After Fred leaves for work, Deirdre settles down to try to write. It doesn’t go awfully well. Waiting in parent pickup after school, she tries again. Once the boys arrives, she senses tension between them.
Deirdre glanced at him in the mirror while she was stopped at the light. “What happened?”
Burl glared at his brother, then turned away to stare out the window.
“Molly Finch,” Corin said, for once, not teasing. “You can tell, or I will,” he said to Burl. “Cause Mom needs to know.”
“Needs to know what? He’s a whiny baby?” Aiden said.
“No. That you’re a supreme dick,” Burl shot back, throwing a punch at his brother from the back seat.
“Enough!” Deirdre yelled. “Shut up! We’ll discuss this when we get home. In the meantime, could you refrain from fratricide until we’re out of the public eye. It’s awfully hard to cover that shit up when you’re driving down the road.”
It seemed to take forever to get home. They hit every red light. The ominous silence resonated in the Jeep, threatening to implode. They pulled up in the garage and Aiden hopped out of the Jeep, heading outside.
“Hold up, boy!” Deirdre called after him. “You and your brother have some explaining to do.”
Rather than argue, he followed them in the house.
“Sit. Talk,” their mother commanded. “Starting with Corin, speak.”
“Aid was nasty as shit to Burl, today at lunch. Molly Finch, she’s the younger sister of Lance’s girlfriend, Allie,” Corin explained. “She’s Burl’s age. She invited him to go with her to lunch, cause Lance said she could invite a friend. But Aiden was going, and didn’t want Burl. He wanted to take some skank.”
“She’s not a skank!” Aiden yelled.
“Some skank,” Corin continued, holding up his hand to shut his brother up. “And Lance hadn’t even said he could. So he got mad and told Burl, no. And he made Molly go without Burl, and took some girl he wants to bang.”
Deirdre blinked, taking a deep breath. There were a lot of things wrong with that, not the least of which was Corin’s language. It also took a second or two to work through his syntax, which was in fifteen-speak.
“You don’t use that word,” she corrected. “Bang is crude. Have sex with….”
“Sounds creepy and adult….” Burl began.
“And more accurate,” she interrupted her middle son. “Let me get this straight. Aiden controlled this decision? Where was Lance, wasn’t it his car?”
“Yeah, but he won’t stand up to Aiden. No one does, cause he can whoop everyone one handed,” Corin sounded awed by his brother’s kick-ass skill.
“Is that true? Are you fighting people, now?”
“No one has challenged him in ages,” Burl said. “Not since what’s his f**k….”
Aiden silenced his brother with a loud, sharp hiss.
“What whose f**k?” Deirdre asked, not unmindful of her own poor syntax.
“Torrance Crawford,” Corin supplied. “He made the mistake of getting up in Aiden’s face last year. Aid flattened him.”
“Why don’t I know this? Doesn’t the school call?”
“They did. Dad took the call,” Corin said.
Aiden punched his brother. “Thanks for that. We invoked the Bro Code on that one, Cor.”
“Burl brought it up.”
“Shut up!” Deirdre yelled. “Enough. Rooms. All of you. Any plans you had, canceled.”
“What did I do?” Burl squeaked.
“I don’t care. I’m furious with all of you. Get out of my sight. Rooms. Now.” Holding her head, she closed her eyes. Think what fun Fred will miss while he’s gone. I wish I could go instead.
With her mind on other matters, she threw together some spaghetti for dinner and got out a loaf of frozen garlic bread. Once it was set on a tray, she went back to her computer. Suddenly, a sentence popped in her mind. She couldn’t wait to write it down. Repeating it over and over, she memorized it so that it would be in her mind when she got her program open.
Busily typing away, she was annoyed when the house phone rang. Glancing at it, she saw it was Fred calling from work. He’d had lunch already, what could he want?
“Hey, babe.” He sounded tired, not common for him. “Bad news on that setup. I have to go early tomorrow.”
“No idea. I think we were given the wrong date. That is, apparently, opening.”
“How long will you be gone?”
“About a week?”
© 2018 Dellani Oakes