The Essence Of Time
The door slammed harshly as Chris entered his home, throwing his mail across the counter in disgust. “Damn it” he cursed as he reached for the bottle of whiskey that was rarely out of his reach these days. The burning sensation of the alcohol only seemed to enhance the fiery pain in his heart. He sneered at the pile of envelopes with their bright red stamp marked ‘return to sender.’ He cursed Maude again for her clandestine ways. He and Buck had tried to track down the woman, but with each dead end Chris lost himself further into his grief. With each returned letter he fell deeper and deeper into that bottomless pit of despair. Soon his anguish changed into anger with each returned letter and felt lived with the southern woman. What surprised him though was the anger that he harbored towards Ezra. He knew it was irrational but couldn’t seem to help the feelings that seemed to germinate on their own.
Chris sighed as he looked at the ominous envelops again and quickly retrieved them from the counter before placing them along with the others that had piled up over the months. He had started writing Ezra the morning after he had disappeared in hopes that he would read them and know he wasn’t to blame for the accident that took their family’s lives. He wanted him to know how much he missed him and wanted him to come home, back where he belongs. Once he placed the newest returned letters with the others he kept locked safely away he grabbed his bottle of whiskey and the last photo he had of his family together and proceeded to lose himself in the latest alcohol haze.
Ezra found it hard to believe a year had passed since the tragedy of losing his family. Maude had been angry with him from the start for falling into the trap of emotional attachments. She spent the better part of six months retraining him to bury his emotions. He had found it easier as time went on to suppress his feelings when in the company of others, but it was proving difficult to turn off the emotions when he was alone. He was left feeling shaken and unsure in those moments. He felt angry with himself for disappointing his mother with his lack of control. He tried his hardest to please her but always seemed to be lacking in some regard or another. She had found out though about his private breakdowns and quickly provided tutelage on how to push away the emotions entirely. Soon he was able to push the emotions away for the more important things his mother wanted, like the many lessons she expected him to master. He could soon separate his personal feelings and push them behind a wall that left him feeling nearly numb inside. He was diligent in his lessons and quickly learned the art of charming others and his natural gift of acting skills provided his mother with many new inventive ways to enhance her personal business ventures. At times he forgot when he was playing a part, enjoying being someone else without the emotions battering against his walls. It was the times he wasn’t helping his mother that they would push harder against the walls searching for some way to break free. He was beginning to fear those hidden emotions and hoped they never found a way out.
Today though was his eleventh birthday and once again he found the day to be ruined with tragedy. Mother had been angry with him once again when he made the mistake of asking about his father. He couldn’t help the small spark of hope that his father would one day try to contact him and forgive him for his horrific sin. He didn’t think it would be possible after how angry he was when Ezra had overheard him and Uncle Buck talking, but that small hope was so hard to keep down. Maude had only harsh words though to share about his behavior and just how ungrateful he was to her for all she had sacrificed to continue to raise him.
Now a few hours later he found himself the new resident of a boy’s private school while his mother went on a much needed vacation. He sighed at the accommodations he would be staying in for an indefinite amount of time. He continued to unpack his meager things in the single dorm room while he wondered how his next birthday would compare to the last two.
“May I help the next customer please” asked the bored post office clerk. He looked up at the clock that was ever so slowly moving towards five o’clock. He couldn’t wait for the hand to reach the allotted time so he could leave for the day. Sighing he looked up as a stunning blonde beauty made her way to his counter and quickly rethought that leaving for the day wasn’t as pleasant as it was before. Affecting his most charming smile he eagerly greeted the bombshell, “how may I be of assistance to you today?” His eyes raked over her figure in a lascivious manor before refocusing on her sparkling eyes.
“I’m afraid I keep getting these letters coming to my home, but no one by that name lives there. Is there any way to keep from receiving all these letters?”
Maude smiled inwardly as she watched another of the many letters Chris had been sending stamped with the red ink and tossed into a pile of other mail waiting to be mailed out. It’s for the best baby boy, Mother knows what’s best for you and returning to that distasteful environment has only caused you so much pain. I’ll find us a nice rich husband and we’ll be set, just you wait and see son.