“You Cared Nothing for Him”

Cowley Student (Vol. 6 - 2016)

Calvin was panting and had his hand on the doorknob when it was forcefully yanked away from him. His mother stood behind the door with a smile. He didn’t know what to make of this for it was quite the unusual event; very rarely would Calvin see his mother smile, and when she’d catch him watching her, her face would immediately become viciously scowl. “Sweetie! You’re home! I have exciting news for you.” Her friendly tone wasn’t strained, or sarcastic as far as Calvin could tell. Could she be, genuinely happy to see him? Hope slowly blossomed through him. “Guess what?” Calvin stayed quiet, still stunned by his mother’s new positive attitude, and simply stared at her with wide eyes. Ditty’s expression didn’t become livid; instead, she laughed. Calvin wasn’t sure he’d ever heard her laugh before. “We’re going camping!” He wanted to gasp in surprise, but instead, he simply had a large smile plastered on his face. She might actually want to become a family! Like a true mother and son should be.

“Sh-Should I start packing?” He asked with wide, excited eyes. Much to his surprise, his mother pleasantly shook her head.

“Nope! We’ll be surviving traditionally!” She grabbed his arm, trying her best to be gentle, and led him to the car. “You can sit by me this time!” Calvin happily bounced into the passenger seat. He felt as though they could do this all the time; he could become one of those children who yelled ‘I call shotgun!’ before car rides as he had so often wished to be. His smile would have been eternal, but it slowly faded into confusion when his mother handed him a thick scarf. “Well?” Her voice was sweet. “Put it around your eyes like a blindfold, I want everything to be a surprise!” He couldn’t be more pleased to oblige.

The car ride was surprisingly pleasant. Ditty asked her son many questions which he did not think she had ever cared to know: ‘How was your lunch?’ -Very good- ‘Is Ms. Minnett treating you well?’ -She’s very nice- and more of the sort. Approximately thirty minutes passed before the car stopped, which surprised Calvin because the nearest forest was only six minutes away. He tried not to think about that too much. It simply meant she had an extravagant evening planned! Of course. Ditty ordered Calvin to get out of the car and walk straight. She assured him that no trees would be in his way, and that she would join him once she turned off the car. Calvin was frightened, and a little confused, but this was the only chance he had ever gotten to spend time with his mother. He did not want to ruin everything -as he always did- by not doing what he was told. With a nod and a smile, he walked out of the car and began walking straight. As promised, no trees stood in his way.

“Should I stop now, Mom?” He asked once he felt leaves brush against his shirt.

“Keep going!” She shouted, from a very far distance. He grew worried, but did not want to disobey her. He kept walking. Oddly enough, he did not hear the car’s engine stop. Of course, he was so far into the forest now that the car surely must have stopped and he simply hadn’t heard the click of the engine. Surely that was it. ...Right?