His Last Gift


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I peer out the plane window, tears I never thought I had rolling down my cheeks. I've never cried so much before in my life; I've never hated myself more for what I've done. The moment is playing over and over in my mind, over and over. That moment when I found the note:

I came home from work like usual, ready to see my lovely son again. Ever since my husband had passed away, he'd been the light of my life. I rushed inside and set my purse on the table, calling out his name, "Zachary! Mom's home!"

No reply came, so I climbed up the stairs to his room, surprised to see the door ajar and no Zachary anywhere. "Silly boy, where are you hiding?" I yelled, smiling. I scoured the house for him, but all I found was an envelope with the word "Mom" written on it in his beautiful penmanship. I stared blankly at it. Zachary had never written me a note before. I'd always either been around or he'd sent me a text message. I carefully unsealed the envelope and took out the letter within. I unfolded it and read:

Dear Mother,

          I'm sorry I had to do this to you, but you gave me no choice. No matter how much I've tried to love you, you've betrayed me every time. No matter how much I wanted to move on and forget the past, you dragged me back there and forced me to relive those miserable moments. I can't deal with this anymore. I can't deal with you anymore. That's why I'm leaving this world. To get away from you so I don't have to constantly pretend like Dad's still around. So I don't have to hear you constantly talking about him. So I don't have to hurt anymore from all the words you throw at me about him. You never let me live my own life. You turned it into a replica of Dad's life so that you could pretend he was still here. I don't know if you did any of this on purpose or not, but just know that I absolutely despise you for what you've done to me, for what you've made me do. Goodbye, Mother. My death is my last gift to you, so maybe you can move on and stop wishing Dad was still here. Get over it. He's gone, and now so am I. Now that you've got no one else to cling onto, I hope you can truly find happiness on your own without ruining that of others. Goodbye, Mom.


The tears didn't start in my eyes then, oh no. All I did was just stare at the paper in disbelief. It wasn't until I actually sat down on the plane and was leaving that they came streaming down my cheeks in endless waterfalls. I've lost my husband, the apple of my eye, and now my son, someone even more precious. What have I done? Without realizing it, I flung all of my sadness on poor Zachary. I made him play piano, the one thing I loved the most in his father. I unwittingly forced him to face all those times he played piano next to his dad. I ruined his life, and he gave it up, because of me. I took away all his happiness out of fear to let my husband go, and Zachary still somehow wishes for me to find my own happiness. Despite how much he hated me for what I'd been doing, he still loves me enough to want that. My own son...my own loving son. I've killed my own son.

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