The boy accuses his mother of cheating on his late father after noticing that she often spends nights out. He lashes out at her with accusations, but realises that the truth is far from what he thought.
Fifteen-year-old Trey sat angry on the sofa in the living room. The wall clock was 1:30 a.m., and his mother, Kate, was still not home. He noticed her leaving the house about an hour ago. That was the third time in a week that he saw her leaving the house late at night.
Six weeks ago, Trey lost his father, Albert, because he had cancer. It was a huge shock for him and Kate, and after Albert’s death, Kate was very depressed.
Trey wanted Kate to be happy again, and didn’t mind her dating. But the fact that she kept it from him and disappeared for hours at night didn’t suit him.
So as he sat on the sofa waiting for her to come home that evening, he was determined to talk to her. Twenty minutes later he finally heard the sound of her car on the gravel in front of their house.
When the front door opened and Kate walked in, she panicked because she didn’t expect Trey to be awake and sitting on the sofa like this. “Trey! Oh shit! You scared me!” – she shouts, trying to catch her breath.
Trey looks at her with his arms crossed over his chest. “So did you have a good time with your boyfriend, Mom? When are you planning on introducing me to him?”
“What?” Kate frowned. “Why do you say that, Trey?”
“What makes me say that?” He smiled, then an angry expression appeared on his face. “I know what you’re doing behind my back, Mother! You go out almost every night! It’s only been six weeks since Dad left us! How could you do this to him?”
Kate’s eyes began to fill with anger. “Watch what you say, Trey! Are you out of your mind? How could you…”
Suddenly Trey started crying. “That’s enough, Mum! You don’t have to lie to me! I wouldn’t mind if you were honest, but why do you lie and hide it from me? I HATE YOU! I hate you for it!” – he shouted, running into his room and slamming the door behind him.
Kate was stunned, not knowing what to do. Trey didn’t even give her a chance to explain. She finally gave in to her emotions and sat down on the couch, her face tucked into her hands, tears streaming down her cheeks. She decided to talk to Trey the next morning, but it didn’t go as she had hoped.
As they sat at the breakfast table, Trey asked Kate to get milk from the fridge. When Kate got up to go to the refrigerator, Trey grabbed the phone lying on the table and saw a message notification from a man called Steve.
Kate’s phone was not locked, so Trey immediately clicked on the message to read it. He knew he was doing the wrong thing, but he was curious as to who the new man was in his mother’s life. He read the message and his eyes widened in shock.
“See you at one o’clock. Don’t be late!”.
“Trey! Are you reading my messages?” Kate snatched the phone from his hand as she returned. “Stop it, Trey! You’re out of line!”
Trey laughed sarcastically, sure he was right in accusing her of cheating on his father. “STEVE! He’s got a pretty name, Mom. So does he love you more than Daddy? Do you think he’ll be a good father to me? Oh wait, I’m sure he doesn’t want kids, that’s why you didn’t tell me about your relationship.”
That evening, at 11.30pm, Kate got dressed and went downstairs to the living room, where she met Trey, and they left the house together. After driving for about 20 minutes, Kate stopped in front of a dark and ominous building.
Trey got out of the car in confusion and looked around. It smelled like rotting fish all around and he soon noticed a sign on the front of the building and realised that it was a recycling plant.
“Let’s go inside….,” Kate said and led Trey into the building. They stopped in a small room. Kate opened a locker in the room and took out a blue jacket and two sets of gloves and masks. She kept one for herself and handed the other to Trey. “Let’s go meet Steve!” – she said, putting on the jacket, mask and gloves, and Trey followed her, still confused.
As they left the building, a man in a blue uniform approached Kate with a clipboard. Trey glanced at the sign on his uniform: Steve.
“You’re here early, Kate! Good for you! Who’s that boy with you?” – he asked, looking at Trey.
“Oh, my son just wanted to see the place. He can help me a little if he wants to….” she replied.
“That’s fine, but let me tell you, he won’t get paid for it. Besides, since it’s your first time, I won’t mind. Next time you won’t be able to bring anyone with you to help you.”
“Of course!” Kate smiled and nodded.
“Good,” Steve said. “You’ll take care of batch number 54 today. Sort out the rubbish as soon as possible, because we have to finish this batch tonight. Get to work immediately,” he added and left.
“Are you happy now that you’ve met Steve? I warned you…” Kate turned to Trey and saw tears streaming from his eyes. “I’m sorry,” he muttered, lowering his head. “I – I was wrong to judge you…..”
“Exactly! I work here as a rubbish sorter and Steve is my boss. I didn’t cheat on your father. I’ve never loved anyone as much as I love your father, and I doubt I ever will. Now excuse me and let me go to work, because we can’t pay our bills if I don’t do the job. You can leave now if you want…”.
But Trey didn’t leave. Instead, he hugged her and wouldn’t stop crying. “I’m so sorry, Mum. Please forgive me. I promise I’ll get a job and help you. I’ll make it up to you!”.
At that moment Kate’s heart softened a little. After all, she was a mother, and she knew that Trey understood his mistake. So she hugged him and said: “I want you to focus on your studies, Trey. I want you to live a good life and become a good person! I’m here to look after you. That’s why I got a night job. I don’t mind doing two jobs, okay?”
But Trey felt very guilty about what he had done. So he got a part-time job in a restaurant and started helping out around the house.
Years later, after graduating high school, Trey worked hard to get a scholarship to a top university. He worked hard and gave his all at university because he wanted to make Kate proud of him, and he succeeded. After university he found a good job and assured Kate that he would look after them.
“I’m sorry I hurt you, Mum,” he said as he hugged her. “You took care of me when I needed you the most. Now it’s my turn to do the same for you. I love you.”