Somehow last night I must have managed to finally fall asleep, for when I wake up, it is almost two O’ clock in the afternoon. I quickly slip out of bed and make it neatly. I’m actually a bit surprised my mother didn’t come in and say something. She has always prided everyone in the house to wake up earlier and not waste a single minute. Then again, I was on winter break, not to mention I came back home late yesterday.
Stretching, I walk over to my laptop and take a seat at my desk. I figure that doing anything big today was a no go since I woke up so late, so I might as well do some more book editing. I had e-mailed a few chapters to Carrie and the writing group a few weeks ago, and I wanted to see if they had finally written back.
Sure enough, when I log into my e-mail, I see some responses from each of them. I read through them, a bit relieved that they are not too bad. This is probably my best edit yet. Cracking my knuckles, I get to work with my editing.
I spend the next four hours doing so until I finally glance at my laptop clock and see that it is almost six. It is amazing how I am able to always type for hours on end.
After saving my progress, I log off my laptop and then head out of my room.
I decide to take a quick shower before heading downstairs, wanting to feel a bit refreshed. Right now, I probably look like a couch potato, walking around with my p.js on.
After I am all washed up and dressed (Thank God my dad finally fixed the water heater!), I head downstairs and into the dining room. The room is empty. In fact, the house is completely silent. Maybe my parents are still at work.
I decide to take this time to start my laundry since I didn’t get to do a final wash before leaving campus. I am a bit glad though, my mom has the nicest smelling laundry detergent. It’s like a mixture of freesias, lavender and honeysuckle. Best of all, the scent stays on your clothes all day.
By the time I finish doing my loads, it is already almost eight. Checking my phone, I see a text from my dad saying that he will be coming home late. I don’t see anything from my mom, but I assume that she is probably late too. I decide then to prepare dinner, considering that they would be exhausted by the time they came home. Anything to distract my mind from thinking about a certain someone.
I finish an hour later with a plate of ratatouille. The scent makes my mouth water, but I try to resist digging in. I want to wait until my parents come home. I figure with how long I have been gone, it would be nice for us all to eat together.
But when they don’t show up in the next thirty minutes, I finally cave and serve myself a plate.
“Good evening, Lizzie,” my dad says five minutes later. He walks into the kitchen quickly and serves himself a plate. “Wow, this looks delicious.”
I grin. “Thanks. I try. You sure got home late. Is mom still at work?”
My dad frowns. “Your mother doesn’t have work for the next two weeks. School is out for break. Remember?”
I frown. “Oh yeah. Then where is she?”
“I’m right here dear!”
I glance over and see my mother walking over to the table in her blue robe.
“Mom? Have you been home the whole time?”
“Yes. I got caught up reading this book a co-worker lent me. Amazing how time flew.” She shakes her head. “I thought I would get a shower before coming down to make dinner. I am so sorry I will be cooking so la-wait. Did you cook dinner?”
I nod. “Yup. I made ratatouille.”
My mother sniffs the air. “It smells delicious.” She then serves herself a plate as well.
“You know you didn’t have to do this,” she says, walking over to the table.
I smile. “It’s okay. I’ve been wanting to try that recipe for a while.”
My dad goes to join her at the table and they begin to eat in silence. I feel a little bad sitting by myself at the counter, so I move over to the table to join them.
“I haven’t heard from Judy in a while,” my mom says, through a bit of ratatouille. “She must be having a good time with Viola.”
I smile. “Probably. I’m jealous.”
My dad laughs. “Hey, Viola would have loved to take you along, but- ”
“I know, my classes weren’t over and she couldn’t wait.”
We chat at the table for a while, until my dad finishes up. He slowly rises from his seat and picks up his plate. “Well, I think I’m going to head into the study to get some work done before bed.”
I arch an eyebrow. “Really dad? You just got home from work an hour ago.”
My dad smiles. “You know me Lizzie. My work is never done.”
I roll my eyes. He’s right though. He is a total workaholic. If it weren’t for mom yanking him out of the room here and there, he would be in his study indefinitely.
My dad goes back into the study leaving me with my mom. Normally I would have loved this, for it gives my mom and I time to talk about things my dad wouldn’t understand, but today, I feel a bit of dread. I can tell by the way my mom is looking at me, that she has a motive.
“So Lizzie,” she says, “How are you, really?”
I shrug. “I’m fine, mom. Why do you ask?”
“You know why Lizzie. I can tell something is bothering you.”
I sigh. “Nothing is bothering me mom, I’m fine. I’m just a little tired from all the work this quarter. My communications course was no picnic.”
“So you told me. But I don’t think that’s what’s wrong.” She gives me a worried expression. “Yesterday I was asking you about your relationship with Michael, but you seemed a bit resistant to tell me anything. Is everything going okay?”
“Yes mom, we’re fine.” I feel myself growing frustrated. I had been doing all I could that afternoon to keep my mind off Michael and here my mom was putting all the guilt and confusion back into my head. “We’re fine,” I say again, realizing after that me repeating it was probably not helping my case.
“Lizzie, you know that if something is going on, you can talk to me right?”
“Nothing is going on mom!” I suddenly feel anger rising inside me. “We’re fine! Why are you being so persistent about this? Is it just because I didn’t bring him home with me?”
“It’s because I know you Lizzie, and come to think of it, that is a good point you just made.”
I frown. “What point?”
“Why didn’t you bring him along with you for break?”
“I don’t know, because I didn’t. It’s not a big deal.”
“But it is Lizzie. I know you. I know how you are with people you care about. The people in your life are very important to you. If things didn’t work out so badly with Kendal last year, I know you would have had him visit for Christmas. And even with that, you two hadn’t known each other for that long.” She smiles. “With Michael, you two have know each other for almost a year. I could even tell there was something special between the two of you whenever you talked about him. And since the two of you got together, I’ve seen a change in you. You’ve been much more cheerful. So I guess, I am a bit surprised you wouldn’t want your father and I to meet the person that has made you so happy. It is just…unlike you.”
I roll my eyes. “Mom, I just… I…” She has gotten to me with that long speech she basically made, that I feel a bit flabbergasted. “I-I don’t want to talk about this anymore,” I finally manage to say.
“Lizzie, I really think we should. If something is going on-”
“Nothing is going on!” I practically shout at her. “Why do you have to get into my business!”
My mom looks shocked. “Lizzie, I am your mother. I am always going to worry about you-”
“Well don’t! I am an adult and I can take care of myself! So stay out of my life!”
I then rise from my chair, nearly knocking it over and then hurry out of the dining room. As I head up the staircase, I can hear the door of my father’s study open and realize I must have yelled a little loudly. My dad then starts calling to me, but I hear my mother tell him to let me go. I try to drown them out and hurry into my room.
As much as I would have liked to type a little more before going to sleep, I am too irritated to write. So instead, I change into my p.js and then slip into bed.
As I lie in my bed, I feel a bit of guilt set in. I know my mother was just trying to help. Dare I say it, she was probably even right. But right now, I just don’t want to think about it. So, I turn over to my side and slowly drift off to sleep.
When I wake up, it’s pretty late in the afternoon. I seriously must have been tired last night. I see a little note from Charls lying on the side of my bed where he slept:
-Hey babe, went for a jog. Be back soon!
I smile and place his note onto my bedside table. I then make my bed and head into the bathroom.
I take a quick shower and then touch up my face in front of the mirror. I smile remembering how I used to do this every day before going to catch the bus to Aberdale high. It all feels so far away now.
I then go downstairs to the kitchen and grab some of my mother’s amazing leftover waffles. I didn’t realize how much I have missed her cooking until I take a bite. Fantastic. I seriously hope someday my mom is able to own her own bakery or restaurant. She would totally be one of the best in town.
As I head over to the family room, I notice my mom’s potted plant in the corner. My mom promised me that she would actually try and water it while I was gone. Inspecting it, I am surprised to see that she actually has kept her word. It’s growing very nicely. I decide to water it for her for tonight. After all, I have a feeling she will be getting home late.
I then walk over to my easel and start a new painting. As I paint, I seem to get lost in it, losing track of time. By the time I glance at the clock again, it is already almost six in the evening.
I am starting to wonder exactly where Charls went running off to, when the front door opens.
“Hey Charls, is that you?” I call over my shoulder.
Rather, it’s my mother who enters.
“No honey, it’s me,” she says, plopping down on the sofa. “Long day at work.” She then looks around curiously. “Where is Charls?”
“He left a note for me saying he was going for a jog. I thought would only be an hour or so, but it has been a while.”
My mother frowns. “You don’t think-”
“No mother, he’s not like that,” I say, not giving her a chance to continue. “I know Brad was not the one, but Charls is. He’s not Brad.”
My mother smiles. “You think he is the one, huh?”
I feel myself blushing slightly. “Yes. I do.”
Just then, the front door opens and I hear someone come running inside.
“Mom! You didn’t lock the door?” I ask, and she shrugs.
“Honey, I just got home!”
I look up and see Charls hurrying into the living room. He looks extremely exhausted and out of breath.
“Charls! Where have you been?”
He laughs. “So I made a bit of a wrong turn and ended up in the wrong neighborhood.” He sighs. “I spent an hour trying to figure out where I was before finally asking for directions. I’m sorry.”
I frown. “Babe, why didn’t you just call me? I could have given you directions or just come to get you.”
Charls looks uncomfortable. “I know, but…I just…well…”
I give him an amused smile. “You didn’t want to look stupid?” His cheeks go slightly red and I can’t help but laugh. “Why do guys have to be too proud to ask for directions?”
My mother laughs as well. “I used to ask myself the same thing. Too much pride.”
Charls grins. “Do you two have to gang up on me? I’m the only guy here! Speaking of which, where is Tommy? He would back me up.” Good question. I hadn’t seen him since Charls and I got home.
“Unfortunately, Tommy is off at his dear Aunt Lyndia’s house for the break. She has been begging to see him for a while, so I decided to send him up to see her. Since she won’t come here.”
I roll my eyes and take a seat next to Charls. “Maybe that’s because the last time she was here, you threw her out.”
My mom frowns. “And for good reason! Where did she get off throwing a wild party in my house without my permission?”
“Mom, it wasn’t that bad,” I start, but after she gives me a look, I cave. “Okay, maybe a little.”
Charls looks intrigued. “What happened?”
“Nothing worth mentioning,” my mother says, waving her hand. “Let’s just say it got out of hand. Abby ended up drinking something she wasn’t supposed too.”
Charls and I both laugh.
“You laugh now, but it was not funny back then.”
Charls wraps an arm around me. “I’m sure it wasn’t.”
I smile and snuggle up to him. “You know, it’s funny because I nearly choked myself to death when I downed that cup. Now I can’t get enough.”
My mother looks over. “What was that?”
I hide my face in Charls shoulder. “Nothing!”
“That’s what I thought.” My mom stretches and then stands to her feet. “Well, I think I am going to grab something to eat and then go to bed.” She then gives me a sly smile. “Goodnight you two. Don’t do anything too crazy.”
“Mom!” I call, but she has already left the room.
“I am so sorry about that,” I say with a little giggle.
Charls smiles and shakes his head. “Hey, no problem. Your mom’s pretty cool. Better than mine was anyway.”
“Oh, I’m sorry.” I feel bad thinking something awful happened to her. Charls never really talks about her or his family, apart from mentioning his brother.
Charls looks confused. “What, why?” His eyes widen. “Oh! I didn’t mean that the way it sounded. She’s still alive, we just don’t…talk anymore.”
I frown. “How come?”
Charls sighs. “It’s a very long complicated story, but the most of it is, that I wasn’t what she and my dad wanted me to be. She had certain goals for me, but mine didn’t suit hers or my dad’s. So I left. I haven’t gone back since.”
“Wow.” I sit quietly for a minute watching the TV. “I’m sorry.”
Charls shrugs. “It’s okay. I’ve gotten over it. So,” he pulls me closer to him, “Let’s focus on other things.”
I smile. “Like?”
Charls then presses his lips onto mine and I go quiet. Like always, everything around me vanishes and all I can focus on is him. I pull him closer to me and kiss him back passionately. My heart is beating fast in my chest and my body is tingling all over. And I’m loving every minute of it.
Finally remembering about my mom, I pull away from him just long enough to say, “My mom.”
Charls smiles. “Right. So now what?”
I kiss him gently. “We could go up,” I whisper.
“Won’t she hear us?”
I give him a little smile. “We can be quiet.”
I blush slightly. “We can try.” He gives me a doubtful look and I laugh. “I love you,” I say and lean closer to him again.
“I love you too,” he whispers back to me and we lock lips gently again.