snatches his car keys off the key holder beside the door. Within minutes they’re speeding down the road to the high school.
Kyle is still visibly upset. “Oh my gawd, Dad, you always do this. You frig and fart around each time there’s a game and we always have to rush around. I hate that! I can’t wait to get my license and my own car, then I won’t have to wait for you to drive me around!”
“I know, I know. I’m sorry. I thought we had plenty of time.”
“You waited until the last minute again to even get going. I told you I had to be there by nine. Now we’ve only got ten minutes to get there! The bus is going to leave without me!”
“The bus isn’t going to leave without you, you’re the quarterback. Can’t have a game without the quarterback.”
Kyle crosses his arms and they ride the rest of the way to the school in silence.
Chris can feel his son’s anger hanging in the air between them.“C’mon, Kyle. Don’t be like that. A pissy attitude isn’t going to help you guys win this game. And you need this win, right?”
Kyle looks at his father and breaks his stony silence. “You know we do. We have to win in order to get to the playoffs.”
“You know I wanted to come to this game didn’t you?”
“But you’re not, ” Kyle says.
“I can’t,” his father hangs his head.
“So you say,” Kyle turns his head away from his father.
Chris glances in his son’s direction. “I’ve got to be at the hospital.”
Kyle snaps his head in his father’s direction. “I don’t even know why you still bother. She put herself there. She’s the one who put herself in a coma. She didn’t think about anybody else but herself when she took that shit and decided it was a good idea to go for a drive. All she’s ever thought about is herself. She can rot away in that hospital bed for all I care!”
Chris lays his hand on his son’s shoulder. “Kyle, don’t. You know that’s not true. She loved you. Still loves you and you’ll see that when she wakes up.”
Kyle shrugs off his father’s hand. “Give it up Dad, the doctor’s said she’s not going to wake up. She fried her brains and the car crash scrambled them even more. She can’t even breathe without the machines. She’s not coming back! I lost my mother a long time ago.”
Kyle feels the tears start to well up again, but bats them away with his fist.
Chris knows there’s no trying to explain things to his son. He’s been trying and trying to make him understand for the past month, but his son can’t see beyond his own anger. And Chris doesn’t blame him. He’s angry as well. At himself, for not seeing how far gone Mary was. He blames himself for not being more insistent, for accepting her excuses, for believing in her when she told him she was going to get better. He loved her too damn much to believe otherwise.
They pull into the school and Chris parks behind the bus. Kyle bursts out of the car and then opens the back door to grab his gear. He slams the back door shut and ignores his father’s shout of, “good luck!”
Chris watches Kyle get on the bus, high-fiving his buddies as he passes by them. He sees Kyle laugh at something one of his teammates say and then watches as Kyle places himself in one of the high-backed bus seats.Chris waves even though Kyle refuses to look at him through the window.
Chris watches the school bus leave the driveway and head down the road.After the bus is long gone, Chris puts his car in gear and sighs. He begins his journey to the hospital where his wife lies in a coma. A coma that was induced by the car crash his wife was in while she was high.Chris feels dread and hope at the same time. Dread that his wife hasn’t come out of her coma and the decision he may have to make on whether or not to take her off life support. And hope that she has awakened and they can begin the process of healing.
But then dread fills him once again, because if she has awakened and survived this latest ordeal, he worries that her addiction will consume her yet again and he and Kyle will again suffer through the pain of seeing a loved one battle a drug addiction that they have no control over.Chris sighs again, there is no happy ending for him or his son.
Either way Mary is lost to them..
The distance grows
The time apart seems like death
Knowing that the space will spread
Until the gap becomes a black hole
Feeling as though the tunnel is too long
To reach you
Yelling out your name
An echo my only answer
Throwing out a lifeline
Filled only with love
Begging you to grab it
In order to save you from
Your lonely solitude of depression and despair
But the bottle
Battles me each day
Taking you further and further into the blackness
I don’t know how long I can hold on
Without eventually following you into the abyss
In order to be with you
If it’s the only way to hold you