It's three in the morning and this started as a vent piece, but turning into a new OC's backstory, so I figured I'd post it. Plus I like how it turned out, so why not. I love my little revamped Felix, but of course, I had to put him through something sad.
When Felix was ten he learned a valuable lesson from his father. One simple sentence had left the young boy in a state of confusion; "don't give her money" his father told him. Of course, a ten-year-old didn't have money, he had an allowance. A ten-dollar bill for doing all his chores for the week. He was handed the bill by his father and his mother promptly plucked it from his grip. That had been the routine for so long and it hadn't bothered Felix. If his mother needed money then why would he complain? Clearly father wasn't giving her any if she needed it from him, so he had been content.
The routine went on for months before one day when his father saw the exchange. His father took the money from her and gave it back to Felix before ushering him to go upstairs to his room. Felix instead sat in the hall with his head resting on the railing of the loft above. From there he listened to the first and only argument he had known his parents to get into. He listened to his father reprimand her for taking from the son, called her selfish and kicked her out for the night- to which she left without another word to him. Eventually, his father found him and carried him off to his room.
"Don't give her your money Felix."
"But if she needs it to buy stuff she needs, why should I keep it from her?"
He sighed and set him in bed, "she wants it for selfish reasons Felix, she doesn't need it."
His father tucked him in and said goodnight, while Felix stayed awake trying to understand what was happening.
He didn't really understand it, until a few years later. By then his mother had come home, his father had always been weak-willed when it came to her. As she came home a new line of rules was presented to Felix.
"Never go inside your mother's room, there's nothing in there for you. And keep out of my room and office too. Don't give your mom a hard time she's sick, you know? And tell me if she has friends over."
Felix was fourteen now and just a few months away from high school, so he found it easy to follow all the rules. It was summer, but Felix spent most of it inside, until one day. His mother came home, but not alone.
"Hey honey, mommy has a little friend over, could you go play outside for a little?"
"But my crafts-"
"Fresh air will do you good" she smiled, took his phone and walked him to the backyard. "I'm going to lock the door, just wait for a little and I'll come to get you when my friend leaves." She patted his head and sent him off.
The neighborhood kids didn't want to play with him, so Felix occupied himself in the backyard for a bit, but after an hour or so he sighed and went to the front yard, lounging around on the steps until the sun began to go down. He had fully laid down on the top step and took to staring up at the sky as the stars began to slowly peek out. He'd checked a bit ago, the door was still locked.
Eventually, his dad pulled into the driveway and got out, "Felix what are you doing?" He marched up to him and pulled him up. "Did you lock yourself out?"
"No, mom said to wait outside until her friend left- I would've told you, but she took my phone…"
His dad sighed, heavier than ever. "Go over to Mrs. Lin's house. Tell her I'll be by to get you once your mother feels better."
Felix didn't want to go, but he didn't object on account of how tired his father looked; tired and disappointed.
So he didn't see much of his mother after that. She never came by and only called his father, which always ended in an argument. While his father never said a word to him about it all, Felix wasn't stupid. In fact, he may have been a bit too inquisitive for his own good. That and his father had made it easy to connect the dots when he left that drug abuse hotline sticker out. It wasn't like Felix had seen the little signs as he got older. He wasn't a dumb ten years old now, he was fifteen and almost done with his freshman year, he could take the truth: Her addiction was such that she cared for nothing else. Everything she had once held dear fell by the wayside, his family, his friends, his career. She would lie, cheat and steal for it. She would leave her family for it.
Had Felix been surprised when he was picked up from school too early? He wasn't sure. Maybe he'd seen it coming. His mother had it bad, she was sick and bad. The whole thing was bad, so when he went to the hospital that morning he prepared himself for it to be bad.
And he was right to do so.
"She likely won't make it through the night." The doctor frowned, "I'm sorry." Felix stayed in the room while his father left to finish the paperwork and questions. The nurse had left and it was dark now, the only light on at the time was a warm yellow sheen beside her. Felix hadn't cried yet, in fact, he was sure his face had remained indifferent since he left school. Maybe it was just easier being indifferent.
Felix leaned onto the railing on the hospital bed, careful of the cord and tubes around his mother. He rested his chin on his folded arms and looked at her with a soft exhale.
"We've had a rough ride" he spoke among the beeps and hums of medical equipment. "You weren't a very good mom in the end and you put me through a lot. I just thought you should know that I do have good memories of you- from before. You would read to me before bed, and play board games with me, and you tried to make all the holidays feel special." Felix had grabbed her hand, "I don't hate you, I could never." He whispered, "I just wish things had been different in the end." Felix squeezed her hand tightly, hoping that he'd feel her hold him back. He didn't. "I just didn't want you to die thinking I did is all." He muttered with a small strain in his voice. He stood abruptly and leaned down to press a kiss to her forehead. He drew back to stare at her one more time. She had his hair and his nose, and she looked so much like him it made his stomach turn a bit. Her blonde locks were dirty and thin, and her skin dry and cracked and bruised. Her lips were pale and dry, her skin flushed an ugly sick color. "Bye, mom." He sighed and went to sit in the hallways until his father came back.
His father said a goodbye alone as well, Felix knew that he'd still loved her until the end.
Later that night Felix woke up to the light in the hall flickering on and his dad walking towards his room. But he stopped halfway there, he was on the phone. Felix didn't sit up. He laid there and looked up at the glowing stars hung on his ceiling. He thought about the ten dollars he'd always given her, he'd contributed, didn't he? He pulled his blankets up more and tried to block out what was being said in the hall between his dad and the doctor. Felix's throat burned and a few tears slicked down from the corners of his eyes. He closed them and bit into his blanket harshly, trying not to make a noise. The tears burst forth and flooded down his face. The muscles in his jaw hurt and trembled, he closed his eyes and his mind felt static. He could hear the sounds he was making, raw and uncontrolled like a distressed child.