“So what if I stayed with a guy. I’m single and I’m always looking for a new husband–a new father for you. That’s what life is all about.” Sorelli’s mother lit a cigarette.
“You coulda brought him home. I had my friends come up last night to meet you.” Sorelli was angry.
“I wanted to get to know him better. He wouldn’t talk openly if it was in front of you.” She touched him on his shoulder.
“But all night means you slept with him.” Sorelli brushed his mother’s hand away.
“I don’t know how to explain it to you, Eddy. There are different rules for adults.”
“Different rules? Grandma said you slept with guys when you were in high school. The books I read say you’re supposed to save the bed stuff until after you meet the person you’re goin’ to marry.” He turned his back on her.
“Well book stuff and real life are different.” She continued with a softened voice.
He turned to her. “And what about the ones who beat you up?”
“Edmund, I’m human and I make mistakes. Please understand. I’m trying my best to make a decent life for us before you go off to college or off on your own.” She put her arms around him and started to sob.
Sorelli slowly put his arms around her as he felt her body shaking and her tears wetting the side of his face. I don’t know mom. I don’t know if grandma was right. Are you a slut or are you really trying to put a family together? The phone rang. He separated from her and answered it. “Hello?”
“Hi, Edmund, It’s me–Lena.”
Sorelli looked at his mother drying her eyes on her sleeve. “Hi Lena, what’s up?
“I just wanted to say I’m glad we went out last night.” She paused. “Did your mother get home okay? I mean, you were worried.”
“Yeah, she’s okay.” Why is she concerned about me?
“What are you doin’ about Christmas school break?”
“I got a part time job at the super market baggin’ groceries and I might go to the library to work on my English paper.”
“Which super market?”
“Food Fair. Why?”
“Maybe we can see each other in your spare time.”
“I don’t know–maybe.”
“Josie has her mother’s car and she can take me to your place.”
Sorelli looked at his mother. She was at the dinner table setting the dishes for lunch. Should I ask her if it’s okay? No. I deserve time with my friends. “I don’t know. I’ll call you when I get my schedule.”
“I’m sorry if you think I was too pushy last night.”
“It’s okay. I’m new to any kind of social life.”
“I guess it’s tough with a single parent?”
“There’s just mom and me. Sometimes we have difficulties.” Sorelli had a spasm of loneliness. Sometime I feel like beating the crap out of mom for creating our desolate “family” situation. He became aware of Lena’s voice again.
“Edmund, are you still there. You stopped talking.”
“I’m still here. We’re gonna have lunch. I’ll talk to you later. I have your number.” Should I really call her back? Will I be going from “mom the slut” to “Lena the slut”?
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