my sequel to Jeffty is Five by Harlan Ellison
|I rushed back downstairs and I do not know, but something came over me. I just shouted at his parents until I could no longer speak, “You were his parents. Does what you did make you feel good? He did not ask to be born that way, and you had so many opportunities. If you did not want him that badly, I could have had him, or some other couple. Even if that meant one of us would have died anyway, he could have been given from couple to couple. He deserved a happy life as well.” Perhaps I should have expected, and somehow I did what Leona and John then responded with, but all feelings just blurted out from all sides, like many volcanoes waiting to explode.
“It took a great toll on us, you would not understand” Leona said. John added in his typical stoic voice, “Yes, much more than we could bear.” It took me a while to compose myself, but I then said, maddening feelings rushed all over me, “You wanted to live in the present, I understand that, and you were certainly entitled to it all the while, but don’t you think he deserved a happy life as well? I am sure he loved you much more than you ever loved him, I am sure he wanted you to have a great life granted it might not ever happen, but no, you loathed him and it is sickening. You were terrible parents. Considered your own son a freak did not ever even bother for one moment to understand why he was the way he was, deemed your own son an embarrassment and refused to go out in public with him whenever inconvenient. For shame! He loved you, I know he did, he had much more love than I am sure several of us ever had, for him or anyone else, and you, his guardians, his protectors, hated your own child, your own flesh and blood.” I finally said it, I finally said it.
As relieved as I was with taking the courage to stand up to them, I was still sad, I was still angry. “You know why we allowed him to hang out with you; you were his friend, his only friend. As much as it stressed us, a stress you could not ever comprehend. He was still our son and yes, we all had sorts of negative feelings towards him, but we were not entirely resentful. We loved him though as much as we only could have; we still allowed him a good life, did we not? We still kept him under our roof. Is that not true? Perhaps if you had a child like him, you would understand, but you do not, you do not even have any children, so do not act as if you understand anything about parenthood.” Oh, that tore me, but I knew what to respond with and I knew well, “Not every parent would think of killing their child. You had several other opportunities if you no longer wished him in your lives. No justification ever exists for murdering a child.”
Leona looked as if she was about to speak, but we all then heard a noise like something rising from water. We all rushed to the bathtub and saw something, something scary, but something amazing. It was Jeffty and he was as old as I was. He was finally as old as I was. While the water electrified him, it changed him. It took the fountain from youth from him. We were all about to speak, but we allowed him a few moments to retain his consciousness. “Mom, Dad, Donny?” He finally said. “Is that all of you?” I did not know how the water would have affected him if I touched him, but I could not resist. I gave him a great hug, a hug two brothers would give each other two friends would give. I looked over at his parents, we both did, and his parents who were almost crying happy tears, and said almost in unison, “Jeffty, our boy, it is you. Welcome home.”