I fidget with the zipper of my sweater as I sit outside on the top of the cement school sign. School got out twenty minutes ago so there's really not that many people left here on campus. I take a deep breath and look up at the dark grey sky as a rain drop lands on my shoulder. The late February air makes me shiver slightly as it starts sprinkling. I close my eyes as the water splashes against my skin, I can stay here forever if I could. I keep my eyes closed, clearing my mind and try to concentrate on the sounds around me; the wind ruffling the leaves on the nearby tress and the rain hitting different surfaces as it starts to come down more rapidly. I open my eyes when I hear the sound of an approaching car – a black sedan – my mother's car. I stand up and walk towards the car as I pull my sweater tightly around me; it's not until I'm in the car that I even realize that I'm shivering. My mom looks at me and smiles until she notices my wet hair and sweater – That quickly makes her smile disappear. "Wyatt Isaac Larson! Are you crazy?" Her voice takes on that worried, protective mother tone. I cringe slightly because I don't like hearing her yell but don't respond. "You know better than to be outside in the rain like that, you could get sick." She says worriedly as she turns to look at me as she pulls the car away from the school.
I lean my forehead against the window and watch as a drop of rain makes its way down the cold glass. I know she's upset with me for staying outside while it was raining, but I can't help it – I love the rain. "Sorry…" I manage to say in a whisper as I start twirling a strand of my dark hair between my fingers. I let out a heavy sigh as I pull my backpack close to my chest.
My mom glances over at me and I hear her let out a sigh as well. "I'm sorry I got so upset honey, it's just… with your condition…"
"I'm fine okay?" I snap cutting her off. She slowly shakes her head and stares down at the steering wheel. I can tell she's hurt – that she's only doing this because she cares about me but for Christ's sake, does she have to be so damn over protective? "I wish you wouldn't worry so much… I'm old enough to take care of myself." I say not trying to sound angry but I'm in a bad mood as it is.
"I worry about you, that's all. You can't expect me not to Wyatt. Okay? If something happened to you I'd – I don't know what I'd do." She says; her voice cracking as she tries to hold back her tears. I feel her hand on the back of my neck, I force myself to relax and all my tension goes away. I don't know what to say to her so I don't say anything at all. When we get home, I throw my backpack over my left shoulder and follow my mom into the house. "Oh, before I forget." She says right as I start walking towards my bedroom. "You have an appointment with Dr. Perez tomorrow afternoon." She looks at me and smiles softly – I force a weak smile just so she won't think I'm angry with her, because I'm not.
I walk into my room and close the door behind me, Dr. Perez is my psychologist, I've been seeing him every week for the last four and half years. My mom says it's to help me with all the problems in my life. You see, I was born with congenital aerotic stenosis, a Narrowing of the aortic valve opening, which causes obstruction of blood flow into the circulation. The condition causes my heart to work harder and the muscle in the wall of the left ventricle to thicken. Of course, we didn't find out about my heart condition until I was about 6 years old but ever since my mom has kept a close eye on me. My father walked out on us after they found out about my condition, my mom doesn't really like to talk about it. She says they just didn't belong together… but I know the real reason dad left. Because he couldn't handle the trouble of having a sick child. I lay down in my bed, pulling my pillow up against my chest.
"Hey queer." Logan says as he walks into the room and throws his bag on his bed, we share a room. He quickly unzips his backpack and digs around for something. I roll my eyes. Logan and I used to be close, but for some reason that all changed when my heart problem started to get a little more serious. We began to drift apart. Some days it feels like he hates me, maybe he does. Because of me, we've moved 4 times in the last 6 years so I'd have better doctors and cardiologists. "What's wrong with you?" he asks as he stuffs a piece of paper into the back pocket of his jeans. I pull the pillow closer and don't answer as I stare at the dark blue painted wall. He rolls his eyes and shrugs as he walks out of the room – obviously annoyed by my very presence.
I slowly sit up and start messing with the sheet on my bed when my mom walks into the room. "Hi honey." She says with a warm smile as she walks over to me with a glass of water and a small plastic cup – probably with my meds. She sits on the corner of the bed and hands me both cups.
"I hate these." I say as I pop the pills into my mouth and wash them down with the water.
"I know Wy, but they help." She says taking the glass from me. I nod because I know she's right. She looks down at her apron and starts slowly brushing the wrinkles out of it. "Logan's been going out a lot lately, you don't happen to know where he's been going do you?"
I shrug my shoulders. "He doesn't tell me anything anymore – not since the last time we moved anyways…" I answer as I look down at the bed.
She looks at me and gives me this worried look before pressing the palm of her hand to my forehead. "Do you feel alright sweetie?" she asks apprehensively. "You look pale."
I push her hand away. "I'm fine."
She gives me a look then lets out a soft sigh. "Okay." She says as she stands up and ruffles my hair with her hand.
Later that night Logan sneaks back into the room, trying not to make any noise as he crawls into bed. I slowly sit up and turn the light on. "Where've you been?" I ask half asleep.
"Out." He answers agitatedly.
"Obviously. Mom's been worried." I say as I look at him.
He rolls his eyes and shoots me a dirty look. "Really? She actually had time to worry about someone else besides you?" he asks pulling the blankets up over him.
Ouch, that really hurt. "She doesn't-"
"Don't even try to deny it Wyatt. You're all mom ever has time for now, we've moved so many fucking times all because of you – did I ever get a say in anything? No… Because mom puts you first before everything." He says angrily, his eyes burning into mine.
"It's not my fault." I say feeling guilty. I didn't ask for this heart problem, nor do I want it. It's just something I have to deal with.
He rolls his eyes again. "Whatever. I wish dad was here."
I take a deep breath and start fidgeting with my blanket. "Dad walked out on us when mom needed him the most." I say, I can hear the anger in my voice starting to rise.
Logan looks at me furiously. "He left because of you Wyatt. You. It's your fault he's gone." He says pulling the blanket over his head and turning over.
I reach a shaking hand over to turn the light off, slowly rolling over on to my side as a tear runs down my cheek. I can feel my whole body shaking as I try to hold back the urge to cry, to hold them back but I can't – so I cry. I cry because I'm weak, because my brother hates me and because no matter how much I want to get better I simply can't – because it's not that easy.
Dr. Perez is a tall, thin guy with blonde hair, brown eyes and thick rimed glasses. He sits at his desk with a notebook in front of him as I sit in an arm chair across from him. "How are you feeling today Wyatt?" he asks calmingly as he picks up a pen and writes down today's date. I don't answer because I'm not really in the mood to talk to him. He looks at me concerned. "What's up buddy? You're never this quiet." He says setting the pen down. I let out a heavy sigh and lean back in the chair as I start playing with a strand of hair. "Are you not talking to me because you're upset or you just don't want to be here?" he asks as he crosses his arms over his chest. I slowly look up at him and then at the wall, there's a picture of him and his wife with their 4 year old daughter, pictures of just his daughter, various certificates and awards. I hear him clear his throat as he leans back in his seat. "Wyatt I can't help you if you don't talk to me. If there's something bothering you, you need to tell me okay?"
I look at him again and shake my head as I stare down at my shoes. "n-no… there's nothing." I answer as I stand up and walk towards the door.
"Uh… Wyatt, can you have your mom come in here please?" he asks standing up behind his desk. I look at him curiously and then slowly nod my head. He's probably going to tell her about how I wouldn't talk to him but to be honest, I don't feel like it. I'm sick of having to count on doctors to tell me how I should live my life. Isn't it my life? Don't I have a say in anything anymore? I walk out into the waiting room to find my mom sitting in a chair reading one of her romance novels; I tell her that Dr. Perez would like to have a word with her. She hands me the book and walks back to his office. I sit in the chair she had been sitting in and open the book; I've always liked reading Mom's books. I guess it's the whole idea of people being in love. Something that I want, but find no use for. Who would want a boyfriend who has a heart problem like I do? I let out another sigh and put the book down on the chair beside me. I wish I was like everyone else, normal, healthy. But that's asking way too much because it's something that will never happen.
July 22, 2002
It was nearly six o'clock; the sun was setting making the sky turn a purplish red color. I sat on the front step staring up at the sky as a couple birds fly over me. I wonder what it's like to be a bird, to fly and just be free. I let out a soft sigh and watch as the wind blows the leaves on the trees "Wyatt honey, are you outside?" my mother asks as she walks out on to the porch. She sits beside me and wraps her arms around me. "Sweetie you're freezing." She says taking her sweater off and wrapping it around me.
"Ma, when is my heart going to get better?" I ask looking up at the clouds.
She looks at me and takes my hand into hers. "Soon sweetie, as soon as the doctor says you're old enough to have the surgery." She answers kissing me on the forehead. I look down at my hands and start fidgeting with her sweater. "What's the matter Wyatt?" she ask, I can hear the concern in her voice.
I slowly look up at her and take a deep breath. "Am I going to die?" I ask in almost a whisper as I bury my head in her side.
She quickly wraps her arms around me and holds me tightly. "Who told you that you were going to die?" she asks looking down at me.
"N-nobody…" I lie. Logan had told me a few weeks ago that I was going to die if they didn't hurry up and have the surgery.
She cupped my chin and made me look into her eyes. "You are not going to die okay? You're going to get better, I promise." She says forcing a smile. I lean into her arms and let her hold me close. A few minutes later Logan got home from a friends house and mom followed him inside, I stayed outside but I could hear them fighting.
"Did you tell him he was going to die?" she shouted angrily at him.
"So what if I did?"
"Don't ever say anything like that to your brother again do you hear me? Nothing is going to happen to him, he's going to get better and he's going to leave a normal life just like everyone else." I could tell by her voice that she was getting even angrier.
I stand up and walk towards the front door.
"I wish he would. Then we wouldn't have to keep moving." Logan shouted back at her as I walk into the house, my head lowered, staring at the ground.
My mother looks at him in disbelief, then reaches out and smacks him. In the thirteen years I've been alive I had never seen my mother hit anyone. "Go to your room. I cannot believe you said that! You wait until Chris gets home!" she shouts furiously.
Logan rolls his eyes and walks towards our room. "Whatever, he's not my father."
"No but he's your step-father now go!" She says crossing her arms over her chest as Logan goes into the bedroom and slams the door shut. My mom lets out a heavy sigh and I can tell she's about to cry so I walk slowly over to her, giving her a hug. She wraps her arms around me and hugs me back. "I'm sorry your brother is acting this way." She whispers softly.
"It's okay…" I say softly.
"No… honey, it's not. He has no right to say stuff like that to you." She kisses my forehead. "God I wish you had it better, I hate what this is doing to you."
At school the next day I'm looking through some papers, my transcripts, SAT results, stuff like that. I'm sitting in my desk in my English class, Ms. Perkins lets me since it's raining out and I know how mom gets when I'm outside in the rain. Ms. Perkins walks over to me and smiles warmly at me. "How are you doing Wyatt?" she asks sitting on top of the desk beside me.
"Fine." I answer returning the smile. "Just organizing some papers."
"Do you need any help?" she asks.
"Nah, I got it. It's just for graduation and all." I answer as I tuck the papers away in my binder.
"Graduation… oh, you're graduating this year right?" she asks standing up.
"Yeah, a year early."
"I bet your mom's very proud of you, you're a very smart young man." She says placing a comforting hand on my shoulder.
"She is, it's just…" I let out a heavy sigh and look down at the desk. "I want to go to college. I want to be able to do something with my life, but my mom... she doesn't want me too far away from her because she's so afraid something's going to happen to me. And I just, I don't need to have to always have to depend on her. I need to live my life." I say as I look up at her.
Ms. Perkins runs a hand through her hair and thinks for a second. "I agree with you Wyatt, but I also understand where your mom is coming from. She loves you."
"I know she does. It's just complicated." I say as I put my binder in my backpack as the bell rings.
"Well, maybe you two can find a way to work things out. You can go to a community college or something, stay close to home. I'm sure she wouldn't mind that."
I think about it for a moment and then smile. "Thank you Ms. Perkins." I reply as I walk out of her classroom. Maybe my mom will let me go to a community college, that's something I'll have to talk to her about. Suddenly as I'm walking down the hall I accidentally trip over something making me fall face down on the floor.
"Oh god, I am so sorry." Says someone, I turn around and see a tall dark haired guy standing in front of me. I can feel my heart pounding in my chest as I look up at him, he has gorgeous green eyes and black hair (which is obviously dyed but still looks great on him) "Are you alright?" he asks as he holds out his hand for mine.
"Yeah I'm fine." I answer taking his hand and allowing him to pull me on to my feet.
"I'm sorry about that; I shouldn't have had my bag right there." He says smiling, showing off his pearl white teeth.
"I-it's fine." I say trying to hold myself back from stuttering.
"Um… I'm Mason." He says holding out his hand to me.
I take his hand and shake it. "Wyatt." I say blushing. Oh great, I'm making a total fool of myself.
"It's nice to meet you."