That summer was probably the best summer he ever had.

Fucking kid had the fucking time of his life.

And it was true.

For a moment he was free of everything. Free from responsibility, from expectation... he'd won his fucking cup, and he spent the next two months celebrating. Summer, as is, is a melting time. Yesterdays melt into tomorrows; days melt into weeks; the whole thing runs into itself: tri-colored ice cream melting into a colorful puddle on the sidewalk.

(Did he mention his mom? No, not his Mom--his mom. The one who fixed him sundaes? Root beer floats? Walked his dogs? God damn always had his fridge stocked full of ice cream that he hardly ever ate? Yeah. That one.)

That summer melted hard and fast; a constant party, and he probably never slept. It was his moment. A time for reflection and debauchery. Like a good boy, he helped himself to two servings of trouble. Licked his plate clean the first time around, and didn't need to be prodded to go back a second time.

It's probably a good thing that the off season was so short--shortest it's ever been. He probably wouldn't have survived another month of fun.

And yet... maybe that wouldn't have been so bad. He could have drunk himself into a twelve-step program. Gotten kidnapped or lost in Mexico. Drowned in a bathtub of champagne. Had a heart attack in the middle of a disgusting, sticky orgy. Gone out with a bang. Gone out, delirious and confused, drugged and happy. That would have been something.

That would have been something, that would have made the last five years more bearable, perhaps. And this story, really, is all about me. Not him. Because it fucking sucked to watch him, watch him stumble and fall, cave into himself.

Fucking asshole never thinks about me. Drugs, booze, sex: a series of addictions would have been easier to handle. Instead, he made my life hell.

Got engaged, bought a house, and that was the end of him. Ended his summer in the worst possible way by tying himself down. Maybe it was the high from the summer, maybe he was fucking stupid and needed to fuck his life up a little, maybe he thought he needed a wife to place inside the new house he was building. Maybe, just maybe, he was so fucking happy he was stupid enough to believe he could bottle up that summer, stow it away and keep it, keep it safe and away from prying eyes.

Fucking idiot.

You can't fault a kid for running face first into a sliding door. Oh boy, you can fucking laugh, that's right, but it hurts when it's your kid. Beyond the embarrassing cringe, beyond acknowledging this dumb ass kid is probably a reflection of you, it hurts when he holds his head, his eyes dazed, maybe starts to cry and when you reach out he screams at you to leave him alone. Hurts when afterwards he just sits there, rubbing his head. Hurts more when he doesn't even reach for the door, doesn't even try to fucking run through the glass panes again like an idiot. Just sits there, complacent, head full of hurt.

And it wasn't your fault, but it feels like it. I'm god damn lucky none of my kids are stupid enough to run into goddamn doors. My genius genes prevented that. Mike's parents, though, weren't so lucky.