Author Ramblings: The last chapter of Monsters got away from me a little bit, in that it's currently 2500 words, nowhere near done, and killing me a little, so I wrote this instead. But I will post it sometime this week.
ALSO. There is more info out about the winter episodes and oh god, my heart. *flails helplessly*
And another hilarious instance of name recycling: one of Provenza's ex-wives always had to be right. Her name? Sharon. Good job, show.
Sharon Raydor is a good mother.
She calls her children every weekend, her son on Saturdays and her daughter on Sundays. She asks after Ricky's cat and Katie's students, and she remembers every birthday, every anniversary, every holiday.
She keeps her favorite photo of each of them on her dresser. She has albums of pictures and mementos of their childhoods tucked away in her closet.
She is accepting of their choices even when she thinks they are foolish.
She is iron-willed but loving, demanding but exceedingly patient.
She loves her children, and now she loves someone else's child too.
Sharon Beck is not a good mother.
Rusty knows this.
But she used to be.
He remembers the laugh, the one that made Daniel smile to remember it.
She bought him his first chess set. A gift, on his seventh birthday. They sat cross-legged on the floor with the board set between them.
"I'll teach you," she said, "like my father taught me." And then she cried and wouldn't tell him why.
Back then, she had a job. She worked late most nights, but stopped on her way to bed to kiss him goodnight and say I love you.
The more he loves Sharon, the more he misses his mother.
It's a strange, unexpected thing.
They eat a lot of take out, but sometimes they cook. Rusty shoos Sharon out of the kitchen or sets her slicing vegetables. She'll chop them neatly but burn them on the stove.
His mother taught him to cook. She would make breakfast, he would make dinner. Then he had to do both, because she couldn't.
The more time he spends with Sharon, the more he remembers his mother as she was.
And the more he misses her, the angrier at her he is.
Ricky and Katie Raydor seem like decent people. Nice. Smiley. Friendly.
They came for a week last Christmas and brought him gifts. Sharon was overjoyed to see them.
They asked about his classes, shared their horror stories of Sister Anna's algebra class.
Rusty laughed along with them, but counted the minutes until they left.
Sharon tells him sometimes that they ask about him. How he is, what he's doing.
He wishes that they wouldn't, because he hates them a little bit and hates that he does.
It's not their fault that their mother loves them while his cannot love him.
He's angry at his mother, but he loves her too.
And that's really what he struggles with, because the mother he loves has gone away.
She's left him to the other Sharon, the one who stands between him and harm.
It's a delicate balance to maintain, loving both his mother and someone else's mother.
Sometimes he thinks he loves Sharon more.
He tells himself that if his mother came back today, that it would be hard to choose between them. That he would want them both around.
In his heart, he knows better.
And that, sometimes, is the hardest part.