Chapter 2: Underground City

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Chapter Two: Underground City

     Charlie had his eyes fixed on the ceiling for almost half an hour. It was blank as it was before. There was nothing to be seen, but for some reasons staring there brought him some comfort. Darkness was what pulling him from the world and its chaos. It was an escape, from pain and from the surging unwanted emotions that light made visible. Today was entirely different.A lot of both weird and shocking things happened and kept on happening. When he woke up, Harriette, his mom, was in the kitchen preparing his breakfast. That was the first time in a very long time, since his parents parted ways seven years ago, when he was still barely ten years old. He never bothered himself knowing what went wrong between them, and over the years he came to learn not to ask even a single question to his father whom his mother left him with.  

     Today, Hariette made him his favorite: raspberry pancakes and waffles, bathed in generous amount of chocolate syrup and honey.

     "How are you my Charlie? Happy Birthday!" she said as she lounged toward Charlie to meet him in a hug.

     "Guess what I made for your birthday! Pancakes!"

     "You're here?" he mumbled softly, his eyes taking a short look at what his mother prepared for him on the table.

     "Well, it's your 17th birthday! I realy can't afford to miss it, I'm your mom, remember?" she said as she attempted to maneuver Charlie to the chair.

      "That's new" said Charlie, gently throwing at her mom a gesture that meant he could sit himself on his own.

     "This day must be very special to you, Isn't it?" he gave her a glance, his voice bearing sarcasm. He knew the nature of her mom's work: long and tedious office hours, going around the whole city the entire day.He never really expected her to find time to visit.

      For a moment he held himself back from speaking further, afraid of what his emotions might bring himself to say. He stared for some frozen moment at the pancakes, wandering on thoughts of the past—how his mom abandoned them and went on with her life without him and his father.

     He had a sudden realization that whatever it was happening inside him, was also new. He never had that bitterness about his mom leaving them before, and he had never bothered himself to unravel the secrets and issues about his parents' separation. But that moment, he was already questioning, thoughts came playing in his head which if not turned into words would possibly make him burst like a bubble,  or explode like a bomb.

     He looked at Harriette with disdainful eyes, tears starting to flump down through his cheeks. For the first time, he felt the pain from all those years that he never tried to fix or even search for the wrongs in his life—because nothing ever felt wrong before, in the first place. Just that moment. Now it dawned to him that there had always been something missing in his existence, that that space inside him which was supposed to be filled by somone he loved,  had long been empty. And as her mother pulled him into her arms, he realized that it was her absence that made his life incomplete, and it was just that moment that it started to rebuild itself. His anguish began to vanish as longingness for a mother found its way inside him.

      Harriette cast his son a look that could only mean sorry. She helped herself not to quiver as regret started haunting her inside, ready to mangle her emotions apart.

     "Did you ever love us mom?" he lamented, in tired but hopeful voice.

     "Oh...Charlie, my baby" sobbed Harriette. She cupped Charlie's cheeks with her palm and looked at him as if her eyes could say the words her mouth was supposed to speak about. But no words came out. No, she couldn't do it, not now. She let her eyes linger at those liquid black eyes of Charlie, seeing the different emotions being held there. She brushed his hair with her fingers and rested her chin over his head, wrapping Charlie inside her arms.

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