Dear Mother,

   I’m sorry I couldn’t do more for you while you were still alive. I’m sorry I wasn’t able to ease your suffering, relieve your pain, make you the queen of your own castle or the ruler of your own world. I’m sorry I couldn’t buy you the things you wanted—the diamond ring, the things that sing, what everyone usually calls the bling-bling. I’m sorry I couldn’t take the pain away when grandma and grandpa died, and I’m sorry our neighbors wouldn’t leave you alone.
   I’m sorry I couldn’t give you the things you always wanted.
   But at least you didn’t have to go through this.
   As I’m writing this—in a faraway place that you have never, and now never will, see—I’m sitting in a cold, dark room, hoping to the man you called God that my laptop won’t run out of power before I finish, and that the generator won’t run out before I send it over to the printer. The man that used to be my partner is banging away at the door, his face half torn off and half of one ear missing from where I missed shooting him in the head. He’s alive on the outside (or so nature shows,) but he’s dead on the inside.
   The man I love wouldn’t have tried to kill me, not in a hundred, million years.
   I’m writing this, Mom, to tell you that, should you ever come back, and should you ever be freed of the curse that inhabits the dead, that I loved you—that I loved you when you were alive, that I loved you when you were dead, and that I’ll always love you, whether or not you return as ashes or dust. I scattered you across the plains of the Texas, and the hills of Tennessee; I tossed you out onto the ocean, from sea to shining sea. From Detroit down to Houston, and New York ‘till L.A, I made sure that you would always shine, because you were always mine—my love, my birth, the woman who made me understand. There were times I cried at night when I knew you were suffering, when I was afraid your dreams would never be accomplished. I cried before I moved out, and even after too, because while I knew that I was safe from the harm that he had once caused, I knew you would never be.
   You’re my mannequin who lost her rose, and the kitten who lost her wings; the angel that fell from grace, but never gave up her place. You watched me when I slept, you made sure I was kept, you helped me when I wept, and told me how much I really meant.
   There’s seven for you, Mom, because you knew that was my lucky number. It helped me find the way to tell you what I was really meant to do, helped me gain the things I’ve always really wanted, helped me improve beyond my word. And here, now, in a little room I’ve always wanted to call my own, I wait and listen to the sounds of the dead man outside my door, all the while writing the words that I wish I could have told you a long time ago.
   In a minute, I’m going to take the boards off and let him back inside.
   There’s no point living anymore—not without him, and especially not without you.
   I love you, Mom. You mean the world to me.
   Thank you for all the things that you have done.

   And with everything I have, and ever will have,

   Your son

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