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Sometimes, he wished his parents didn’t exist.

They allowed him barely any freedom, only letting him out of the house with their permission while under constant supervision. They let him go out to play with his friends, as if they didn’t trust him when he was alone.

His friends… he couldn’t remember the last time they hung out together, and he hadn’t seen any of them for what felt like years. He missed them and wished more than anything to go out with them again, but his parents kept telling him they were gone. They were stopping him from seeing his friends, he was sure of it, and he hated it. In his opinion it was very unreasonable of them. They repeatedly told him that it was for his own good, and that they loved him and cared about him more than anything. He appreciated their efforts, but constantly keeping him away from exploring the world around him was just too much.

His parents would always be checking up on him constantly, like he was still a toddler. They always locked the front door from the outside when they went out, and kept the key under a brick near the entrance where he couldn’t reach. The only times they would let him out of the house were when he needed to go to hospital appointments, and even then, they never took their eyes off him for a single second. He was simply fed up of them.

One day, as he was sitting in his room cooped up in his prison of a home, he saw a little old lady walking past his house. As she shuffled slowly across the pavement, walking ever closer to his window, an idea suddenly came to mind. The more he thought about it, the more obvious it became – until it seemed ridiculous that he hadn’t considered it before.

He knocked on the window. She turned to look at him, surprised. He opened the window as far as it would allow, and called out to her.


“Oh, hello there.” She stopped and adjusted her glasses.

“Could you help me with something? It’ll be really, reaaally quick. I promise!”

“What is it, dear?”

“There’s a key under a brick near the front door of the house. Could you find it for me? Pretty pleeeease?”

The old lady looked around, and spotted a single brick next to his doorstep. She found the key underneath it and passed it to him through the opening in the window. However, not without a quizzical expression on her face.

“Thanks!” He smiled. A rush of adrenaline took over him, as he began to process the implications of what had just happened. He had freedom in his hands.

“No problem, you have a nice day my dear.”

She shuffled away, slowly moving out of view of the window. He danced out of his room to the front door, bursting with excitement. After so many years, he would finally taste the sweet release of captivity. He felt his heart in his mouth as he slotted the key in the hole and felt the satisfying click as he turned it. Swinging open the door, he let himself out into a bright and fresh world full of possibilities.

“Woohoo!” He yelled, jumping and dancing along the street. He was ecstatic, and hadn’t felt so light and unburdened in such a long time. Just as he was enjoying himself, letting the excitement fade slowly as he grew accustomed to his new freedom, he heard a loud ‘beep’ behind him.

He turned to see a black Jeep approaching. There was a wild panic in the driver’s eyes.

He began to panic when his body froze and wouldn’t move. He didn’t know why, but his limbs suddenly felt like they weighed a ton each. His feet were fixed to the ground like they had been glued. He let out a desperate scream, as he felt the Jeep collide with his body, and felt every single bone in his torso breaking as he flew backwards through the air and landed on the ground with a thud.

His world began to spin, and in the corner of his fading vision, he saw his parents running towards him. His mom wailed hysterically, as his dad stumbled closer as fast as he could past the oncoming traffic.

He wanted to tell them he was sorry, and that they were right. He was sorry he had ever wished they didn't exist. He didn’t really hate them – he loved them more than anything, just like they loved him. A tear trickled down the side of his face as his eyes closed, the pain fading, the darkness engulfing him.

“He just wanted to go out for a while on his own, we could’ve given him a little more independence…” She sobbed.

“Don’t blame yourself, sis,” her brother put a hand on her shoulder, making an effort at comforting her, while a harrowing pain burned him from the inside. “There was nothing we could do. We couldn’t just let him outside, he’d get lost or hurt too easily.”

The door opened, and the doctor let himself into the room.

“I’m very sorry to tell you this, but as you might have suspected, your father died on impact. His injuries were too severe, and there was very little we could do for him.”

The man shook his head, putting an arm around his sister, trying to hold in his tears.

“I understand your father had Alzheimer’s?”

“Yeah, he wanted to get out of the house, we couldn’t just let him. He was lonely, and we tried to spend as much time with him as we could, but it was impossible to watch him all day. We fed him, let him watch TV, read him stories gran and grandpa used to read him. We thought we did everything we could for him, but guess it just wasn’t enough. In the end he somehow got the key and let himself out. We should’ve been more careful.”

“It’s cruel, dementia.” The doctor shook his head.

“Ageing,” he continued, “it’s a very paradoxical thing.”

Written by Fairly7Local
Content is available under CC BY-SA