april fool’s.

she lay there like an infant. no speaking. no movement. no coherent behavior. the only sound that came from her direction was the constant pumping of that god damned ventilator. but that would soon come to pass. she was an infant, alright. life had inevitably come full circle. she was bald, wrinkled and the duty of making any type of doody was done for her. with tubes. god damned tubes. they were everywhere. in her mouth, up her nose, in her veins, up her piss hole. she wasn’t human any longer. she was a shell. a fucking science experiment. she had no teeth. her mouth resembled that of a moray eel. pruned and tiny and clasping around that breathing tube, grasping for what little life she had left. she didn’t want to be there. even though she couldn’t speak or move, she talked to me. she begged me to get her out of this misery in one way or another. “it’s ok, mom. you can go now. go see your mom. go see aunt carole. they’re waiting for you..” but she wasn’t ready to leave.

i sat there doing a crossword puzzle with my right hand, and holding hers with my left. i felt something rough on her finger. “mom has a wart..” warts always kinda freaked me out. “that’s not the only place she has ‘em..” he was such a fucking idiot. my mother was lying there dying before my eyes, and he’s gonna tell me of the virus on my mother’s vagina? i hated him. i always hated him. my mom had been with him for about six years, but i had only been in his presence about three times. this was one of them. bruno. even his name was gross. he’s the guy that, while in the hospital watching the woman he “loves” die, steals meatloaf off the tray that was supposed to be delivered to the other patients in the ICU. he was slime. i brought mom a USF t-shirt to keep in the bed with her, to have a part of me with her at all times. the next day when i woke up and came into the room, he was wearing it. it enraged me. but it wasn’t about me, it was about her, so i let it go. i let a lot go. i let all the sneaking suspicion go. i let the disgusting comments go. i let his incessant need to cry and scream in her face to not leave him because it may give him a heart attack go. yeah, ‘cause it’s about you, bruno. you fucking asshole. she’s dying, but god forbid you feel any pain. you fucking asshole.

it was april 1st. mom was always one to play up holidays. bruno’s phone was sitting on a shelf near the window in the room. it vibrated, indicating he had one new text message. he checked the inbox. “it was your mother..” his facial expression changed completely. “what’d it say?!” i got a chill. she was lying there – motionless, expressionless, and definitely phone-less in front of me – yet he received a text message from her. it was eerie. “it didn’t say anything, it was just blank.” he oafishly ruffled through his options. “well, it couldn’t be our roommate because he’s out of town.” it’s not your roommate, buddy. “and, it’s just weird, she hasn’t had any minutes on that phone for weeks.” they had one of those pre-paid situations, on account of their trailer park-chic lifestyle. “and her phone hasn’t even been on the charger, it’s been dead.” dead. like her. you did this to her, you fucking waste of space. you are nothing, and she was one-half of my whole family, and you took her away from me. the text was from her, alright. april fool’s, you fucking fool.



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