For the past three weeks since his mother died Russell bathed himself feeling embarrassed if Carl ever came into the room and helped. He slowly moves the washcloth around his body only to have tears come to his eyes as the memories wouldn't go away. He remembered all the fun times when he and his mother had when she gave Russell a bath. The night before her last day alive was the best. They had the greatest night as they laughed and she read Russell his favorite story before he went to sleep. And then the next day was the car accident. At least five days into the hospital she passed away from the deep coma she was in.
Russell looked up to see the image of his mother leaning against the tub. For a moment he was scared and then grew happy seeing her. He touched her hand feeling a deep coldness. She couldn't even smile at him. Russell's smile faded as the tears fell from his eyes. Her cold hand touched his face.
"I'm sorry baby." She kisses his head before soul disappeared.
Russell dropped the washcloth into the tub and he put his knees up against his stomach and began to cry in his hands. He never thought he needed his mother that bad. He couldn't even play, eat, think or bathe without thinking of the memories.
Carl could hear the sobs from the kitchen and walked to the bathroom needing to see if the boy was alright. He had been crying so much lately. He had done whatever he could lately to make him stop and comfort him. His mother's death had been so hard on him. Carl went and knocked on the door. He knew he shouldn't go in under Russell's request. Russell's head shot up hearing Carl's voice.
"Russell is everything okay in there?"
Russell thought for a moment. "Can you come in Mr. Fredricksen?
"Are you sure?" Carl asked.
Carl slowly opened the door and looked to the tub to see Russell sobbing in his hands. He walked over and leaned on his knees giving the boys hair a pat. "Sweetie what's the matter?"
Russell suddenly clung to Carl hugging him. Carl hesitated but put his arms around the shaking back. "What is it sweetie?"
"I can't do it." Russell cried muffled into Carl's shoulder.
"Can't do what?"
"I can't even taking a bath without think about her. Now that I think of it she did everything for me and I didn't even say a thank you until her funeral. She couldn't even hear me then to thank me back!"
"I know how you feel Russell. When Ellie died I couldn't stop myself from crying for months." Carl spoke to him.
"You cried to?" Russell sniffled.
Carl pulled back. "Of course anybody can cry Russell. It's hard when somebody leaves you that you love."
Russell sniffled. "She shouldn't have died Mr. Fredricksen, not without me."
Carl held Russell tightly by his shoulder and made him look right into his eyes. "Don't you ever think that for a minute Russell!"
"I just miss her so much." Russell hiccuped.
Carl sighed and pulled the little boy back into a hug as Russell cried. "I miss her to Russell. She was a great person." he said. "I just wish she were here to say that she loves me, kiss me, and to be with me..." Russell stuffed his face into Carl's shoulder and began sobbing. "I just wish she was here."
Carl rubbed his back and smiled. "But I'm here Russell. The thing is that she left me with you to care for and love you. And I cross my heart to do whatever it takes to make you happy and be loved. I promise to do whatever it takes sweetie." Carl Pulled back holding Russell by his hands. "I just want to see that beautiful smile on your face everyday so I know that your happy." Carl kissed him upon the forehead. "And I want you to know that I will promise to love you like your mother did. I will be the best father you ever had."
Russell hugged his father tightly and cried into his shoulder. "I Love you." he sniffled.
"Now do you want me to help you wash?" Carl asked. "No, I think I can do it." Russell spoke shaking his head. "Okay just call me into the room if you need anything."
"Can I have another hug and kiss?" Carl kissed him again and hugged him before he left the room.