An excerpt from Zaill’s writing project.
A scream woke Sammy from his sleep, and he ran downstairs towards the sound of his mother’s wailing cries. He found her slumped over the kitchen table, one hand clutching her heart and the other shaking as it held a neatly creased letter. She was trembling all over in great waves of sorrow, swaying slightly from side to side atop her stool as if she wanted to fall over, which she did; tumbling down she writhed on the floor like some deranged animal before curling inward into a ball that quietly sobbed for a very long while.
Finally she regained her senses enough to notice little Sammy framed in the doorway. Rising to her hands and knees she crept quickly towards him to embrace him and hold him close. But he was afraid, and he ran from her reaching hands and crazed calls as her sobs were renewed by the flight of her only son.
The letter floated slowly to the floor, drifting back and forth like some feather of divine truth, telling its story line by line in clipped tones of bewildered shame and pain and decisiveness. ‘I’m sorry it had to end this way, but I can’t stand your unreasonable demands and constant criticism anymore. I wanted to leave you for a long time, I only stayed as long as I did because of Sammy. But I can’t take it anymore, you freak out over nothing and you won’t listen to me when I try to explain. I’m only human too, and I know I’ve done wrong. But I don’t love you anymore, I’m not sure if I ever really did, and its only gotten worse with time. My sanity means more to me than our marriage. I’m sorry. I’ll send some money when I can to help with Sammy but I won’t come back. Goodbye. Tell Sammy I’m sorry and that I love him, he’ll understand one day even if you can’t. Don’t hide this letter from him, he deserves to know…’