I used to like hotels, they were always nice and clean; or at least the ones my company sent me to were. I used to work for a company that would send me to places around the country and the hotel stays were paid for, however, the room service was not (as expected) but nonetheless, the stays were good, almost all of the times I’ve been to a hotel.
There were times as a teenager when I believed all people were bad, just horrible, disgusting, sad excuses for human beings, but of course not all people were. Some were just good, normal people, but they always made me feel like an outcast. Not on purpose, it was more of my lack of self esteem that made me feel unworthy to be around them, usually making me feel anxious or panicked around them. I always saw them as people who would leave me in a second, and then, I met my wife.
It was eleventh grade, and I was in a new school, and of course, on the first day, the older jocks made fun of me, picked me up, pushed me down; the normal teenage b.s. we all go through, but she stood up for me, my guardian angel. We got married two years after high school ended, because I didn’t want to make a bad decision of moving away because of work and she not being able to come with me, I wanted to remain inseparable from her. Then after five years of marriage, that’s when it happened, we had a son. He was handsome: blue eyes, black hair, plump cheeks like his mother, and he had my ambition, caring for all things living. That’s when I realized that his eyes are brand new, like how I started, but my lights slowly faded away from my eyes, like a dying Sun in a desperate attempt of starting a new day. I won’t let that happen to him, I won’t let him die, not like that; dead, but still living.
“Why don’t you take Jason with you, babe” my wife suggested. Jason is what we chose to name our son. Jason means “heal” or “cure” and that’s exactly what he was for me. As much as I loved Ramona, my wife, I never really saw other humans differently, in fact, I treated other humans as badly as they treated me, I saw them as vile creatures, who were build to destroy, abuse, and take advantage of other people, especially men. So, I try to keep others away as much as possible, but when Jason was born, I didn’t see people that way anymore. I was cured.
“Sounds fun, me and him could go see the Fenway stadium and maybe even catch a game” I replied to my wife. She smiled, God, how I love that smile, doesn’t matter if it was sadness behind her teeth, I loved her, and her smile always lit up my day. “You won’t be too bored without us?” I asked her.
“Oh no, my mom is in town remember? And she’s staying at my sister’s house. I’ll be staying with them while you both are gone.” see how smart she was? My paranoia was always calm because she was always thinking of what I’d think, I love her for that. Jason had just turned five years old, and of course, like all five year olds, he was curious, but always looked up to me, asking me if certain things were okay to do or if it was safe.
We left on a Saturday morning to head to Boston, it took about five hours to get there from the airport in our town. The meeting for work was on Tuesday and my company always give me extra time to go around and sight-see. We have to fly back on Wednesday morning. My son was asleep halfway through the flight. Once we landed, he freaked out, like usual. How else is he supposed to take a plane landing, especially his first one.
I called a taxi and got to our hotel room in thirty minutes, setting down our baggage, my son,wandering his eyes around. I rang the front desk bell and a gentleman came to my aid, I told him I had a room reserved and paid for, he looked it up on his computer and found that I did have a room reserved. He gave me the keycard to the room and, grabbing the luggage, I walked to the room. The front desk clerk offered to help me, but I denied his offer. We got in the room, and automatically, my son began unpacking, or as so he thought. He was always wanting to help his mother and I, so I never scolded him or told him to stop.
The rest of the day was mostly us unpacking and getting settled in our room, then after we went to the pool, it was hilarious, when I got in the hottub, Jason saw me and decided to be “cool” like his father, or so he thinks, but I thought it was emotionally touching when he got in across from me.
“Hey dad, what does love mean?” he asked me a few minutes in.
“Why do you ask, buddy?”
“I just want to know why we say it, like you do, and mom” I sighed after that, how do you explain love to a child.
“It’s hard to explain, in a way, to love someone you must have caring feelings you don’t have for everyone, so you can care for everyone, but loving someone means you would do anything for them, even if that means risking the other people” I told him, he seemed to understand me because his reply really struck me.
“Even risking yourself too, huh?”
“Yeah, bud. Exactly”
“So you’d die for me and mom?”
“Yeah, I would. Why?” I asked him, he kinda scared me with that comment. He sighed softly but looked to the side.
“I would do that for you and mom”
“Bud, don’t think that, our job as parents are to protect you, make sure you grow up right. Understand?” I can tell he was intimidated or upset at my reply. “C’mon, let’s get out and go get something to eat”
We left and got back to our room, I told him that I will shower and he can get in and after, we’ll go to the steakhouse across the street, he sat on a towel on the floor and watched Spongebob. I got in the shower for a few minutes then I hear him knocking, thinking that he needs to pee or something I turn off the shower and ask him what he needed.
“There’s a candy on the bed, may I have it?” I had to think for a bit then realized the cleaning people may have left a mint on the pillow, I told him he may and he left, and I went back to showering. I came out about ten minutes after and listened for him, the television was still on so I suspected he was still watching cartoons, I got dressed and opened the door.
“Alright bud, you can get in” I said but got no answer, “bud?” I repeated. I looked out the doorway and found his legs from behind the bed. “He couldn’t have fallen asleep” I thought. I walked over and saw foam coming from his mouth. I thought I was having a stroke, all sense of sound left and I fell to my knees. Jason had eaten a pill, not a candy.