:Waist-Deep in Walmart: Chapter Twenty-Four

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 Tuesday morning I woke up overheated. Turning my head, I realized Anthony was dead asleep next to me. For a moment, I panicked, wondering what happened, but then I remembered we were sharing a bed. Relaxing slightly, I stayed in bed for a moment more before slowly sliding out of it. I padded across the chilly wood floor to the door and slipped through it, quietly shutting it behind me.


            I jumped in surprise, twisting around on my ankle to see Heidi smiling at me. “Good morning,” I breathed, returning the smile.

            “Morning. I would have never guessed you were an early bird.”

            “I don’t like wasting the day away by sleeping,” I informed her.

            “Unlike Anthony,” she chuckled. “Maybe you’ll be a good influence on him.”

            I grinned, remembering the time in Walmart when I’d tried to wake him up and he refused to. “Probably not. He sleeps like a log.”

            “Do you two sleep together often?”

            “No,” I responded quickly, shaking my head. “Not really. I mean, we have a few times, but that was because…”

            She raised an eyebrow. “Have you two had sex yet?”

            I blinked, taken aback by her bluntness. Although, I should have been used to it at that point. Last night’s dinner had been full of blunt remarks that nearly caused me to choke. None were directed at me and Anthony, though. In fact, the topic seemed to stray away from us. Mainly last night’s conversation was about school and what Caroline and I were doing for college. Needless to say, I received two knowing stares when I mentioned I was going to the same one as Anthony, but otherwise, we weren’t mentioned together.

            “Uh, no, we haven’t,” I finally responded awkwardly.



            Shrugging, she continued down the hall. “Maybe that boy has more self-control than I thought. Ellie, help me make breakfast, will you?”

            “Sure,” I agreed quickly, hurrying to catch up with her. This was my chance to get on her good side and hopefully convince her to let Anthony stay in Massachusetts.

            Fortunately, pancakes were for breakfast, and I was rather good at cooking pancakes. As I set about mixing the batter, and she set up cutting potatoes to make home fries, I started a conversation. “So I guess things have been a lot more quiet around here since Anthony moved away?”

            “Yeah,” she sighed. “Which is a good and bad thing I guess.”


            She glanced at me, a hint of a smile on her face. “Hopefully you don’t have a child right now—”

            “I don’t,” I interjected.

            “Good. But anyway, it’s hard seeing your only child grow up and want to move away. I knew it was coming, but it’s still hard.”

            Nodding, I measured out a cup of water for the batter. “Is that why you want him to move back?”

            “Want him to move back? Who said that?”

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