I hope that in doing this I find eternity… I hope that I find that day in which there is no pain, no suffering and no sorrow.
“I just… I just don’t know what to do Laura. Do you possibly know anyone or anything that could help me? Anything at all… anyone at all.” Josh sobbed into his end of the telephone.
“Hey. You have me. What is it that you need?” was Laura’s calm and sincere response.
“I… I don’t know how to say this. I don’t know how to say this at all…” he shakily said.
“You can do it, trust me. No matter what you say and no matter do, I will always stand by you. Even in the darkest time of your life, I’ll be there. It may not seem like it, but I will be. So if I’m going to be there for you then, then you can tell me what’s going on now. So, what’s up?” she said firmly, but not too harshly.
“I really don’t feel comfortable saying this, but I’ll go ahead and say it. I’m gay.” Josh exclaimed with a smirk.
“Hey, stop avoiding the topic. You told me that three years ago,” Laura exaggerated. “You need to tell me now because you brought it up and if you keep straying away and not saying what you need and want to say, you’ll never end up saying it. You will have all of your secrets bundled up inside of you and you’ll be too scared to ever let them out. Do you want that to be you?”
“I guess not… no,” Josh sighed. “I think that I might be starting to hate my mom…”
“Hate is a pretty strong word… Are you sure that it’s that extreme of a disliking?” Laura questioned.
“You see, I’m not sure… I have extremely mixed feelings about her and I don’t know which ones to choose. Am I allowed to pick and choose what to feel?” Josh asked with a shaking, scared voice.
“Well, I’m not the judge of that. I think what you should do is sit down and make a list of the pro’s and con’s of your mother. On the left, write what you like about her. On the right, write what you think you may or may not dislike about her.” Explained Laura.
“Ok, I’ll try it. Thanks Laura!” exclaimed a slightly happier Josh.
“Mmhmm, anytime.” Laura responded with a smile in her voice.
Josh placed his phone on his desk and pulled out a fresh sheet of writing paper from his messy backpack. He placed it on his desk, straightened it out with the palm of his hand and grabbed the nearest writing utensil; a purple glitter pen. Fine by me, he thought to himself with a shrug. In the neatest handwriting he could possibly muster, he wrote, “Loves” on the left column of the page and on the right, he wrote “Hates”. As for the title, he wrote, “Mom”.
Josh paused to smile and think about how many times she had done that for him. Even though he knew that she was faking to be amused by his corny jokes, she still laughed. He really liked that about her.
After thinking for a while longer, he couldn’t come up with anything to add to either side of the list. He sat staring through the page, lost in thought for what seemed like ages. He sat with a blank stare into nothingness, thinking about nothing in particular. Just thinking. When he looked at the paper, all he saw were just words that didn’t seem to mean anything.
He was torn out of his trance by a knock on the door. Before he could get up to answer it, it opened, revealing his mother on the opposite side.
“Hey… I was just wondering what you were doing… haven’t talked to you in a while.” His mom said quietly, almost a whisper. She seemed to look like she was crying… she had a sad look in her eyes… the usual sparkle was missing.
“Uh… I was just… just… just writing a note… to myself. Yeah. Writing a note to myself.” Josh replied, reassuring himself on his lie as he ripped the list off of his desk and half-heartedly threw it under his bed.
“Oh… ok.” His mother whispered.
“Hey, is something wrong Elizabeth?” Josh asked his mom, with a concerned look on his face.
“…No. I’m fine. Thanks though.” Was her clear and simple response.
He wasn’t ready to go and implore on Elizabeth’s personal life. He thought their conversation had ended but she just kept standing there awkwardly with a blank, expressionless face.
Josh hated it when people didn’t show their emotions. He was the type of guy that loved reading people and trying to figure out how they felt and what they were going through. He could read anyone, anyone at all; it was just harder when they hid their feelings. But even when hidden, he could eventually find out how they were truly feeling.
When in public, whether it be at school, at a shop, at the mall or a restaurant, he would just sit back and watch people. He would just watch them and practice reading their feelings and expressions. It kept his mind off of his own depression but once he was home, he would go back to being the emotional and depressed kid.
He guessed that the reason he could read other people so well was that he was always in some sort of pain, whether it be physical, emotional or mental. When reading people, he especially picked up people’s pain because pain was such a prominent feeling.
Pain presents itself in many ways. It can show itself in tears, it can show itself in blood. It can show itself in a mask of smiles, it can show itself in a twisted, tormented facial expression. It can expose itself in the form of scars; it can expose itself in the form of fresh wounds caused by the person in pain.
The sad thing was, was that he could read other people so well, but he couldn’t even read himself. This frustrated him so much and kept him awake countless nights.
One of the things that he wished for the most was for someone to understand him or for him to begin to understand himself. He found so many things wrong with himself that other people didn’t seem to see.
As Josh was lost in thought, trying to figure out how Elizabeth was feeling, she slowly turned on her heels to turn her back on him. She sighed, slumped forward and started to head out of the room, but then hesitated.
“Can I stay in here for a little bit?” she questioned.
“Uhm… sure? I guess…” Josh replied, a little bit scared.
With his response, Elizabeth sulked over to the bed and threw herself onto it. Josh just sat there staring at her, trying to figure out what was wrong. Had she lost something? Was she hurt? Did she watch a sad movie?
He paused on the last idea or guess to think about the first time she had seen Titanic. After the movie was over, she acted like this for a whole week. She wouldn’t say anything, had the look that she was about to cry on her face 24/7, wouldn’t eat anything but she would spend the majority of her day cooking… it was outrageous and extremely dramatic but at least it didn’t hurt Josh.
He looked back over at her lying there pathetically without a single sign of movement. Sighing, he turned back to his desk and pulled out a different sheet of paper and started another entry in the Confessions of a Typewriter.
November 12, 2009
Mom is acting… weird. She just doesn’t seem like herself. She doesn’t want to talk at all; all she wants to do is lie on my bed… not even sleep. It’s sort of creepy. She hasn’t moved even once since she took over my bed. I know that I should feel like it’s an invasion of privacy, but I’m actually really worried for her. I want to know what’s going on with her, but I can’t seem to be able to read her feelings. That’s actually no surprise as I haven’t been able to read myself lately either. I think that I might have a part in not being able to read myself or anyone else… I’ve thought about it for a while, and I concluded that it’s because I’m too scared to. The world has become a vast emptiness of hunger, thirst, pain and death and the people that reside here are filled with sorrow and depression. It would be too overwhelming to see how much of the world is going through the things that I do. My message to the world is: don’t do the things I do. Don’t hurt yourself in the ways I do. Don’t put yourself in the same situations that I accidentally slipped into… because I don’t want you to feel the pain that I feel. The pain is so real and you are reminded of it every day in the morning right when you first wake up. And trust me on this; it never goes away. It will be there until you go back to sleep that night and will still haunt you in your dreams until that dream becomes a reality the next morning. So yeah. If you are someone other than me and reading this (which you shouldn’t be) then please please please heed the words above. I PROMISE you don’t want to live every day of your life the way I do. I promise.
After reading over his finished entry and satisfied with what he saw, he ripped the page out of the typewriter and carefully placed it in the usual folder. He pushed the sock drawer shut just a little bit harder, making a loud nose to try and make his mom stir in vain. She just looked back through him, her eyes glossy and wet as if she was about to cry. The scary thing was, was that she didn’t.