Mother Trials (Bathroom Break)

He gets excused from the courtroom to collect his thoughts. Heads to the bathroom and locks the door behind him. He doesn’t want to be interrupted. Looks up at the wall clock and reads 11:30. He’s got five minutes to himself.

He stares blankly at the mirror and sees a desperate man, sees a child who is lost and finding his way back, a tortured soul who’s been through it and still made it. He sees a man who never had the chance to be a child. He catches his father’s reflection, the man he’s groomed to despise all his life growing up. He sees a broken man who was molded to be the perfect husband, even before he knew how to walk and talk.

Time still ticking, mercilessly.

Opens the faucet and splashes water on his face… twice… three times… he almost drowns in that sink… he wants to scream so much but no sound comes out. He’s always felt as if he’s held back for her sake, because she deserved it all, because she was the hero in his movie and he was simply the supporting role.

He splashes his face one last time, reaches out for a paper towel and begins to dry his face till the towel is soft and starts to disintegrate. He looks at himself in the mirror, this time he doesn’t avoid his own eyes and for a split second he feels proud of himself. He is ready to stand up to her, even if it means that she won’t like him for this, which is impossible, a mother will love her son no matter what. Besides, this is not about her, it’s about him. He’s ready to claim the starring role of his own movie. He’s ready to face the judge, the jurors and the prosecution. And they’re all staring back at him. Everybody is rooting for him to win. He just got to believe.

Looks at the clock hanging on the wall through the reflection off the mirror and takes a deep breath. Then another. One last breath in and holds it in, feels his heart beating through his chest, then exhales hard. It’s 11:35. Time’s up.