Chapter 22

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Luke's POV

My mom came home four days ago after almost three weeks in the hospital. Her doctors said she'll be able to start treatment soon and then have her surgery. They said everything should be finished in three months. Of course, everything has to run smoothly and as planned, which I'm concerned about. Things never go as planned, but I'm trying to be optimistic for my mom's sake, as well as mine.

I thought finally having my mom in the house would make things feel a little more normal. The house still feels strange, like there's an aura of tension in the air. It's always so quiet here. We tip toe and whisper when Mom is asleep, which is a lot. The television volume is always low. Conversations are always short because no one knows what to talk about. I feel like I'm walking on glass and trying not to break it. My parents haven't lived in the same house for years, my mom is sick, and I'm just here. Things are anything but normal. I don't even know what normal is anymore.

It's time for dinner and my mom's been asleep for the past few hours. I walk into her room and open the door slowly to see if she's awake.

"Mom?" I whisper.

She waves from her bed and smiles.

"Dad made dinner. Do you feel well enough to have any?" I ask, walking into her room. 

She sits up a little. "Yeah, I'll join you! I'm feeling pretty good right now. Sorry I've been asleep most of the past few days. You'd think I could catch up on sleep while in the hospital, but they're always waking me up for something."

"It's okay, I don't mind. I know what you mean." Whenever I was in the hospital last year, nurses would always come in with things to check or give me. 

My mom slowly starts to get out of bed. I follow behind her as she makes her way out of her room, shuffling down the hallway. My dad is just finishing setting the table when we sit down. He made pasta, which I've had at least twice a week, since my dad and my cooking skills are not very advanced. 

"So Luke, your dad and I have been thinking," my mom starts to say once we're all seated.

This can't be good. Every time she starts a sentence with my name followed by "your dad and I," it never ends well. 

"Luke, your dad and I have decided to get a divorce."

"Luke, your dad and I are concerned about your health and think you should try a rehabilitation center."

"Luke, your dad and I think it'll be best for you to move to Maine and live with him."

I brace myself for whatever she's about to say. I look from my mom to my dad, waiting for one of them to say something. They share a glance and I scrunch my eyebrows in confusion. I have no idea what she's about to tell me.

"And? What have you been thinking?" I ask, swallowing hard. My palms are suddenly very sweaty, so I rub them against the edge of my pants.

"We've set up an appointment with a new therapist for you," my mom says.

I sigh. I had a feeling this would happen at some point. This definitely isn't the worst news in the world. It's just hard for me to get comfortable with new therapists. Candace was the only one that I've felt I could share almost everything with. But she's not here. And I definitely shouldn't be without a therapist. I think I would be okay for a while, but then at some point I would need one.

"And we don't want to wait until it's too late. Right now you're doing really well and we want you to continue to get better," my dad adds in.

They both look at me with wide eyes, like they're waiting for my response. 

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