Tear in the Cotton

March 28, 2017

The sound that the matted carpet made after every step left Marc curious to see if his mother could hear. The windows were hidden behind the curtains, but outside was dark. A land once taken over by humans was now left deserted. Only the parked cars, and leafless trees filled the streets at 2:30 in the morning. Marc was forced to close the door, as the restricted winter breeze was traveling into his home. He looked around the house to see all the bedroom doors closed, hopefully to have a sleeping child and his mother inside. But as Marc turned himself around, a woman stood a few yards in front of him with her arms to her sides.

“What are you doing coming home at 2:30 at night?” the women said with a nasty tone. She turned on the lamp that was closest to her. The light revealed a tired looking face that resembled his mom. Marc didn’t speak, and just let her lecture him for what it felt like the 100th time. But instead, all she said was a few words.

“I’m disappointed in you,” she spoke. She started to become a bit choked up. “We've been through this before, Marc. Why won’t you listen to me?” It was true. Marc and his mom had been through this conversation before. The same conversation that always ended up in yelling and screaming. In Marc’s mind, it was worth it. Staying at the arena just to practice boxing all night made him feel like he was finally good at something, something he was going to continue doing. Even if it cost his mother’s trust.

“I’m sorry Mom, it won’t happen again.” he lied.

“I don’t understand you,” she whispered. Her hazel eyes filled with frustration. “I feel like I failed you.”

The words traveled out of her mouth, and hit Marc hard. They brought him back to when he was younger, when he was to vulnerable to do anything, but old enough to realize what his parents would say about him. He knew he was a mistake, and he also knew that he ruined his parents relationship.

“I - I didn’t mean to,” he tried to finnish, but he was interrupted.

“Mean to what?” Her voice attacked his words like they were pray. “Did you not mean to do it two nights ago, or the day before that? ” She was shouting now. Just like she had countless times before.

Before he could answer, he was interrupted once more, except his time, it wasn’t his mom who cut off his words. Both he and his mother turned their heads to the sound of  tiny footsteps shuffling through the hallway. Appearing from the dark was a little child, holding a stuffed monster in his hand. His innocence was expressed through his spotted pajamas.

“Ethan, what are you doing up at this hour?” his mom asked the little boy. She kneeled down to reach the height the 7 year old was standing at. Her hands rested on his petite shoulders. The touch of the child’s mother converted him. He was most likely woken up by the conversation the two were having. “Here, let’s go to bed.” she muttered. Her arms picked up her youngest son, but her eyes were still fixed on Marc.

Marc felt bad for Ethan. He was brought up in a broken family. Nothing was the same after his parents got divorced. But his mom has been trying to fix the hole in her heart, replacing her past husbands with new men; men that Marc didn’t exactly like. He feared that something would happened to his mother, that she would cross past with the wrong person. His thoughts then ran away, as his mother told him one last piece of advice

“Figure out what you want to with yourself,” she hissed. “I’ll see you in the morning.” Then the two of them disappeared into the lightless hallway. Marc was left with himself, and the items in his backpack. Red boxing gloves lay inside, as well as a brand new grey hoody. He took it out, and held it in his hands. The tag still was stuck on a piece of the cotton sleeve. He grabbed the tag, and fiercely tore it off, leaving a small mark. The sweatshirt was perfect to him. The tear in the cotton couldn't have altered his outlook on it’s quality, as the mark was unimportant.

He reached for the door, and twisted the knob at the right amount of speed so it wouldn’t make any noise. He checked behind him, making sure the light was still on his his brother’s room, and his mother hadn’t left yet. She was still quietly singing a song to little Ethan. But that would be the last conversation his mother would have being a women of two children, because after he walk out the door, he didn’t feel part of his family anymore. He wasn’t a child to a parent, are at least to his mother.

“You won’t see me tomorrow,” Marc replied softly to his mother’s comment earlier. He shut the door, and felt the breeze now coated with freedom brushed against his grey hoodie, as he walked on into his new world.






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