Thinking about everything while I drove out to T—–‘s grandmother’s house that day, I began to realize that things had fallen apart. I could hear in T—–‘s voice a cold, dull sound, kind of like the empty metallic echo of an oil drum. I don’t quite know what it was that made me realize it but I somehow knew it was over. After I picked up M—— it all hit me. Hard. Seeing him sit in the car, a week from his third birthday and knowing somewhere deep inside that I would not see his forth birthday I lost it. I was crying by the time I got to the Papa Johns where T—– worked. As I parked the car in front of the store and turned the engine off I looked at M—— and just shook my head. M—— unbuckled his seat belt and crawled onto my lap and brushing one of my tears away said:
“Ouchy? Dada, ouchy”
“No, I’m ok,” I replied, “go inside and see your Mom, I have to go to work… I’ll see you later”
With this I opened the door and let M—— out, I watched him go up to the door and struggle to get it open. Inside he climbed up into a chair and pressed his face up to the glass and as he waved to me I backed the car out of the parking space and drove out of M——‘s life. I never saw him again.