Daniel sat in his car, listening to his mother yell, and cry, and quote scripture as she punctuated her condemnations with professions of love. He had spent uncountable nights crying over the choice he was being forced to make. And although the pain remained acute, he was unable to shed any more tears. All that remained was a nearly audible tearing sensation.
He gazed through the window, next to where he had parked his car. "She says she loves me," he thought, "but she doesn't even know me. And when I try to show her who I am, she gets angry. I suppose she's worried she'll lose me."
The tearing feeling grew stronger.
Daniel did love his mother, and more than an average parent/child relationship, he felt he understood her. From an early age he was his mother's confidant. He had spent his whole life getting inside her head and her heart; he loved the artistic strength that was her personal bedrock. More and more though, Daniel realized his mother would not be reciprocating that attention. She seemed almost exclusively interested in the ways he mirrored her.
For the majority of his life this state of affairs had seemed natural, she was after all a holy woman. She had shared many of her sacred experiences, like the time Daniel and his siblings had come from the preexistence to ask the blessing of being born to her, or the time Christ had appeared to her in the temple and promised her an elect place in heaven, or all the times angels and prophets had ministered to her in her home.
Daniel had fully dissociated by this point.
The sound of his mother's voice and the minutes flowed incomprehensibly past him. Eventually her cadence slowed and her volume decreased: she had worn herself out. As Daniel hung up the phone and got out of his car, he saw that the sun was setting. He climbed the stairs to his apartment wondering how he was going to get through another day of this. Without eating dinner Daniel climbed into bed. He lay there numbly in the dark unable to sleep. He wasn't lucid enough to form coherent thoughts, but the hot pain in his heart was at the center of his attention and in the back of his mind, a tearing sensation that grew with each breath.
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