“Or maybe I made some assumptions that you didn’t deserve. I’m sorry. I never led that kind of life, fast and loose, taking something just for fun. Mine was a very strict, religious upbringing.”
“Mine was too,” I said quietly. “Only two religions led to some confusion. Ma is Catholic, Pop was Jewish. Everything was fairly stable until he died. Then things kinda went to shit.”
“I’m so sorry, Michael. That must have been hard on you.”
“Yeah, well death ain’t never easy, my granddad would say. I fully believe Ma nagged that man to the grave.”
“Oh, Mike! What a thing to say.”
“When you meet her, you’ll maybe understand.”
It took some time to unload the Jeep. I grabbed my wheelbarrow, I don’t own a dolly, and unloaded the refrigerators. Molly marked them meat and dairy and started to unload the groceries as I brought them in. With that accomplished, I fixed us coffee and we sat around drinking that until my phone rang.
“Mikey!” My mother.
“Yeah, Ma. Hi.”
“Did Chester call you?”
“Yeah, Ma. He sure did. I got you all squared away with a nice place to stay.”
“I thought we’d stay with you.” She sounded disappointed.
“Ma, we’d be tripping over each other. My place is great for one, two people tops. Four, we’ll be crowded. Chester seemed to think staying someplace else was a good plan.”
“Well, if you think so.”
She sounded wounded. Oy, could that woman milk the guilt! Catholic with a side order of Jew, she was a lethal opponent. I was almost starting to renege when Molly patted my hand, nodding at me. Her encouragement made me strong.
“Ma, seriously. Staying here would be a bad plan. Me and Chester discussed it and made a decision. You want to argue, take it up with him cause he was all over the idea.”
“Like flies on sh. . . sugar.”
Her sigh was designed to make me feel guilty, but I refused to. I knew I was right and she was way wrong.
“When you see my place, you’ll understand.”
“So, leaving Tuesday? Great! Oh, I got two refrig so I can separate the food. I figure maybe breakfast you can eat here. I can’t cook worth crap, but breakfast is good.”
“Sarena and I were planning to cook.” That must be the daughter.
“You’ll need cooking utensils. I got maybe a pot, a skillet and a pancake turner. I’m not Chef Ramsey, Ma.”
She loves the foul mouthed chef. I can’t stand him. Anybody talked to me like that would get my fist in his face.
“We’ll buy some when we get there. Then we can leave it with you for next time.”
Next time? Next time?? Those words froze my soul.
“How soon you planning to come back?” I worked hard to keep the panic out of my voice.
“That’s something to talk about when we get there. I’ve got another call coming in. It must be Chester. Bye, Mikey.” She hung up. My own mother hung up on me.
“Next time? She’s coming a next time? What the hell is going on, Molly? My life has taken on a whole, new darker aspect. I knew things were too good. I’ve had sex two nights running with two different women. What’s going to go horribly wrong now? God is punishing me.”
Molly made me slow down and explain. Which I did, but not well. I think she finally got the picture after the screaming, hysterical fit I had.
“I need a drink. I’m thinking JD straight. Want one?”
“It’s not even four o’clock.”
I got out my bottle of JD that was a Christmas present from Tim and Jaqwan last year. I poured a couple fingers full and knocked back about half of it. Gasping, eyes watering, I sipped the other half.
“What’s she got planned, Molly? And why now? Is she gonna get here and tell me she’s dying? It’s got to be some kind of huge announcement, something that she thinks I won’t react well to. Something she can’t tell me on the phone.”
© Dellani Oakes 2014