My mother drove me to the airport with the windows rolled down. I don’t know why. Maybe she thought it would get rid of the foulness between us. I really didn’t care either. The wind blowing past my right ear blocked out most of her bitching, which was a bonus.
“Are you listening to me?” she demanded as she turned the wheel sharply to take the ramp for the airport entrance.
“As much as always,” I answered as I silently prayed she wouldn’t kill me with her horrific driving.
“You’re just like your father,” she hissed.
“No. I’m not. He lived with your toxic personality for 30 years and it ended up killing him. I’m not going to let that happen to me,” I replied.
“I am not responsible for your father’s pathetic suicide!”
“Of course not, you’re not responsible for anything,” I replied as she slammed on the brakes in front of the United terminal. I picked up my duffle bag and got out of the car. “I’d tell you to have a good life but I’d be lying and you taught me better than that. Good-bye mother.”
“You wiseass sonovabitch,” she ranted as she leaned across the seat to grab me. I stepped back then laughed as she forgot her foot was on the brake and she slammed into the stretch limo parked in front of her. I headed into the airport as the driver got out and started screaming at her in Russian.
“John, darling! Wait! Help me!” she called out as the automatic doors opened. When I didn’t stop I heard her switch gears and could hear her trying to explain it wasn’t her fault and blamed the accident on me.
I kept walking and didn’t turn back.
That was 15 years ago; I could remember it as if it had happened yesterday. I hadn’t seen or talked to her since. When her doctor called to tell me she had died alone in her home I smiled and felt the world get a little bit brighter.