Matt left the hospital angry. Mama hadn’t learned a thing. She still lusted after that little asshole Kim. Even worse, she had reversed her decision about the children. Not that it really mattered.
Aunt Shasta had taken care of any possible attempt Mama would try in order to get her daughters back. She would still be able to go see them, but she would never be able to get them back into her custody. And Shasta had made Matt one of the guardians. He felt honored.
Still, he hated his mother when she was going through DTs. Detox was hell no matter who the person was, but his mother became demonic when she went through them. She contradicted herself constantly, changing her mind at the spur of the moment.
She was bad enough outside the hospital, when she was high, but when she was sober everything changed. He hated her when she was sober. Her dependency on men and sexual pleasure tended to emerge in all its ingloriousness. Never mind the fact she was in the hospital bloodies and bruised, with multiple broken bones, she wanted a man. At the moment, it was the very man that Tom had taken care of for him.
He had told his mother the truth when he told her that he had no idea where Kim went. Tom had not told him, nor had Tom asked Giovanni. With the three of them, it was always a code of don’t ask, don’t tell. It was never asked what the Mobster did with the men tom got rid of through them. And Matt never asked either to enlighten him on the matter. He felt it safer that way.
His mother was another matter. He was tiring of rescuing her from disaster. He was tired of picking up the pieces for her. He was tired because she never seemed to learn anything from any of the beatings. She continually wandered into a relationship that was an emotional minefield. Why?
Natalia was crying. Matty never understood. He never asked why she was the way she was. He only assumed that she didn’t care.
It wasn’t that she never learned anything. It was that she wanted to die. She had wanted to die ever since Trent’s death. When he died, her world ended. She only remained for Matty, no one else.
It wasn’t that she didn’t love anyone else, it was that her pain and grief was too much. After Trent, she had decided to do whatever it took to destroy herself slowly. She wanted to deaden the pain, so she began using drugs. Angel dust. Cocaine. Heroin. Speed. Whatever she could get her hands on, she used.
Kim had been her dealer. He had also been her pimp and her lover. The bad thing was that he had used more drugs than he sold. This made him short when it came time to pay his supplier.
So he beat her. He used her for the money. He sold her like meat. And the worst of it was that she allowed him to.
It hadn’t been for love. No, it hadn’t even been for security. She could have found both of those had she wanted to. It had been because she hoped that one of those times, he would actually kill her and end the emotional pain she suffered. But he never did. Not even this last time.
The drugs had stopped working long ago. Well, a couple of years ago, anyway. So she now wanted to die. Maybe the DTs would do her in. Or not.
She would never be that lucky. Never. Matt would always rescue her when she didn’t want it. She could count on that.
Matt sat at the dining room table with his head in his hands. What was he going to do with his mother? How was he going to handle her? she was out of hand.
Detox was rough on her, but she needed the rehab. She may not want it, but he was going to see that she got it. He was going to dry her out whether she wanted it or not. What she did later was up to her.
He knew that she would soon forget his sisters and go on to give birth to more before she was too old. He knew that. He also knew that he couldn’t stop her.
He could only help her get a handle on her addictions. He hoped. It wouldn’t be easy, and she wouldn’t speak to him for a while afterward, but he had to do it. He had to rein her in.
He didn’t want to tell her that her stipend was about out. Grandpa had tried to make sure she had enough, but she spent the money like it was going out of style. Matt didn’t want grandpa to know, so he supplemented with his own money. but even that was going to end.
He wasn’t going to further her bad habits anymore. Maybe it was time for her to supply her own way. He’d had enough of being her breadwinner. He had been just that since he was ten. Maybe younger.
Tom entered from the living room. “Still frustrated by your mother?”
Matt nodded. “Yes.”
Tom drew in a deep breath. “Only one thing keeps her from fulfilling her deepest desire.”
Matt looked up. “What’s that?”
Tom sat down across from him. “Your mother has been trying to kill herself for a long time. Even longer than I have known her. At first, she wanted Hollywood. But when she found out that she had to be somewhat smart for Hollywood, she gave up and decided she wanted your real father. After he raped her, she wanted nothing more than to die.
“Unfortunately, her love for her children has kept her from doing just that. As long as there is a child to take care of, she refrains from killing herself. The only time she has ever been happy was when she was married to Trent. His death pushed her over a precipice no one has been able to bring her back from.
“At first, the child that she struggled through life for was you. For ten years, you kept her alive because she had to take care of you and keep you alive. Then, it was your sister and brothers. And, until they were removed, it was Star and Rain.” He looked over at Matt. “All along, you have stepped in to keep her from doing what she wanted. Every one of your rescues have been a rescue from herself.
“In the end, she will succeed in what she wants and there is really nothing you can do to stop her. Eventually, she will kill herself. Someway, she will get her wish.”