Somehow, I wasn’t surprised to find Jason’s car missing from the doorstep and see that he was not around in the living room anymore. Mom was sitting on the couch in our ravaged living room. The TV was in two pieces on the floor, the cheap vase from the thrift store mom had once been so happy to come home with was now ready to be mosaiced with, and well, practically anything that wasn’t nailed down or heavier than Jason himself had been thrown somewhere else or at least on its side.
Despite her bloody nose and ruffled up hair, my mom looked rather peaceful as she sat there, her eyes on an old picture book.
I sat down next to her, looked at the pictures of how little Lars was playing with a plastic sword in the backyard on his fifth birthday, and how my mom was carrying me on her back that one vacation in Mexico, and felt her put her head down on my now almost eighteen years old shoulder.
“…hi”, I said weakly.
“Hi, sweetheart”, my mom said in a warm voice. “What do you say about going there again this Christmas?” she asked, pointing at the picture of us on vacation in Mexico. “Just the two of us.”
“What about Jason?”
My mom looked up, stroked my cheek, and said with a sad, yet still warm smile: “I don’t think he’ll be coming back to bother us any longer.”
“Mom I… I love you. Let’s… talk. Can we do that?”
“I love you too, Lars. Let’s do that.”

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