Tear It Out - #2

They were the same brown eyes, full of the world, just heavier from experiencing more years. Still, for his age his features were vibrant and youthful. His Armani suit mirrored the rust flecks in his eyes. The golden ring with Celtic symbols of forever still adorns the finger on his left hand. His smile has faded, however. It took a lifetime to come back into himself after losing her. Now their son is slipping away. All the luxury in the world can’t erase the worry.

He sits in the pristine kitchen with oak cabinets, hand-hammered copper sink, and a fountain purring from the wall. This was the place they centered their dreams, she and him. When he holds his breath, for a moment his heart will stop beating and he can actually still hear her singing while she cooks. He can smell the banana bread coated in her special gooey glaze, the one she said she created to show him how his love seeped into every part of her being, filling her with goodness and warmth.

His heart restarts. Failure. He failed to save her. He can’t fail to save his son. Whatever he has to do he will do it. If this new therapy doesn’t work, on to the next. On and on until he gets it right. No giving up, no acceptance of dark diagnoses.

For months the boy has been sleeping in the guest room. He goes straight from the room to the car, no breakfast, no conversation. This morning, however, there he was, standing in the kitchen. A lump forms in the man’s throat. He chides himself; he can speak to world leaders and multi-billionaires, but is scared to speak to his son. He swallows a gulp of nothing.

“Charlie, would you like some coffee?” How unnatural he sounds to himself.

Charlie shakes his head for no. He still makes such slow aching movements. He reaches for a glass and pours himself some water. He takes a long, needy drink. Swallows fills the air in between the hushed avoidance.

A horn honks and he’s out the door before the man could choke out another word. Charlie has become good at that. The man looks at the glass of water on the counter. The sunlight runs right through it, making prisms shine on the marble counter. He doesn’t notice the fingerprints of charcoal left on the glass. If he had, he would’ve experienced the day with less of a heavy heart.

He sat at the table, ignoring the newspaper in front of him, going over and over in his mind what it could be. His vibrant all-American, all-boy son turned into a walking zombie. No conversations, no sports, no friends, he doesn’t even draw anymore.

It started on a Sunday. They always watched sports together on Sunday, no matter what the season. They had a big Sunday brunch, scrambled eggs and bacon, pancakes and sausage, fresh fruit on the side. They worked the crossword puzzle together. They wrestled a little bit in the kitchen, throwing fake punches at each other.

The room buzzed with the sounds of their combined laughter. It was that sound, that song, which made the man feel alive. He had some business to attend to but would be back before the game started. The boy went upstairs to work on his art for the competition. They parted ways.

When the man returned, the boy was in the bathroom. Steam was pouring from the gap of the door. By the time the game started he got a little worried; the boy usually had to be forced to bathe (like your usual 13 year old.)

When he finally came out he wouldn’t speak. His skin glowed red, from the heat of the water or the force he put on the sponge the man couldn’t tell. He refused to talk, said he felt sick, and went straight to bed.

That night he slept in the guest room. He missed a week of school, even though it was Fall Art Competition Week, which he looked forward to all year.

Then began the journey of doctors. Nothing was diagnosed, other than pre-teen angst or depression. The man was told to go home, be supportive, and he’ll come out of it. Angst at 13? So time passed.

A month later it started.

The doctor’s office was cold and harsh. Magazines for moms and the retired lingered on the table. Do people ever steal the cotton balls? His mind was adrift. The doctor’s voice started coming back. He heard himself say the word out loud.

Cutting. It echoed off the sickly green walls. What? He had never heard of such a thing. He looked over at his son. The boy remained blank, no response.

That is the moment that defined everything for the man. That’s when he realized his son was on a trip downward, in an elevator he wasn’t on himself, nor could he see, nor did he know how to stop. He felt himself scream inside his head.

Tear It Out - #2

ShadowDancer

Kansas City, United States

  • Artist
    Notes
  • Artwork Comments 12

Artist's Description

Continuation of the original story Tear It Out – #1.
Tear It Out – #3
Tear It Out – #4

The series was inspired by my wonderfully talented friend Cassey and his drawing Tear It Out

Artwork Comments

  • Lisa  Jewell
  • ShadowDancer
  • Cassey
  • ShadowDancer
  • kamel
  • ShadowDancer
  • PintaPinta
  • ShadowDancer
  • linaji
  • ShadowDancer
  • Ushna Sardar
  • ShadowDancer
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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