“Baby, this is your mother. Mama’s here with you, okay. I’m so, so sorry. I don’t know if you can even hear me. I pray to God you can’t. Baby, I’m so sorry.” Bloom could hear his mother’s tears. He tried to open his eyes but it was like he was locked inside his brain. He felt so strange, like there was a haze.
He knew he was breathing but he couldn’t feel it.
He could only make out sounds in the room but it’s like he couldn’t return to the world. His mother needed comfort. Where had she come from anyway? The last thing he remembered was being in bed with Daniel. They were so happy in their shack by the sea. Why did his mother sound so sad? Was it a dream?
“Baby, I’m sorry we couldn’t do more.” His mother wailed. “You deserved a better life. Your friend was too young to die, too. Such a handsome boy he was.” He felt her hand push the hair back from his head but he couldn’t do anything. He couldn’t even tell how his breathing was working. It’s like he didn’t have the ability to do anything other than dream.
“Baby, if you can hear me, your attorney says you were in love with that boy, that you protected him. Know I’ll always love you, I would have loved him too. So much. We have to turn off the machines because your brain isn’t doing anything. So you—“ Her voice cracked. His mind was reeling. No, no, no, no!
Their beach house. Their plans. He didn’t understand. What was this dream? He wanted to wake up.
“Baby, that fight was so awful. Your friend, he just didn’t make it.” Her devastated words brought it back. The fight. Rico’s boys. They’d made it four years under the radar, but Rico’s boy had found out about them. They kept screaming “Faggots!” There was blood. Flyboy yelled for help but Jack had gone down, knowing they’d broken his neck. He’d stared, paralyzed on the floor as they’d beaten his golden boy.
No, no, no! He felt the tear go down his face.
His mother let out a pained sob. “Oh, baby. It’s okay. You just let go, now, okay? You go on to him. You go be at peace.”
Jack listened as she wailed her sorrow and brushed her fingers through his hair over and over. He wanted so badly to tell her how much he loved her. She deserved an apology for all he’d put her through. She’d been such a good mother. He believed when she’d said she would have loved his Flyboy as much as Jack had.
Her voice quieted and her hand stilled, the only sounds left in the room was the ticking of the clock, a beeping and an whirring. The beeping and the whirring stopped and he immediately felt himself attempting to breath. Nothing. His body refused to work. It didn’t hurt, he just felt it like an emotional shock. He realized that this was it for him. It was really that simple. He was strangely at peace knowing his mother was there, though. He felt another tear on his face but he slowly felt himself start to dream.
There was Flyboy. Daniel. His beautiful golden boy. And his mother. God she was beautiful in that dress he’d given her for mother’s day. Her smile was so broad. There was Jack's brother, long ago, before his own death, showing off his first car. Then there was Daniel again and his smile.
Jack jerked awake, trembling all over. He stood from the bed he shared with Daniel and stretched his muscles. He walked to the window and looked out over the view of the beach, the one they'd saved for and dreamed of since they'd met three years ago. Arms wrapped around him from behind and he turned to see that lazy smile he loved so.
“Welcome home, Jack Bloom.” Daniel kissed his forehead and Jack was at peace.
©2014 Kade Boehme