I always wondered how I would die. Realistically I thought I’d be old and pass away in my sleep from natural causes, but given my life choices, that presumption was a joke. Ideally, I would have liked to die as quickly and painlessly as possible. Much like my life, though, that didn’t go as planned. If only I could have told Emma what was on my mind that night. I might feel at peace now. Then again, if I never met Emma, I would still be alive.
“Come downstairs, honey. Dinner’s ready!”
Evan remained motionless on his bed, staring at the ceiling fan spin round and round, ignoring his mother’s request.
“Evan, did you hear me?” The door of Evan’s bedroom opened and his mother, Donna, popped her head in. “I said that dinner’s ready.”
“Yes, mom. I heard you.”
“Well, come on then. Daddy’s hungry.”
Evan sat up and reluctantly swung both legs off the side of his bed. He gloomily followed his mother out of his room and down the stairs to the dinner table.
Evan’s father, Dennis, placed the newspaper he had been reading on the table and removed his glasses. “Finally,” he said. “I’m starving.”
Donna placed a bowl of spaghetti in the table’s center before sitting down and putting a napkin on her lap. “Eat up, boys.”
Dennis and Donna took turns serving themselves. Evan remained with his hands in his lap, looking solemnly at the empty bowl in front of him.
“What’s wrong, Evan?” Donna asked, seemingly concerned.
“I’m not hungry.” Evan shrugged.
Donna glanced at Dennis, who was eagerly shoving a forkful of spaghetti in his mouth. “Dennis!”
Dennis quickly looked at Donna with wide eyes. “What?” he asked, with a mouthful of food.
“Something is wrong with your son.”
“I’m fine, mom!” Evan announced loudly, standing and slamming both hands on the table.
“Evan, do not talk to your mother like that!” Dennis exclaimed loudly, throwing his napkin on the table and standing to appear eye level with Evan. “If you’re going to be disrespectful to your mother, then go to your room.” Dennis exaggeratedly swung his hand to point at the staircase.
“Fine!” Evan shouted before shoving his chair aside and running up the stairs, slamming his bedroom door behind him.
“I know that all fourteen-year-olds have attitude problems from time to time, but what the hell is his problem tonight?” Dennis asked before sitting back down.
Donna shook her head with concern while staring at the empty staircase. “I don’t know.”
Upstairs, Evan threw himself on his bed and wrapped his arms tightly across his chest. The truth was, he was not okay. Somebody had just dumped him.
Lucy was beautiful. From the first time Evan laid eyes on her, he knew he wanted to ask her to be his girlfriend. The problem was, Evan was only six at the time. At ten years old, he finally got up the nerve to ask her to sit with him at lunch, and the rest was history. That is until she broke his heart.
“Evan?” Donna quietly knocked.
“Come in, mom.”
Donna slowly entered Evan’s room and shut the door behind her. “I’m worried about you, honey.”
Evan sat up and patted the spot next to him, beckoning his mom to sit down. “She dumped me.”
“Lucy?” Donna walked swiftly to her son and sat down.
Donna wrapped her arm around her son and pulled him close. “Oh, honey. I’m so sorry.”
“She likes someone else.”
“Oh my.” Donna frowned, pulling her son even closer. “Young love is hard, Evan. I promise you will find someone else whom you will love just as much as you love Lucy, if not more. It might not seem like it now, but she is out there.”
“I don’t want to talk about this with you, mom. Is it okay if I play video games tonight? I promise I won’t stay up late since it’s a school night,” he stated, eager to change the subject.
Donna nodded. “Sure, just not too late, okay?”
“Okay, I promise.”
Donna kissed Evan on the forehead and left, quietly shutting his bedroom door behind her.
“What’s his problem?” Dennis asked as she took a seat next to him at the table.
“Lucy dumped him.”
“There’s more fish in the sea. Did you tell him that?”
“You try telling a fourteen-year-old who just got his heartbroken for the first time that there’s more fish in the sea. The boy loves hard, just like his daddy.”
Dennis grinned and leaned in to kiss her. “He sure does. A quality trait of a Matthews man.”
“Well,” Donna raised an eyebrow, “I guess that depends on who you ask. Lucy would probably tell you otherwise.”
Dennis laughed. “Lucy was his first love, but she definitely won’t be his last.”
“I’m worried about him, though. I think he’s going to take this hard.”
Dennis looked admiringly at Donna before bringing another forkful of spaghetti to his lips. “Unfortunately,” he said between bites, “I think you’re right.”