All That is Left

Prompt Day #165: Dramatize a domestic disturbance from the point-of-view of a monster baby or ghost


All That is Left


My mom storms into the room. My father is sitting in his chair staring at his phone. He plays a lot of games; he is on level 145 on candy crush. She stares at him but he doesn’t seem to notice she is there.

“Did you leave the door to Caleb’s room open?” She asks accusingly, ready to pounce. Dad looks up for a split second and furrows his brow.

“Nope” is all he says. He rarely says more than one or two words anymore. She doesn’t believe him, I can see that but he didn’t do it. I did it. I leave the door open sometimes, accidentally. I know I am supposed to close it but I forget.

“You know, Tyler, it would be nice if you had just a little respect for me and my wishes. I don’t want that door left open, not ever. You are the only one who goes in there, it’s the least you can do to acknowledge that you made a mistake.” She stands with her hands on her hips, leg jutted out. It is a caricature of anger that she used to use on me when I was naughty, but she has adopted it with my dad and it’s a sign that she has gone beyond mad.

Dad puts his phone down now, because he, too is mad. He is mad at being disturbed, mad that she insists on forcing reality into his life, reminding him of his miserable existence.

“Listen to me, Renee, because I will only say this one more time: I did not leave his door open. In fact, I haven’t been in that room for some time.” My dad stands for the next sentence getting right in my mom’s face “I think you are going in there, I think you go in there and do whatever it is you do and YOU leave the door open because you have lost your damn mind. You don’t even remember you were there. Get some help Renee and leave me the hell alone.” He walks away. Mom begins to cry.

I feel bad. I don’t like it when they fight, but they fight a lot. They’ve been fighting like this since I was born. Sad people always want someone to blame for their sadness, it’s easier to be angry than to hurt. I’m sorry that I am the reason they feel angry or sad.

I toddle over to Mommy and I touch her. She shivers and cries harder. She falls down on the floor right there and I hug her harder. I try to tell her I am sorry but she doesn’t understand. I leave her crying on the floor and go to find Daddy. He is in the garage working on my car bed. It will look really cool when it’s done, but he only dabbles with it now, so maybe it won’t ever get done. I can see that he doesn’t want me around right now, so I leave.

I sit in my room and look at all my toys. Mommy keeps them sitting just so on the shelf and if I get them done and play with them, she would be so mad. So instead, I just watch them and imagine what I would do if I could get them down. Mr. Giraffe looks so squishy, I want to chew on him. I walk over to the door and listen, I hear mommy downstairs pouring a drink. I ease my door shut and take the giraffe down. He is just as squishy as I thought he would be. So I squeeze him and walk him around meeting and greeting all the other toys. Mr. Giraffe wants to ride in the Tonka truck so I get it down too. I have to be quiet though. Soon, and without realizing it, I have all my toys out on the floor. I am having so much fun. I never had this much fun before. I zoom my truck around the room with Mr. Giraffe until I crash into my book shelf. It tips and before I can stop them, all the books fall out and hit the floor. I’ve made too much noise and I hear mommy running up the stairs. I don’t have time to clean it all up. She opens the door and gasps.

“Caleb!” She screams and then “Tyler, get up here now!” I stand there innocently. I wonder if she is calling Daddy so she can yell at him or if she thinks he will yell at me. I hear him coming up the stairs. Where Mommy ran, Daddy trudges, slow and steady.

“Renee, what have you done?” My daddy says to her, looking around my room at the mess I made.

“I didn’t do it! I think Caleb did.” She says and my dad just glares at her, the way he does when he has had enough.

“Clean this shit up” He says and begins to walk away. Mom grabs my Tonka truck and says

“You never wanted him! You’re so wrapped up in your own life, you’re so selfish” She throws the truck at him and he ducks out of the way. I don’t want them to fight anymore. I get between them and I say it was me. I was the bad one. I got all the toys out and knocked over the shelf.

They don’t even notice me, they don’t hear me. Dad is coming at Mom. He has his hands out and he is going to choke her. I start screaming but he ignores me. Maybe Mommy was right, maybe Daddy doesn’t care about me.

Mommy is dying, I can tell. Daddy is yelling “You’re better off dead than living in that fucked up head of yours. You’re crazy, you just can’t let him go, can you? He is dead, Renee!” But Mommy can’t hear him. She is dead too. She is soft and floppy in his arms. He drops her and leaves her body lying in the middle of the mess I made and slams my door shut.

I look down at her and it makes me sad. I didn’t mean to ruin their happiness. I am crying, when Mommy comes up to me and wraps her arms around me.

“Hello little man. You’ve been here all along?” She says to me, and she can see me now.

“I didn’t want to leave you, Mommy” I tell her “But my insides didn’t work right.” I explained. Mommy nodded “And I am sorry that made you and Daddy so mad.”

“It’s ok, Little Man, we know. I’m sorry you had to see all that.” She kisses my ghost cheek “You want to get out of here? Daddy’s gonna be awhile, we shouldn’t wait for him” she points to my closet but instead of my clothes, there is a bright warm glow. I do want to go with her in there. So I take her hand and I nod. Together we walk into the light.