Tommy strolled up the street enjoying the almost eerie small town quiet. He had been living in the midst of Sakatoon's hustle and bustle for so long that he had grown used to the usual noise that just sort of blended into a kind of benign hum and went unnoticed. Here it was so quiet that individual sounds actually carried far enough thta one could not tell where the heck they were coming from. Somewhere, a television was blaring at a volume that would surely bust the eardrums of anyone who happened to be inside that house. Well, anyone who could hear very well anyway, as he doubted very much the owner of this particular squawk box did. Maywood was, after all, an old people's town.
As he walked through the crisp air- this was the first October, as far as he could remember anyway, with no snow, how about that?- he felt his previous rage dissipate into a sort of helpless despair. You didn't get to pick your family, as he so often reminded himself. His father, for one. That man had expectations so high that God- make that the Old Testament version of God- seem like Mr. Easy-to-Please by comparison. And, one by one, his sons had disapointed him and driven him to his grave. Or did he drive himself there? It really depended on who you asked, didn't it?
When he thought of his dear departed father nowadays, though, he found himself feeling pity for the poor man rather than rage. Rage was the emotion that Henry brought up in him. There were times when he actually wished that Henry would turn up dead in a ditch somewhere- an event that would not surprise him in the least given Henry's backstabbing nature which earned him countless enemies. It wasn't like Henry was really around much, mostly he just bounced around everywhere and didn't bother to communicate with family except to ask for money, but every now and then he just turned up like a bad penny. And their mother would always take him in with open arms. And then would begin the ritual of the entire family walking on eggshells so that baby Henry didn't have a temper tantrum. It made him sick.
And then there was Eddie. Eddie was a sweet kid- Eddie would always be a kid. He couldn't count the number of times that he had tried to convince his mother to put him in a home, and had her look at him as if he had just suggested she lock him the cellar and slip his meals under the door. Tommy could see the toll caring for his little brother took on his mother, but he also knew that she had spent her life giving pieces of herself to take care of someone else and wondered how long it would be before she gave so much that there was nothing left of her.
Tommy realised that he was really part of the problem. He'd caused a great deal of grief for both his long-suffering mother, and his dear departed dad (had he been a nail in that coffin?) even though he had tried so hard to be exactly what his parents had wanted. He didn't want to be another "bad son" but in his case nature had taken over and had made him something that his mother to this day seemed to deny as if to say the word would anger the spirits or something. Better to have a pathological liar who fit the profile of a sociopath for a son than a son who was gay.
He didn't want to be part of the problem, as much as he could never change who he was. He wanted to create a solution, and that solution started with getting rid of Henry.