“Sorry I didn’t come home last night; I stayed over at Peter’s.” Mom poured me some water and went back to the stove. “How was your day yesterday?” Mom asked as she dished out some risotto,
“Different,” I told her, I wasn’t going to explain that one of my friends was pregnant, I wasn’t going to mention that she had almost had an abortion, I wasn’t saying anything. Mom had been brought up Catholic, sex and abortions were the biggest no-no’s ever. She had obviously strayed from her faith, I mean she had gone through with a divorce and had a few boyfriends since but I knew she didn’t want me to do the same. She wanted to protect me, she made sure my friends were good people; she questioned me on almost everything. That what why I had started to take drugs with Joey and that crew, it was teenage rebellion in the largest sense, since that time I had come to realisation that the only person I was rebelling against was me and it had become too much effort.
“How so?” she asked,
“I played basketball, haven’t done that in ages,”
“You were always good at basketball,” Mom smiled proudly, “who’d you play with?”
“Tom came along, he plays well,” I muttered,
“Tom’s such a nice lad, it’s nice that you’re finally friends with people like him – instead of Joey and his friends,” she raised her eyebrows,
“He’s a good guy,” I said thinking of how he’d been brave enough to stop Chrissy going through with an abortion, he was willing to help her raise a child even though he had plans to go to school and have a life. He had saved an innocent life today and it had such large implications. I didn’t know if I could ever do the same thing, if I were in that situation. We finished our risotto and Mom got up,
“I promised Grandma I’d visit her this evening, I’ll be back by eleven,” she told me picking up the car keys, “why not call Tom? Invite him over?” she tossed me the phone and smiled before leaving. I dialled his number and waited…
Ring ring…ring ring…ring ring… ring ring…ring ring…
“This isn’t Tom,”
“Can I speak to Tom?” the voice on the other end went quiet and my cell started to buzz, I looked at the caller ID and picked it up, I took the house phone and put it down, I’d call Tom later.
“Hey Is,” I smiled down the phone,
“Elijah! It’s Tom!” her voice conveyed hysteria,
“What happened?” I asked,
“He…he shot himself,” she breathed, her voice lost in her panic,
“Oh my God,” I said grabbing my coat, “where are you?”
“On my way to Chrissy’s house, she’s a mess,”
“I’m coming too,” I told her jumping in the car; I forgot the lock the front door but there was no time to lock it. I threw the cell onto the passenger seat and revved the engine, by the time I got to Chrissy’s Isobel was already there, she was sat on the sofa with Chrissy crying into a box of tissues. I sat on the edge of the sofa and watched, their eyes were watery and red and Chrissy was shaking, in her hand a letter.
“He…wrote…this,” she hiccupped; I took the letter and sat closer to Isobel, my arm around her. I read aloud to the girls, my voice sounded hoarse and I had to keep coughing away the lump in my throat.
“And, Elijah, Isobel, even if you guys kept something important from me, I still love you guys. Thanks for everything, and keep Chrissy and Tommy safe.” I stopped reading there and put the letter into Isobel’s lap, she looked at me as a tear trickled down her cheek, I kissed it away. “Chrissy, are you going to keep the baby?” I asked her, “Now there’s no Father,” she didn’t reply as she began to cry harder, Isobel put her hand on my chest.
“I told her we’d help, we’ll help won’t we Eli?” she cried,
“Yeah, course, it’s your choice Chris,” I muttered. The room filled with an eerie silence as silent tears rolled down our cheeks. Tom had killed himself. Tom was gone. I was never going to see him again. Part of it was my fault. A large part. Almost all of it was my fault. I should have told him about Chrissy. I should have made him choose between Rhea and Chrissy. You could almost say I had killed Tom. I was a murderer.