I sat outside alone. Everyone else had gone inside. I hear my mother pass me by when she got home. She stopped and stared at me while I looked out over the mountain tops while I calmed down. My world was falling apart. I felt so betrayed. My mother had moved on without me. But they knew about me. Knew my name. Even her sons. Twins…. Fuck my heart ached for the family I could have had if I hadn’t sparked.
But I had. I had sparked and I had ruined my mother’s precious life. She’d found love and had sons and I was left alone in a hateful world. Growing to hate my mother every day until Margo helped me see that she was just afraid. Fear makes us do stupid things. That’s when I had vowed never to let fear rule my life.
I don’t know how long I sat outside by myself. The day drifted into night and it was getting cold. I didn’t really care as I sat on the rock overlooking the mountains.
I heard the door open. And I smelled the strange man before he spoke. “Why don’t you come inside, son?”
“I’m not your son.” I quipped and then I added a little more respectfully, “I’m fine where I’m at right now sir. Thank you.”
I heard the crunch of his boots as he walked towards the rock and sat down next to me looking out over the tree tops and into the starry sky. I didn’t see skies like this back home. “Your mother made apple pie.”
“I know. I smelled it when you opened the door. But I can’t eat it.”
Jesse chuckled, “Can’t eat the carbs? Mich said you were a picky eater.”
“It’s not that. I hate apple pie.”
“Your mother said it was your favorite.”
“Was being the operative word. It reminded me of her. I hated her growing up. But funny enough the smell of apple pie and all the things that make it up are the most comforting things to me. But I can’t stand the taste of it.” I said absently into the star.
“Your mother loves you, Nox.”
I laughed. “No she doesn’t. She called me a monster. She threw a fire extinguisher at my head. She dragged me kicking and screaming onto an airplane and drugged me so I’d be quiet. Then she left me with a complete stranger and I never saw or heard from her again. That sounds like love to me.” I said with sarcasm dripping from my tongue.
“She was just scared. It took her a long time to get over that fear and by the time it she did, Nox. It was already too late. When I met her she was crying every night at the loss of her boy. But she knew you were better off without her.”
I laughed ironically as I lifted the back of my shirt and wove a ball of light above my head. “Does that look like I was better off without her?” I growled out and hopped off the rock and walked away from my step-father. Just what I fucking needed another absentee male figure trying to be my father now that I was grown.
But I had to admire Jesse he followed me but said nothing until I was in the middle of the road staring. “What happened?”
“I don’t want to talk about it.” I turned around and I knew I was crying. I felt the tears rolling down my cheeks. “I hated her less each day. But now, seeing this. I can’t do it. I can’t go into that house. I can’t see the kitchen we used to make apple pie in. I can’t see the living room that I torched because she was angry at me. She had scared me, shaken me for making a mess. I can’t see the pictures hanging on the walls of you and your boys happy with the woman I hate so much. I can’t do it.”
Jesse looked at me with pity in his eyes. I hated that look. I hate when it was directed at me so I walked past him back to the rock I’d been sitting at. “You need to sleep.”
“I’ll sleep in the Jeep.”
“It’s going to be cold tonight.” Jesse said. “Come inside. The boys want to meet you properly.”
I shook my head, “I can’t go in there.”
Jesse sighed. “Alright. I’ll send the boys out with some dinner – sans the apple pie. If that’s alright with you.”
I shrugged. “Whatever you want, sir, it’s your house. I don’t want to intrude.”
He didn’t say anything more. But he stood there and watched me for a long time before he went back inside. I could hear the fun and laughter in the house, the smell of warmth and comfort and the tears fell harder as the door closed behind him.