Sarah Evans | Longreads | December 2019 | 9 minutes (2,405 words)
“Get the fuck out of my life.”
Sam’s voice wobbles and cracks, confessing to youth and vulnerability that his venom-filled words otherwise mask. The door slams in my face, as my youngest child runs — literally runs — to meet his drug dealer. I heave a sigh and head to bed for the night. We won’t see Sam again tonight, and maybe not tomorrow either.
It wasn’t always like this, but I can construct the map that has led us here. Snippets of his childhood haunt me. Tonight I get lost in a memory of a hot summer night when my kids were spinning around like tops in the backyard under the strings of light that crisscrossed our backyard. I can still hear the peals of laughter escaping Sam, barely out of toddlerhood. His pace picked up, making my stomach flip-flop just watching him. His older sister, Mia, came to an abrupt halt and sat down next to me.