The Love Song (14)

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After pulling into my driveway, I waited until the garage door was firmly shut behind me before getting out of the car. Still, I had my nerf gun raised as I crossed the poorly lit space and headed towards the back door. My trigger finger was anxious as I glanced around at all the boxes of junk that were piled up around me; one of CC’s zombie friends could be hiding behind them.

When I stepped into the mudroom, the air conditioning greeted me, cool against my skin. I locked the door behind me and let out a breath of relief as I lowered my weapon.

Dropping my purse to the ground, I called out into the silent house, “Mom, I’m home!”

“In here, honey,” she called back.

I made my way to the kitchen and found my mom perched on one of the bar stools at the counter. She had her regular afternoon cup of coffee in one hand and a book in the other.

“Whatcha doing?” I questioned, raising an eyebrow. My mother was what I liked to call a health nut wannabe chef. Unfortunately, those are three words that nobody wants to hear in the same sentence. Most afternoons she spent hours trying to concoct something that was healthy and edible, which as it turns out never happens. It was a surprise not to see a pot of mystery goo simmering on the stove.

“Your sister has a softball game in an hour that I have to take her to. Your dad is bringing home pizza. I hope you don’t mind eating a little early.”

Nope, no problem whatsoever. Eating normal food in my house could be compared to the joy of opening Christmas presents; it only came once a year. “Yum,” I said. My mouth watered as I started to dream about the greasy pepperoni. “Sounds like a great plan.”

“Hmmm,” was her only response. Cleary my mom did not agree with me. She finished the page she was reading before putting her book down. “So, how was work?”

I let out a long breath, not knowing where to start. How could I possibly try to explain how crazy today had been? The truth was, there was no good way to do it. “Decklan and I had a long conversation,” I said bluntly. “I think we might be friends again.”

My mom peered over the edge of her glasses and studied me. For a moment I thought she wouldn’t respond but then she said, “and how do you feel about that?”

“Mom,” I complained and crossed my arms. “You know I hate it when you pull your work crap on me.” During the year, my mom worked as the high school therapist. Sometimes it was okay because she could always tell when I was upset, but most of the time it sucked; like when she could tell when I was lying.

She sighed and took off her glasses. “I’m sorry dear, it’s an old habit. Are you okay though? I know you two use to be so close.”

“Yeah, I’m fine,” I answered as I leaned against the kitchen table. There was no way I could tell her how ecstatic I was. She would just dive into some long boring speech about unhealthy relationships. “It was just a little weird, you know?”

“I’ll bet,” my mom agreed. Then she asked me the unthinkable. “So is he still as ruggedly handsome as I remember him being?”

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