What is this place?
Mia found herself walking along an empty, spacious room, only accompanied by the darkness and the fog. They were like omnipresent observers, carefully watching each of her steps. Shadows were swirling around her feet, sucking her into this mysterious world. She didn't know where she was heading. In fact, she didn't even know if she wanted to reach a particular destination.
Why am I here?
She continued walking into the depths of the darkness. The air around her moved like cool water. It almost seemed like time had slowed down. Then she spotted a luminous light at the distance. It was a long and white, and looked as if it were suspended in the fog. As she was getting closer, the light started to form a shape. The shape of a person. A woman.
"Hello?" Mia called out after a moment. Her voice didn't sound like her own.
Silence passed. The only thing that Mia could hear was the sound of her own breathing and the blood rushing to her ears. It mimicked the silence that she had faced so many times over the years. The silence that she has become used to.
"It's you, isn't it?" Mia said in a low voice. "You're the one who keeps telling me to-"
"Come and find me," came the reply. A soft-spoken, familiar voice.
"What do you want?" Mia demanded coldly.
The figure tilted her head, seeming somewhat amused. "Look at you being so serious. No fun, no games. Just straight to business, I see."
"What do you want?" Mia repeated in a harsher tone.
"When's the last time you've had fun, hmm?" The figure asked with a sneer. "You've had your entire life ruled by others. You've always put your loved ones first. And they've constantly fucked you over. They walked over you like dirt."
Her words froze Mia to the spot.
"You don't want to admit it, but you know in your heart that it's true. You think you can save everyone. You think you can change them for the better. But you've failed countless times before, haven't you? And it only ended up hurting you."
The figure stepped forward, her luminous outline almost blinding Mia.
"You couldn't save your boyfriend, Zac. You couldn't save your brothers. They're all pieces of shits - Zorro, especially. He's a terrible influence on your kid. Wake up, Mia, this isn't a fairytale! There's no happy ending. In the end, this is all destroying you, your self-esteem and your sanity."
The figure lifted up her glowing hand, as she caressed Mia's cheek softly. She felt cool to the touch, like the soft blow of a winter's wind.
"You know it's a vicious cycle. A constant losing battle. It's draining the life out of you - honestly, who can blame you? You're weak. You're destined to suffer. Think about it... If you couldn't save them... if you can't even save yourself... what makes you think that you can save your son?"
Coldness slapped Mia's sharpened senses. It was almost as if a bucket of ice water had been thrown at her. She shuddered uncontrollably.
"I can... and I will," Mia replied firmly, as she smacked the hand away from her face. "I'm not giving up on Max. Ever."
A low chuckle escaped from the figure. Her laughter echoed throughout the secluded atmosphere, almost sounding sinister.
"Ahh, that's right. You love him," she said with a hint of condescension. "That's cute, Mia. But I have to ask -- does he love you?"
Mia sucked in her breath, as her knuckles turned white from being so tensed.
"A better question is... why do you love him?" The figure pressed on. "I understand he's your flesh and blood, but that's about it, really. What personality does he have? You could spend your days with a wall, and you'd still get the same effect! He could go missing, and it wouldn't make any difference whatsoever."
Mia gritted her teeth. There was a raging fire behind her eyes.
"C'mon, Mia. Don't look at me like that. I'm just stating the truth that you need to hear. What qualities are there to love about that kid? Let's be realistic here. I mean, the only lovable thing about him is his cuteness. He's such an adorable little cupcake, right? Like a beautiful gem! But... hang on a second... he looks nothing like you. He's a mini replica of his douchebag dad, huh?"
The darkness surrounding them appeared to be closing in. It seemed like it was eating everything in its path. Mia hung her head low, her shoulders were hunched up, while her fists were shaking.
"You're scared that he's going to turn into the douchebag, aren't you? Heck, he's already slowly turning into him. You don't want to admit this, although you know this is true. Deep down, you've always known this - so, don't play dumb with me, you bitch. His blood is poisoned. Don't you understand? You. Can't. Save. Him."
"Shut up!" Mia yelled. Her scream sliced through the thick, murky atmosphere. Glistening tears sprayed from her eyes, as she lunged forward at the figure aggressively.
The darkness swallowed them up without mercy.
She wakes up, breathing frantically while sweat trickles down her face. She climbs out of her bed and enters the room adjacent to her bedroom.
And there he is.
Tucked into his small bed.
Sleeping like a quiet little angel.
"You're nothing like him," Mia whispers. She bends down to place a delicate kiss on his forehead. Stroking his hair, she adds in a soft yet determined voice, "I'll make sure of it."