42: I Love You

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Ezra's view

I walk into my mom's hospital room and she looks over at me. She gives me a small smile and pats the bed for me to come over. And despite everything we have been through can't help but run over to her side and sit down on the bed next to her. She immediately embraces me in a tight hug.

I know this isn't like us to do. We haven't hugged in ages, but for some reason it felt like the right thing to do. I could have lost my mom. This was the first big scare. She has never been to the hospital for a withdrawal before, I never let her get this far, but I wasn't here for her this time.

I left her all alone, just like dad did to us all those years ago. The thought of becoming like my dad clouds my mind and I can't help but start crying. "I'm sorry," I sob into my mom's shoulder, "I'm so sorry I wasn't there."

"It's not your fault, love," my mom whispers while rubbing my back. It's been such a long time since my mom has shown me any warmth like this and it breaks me down even more. I have been longing to have my mom back for such a long time.

My mom pulls me away so that we are facing each other, "Ezra, this is my fault. I've been such a horrible person to you. I let my own insecurities and depression get the best of me, I failed as a mother, I know. And I'm so unbelievably sorry for everything."

That's it. Those are the words I have been waiting for. Those words finally broke every barrier I have ever had before. Tears start streaming down my face and my mom holds my hands as we let the emotions overtake us.

"I'm truly sorry, Ezra. I hope one day you can forgive me, and I know I don't deserve it, but I'm going to try my hardest to make it up to you. Getting your forgiveness is the only thing in life that I want now; it's worth it, even if it takes fifty years to get. I love you, Ezra, and I'm sorry I never said that enough."

I immediately pull my mom in for a hug; every horrible thing feels like it has washed away. It feels like there is a clean slate between us now, although I'm not sure I can exactly forgive her yet. That will take some time for me.

"I love you too, mom, but be patient with me on forgiveness," I declare.

"That's okay, love. Take as long as you need, I'm not going anywhere this time. I'm going to be here for you," she replies.

I break away from the hug so that I can suggest, "Before you can be there for me, you need to get better, mom. You need help. You need to go to rehab."

My mom sighs before saying, "I know, Ezra. That's why I asked the nurses to give me more information on rehab centers. I will give it a try."

I can't help but smile, she is actually willing to try to get better. This is a first and I feel so unbelievably happy that she understands now.

"There's also something else that you need to know, it's important," my mom adds.

"Is it about the money that you tried to tell me earlier?" I ask.

"Yes. You see all those years ago, I knew your dad would leave. I could tell he was thinking about it, I knew that I was getting worse and that he couldn't take it anymore. I knew he was saving up money to leave," she begins to explain.

"It's okay, mom, we don't need to talk about him," I suggest seeing how hard talking about dad is for her.

"I need to. You need to hear me out," she says so I let her continue, "I knew where your dad was hiding the money, so every now and then I would take some of it and hide it. It went on for a while, until he finally left. And the moment he was gone I put that money in the bank in a new account under your name. It's not much, but it should help you find a place and pay for some of your college tuition."

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