She just returned home from work when her cellphone buzzed in her bag. She rummaged through her bag and after a while finally retrieved her phone that was at the bottom. She noticed 15 missed calls and they were all from Haley. Her forehead creased in confusion. She picked up and a cold voice spoke on the other end.
" Just so you know, Sam is still alive."
Priscilla frowned. " What do you mean alive?"
" He just tried to kill himself, mom!" Haley exclaimed. " We're lucky we made it a few seconds early."
Her trembling hand covered her mouth in shock. She found a nearby stool by the kitchen door and sat, her shoulders slumping in defeat. Even though he was alive, the notion of almost losing her son was unbearable. She shivered even though she wasn't cold. Haley's voice on the other end awakened her.
" Mom, are you there?!"
She nodded. " Yes. Where is he now?"
" I just dropped him off at Brad's. I couldn't bring him home. Not like this."
Priscilla nodded, understanding what she was referring to. The atmosphere around the house was already at its heightened toxicity, bringing Sam back to the environment that probably made him leave wasn't a good idea.
" And where are you?" she asked, her voice trembling from adrenaline.
" I'm coming home. Bye." she said before cutting off. Priscilla put down the phone and looked around the house which was empty. Ben was picking up Tom at daycare and was by now probably on his way home.
These past weeks had been hard on her, she spent each night crying before dozing off, sometimes not even having the slightest idea why she was crying. But if it weren't for Haley, she'd probably spend this night crying in grief. She wondered how she could be so careless as a mother. She knew she acted strange toward Sam lately but she thought that if she distanced herself from him that he'd change. That he'd be the same son she knew. But in the process she nearly lost him.
She flinched as a key entered the lock. Her husband closed the door behind him, announcing his arrival.
" We're home!" he said, turning. Once he saw his pale wife standing at the other end of the hall he froze.
" Is something wrong?" he asked, clearly worried. Priscilla glanced at Tom.
" Tom, why don't you go to your room? Wait for mummy there, okay?"
" Okay." the carefree three year old dropped his little bag and ran to his room. Ben approached her with small cautious steps.
" Honey, what's going on?"
" Sam tried to commit suicide. He nearly succeeded." she explained, tears welling up in her eyes. Ben looked away, scratching his head.
" I didn't know he was that weak!"
Priscilla gasped in shock of her husband's insensitivity. In the heat of the moment she slapped him.
" How dare you speak that way of our boy! We're the reason he nearly killed himself!" she yelled.
" No, you're the reason he turned out gay anyway. Weak mom, weak son!" he sneered, turning his back on her and heading for the kitchen. She followed him.
" You won't insult me! Not after everything I did for you."
" Oh, and what did you do for me, huh? Tell me! Because you're useless at everything except when it comes to cooking! And even that has been shit recently!" he slammed the fridge door and took a sip of his favorite beer.
" I devoted my entire life to you, I made sacrifices so you could study medicine, when I got pregnant with Sam I had to do everything on my own so you could study in peace! I even sacrificed my first job so I could spend quality time with my son. I lost contact with my old friends just because you found a new job in this shitty town!" she yelled.
" And that job provided money for the house we're living in so shut up!" he yelled in her face. She stared at him in shock as he sat on the couch and turned on the TV.
She had been putting up with him for too many years now. Today she finally had enough. She went to their bedroom and started packing up. She wasn't about to move out though. He was. Ben was distracted by the sound she was making but when he showed up at the doorway the suitcase was already made.
" What the hell do you think you're doing?!" he gawked at her. Priscilla handed him the baggage. " I won't be anyone's puppet anymore. You're moving out!"
Ben scoffed. " I don't think you got what I said. I.." he pointed to himself. " paid for this house. You can't throw me out."
" Oh, yeah? And whose name is registered as the owner?" she raised her brows in victory. " As far as I know this house was signed onto me as a birthday gift, remember?"
Ben opened his mouth in shock as it finally dawned on him.
" Get out!"
Reluctantly, Ben took his suitcase and headed for the door.
" This won't end like this." he said. " I'll take this to court."
" See you in the courtroom then!" she said and slammed the door after he left.