Chapter One


Bobby Goren stops off at a neighborhood deli after school. He buys a coke and a pack of cigarettes. Walking with him is four of his friends, Dana, Andy, Cathy and Stephanie. The kids walk a few blocks and end up at the park. They hang out as they did yesterday and the day before. The kids sit on the bleachers eating junk food, smoking cigarettes and talking, being teenagers.

After an hour, another of their friends arrives, Dave. Bobby looks up at him as he lights a cigarette, "Where have you been?"

"I had to go home first. Give me one of those," he says. Bobby hands him a cigarette. He lights it and takes a drag. "My Mom is on one of her kicks, since see saw my geometry grade, homework before going out."

"Shit that sucks." Bobby takes a drag of his cigarette. "Have you seen Charlie?"

"No." he takes a drag of the cigarette, "Was I supposed to?"

He shakes his head, "No I was just wondering were he was. I know I saw him in school today."

"He's grounded," says Cathy

Bobby asks, "Who told you?"

"My Mom," she says.

"Your Mom, how would your Mom know?"

"My Mom and Charlie's Mom worked the bake sale on Wednesday. Remember Tuesday afternoon we went to the mall?"

Bobby says, "Yeah I remember."

"Well Charlie was supposed to come straight home from school to sit with his sister so his Mom could go to the doctor and he forgot."

Dave sits down next to Stephanie. "What an ass."

They all laugh.

Andy asks, "Does anyone know what time it is?"

Stephanie says, "It's almost four thirty."

Andy gets up and walks down the bleacher stairs," I have to go, my grandma's coming for dinner tonight, it's her birthday."

Dave looks over at him, "Wow! Cool can I come?"

"Screw you, Fanelli."

They all start to laugh and Andy gets pissed, "You guys are assholes."

"Andy!" Dana calls out to him, "Don't go away mad."

He walks away and flips them off. They start to laugh again.

Yelling over his shoulder, Andy says, "See you guys tomorrow."

Cathy asks, "Why do you tease him like that Dave?"

"I don't know," He shrugs his shoulder. "It's fun."

"You're bad."

The time passes quickly and they are starting to get restless and hungry. It starts to drizzle and since the time change it gets dark by five o'clock, they all take off for their homes.

Bobby arrives home and finds the front door locked, it is usually open at this time of the day. He lost his key a couple of weeks ago and has yet to replace it. He rings the doorbell, no answer. He walks to the back of the house and the kitchen door is unlocked. Weird.

The house is quite, no radio, no TV, just silence, it is eerie. He calls to his mother, no answer. As he walks through the house, he notices that some of the drawers in the kitchen and dining rooms are open as if someone was looking for something, most likely his Mom.

He shakes his head, Shit, not again.

As he passes these drawers' he straightens them out and closes the drawer.

He calls for her again, no answer. He checks the garage, the den and then he opens the basement door and calls her name, no response. He goes up the stairs. He walks down the hallway toward her bedroom. The door is slightly ajar and he knocks on the door as he pushes it slowly so he can enter, "Mom," he walks further into the room and finds her sitting in the corner of her bedroom. He walks closer toward her. He calls to her once again. She does not answer.

Louder he calls to her, "Mom!" It is as if she does not realize he is in the room, she is speaking but the words are incoherent.

"Mom what's the matter, why don't you answer me?" She seems to be looking right through him. He backs away from her, "Oh man what am I suppose to do?"

His mother has never acted like this and he starts to get scared. His father has been out of the house almost four years now and his brother Frank left the day after he turned eighteen, which was in September. He picks up the phone and dials 911.

Less than ten minutes pass and two police officers arrive at the house. When Bobby answers the door, they can see that he is scared.

"What's the problem?"

"It's my Mom. She's upstairs, something's happen to her."

"What is your name?"

"Bobby, ah Robert Goren," he says nervously.

"How old are you, Bobby?"

"I'm fifteen."

"Show us where she is."

They follow Bobby upstairs and down the hall to her bedroom. He points, "She's in there."

They can see a woman sitting in the corner of the room, she is mumbling to herself.

"What's your Mom's name?"


The older of the officers walks over to her. Bobby leaves the room, paces around the house and walks back upstairs. He does this repeatedly.

"Frances, can you hear me, are you hurt?" She does not answer.

He talks over his shoulder to his partner, "I don't see any bruises or cuts, nothing. She seems scared."

The older officer stands and walks over to Bobby, "When did you get home?"

"About five o'clock."

"Where did you go after school?"

"My friends and I hung out at the park."

"When you got home did you notice if anything was out of the ordinary."

"Only that the front door was locked but the kitchen door was open."

"That's different from other days?"

"Yeah, usually the front door is unlocked. She likes the back door locked, I don't know why."

The younger officer walks over to her, "Frances." He puts his hand out to touch her and she cowers into a ball.

Bobby says almost in a whisper, "She has schizophrenia."

"What?" exclaims the older officer?

He rolls his eyes, embarrassed to have to repeat it. "I said she has schizophrenia."

"Has this happened before?"

"No, never," he says as he leaves the room, Bobby walks out into the hallway and leans up against the wall.

As the younger officer is talking to her, Bobby hears the ambulance siren. He runs down the stairs and opens the door before the EMT's exit their vehicle. He leads them to his mother's room. They try talking to her and she does not respond to their questions.

She does not fight the attendants when they pick her up and lay her down on the stretcher. As the stretcher is wheeled from the house, one of the police officers walks up to Bobby, "Come on, Bobby we'll give you a ride to the hospital. Is there anyone you want to call before we leave?"

He shakes his head, "No."

They leave the house and before he closes the front door he stops suddenly, the police officer walking behind him almost bumps into him. "What?"

"I should lock up the house."

He nods his head, "Alright, don't forget to get a key."

During the ride to the hospital, Bobby is very quiet. His mother is in the examination room when they arrive at the hospital.

After an hour of examination, the doctor informs him and the two officers that his mother will need to be admitted. Her length of stay is undetermined at this time. She suffered a psychotic break, the doctors don't know why.