Art & Soul by Brittainy C. Cherry

Description : Art & Soul
1 Levi, Seventeen Years Old

Mom was worrying again. Feelings of guilt began to creep in given I didn’t feel bad about her worries.

She said I was abandoning her, but I tried my best to make her see that wasn’t the case. The cell phone hung loosely to my ear as her voice filled with an unnecessary but all too familiar fear. Mom worried about everything too much, creating mountains out of molehills. My aunt, Denise, always told Mom that her thoughts were the leading cause of her failed relationships. “That’s why things didn’t work out with Kent, Hannah. You pushed him away,” she scolded. “That’s why you never go on dates, Hannah. You’re an emotional rollercoaster who fears intimacy.”

Denise had been married for two years now, so I guessed that made her a relationship guru.

“I just don’t want you to get hurt again, Levi.” Mom sighed into the receiver. She blamed herself for me being in Wisconsin, but it was my choice toe spend the year with Dad. I hadn’t seen him since I was eleven, and I had this crazy idea that if I didn’t try now for some kind of relationship with the guy, then I would never truly know my father. Plus, Mom needed her space. I needed my space.

After being homeschooled all my life, it had gotten to the point where she treated me like I was her other half. She hardly talked to anyone else except for Denise and me.

“You’re no good for my big sister, Levi Myers. I know you’re her son, but you’re no good for her,” Denise always told me.

“I’ll be fine, Mom.” She didn’t say anything else, but I imagined her nervously tapping her fingernails against the closest surface while she sipped watered down coffee. “Really, Ma.”

“Okay. Well, if he...
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