We all make them. For some mistakes, all we need is an eraser. We can just rub it across our page, wipe away the dust and then all that’s left of our error is a hardly noticeable smudge.
But some mistakes can’t be erased.
And that’s just what this is; a mistake that can’t be erased. But it is a mistake. I mean, clearly, it’s a mistake! I didn’t do it intentionally! I ... it was a mistake.
I’m a good mother. You can ask anyone and they’ll tell you. I love my little Damien and ... Amy ... I loved Amy. I really did!
Amy was just so ... energetic, y’know? She had just one speed: full throttle. Always running around the house. Never stopping to take a break. She always wanted me to play with her. But I was always so exhausted. Well, a working, single mother of two young kids would be exhausted, right? Amy never understood that. I ... I just wanted her to slow down.
Damien’s different. He’s such a good boy. So sweet and gentle. He always does what I tell him to do. Amy never listened. I would shout and shout at her but ... she just never listened. It was so bloody frustrating!
I would always wish Amy had been more like Damien. That might seem like a bad thing to have wished for but I’m sure anyone who had met Amy would’ve understood. It doesn’t make me a bad person, does it? (voice trembles) I ... I am a good person. A good mother.
The nights were horrible.
Amy always got more, um, active around bedtime. She was unmanageable! She would jump up and down on her bed, refusing to get changed into her pyjamas or brush her teeth. She would yell and scream and laugh. The angrier I got at her, the funnier she seemed to find it. More than once the neighbours complained about all the noise Amy used to make at night.
I don’t have any trouble getting Damien ready for bed. He brushes his teeth, changes his clothes and tucks himself into bed. I used to never be able to read him a bedtime story. Because of Amy and the entire racket she created. And I know my little Damien wanted me to read him a story.
That night (chokes back a sob) ... that night was the worst.
I had had an awful day at work and I just wanted to go to sleep. But ... but Amy (pause) just (pause) wouldn’t (pause) stop!
She believed me, y’know? When I told her the sleeping pill was candy. She believed me.
Is it too much to ask for just one night of peace and quiet? (softly) Just one night.
Amy ... Amy was supposed to wake up in the morning! (voice rises hysterically) I didn’t mean to kill her! She was supposed to wake up!
It was a mistake ...