Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep

Songs in this story: I Don’t Care (Apocalyptica), Mama (My Chemical Romance), Share It With Me (Family Force 5), Hungover (Ke$ha), and Forward Motion (Thousand Foot Krutch)

“You know, today’s the day they’re going to execute him,” she said as she put the paper back down on the breakfast table.

            The woman’s husband stopped chewing his cereal and glared right at her. The only sound that could be heard came from a cheerily singing bird outside.

            “I thought I had told you. I never wanted to hear nothin about him ever again in my house. Jason is totally dead to me, and he should be to you too.”

            “If he’s so dead to you, why do you still call him by his name?” She smiled. As stubborn as her husband was, she still loved him and it was because she loved him that she pushed him so. No normal person could be as cavalier about his son’s execution as he was pretending to be.

            The color began to return to his knuckles as he released his grip on the spoon. He didn’t remember how he had gotten this angry. The chair groaned as he stood and grunted, “I’m late for work. I don’t want to hear about this subject again. It dies today.”

            “She sat there lost in happy memories of her baby boy. It’s funny, no matter how old they get, they will always be momma’s baby. The memory of Jason’s first time running through the sprinkler was drifting through her mind when the slamming of the front door brought her back to the present. This was the first time that he had every left without kissing her bye or telling her that she was loved. She needed to do something to keep her mind off today.

            However, an hour, a shower, a twenty minute car drive, and a few begging and pleadings later, she found herself sitting in a room waiting to see her son before he would be forever taken from her. Well, some part of him had already left, but she never knew when it had happened.

            “You know, I’m not an animal at the zoo. You can’t just pop in at anytime and expect to see me. Why don’t you come back next week? I hear my schedule is super open then.”

            He had slipped in without her noticing, and was leaning against the wall with his arms crossed on his chest. Prison had aged him more than the ten years he had been on death row. It was nice to see his dour sarcastic attitude hadn’t changed one bit.

            “Jason please, don’t be like that. This is going to be the last time we ever talk together. Can’t you be nice, for me?

            “Sure, I guess I’ll try, but let me ask you a question. Why are you here? It’s over. This was all over a long time ago.

            “I know. You’re right, but…” All of this was giving her the biggest headache. Massaging her temples, she tried one more time. “You, standing before me as a convicted murderer, are no son of mine. I had to see if maybe you hadn’t totally killed my son off, but I don’t see him anymore. I guess that’s all. I had fixated so much on trying to save you, but it was doing me no good.”

            “What do you want me to say?  Do you want me to beg for your love, your forgiveness? Look, I didn’t get to be this way by putting your approval as my top priority.” Something was wrong. His mother was starting to make him feel things again. Frustration, irritation, and strangely, hope. She had come down here for him even after everything he’d done to himself, to her, and to those guys.

            “Let’s get one thing straight.” As if to emphasize her point, she stood up and crossed the room to look her son in the eyes. “Dead or alive, I don’t care, I will always love you. You are still my son regardless of your actions. That being said, I don’t like you, and I will never have respect for you ever.”

            Not backing down from the sudden verbal confrontation, the young man stopped leaning against the wall and stood to his full height. “You know mom, that seems fair, but just remember this. I have a lot of memories of you; good, bad, irritating, loving, and especially the ugly. After today, I won’t ever have to think about them again. You on the other hand will live the rest of your life with that baggage. Aren’t you glad we shared all those memories mommy dearest?”

            “You are a monster.” Her voice began to waver as she fought back the tears. “I’m done here, I got the closure I needed. Have a nice day son.”

            She turned around and never looked back. Her son had died years ago, but she had just laid him to rest in the recesses of her mind. She made it to the parking lot before the tears burst through the restraints and came streaming down. They were tears of sorrow mixed with tears of uncertainty. She was on the brink of reality, and it was time to move forward.

            Digging her phone out she took a deep breath to compose herself. “Hey honey, did you have any lunch plans? I heard there was a new Chinese restaurant a block from your work…”