Reasons I love mom.
There was something so peaceful and comforting about sitting in Liams arms. It was getting late now, my parents would probably be noticing that I am not in the house soon but I could not bring myself to move.
It took us a while to move past the awkwardness of what happened, we both dressed and avoided the topic until we fell into light hearted jokes and easy conversation. I knew he was still rather sensitive about the whole subject matter but I felt it important not to make him feel anymore self conscious so naturally I got him talking about an easier topic.
I sat between Liams legs, my back against his front with his arms wrapped around my body protectively. I was listening to him retell stories about all of the delinquent things him and his friends got up to. Occasionally he would laugh and his whole body would vibrate against my back.
“I have to go back inside soon, come with me?” I asked him sadly because I already knew his answer before I had even asked the question.
“Go back into that house where your parents caught us in bed together. No thank you.” Liam laughed.
“Where will you go?” He smiled at me but I could tell that it was not sincere.
“I can go back home now Liv.” I sighed instantly feeling worried. “It’s fine.” He reassured me and kissed my cheek. I nodded reluctantly, feeling no choice but to believe him.
I scooted myself towards the door but he grabbed my arm and I turned back to look at him. His face had changed now, he was a little apprehensive and tense.
“When I went to see mom today I told her I would pay to send her to rehab and once she completes the program and gets clean I will buy her a house somewhere far away from Jax.”
“You told her you are going to be making a lot of money?” It was the first words to fall from my mouth and I could hear the doubt in my voice, I could only imagine what my face was saying.
“Liv, don’t, okay?” Liam was a little snappy and defensive. “I already know what you’re thinking. I know and I agree but what can I do?”
I shuffled back and sat against the wooden wall, clasping my hands together and looking at Liam with interest. “Tell me about your mom.”
He frowned with confusion, the darkness rolling in as he replayed thoughts back in his mind. But I didn’t want to know about those kind of thoughts. I wanted to see what he was so desperately clinging onto. Why he held her so high after everything she did. There was no unconditional love received from her yet he had it in bucket loads for her, why?
“Tell me the good memories you have with your mom.” I clarified after seeing the vulnerability in his eyes.
He opened his mouth to speak but closed it again immediately after. A small ‘V’ appeared in the center of his forehead for a while and his mouth twitched like he was going to say words, just nothing came out.
“Any memories, big or small.” I added as I started to realize how hard this was for him to even think of a single good memory he shared with his mom.
After a while he nodded, almost for the benefit of himself. He had eventually come up with a story he felt he could share.
“Most weekends she would come in trashed on drugs and alcohol, anything she could get her hands on. One day she passed out in the bathroom and I must have only been about six. I took a warm face cloth and gently cleaned her face because she had that black eye lash stuff smeared all down her cheek and lipstick all over her chin. She was a mess. I cleaned her makeup off and as I did she woke up. She looked at me, like actually gave me eye contact and then she said ‘thank you’ and tussled my hair.”
I stupidly waited for the rest of his story, like that couldn’t possibly be the fondest memory he shared with his mom. But Liam stopped talking and we looked at each other for a few seconds while he waited for my reaction. Then he sighed.
“After that I cleaned her makeup off every night she passed out, waiting for her to thank me again but she never did, not once. Mostly she told me to go away or didn’t even acknowledge the gesture at all. Eventually I stopped all together drawing my own conclusion that the day she thanked me she was just strung out on whatever happy pills her dealer gave her that week.”
“Liam-” I gasped sadly, hearing his heartbreaking story. That was the only good memory he could think of about his mom and it wasn’t even that great.
“I just wanted to be loved by her Liv, why didn’t she love me?” I stroked his arm offering him some comfort but he flinched away and then placed his hands on his head in frustration.
“Sorry.” I muttered sheepishly.
“You’re never going to stop apologizing for that are you?” Liam asked.
“Sorry.” I said again, screwing my eyes closed and shaking my head at myself. Liam let out a little laugh and it lightened the mood between us. He was so strong, fought so many obstacles yet he was still here, laughing.
The thing about Liam was that he had never experienced love from the people that he should have. Yet he possessed the capability to love so hard, without limits or compromises and that is one of the many reasons why I love him.
I remembered back to the portrait of his mom in his sketchbook, all he has ever wanted was for her to get sober, be healthy and if he has a chance to accomplish that for her then he was definitely going to grasp it with both hands.
“I spoke with a doctor.” He admitted quietly and my eyebrows raised to the roof.
“You did?” For some reason my heart started pounding really loudly and I could feel my palms getting clammy, I don’t know why I was so nervous. Liam nodded slowly.
“He gave me the contact details of the best therapist in town. I’m gonna wait until after summer. So I can start therapy close to Stanford. I really don’t want to but these problems just keep coming.” There was the smallest twitch of amusement to his face. “Like me apparently.” He added with sarcasm.
“Liam!” I gasped, biting back a smile.
“Sorry, I don’t know why I’m even joking about it. It’s horrifying.” He put his hand over his face and shook his head but he still looked vaguely amused by his own insult to injury.
“I’m proud of you Liam, I think therapy could really help.” He took hold of my hand and planted a kiss on my knuckles.
Your parents will be wondering where you are, you better go.” He said sadly.
“Are you sure you don’t want to come with me?” I asked, feeling hopeful that he would have changed his mind. But he threw his hands up in defense and smiled.
“No way!” He laughed.
I shook my head at him with amusement “Goodnight Liam” I laughed.
“Night Liv, love you” Liam said as he watched me climb down the cedar planks and cross the darkness of my back garden. When I looked back at the tree house I could no longer see him but I could see the flicker of light from his phone screen and I smiled to myself before closing the patio door.