“Your father always loved this song. Used to listen to it in the Dodge all the time before we traded it in. You were probably too young to remember.”
“Yeah, I guess I was.”, he replied with some indifference.
His right leg twitched nervously, enough to cause his mother’s dog to awake from its slumber on the same couch and stare alertedly at him for several seconds.
He seemed out of it. His mother couldn’t really tell why he had come to visit her like this. Usually she had to pull his teeth to stay in touch. As it goes, she didn’t bring up the question in an effort to not spoil the mood.
“Listen, mom -”
She interrupted him.
“It’s okay, son. You don’t have to apologize.”
“Apologize?”, he asked.
“For...for not visiting more often. I can see it in your face, son.”
“That’s not why I came over here”, he continued.
The dog, finally disturbed enough by his twitching leg, hopped off of the couch, paced towards its doggy cushion in the corner, and curled up. His mother now less reserved, reaching for her purse.
Her premium lighter lights her cigarette, before blowing the smoke in his direction as she makes less of an attempt to smile.
“I need to tell you something,” he again tried to keep speaking.
His leg had stopped twitching at this point, the ambiance of the room seemed to transition.
He turned the radio down and only then would you have realized the television was ever on at all, the same old March news.
“Something…”, he paused, sitting, staring at the floor, focused.
After a half dozen seconds, she intervened,”Um, hello? See...this is why I’ve never understood you”.
Speaking up, he said,”There’s just something I need to tell you.”
The air remained flat, like a weathered, dried out sponge.
“Would you just fucking say it already?”, she blurts out.
“I killed someone”.
Staring, she questions, “What the hell are you talking about?”
“I kill people,” he elaborates.
“This isn’t funny,” she replied.
“Maybe it is.”
They stare at each other blankly, for different reasons.
“I incapacitate them...and then…”.
“They die. I kill them.”
Mortified, she asks, ”H-how many people?”
“16 - no, 17.”
“So, what, you just - just,” she can barely finish her sentence as a sense of reality hits.
“...just came over here to tell me you’re a serial killer???”.
He stares, blankly still. It seems like he waits forever to say something.
Finally, he does.
He walks to her, she stares upwards, finally expressing some visible fear.
“Earlier, I said maybe it is funny,” he states to her.
“You know, we’ve never gotten along.”
“Never shared anything, had anything in common. Nothing.”
He rests his hand on top of hers.
Breathing in, he says,”Finally we do, momma” blowing the air forcefully into her face as she drops her cigarette.
She sits in stillness as he makes his way towards the door to exit.
“By the way, you might want to turn the news up. Some kind of virus or something going around. Probably nothing, though - right?”