Author's Note: When I thought of doing a Keith oneshot today, I remembered it was Mother's Day, and I decided that it would be a good oneshot to show a different side of the Keith we see in the movie, if he goes to visit his Mom's grave for Mother's Day. I hope you all enjoy, and please review.
It's been two years, and Dad and I have never been the same. You always made us happy, and livened up the house. It isn't fair, Mom. It isn't fair that you had to leave us here alone. We miss you every day. Dad got me that yellow truck I've had my eyes on for so long…It's great, Mom, it's really great. We pained it yellow because yellow is your favorite color. The only time we aren't moping around or cleaning out your stuff is when we're working on that truck. Dad said he didn't want to touch your things: I told him we had to. We can't leave your memory floating around the house, we need to make our own, and I know that. I wish Dad realized that. He's so heartbroken, Mom. Do you hear him when he talks to you? Do you hear me? I hope you don't hear when we fight, Mom. Dad just makes me so mad when he acts like you're going to come back one day. It isn't true and I just don't think he should live in that illusion. I'm sorry to burden you with all of this; I know you're probably busy with God…But the real reason I'm writing you is because I want to come visit you today. It's Mother's Day today Mom, and it's still hard not waking you up with breakfast in bed. Sometimes, I wake Dad up with breakfast…Then I leave him alone. I know all he does is stare at your side of the bed because when I come back twenty minutes later, the food remains un-touched. I'm sorry that we fell apart when we told you we wouldn't, Mom, I promise I'll try and move on, and open my heart again. There's one more thing I wanted to ask you, Mom. I know you've probably seen me hunched over in paint before, and I just want to know…What did it feel like before you found out you had cancer? I'm tired all the time, Mom. My hair is mess because some mornings I can't even move to get a shower. I don't want to worry Dad. Please let me know somehow if I should get it checked…Something always feels wrong anymore. I love you, Mom, and I miss you more than ever. Happy Mother's Day,
-your only son.
Keith folded the paper gently and stowed it away in his pocket. He stood then, and turned off his desk light. It was one in the morning, and he knew he had to be quiet and remain in the darkness so his father wouldn't wake. Quietly, he tip-toed out of his bedroom and to the front door, where he turned the key in the lock, and slipped out soundlessly. He walked to his truck quickly and jumped in, shutting the door as gently as possible, waiting to hear the click securing it shut. He started it up normally, knowing there was no way to mask the sound of that, but he hoped his father was in a deep enough slumber to not have heard, or be delusional enough to think the engine was far away. He drove down the highway, then, lonely, staring ahead at the dark streets. Street lamps illuminated the way some, but all they created were really a musky glow. He sighed, and turned right before stopping abruptly at the gate on the graveyard. He turned the car off and sat there for a moment, staring at the gate and all of the tombstones. Shivers ran down his spine- Why did his mother have to be here? Alone? Cold? This isn't where her spirit of happiness and excitement belonged.
He stepped out quickly and walked to the gate, with a bobby-pin in hand. He picked the lock expertly and opened the gate with a creek. He slipped inside the small gap he made, and left the gate ajar behind him. Graveyards bothered Keith immensely- they were the only thing he was more afraid of than dying itself. But he could endure walking around in here for a little while if his mother had to stay here all the time. Keith resisted the sudden urge to dig up her grave, will her to life and take her home with him; warm her soul from the cold depths of being underground, and around nothing but death. But he knew he couldn't. So he kept walking. He walked pass the names that were framiliar to him after all these times of walking towards his Mom's gravesite: Lucy Vanders, Ivan Wellsworth, Sandra Zetterstrom. He took in a deep breath and knelt beside the tombstone. He ran his hands over the cold limestone, and traced the elegant carving of her name and description. Keith knew that if she were able to talk to him, she would joke and comment on how he spent more time with her now that she was dead than when she was alive…But it would only be a joke, for in all honesty, Keith had spent more time with his Mom than Dad. Yes, now that they were alone he needed to cling to his only remaining parent, and yes, he needed him to help him with his truck…But his mother was who he used to run to all the time.
He sat and leaned against the tombstone, taking the letter out of his pocket, and then placing a rose he had brought for her on the ground below her name. Roses had always been her favorite flower. Specifically, yellow roses. He left her one yellow rose. Every Mother's Day he got her one yellow rose, and he hadn't stopped when she died. Ironically, yellow roses meant 'get well', and Keith had brought her one also every chemo treatment she had. He always had a soft spot for his mother, and yellow roses were the perfect way to show his love for her when he couldn't bring himself to speak as he watched her endure chemo. Keith had insisted on going with her to every session, and as a result, he had missed so much school that his grades were low now. His average was low and he had no plans for his future anymore. There was nothing Keith thought was fair anymore; nothing he thought was worth it. Life was so fragile, and he had realized it firsthand. He ran his fingers along the thin skin of the rose petals. He could tear a slit in one of the petals so easily, just as his life had been ripped in two so quickly.
"Mom," he mumbled, his tears beginning to rush quickly down his cheeks. "I miss you every day."
How he wished in those moments she would run up behind him like she used to when he was down, give him a full carton of his favorite ice cream and rub his back. She'd watch whatever horror movie he wanted to watch, browse whatever car websites he wanted to, or read whatever truck magazines he wanted to. She never failed to be there for him or his father, and she never asked for that treatment in return. Of course, they had given it back to her without being asked. Chemo was rough, and when she lost her hair and her spirits were even the slightest bit low, they would cheer her up. His father and him used to make up little dances to do for her in the living room when she couldn't move from the couch at night, and they would always make her favorite foods for dinner on the weeks that she had more than one round of chemotherapy. How Keith wished he had siblings now to have the joy of spending time together that his father couldn't offer him anymore. Henry had gone straight downhill when Sandra died, and there was nothing Keith could do to stop it. He sucked in a deep breath and forced a smile: he hadn't come here to make his mother sad. He bit down on his lip, curling his bottom lip in between his teeth as he willed himself to stop the flow of tears.
"Happy Mother's Day, Mom," he said quietly, stretching his legs as he sat there.
He made himself as comfortable as possible before he began talking to her. He told her all about school; about his life now. He was a junior, and only had one week left before summer. He couldn't believe that soon, he would technically be a senior. It was exciting, but it wasn't as exciting as he had thought it would be when he was a freshmen, his whole life amazing and in order. His Mom was alive to drive him to school every morning, she helped him with Algebra since he was terrible at it, and she even packed his lunch as much as he hated it. Even though now he would insist on packing his own lunch, was better at Alegbra, and could drive himself to school, he'd rather have those embarrassing napkins in his brown lunch bag saying: Mom loves you!xoxo, than not having his Mom at all. He sighed and curled up against the hard stone.
"Mom, I wish I could hug you. Your hugs always helped."
He sat there, contemplating what to say next. He usually sat in the graveyard for awhile, just talking. He always felt guilty when he left since he never wanted to have to leave her alone. Though he knew her soul wasn't there, and therefore none of her truly was, he still felt bad leaving her with no company. His mother was always so outgoing and carefree, that he hated having to leave her confined in such a depressing setting. But perhaps it wasn't so depressing- all these people were out of whatever misery they were in, and he was glad his mother had to endure no more pain. Besides, wasn't it a good Mother's Day for the simple fact that she got to wish his grandmother Happy Mother's Day? She had missed her mother terribly, losing her to cancer at a young age. Keith used to think cancer was something that targeted other people's families…Not his. But his mother getting it had proved that their family was much more prone to it, and it scared him. What if the pains he had were cancer? What if it skipped a generation and he had to watch his children go through that? He shook those thoughts and remembered his mother lying in a hospital bed, telling him that was how it should be. That though she was young, a parent should always go first and never have to bury their child. Keith hoped selfishly that he never had to lose his father, though. He didn't think he would ever be able to bury another parent, as hard as it would, (God forbid) be for his father to bury him.
Keith ignored the pain inching up in his lower abdomen and shifted so that he didn't feel the tough tissue contracting in his body. It felt like he had a rock logged in his stomach; his father had attributed it to stress, and to shake his fears he simply believed him. Keith knew that one day he would see his mother again, and since he missed her so much he didn't really care how soon that happened. It gave him hope that if his mother could do it, he could. Knowing that he didn't have much to tell his Mom that wouldn't worry her or be depressing, he stood and dusted off his paints. As always, he placed a soft kiss on three fingers and placed it on the headstone. Looking up at the clouds, he managed a small smile.
"Take care of her, God."
Turning on his heel, he left as he always did- with one glance back before shutting the gate. He gripped the spokes for a moment's time, and then got into his truck.
"I love you, Mom," he whispered before starting the engine, and heading home.