Explaining

'How do I explain death to my child?'
Is the opening line to this story about the Davidson family and the sudden death of their mother.
As Oliver tries to find his mother in his dreams of space and as Jack tries to find out what life is about; we ask the questions that we can never answer.

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3. Peter

 

When did things get so dark?

They say the world opens to you as you grow older, but perhaps the world grows darker too. My mother is gone, so why am I not crying? I should be lying broken on my bed, torrents of heavy wet sobs dripping down my heart and wrenching my hair from my scalp. Yet all I want to do is go to sleep. To let the world drop from my shoulders and to cease the worrying, the numbness and the trembling sunlight in my eyes. Won’t the world be kind? Won’t it all simply dissolve like photographs in water if I let sleep sink into me.

My mother is dead…my mother has passed away…my mother has moved on…my mother was wanted in heaven….my mother has abandoned me…..my mother is dead.

I pressed me dry hands against my face, no tears. Perhaps I am in shock? It has all been too much to handle and my whole nervous system is repelling against it, electrons curling up like dying bees and refusing to work along the spiders web of nerves. Fuck, school. The attention will get to me first, the half-hearted whispers of sorrow and gossip at the boy who lost his mother.

CRY! FOR FUCK’S SAKE CRY! POUR YOUR EYES OUT! WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU FREAK!

I pick up my cell phone and check again, knowing there isn’t any messages for me. I scroll up and down my contacts list, searching through names and nicknames, looking for someone to distract myself from myself. The names flick by, meaningless flickers of light. I toss and turn on my bed, frustrated with how relaxed I am. What do other teenagers do in hard times? Lash out, get angry, cut, gain weight, lose weight, destroy themselves, smoke? None of these seemed to fall down the path for me.

I rip open my computer, tearing through the log-in screens trying to find my way onto the internet. Smiling faces and tabs open up to me, a crystal clear sea of smiling photographs and neat text. I flick through the names again, faces run past my mind, none stand out and all sink away. I close the laptop.

I try and think of my mother, what her voice sounded like. I can remember very little. I remember her smell though, a faint scent of perfume drifting along her clothes and spinning in the air. I feel a tear sinking down my face. “Here it is”, I think. A numbness blooms within my chest, hollowing out my heart and carving everything away. Filling the void is a cold lifeless fog, around me the world has lost it’s colour and in my brain a switch is flicked. I don’t want to move. Not because I cannot move, but because the world has stopped moving. A breeze flutters past, but it is like light across a glacier. My guts wrench themselves apart. My mother is dead, and I think I am dying with her. 

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