I put in my deposit.
I guess you never thought I would.
I suppose it's because I threatened to for months without much else. I'd leave, I said, if you didn't get your act together. I'd put in my deposit if you didn't change. Then I'd hang around, hopeful, waiting for my words to spur your actions. And really, I knew it could work! I was so proud of you when you stopped smoking. Two hundred dollars a month was a hit to our finances, two packs a day was a hit to your health, and you ultimately overcame it for me. It touched me, moved me, made me feel like you loved me.
Of course, you never really did quit.
You lied. You lied about the smoking, just like you did about everything else. Finances, actions, motivations, they all were lies, long kept, but always exposed. The smell of Febreeze was overwhelming when I entered your room. The loan notices were found easily enough in the mail. The repossession of the cars was obvious to everyone with eyes. You lied, and you lied, and when you couldn't lie anymore, you got angry.
God, you were always angry. Screaming, yelling, insulting, telling me things no mother should tell her son. I was a bitch, a bastard, a monster, the son of my father that I always feared. I was your regret, your sorrow, a chain around your neck, the reason you couldn't socialize despite my pleading, the source of your misery despite my attempts to help.
I got tired, so very tired. Tired of fighting, and arguing, and screaming. Tired of crying, and hoping, and begging. When I tried to leave, you said nobody would take me. When I attempted to go, you said I would never be able to make it on my own. Who could love me, who could understand me, who would tolerate me? You called me immature and awful, angry and cruel, without ever realizing the irony that if I was all of those things, it was because of you.
You landed a million little hurts that drove me away.
I wanted to save you. From your demons, your past, the specter of my father, and the memories of your mother. I wanted to save you from years of hurt and decades of pain, and their ever-expanding march into the future. I wanted to save you from the worst enemy you had: yourself.
Ultimately, I chose to save myself. I put in my deposit, then I'll pay my rent. I'll pack and I'll leave. What we had will disappear, a bad memory from worse days. I'll grow and I'll expand, and I'll make you proud, and maybe I'll even save you. But not here, and not now.
I put in my deposit, and I left you behind.
I'm so sorry.