Vision blurred by tears, Henry desperately tried to understand how talking about playing clarinet at school devolved into the breaking of a dam, filled with an onslaught of his faults. He racked his memory, searching for anything that could logically explain why his mother was shattering his happiness and nicking him with each shard. Upon finding that he could provide no proper reasoning, he no longer resisted the outpour of tears yearning to escape his eyes, and he broke down in sobs, prompting a sharp admonishment about crying over nothing from his mother.
They had been holding hands upon the outset of their daily journey home from elementary school, and her smile had been brighter to him than the last few rays of the afternoon sun. He liked when she was happy; it made him forget how sad he would feel being at home some days. She sometimes made him feel like he couldn’t do anything right, and he felt small whenever her eyes passed over him. She had a way of seeing through him, but not in the sense that she knew when he was lying; it was more so that whatever was behind him was worth more in her eyes than he was.
But as the walk progressed, the closer he got to home, the more he felt like she didn’t care at all for his story about his clarinet lesson during band. He began feeling overwhelmed as accusation after accusation rolled out, each one splintering his mentality with needles of self-loathing until he hated himself and he didn’t even know why. Somehow. she just managed to twist every scenario in a way that made him feel like the way he was living life just wasn’t good enough in her eyes. It was his life, but it was her heart living it. His heart no longer beat to his own rhythm as it was silenced in his mother’s howling disapproval, sealed in a casket before he even had a chance to place his feet on his individual path of life.