I left him by Glory Stoll

Students wrote stories based on some of their favorite songs. These are their stories…

How Could You Leave Us – NF

“How could you leave us so unexpected?
We were waiting, we were waiting
For you but you just left us
We needed you, I needed youYo, I don’t know what it’s like to be addicted to pills
But I do know what it’s like to be a witness it kills
Mama told me she love me, I’m thinking this isn’t real
I think of you when I get a whiff of that cigarette smell, yeah
Welcome to the bottom of hell
They say pain is a prison, let me out of my cell
You say you proud of me, but you don’t know me that well
Sit in my room, tears running down my face and I yell
Into my pillowcases, you say you coming to get us
Then call ’em a minute later just to tell us you not, I’m humiliated
I’m in a room with a parent that I don’t barely know
Some lady in the corner watching us, while she taking notes
I don’t get it mom, don’t you want to watch your babies grow?
I guess that pills are more important, all you have to say is no
But you won’t do it will you? You gon’ keep popping ’til those pills kill you
I know you gone but I can still feel youWhy would you leave us? Why would you leave us here?
How could you leave us here?
How would you leave us? Why would you leave us?
Oh, HeyI got this picture in my room and it kills me
But I don’t need a picture of my mom, I need the real thing
Now a relationship is something we won’t ever have
Why do I feel like I lost something that I never had?
You shoulda been there when I graduated
Told me you love me and congratulations
Instead you left us at the window waiting
Where you at mom? We’re too young to understand where you at huh?
Yeah, I know those drugs got you held captive
I can see it in your eyes, they got your mind captured
Some say it’s fun to get the high but I am not laughing
What you don’t realise and what you not grasping
That I was nothing but a kid who couldn’t understand
I ain’t gon’ say that I forgive you cause it hasn’t happened
I thought that maybe I feel better as time passes
If you really cared for me, then where you at then?Why would you leave us? Why would you leave us?
How could you leave us here?
How would you leave us? Why would you leave us?
HeyOur last conversation, you and I sat in the living room
Talking ’bout my music and I brought you something to listen to
You started crying, telling me this isn’t you
Couple weeks later, guess you were singing a different tune
You took them pills for the last time, didn’t you?
They took you from us once, guess they came back to finish you
Crying my eyes out in the studio is difficult
Music is the only place that I can go to speak to you
It took everything inside of me to not scream at your funeral
Sitting in my chair, that person talking was pitiful
I wish you were here mama but every time I picture you
All I feel is pain, I hate the way I remember you
They found you on the floor, I could tell that you felt hollow
Gave everything you had plus your life to them pill bottles
You gave everything you had plus your life to them pill bottles
Don’t know if you hear me or not, but if you still watching whyWhy would you leave us? Why would you leave us?
How could you leave us here?
How would you leave us? Why would you leave us?

I jolt out of bed. 2:33PM. 

Shit. My kid. 

“Nathaniel!” I holler while going through the house. 

He’s at school dummy.

 I’ve been sleeping through my alarm lately. Only waking up to Nathan flipping it off and kissing my head. 

I’ll remember to pick you up today I promise. I think to myself. Knowing in the back of my mind that that’s always an empty promise. I go to look in the fridge and the sight of food makes me almost vomit. I run to the bathroom and start dry heaving. I look at myself in the mirror. Red swollen eyes, rosey cheeks, skin and bones.  My hands start shaking and I hear the voice in my head. Take them. Take them. 

I try to shrug off the voice and focus on something other than the roaring noise in my head but it’s too much. I fast walk to my room and reach under my mattress. My body instantly relaxes when I have my perks in my hands. 

You’re ruining your child’s life. My more saner voice says. That’s every mother’s worst fear. I walk to the bathroom and get a glass of water. I used to crush them into a fine white powder and snort them. But the nosebleeds started making Nate weary and got me a few calls from ‘concerned’ teachers. You promised Nate you wouldn’t anymore. Just stop. Be a good mother for once. My body heaves with sobs and I listen to what I like to call my angel voice. Someone has to keep me out of trouble. 

Down the hatch. All your worries will go away. 

I pop the pills in my mouth and relax. I go sit on the couch and wait for 3:30 to get Nate. It’s only an hour away. I’m going to be there. 

“You forgot about me. Again!” I jolted up off the couch at the sound of Nate’s voice. 

“Baby I’m so sorry.” I go to reach for his face but he swats my hand away. When did he get this old? I glance at the clock, 5:04 PM. Shit he had to walk home again.

“I’m so sorry Nathaniel. I’ll be there tomorrow… I promise.” I say trying to keep the slur out of my voice. 

“Stop promising me! You can never keep it. I know what is important and your life and I know it’s not me.” He storms off to his room and slams the door.  I go into my room and reach under my mattress. I grab the thing that is quite honestly destroying not only me, but my baby. I go into the bathroom and open the toilet. I pull out the oval, yellow pills and place them into my hand. 

Take them. Take them. The voice that wants to diminish all my relationships says. I shake my head, trying to get the voice out. Even though I know damn well I put it in there myself. I needed a reason to justify my actions. I’ve blamed my addiction on my past, my parents, my abusive boyfriend. I’ve gone down the list. The only person I can blame at this point is myself 

“Are you kidding me?” Nate’s meek voice says from the doorway of the bathroom.  He startles me and one of the pills falls into the toilet. Out of reflex, I reach for it quickly. 

“This isn’t what it looks like honey! I swear.” I say holding the now deteriorating pill in my hand. Nate looks me in the eyes, and I see the pain. My chest shudders with my own pain. 

“I’m going to bed,” he says, not being able to look me in the eyes again. 

“Okay. Sleep well. I love you.” I say. This time my voice is meek, and I just look to the ground. 

Nate scoffs and walks away. I shut the door and breakdown on the bathroom floor. I wish I could explain to him why I do this. But he’s 12, I don’t think he could ever understand. I hope when he’s older and I’m sober he can see I never wanted to hurt him. I take another pill. Not because I want to but because I need to. 

I jolt awake from the bathroom floor to Nate gently nudging me with his foot. 

“Mom, someone’s here for you.” Nate says looking a little worried.

“Who is it? What time is it?” I say groggily getting up to wash my face and get the vomit off my face. I don’t remember puking but the smell of vomit is almost over powering. How much did I take?  I question myself but of course no response. 

“It’s 3:45PM, and it’s some lady. She took me home from school today.” Nate says looking in the bathtub. Ah that’s where I puked, I guess.

“Offer her something to drink. I’ll be out in a minute.” I say trying to sound encouraging. Who could be here?  I think to myself. 

Oh shit! I really hope it’s not CPS!  I clean myself up as fast as I can and try to smooth the wrinkles out of my clothes. 

“Ms. Feuerstein? Nice to meet you. I’m Ms.Camille Johnson. I’m from the Transverse child protective services.” She reaches out her petite hand to shake mine. I stare at her hand for a second before I reach out to shake it loosely. 

“Hello. Is there a reason for this visit?” I reply with my best professional voice. I’m freaking out. What if she goes in the bathroom? My room? Looks in the fridge and sees barely anything? I started to try to think of the last time I was at the grocery store. Last week? No. Last month? Dammit.

“Just checking up on things ma’am. Nate has been walking home from school. That’s quite a hike.” She chuckles to herself and then looks down at a clipboard she’s holding. 

“Also, he looks malnourished, he’s been talking to his friends about your ‘sickness’.” She looks up at me and I look over at Nate. I plead with him with my eyes and he looks away. 

Well, I guess this is what happens when you put your kid on the back burner. I think to myself. I’m trying to come up with an excuse or anything to make this all disappear. 

“Well, we have two police officers on their way so they can have this conversation with you. I mean who wouldn’t want to see their child grow.” She scoffs at me, and suddenly I see the true her. She’s a witch. 

“I’m going to run to the bathroom real quick. You’re welcome to make yourself comfortable.” I give her a slight nod and rush to the bathroom. I’m greeted by the smell of vomit and misery. I reach under my sink and pull out my stash for emergencies and see how many are in there. Eight. I pull them all out and look at them. 

Take them all. No what about Nate. They’re going to take him away anyways. The voices fighting in my head cause me to moan. They want me to take them but they don’t. 

I pop them all in my mouth and put my head under the faucet. After I swallow them I sit back and wait. I hear a knocking on the door. 

“Mom?” I hear Nates sweet voice.

“Come in baby.” I say keeping my eyes closed because they feel so very heavy. 

“Are they going to take me?” he asks meekly. That makes my eyes fly open. 

“Baby.” I don’t know what to say.  

“Are they?” he asks again.

“Whatever happens. I’ll always be right here.” I say placing my hand on his heart. 

“I love you, Momma.” Nate says hugging me even though I can barely feel it. “I…love…you.” I repeat back. I have to fight for each word. My head becomes too heavy and it drops into Nates lap. My son needs to know I love him. My last thought until I feel no more and my world is gone.   

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