He calls up screaming at her , cursing , using plenty of F words
How dare i write an email to the school principal telling of the father’s domestic abuse and violence? who did i think i was? then came a long list of all my faults, how i do not listen and of course the nobel father who is there to hug him after he cries because i had upset him.
Her reaction was initially a stunned silence , a disbelieve this was actually happening !
The boy whose father had thrown him against a wall and broke his arm in three places was actually accusing her , who had to take him to the hospital after he played unconscious in a closed room while the father would not let her in, she was the trouble maker, she was the one who was threatening the paradise lost, the little set up.
“We could be living in the street!” he had screamed out loud
It was not a possibility .
“Father could lose his job. i am in the middle of my exams” he had said
Ah, the cruel heart less boy of the collection of stories she had received when one of her children had been born ; the title of the book was “the golden thread” which tells of a golden thread that runs from the heart of a mother to a child , that connects them so that each feels the other’s pain, and then there was that other story, the sinister one, about the cruel boy who courted a cruel girl who had asked him for the heart of his mother, he had killed his own mother and carried her heart in a bag to bring to the girl, when the horse he had been riding stumbled and he fell to the ground, the heart of the mother spoke and had asked”Are you alright son?”
So there they were; she hoping for a child whose heart would connect to hers through a golden thread and instead she had gotten the cruel child who would be willing to sacrifice her for the sake of achieving his goals..
He had grown up to have become a confused 18 year old with a list of ambitious endeavours ; having a girlfriend-check, studying and working -check, and living with a father whom, he had claimed, had asked him how was his day. The girlfriend and sister had reported a neglect.
One day she had planned to finally visit and see where her sons had now been living, one son had quit the world and was living in his room playing video games and listening to youtube clips by an African American motivational coach ; you were meant to roar like a lion! he had said in one clip, not be like a sheep, and so he sat in his room for nearly a year roaring like a lion where no one could hear . The father said that was quite normal at his age though he came from the same sort of middle class family she had come from where it was not possible to take a time out from school or work for longer than three days without a doctor’s note ..but somehow the father had had a magic hold on the social services and the school where he had worked; dr. Jackel and mr. Hide, now that he no longer had her to use as a punching bag for his rage, he picked up a new cause; the Palestinians, he had backed up their demands for the Hamas led state, their justified pursue of murderous acts of terror indiscriminatory whether it was a man, woman, child, soldier, all were equally valid killing targets and those were the father’s newly chosen heros, to vent out his rage at her for not being able to change as a computer program to suit his needs.
The son was already parroting the father’s rhetoric ;”Why can’t you be a nicer mother? why can you not listen?” he had screamed
One day he admitted to taking drugs though he did not consider Marijuana a drug, he had lied about a doctor giving him the prescription and lied about not getting high and lied and lied and lied , mostly to himself.
The final analysis had led her to conclude that she had to face the fact that all three children were blaming HER for the family situation and considered her move abroad to be a good step, if she had been killed , murdered, or simply stepped off the planet, it could not have brought more joy to them, they seemed to have been cheering her departure; no help had been offered in sorting out two decades of living abroad; the photos, the mountains and mountains of photos and school projects and things they had made in school were all abandoned while in the father’s dark apartment, an old building from the beginning of the 20th century , where only a small cheap wooden card table in the small kitchen would serve the culinary needs of a spaghetti dinner alternatively cooked by the father or sons, and the rest of the apartment was empty except a large photo of the father and the woman he had been seeing for the past decade locked in a close hug, their faces oddly mashed together too close up to the camera displaying a clear message to the visitor : This is what matters here. There were no photos of anyone else, nor where there anything else but stickers of the father’s trips to various countries , especially Morocco, always a fan of Moslem culture, the way men could treat women there, his woman friend a mother of Moslem children who had called Beirut , Lebanon their home. A Facebook photo of the sons showed them holding up guns.
The son’s screams echoed in her mind long after she had gotten off the phone, this relationship, this contact, the lunches they had had together, the Friday night ceremonies, the Bar Mitzvah all seemed to drown at a sea of nothingness and lies and deceptions which were now the very trait marks of an addict, lying his way through life, telling himself that his father was a caring responsible loving person while his mother was a meddling troublemaker that should be surgically removed from their happy family nest.
Bitter thoughts of never agains went through her mind, her madness was now a very real event, and nothing, not a walk in the near by forest nor a sought out soothing musical piece , or even eating something that tastes good, could take away the deep feeling of despair at having to relinquish the struggle, that had began since the cruel acts of the father, holding the baby upside down to spite her when he had recovered from jaundice, throwing the boy against the wall, returning with a bruised baby daughter from a walk with the baby after an angry exchange of words , leaving black and blue marks on the boy’s chest which the boy had confessed were caused by the father then denied, tearing off the “Hebrew university t shirt”, her alma mater , the boy’s thin body, strangling him and attacking him, all seen as perfectly normal as a reaction of a provocation; how dare the boy confront the father’s zealous embrace of the Palestinian cause?
All those events were now like stones tossed to the river, the way she had entertained the children , the competition of throwing stones further and further.
She was like an old pair of shoes that had served their purpose and had been tossed away..
“I have to go meet my friends, they are waiting for me” , the boy protested and hung up abruptly
Another party which would involve smoking drugs to release of the duty to think rationally and to be afraid, very afraid of a reality which would be too horrible to consider if considered rationally, that the father is perhaps not whom he presents himself to be and that the chilling “fortunately , the school principal knows father and knows what a good teacher he is” , is the final word on the issue, her version of reality would be rejected, the children would rejoice at not having to hear her arguments and desperate call to wake up before it is too late..
It was like leaving them in a room full of carbon monoxide, laying there , breathing the toxic fumes, waiting for life to be over, while she left the room , and ran away from the most probable fate of the children that they will never realise or come to know the cause of the leak , why they could not breath as they slowly fade away into a comatose state of not wanting to know..