Leaving was the easiest decision to make, and the hardest action to take. He'd told his parents he wanted to move out now. He'd found a job, found an adult advocate, and had surprised himself by finding an actual handicap accessible apartment in Savannah.
But, then came the guilt. "Haven't I taken good care of you?" his mother asked. "What did I do?" Her dark eyes shone with pain, but he couldn't decide if it was real or feigned.
"Yes, mama," he said wearily. "You've taken great care of me. Just like any nurse would.' He eyed her as he spoke, his voice firm. "And you've told me how stupid I am, how I can't do anything right. You've left me, at 11 years old, out of a fit of anger because I stood up for myself."
"So, it's all my fault?" she said indignantly. "I'm just such a horrible person."
"Quit trying to turn this around to make yourself look like the victim!" Mark snapped. "This is not about you, ma. This is about me." He sighed. "I gotta get out of here. It's toxic." He steeled himself and, before she could speak again, turned and headed out the screen door and off the porch. She watched him go, tears pouring down her eyes.