Eric John

I haven’t gotten much sleep the last few nights, I’ve had this story brewing inside my head and more and more of it keeps coming out. I’d be just about ready to fall asleep and another part would creep into my thoughts and I’d have to see how it played out. So here we are the first part, I know the second part and third part already and there might be more but I’m not sure.

As I wrote this all out I keep thinking it’s incredibly corny and naive of a story to write but it’s there and if I didn’t put it down on paper it wouldn’t leave me alone. There are some terrible things coming things that just seemed to play out well in my head that I hope I’ll be able to write as well as I visualize them.

I used names of my best friends as I couldn’t think of other names to use – Eric is my best friend, May 21 is his birthday and Suzanne my other best friend, used to be a Wirsing… so there you have it. 

Every weekday morning Eric John’s mother would knock lightly on his door, opening it and softly say “Good morning dear, mustn’t delay, it’s a school day.” she’d say with a smile. His mother always wore a a light floral dress on weekdays, her hair already immaculately poofed and her natural smile lighting up the room.

Eric James adored his mother, she was his whole world, they cared for one another and had the perfect little life. He would get dressed every morning after brushing his teeth and he’d pick out a smart button down shirt and a pair of light slacks, fastening his belt before running a comb through his golden hair.

Making his his way downstairs and into the kitchen, noticing his mother was at working on the eggs on the stovetop he knew his role and started on the toast. Weekday breakfast was always the same – eggs, toast and a couple of slices of bacon with a small cup of orange juice with a tall glass of milk to start the day off right. At breakfast each morning they might talk about their dreams or plans for the day ahead, if Eric John had a test at school his mother would quiz him on the homework they did the night before. He was a very smart young man and his mother was very proud of that.

Together, before they’d head out they would wash all the dishes, well his Mom would wash and he would dry. A quick return to the bathroom to brush his teeth and check on his appearance – a straightening of his collar or an adjustment of his belt might be in order. He’d grab his school bag after making his bed.

He and his mother would leave the house each day together, hand in hand. Enjoying the short walk to the bus stop together. Perhaps stopping to smell the flowers or watching the morning birds hop about the lawns. His mother would point out little details to him, expressing the species of bird or the cycle of trees as the leaves would change in the seasons. Eric was always fascinated with the amount of knowledge his mother had she was his world.

The wooden bench at the bus stop most mornings was covered in dew so they would stand until the bus would come by, their mornings were so precisely scheduled a wait for the bus was rarely more than a few minutes. His mother would kneel down before him look him in the eye and tell her she loved him every morning and he would repeat that back to her before a quick peck on the cheek and an embrace. From the bus window he would wave goodbye to her and she would always wait until he turned the corner before heading off to her job.

At school Eric John excelled in his classes, his nightly homework with his mother and extra learning there boosted his performance in class and his teacher, Mrs Wirsing doted on him. In his eyes, she was the most beautiful woman in the world with the possible exception of his mother. He loved to see the surprise in her eyes when he would solve a difficult equation without her assistance and the smile when she’d hand him back his exams.

After school he would take the short ride back home, his mother would still be at work so he’d let himself in and begin any homework he might have had assigned to him.  He’d grab an apple from the kitchen table to snack on while he waited.

Each night his mother would arrive home from work the smile on her face still fresh as when he left her from the bus. They would share about their days and he might ask her questions on his school work. A light dinner would be made, dishes cleaned and after the homework was done they might listen to the radio or each grab the book they were reading and sit quietly until it was time for bed.

Some nights, the perfect nights in his eyes, they would sing songs together without the radio. Songs his mother had taught him all the years growing up and songs that felt special to him. Songs about Norway or songs about home, songs with heroes of legend and silly songs she had used to teach him letters or grammar rules. The sound of his mothers voice in song was something remarkable – he wondered if there was a god if he had gifted this special voice to his mother just for him as she always seemed to shy to sing outside or around others.

Eric John’s life was perfect as far as he could see. He had no father or other family that his mother had ever mentioned but he was alright with that. He had all he needed or wanted right there in the little house he shared with her.

But all that changed on Tuesday, May 21st.

The day started like every other day – the only notable exception was the shirt Eric John pulled out for the day. Mrs. Wirsing had said he looked very smart in a blue stripped shirt and it was her birthday so he picked out his very best blue stripped button down shirt for the day. A special smile from his teacher on her birthday would make this day special.

Returning home from school like any other day – he let himself in and began his homework as he waited for his mother to arrive home. But this night she still wasn’t home an hour after her usual arrival, then it was two.

Eric was at first quite practical about it. He made his own dinner of a sandwich, finished the rest of his homework and tried not to look at the clock. Soon though it was bed time and his fear of her whereabouts began to overwhelm him. He went over the details of the morning wondering if she had mentioned anything about arriving home late  or if anything had seemed amiss. His recollection of the day nothing was out of the ordinary. Still thinking it was just an odd quirk he brushed his teeth and went to bed, thinking she’d he’d see her smiling face and hear her tomorrow morning reminding him to get up for school.

The next chapter is here: Part II

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