The floor creaked with each step as he approached her room. Unsure of her reaction, he mentally prepared for the worst. Physically, he had on extra layers of clothing to absorb any impacts. He could hear her laughing at her television show. That was a good sign.
Gently, he knocked on the door. The laughter stopped, "What do you want?" she shouted.
"May I enter?"
"Whatever you want. I live just for you."
Upon opening, he saw her under the afghan in her usual spot. Smoke rose from the tray next to her. The newspaper was spread out on her bed. Three cats were at her feet. He wondered where the fourth one was hiding.
"May I have your permission to go to the park with my friends?" he squirmed.
Bellowing laughter rolled from her chubby cheeks, "You have friends? That is the funniest thing I have heard all day!"
He didn't react. Over the years, he had grown numb to her insults. He was tired of living under her control but she was his mother. What choice does he have? She needs him.
"I will return with groceries," he bargained.
"And more cigs?"
"Don't take long. I need my bed sores treated."
He nodded and backed out of the room silently. He left the house on his bike. As the wind ran through his hair, he felt free. Part of him wanted to keep going; forever away from her but he was a good man. He loved his mother. For thirty years, he has remained loyal despite her antics. What would thirty more hurt?