John "Ace" Merrill
Stand By Me
"So how long have the two of you been together now?"
I smiled, "I'd say... three months. That sound about right to you?"
I looked to Ace, who shrugged, "I dunno."
I was currently with him and his mother, eating the dinner they invited me to. Ace wanted me to meet his mom, since his dad was out of the picture. Ace wasn't one for sentiment, but he claimed it was just so his mom would stop bothering him about meeting his girlfriend. Ace and I had brought some fast food so his mother wouldn't have to worry about cooking. We were at his kitchen table, him munching on some fries and me sipping a soft drink. His mother clasped her hands together and rested her head on them, putting her elbows on the table.
She was pretty, and I understood where Ace got his good looks from. Her hair was pulled back messily, and though it was gorgeously blonde at one point, it was now faded with gray streaks that Ace had most likely caused. She smiled at me, "How did my Johnny manage to get such a nice girl?"
Ace ran a hand down his face and wrapped his other arm comfortably around my shoulder, "Jesus mom, what'd I tell you about callin' me that. Makes me sound like a bed wetter."
His mom looked to him, "Yeah, and 'Ace' makes you sound like an asshole." She looked back to me, "So how did the two of you meet?"
I looked to Ace nervously. We met in a bar that had an age limit we didn't care about. We were there illegally when we met, and I wasn't sure about how his mom would take that. He spoke for me, "At a bar."
She gasped, "John! What did I tell you about going out to those types of places! What if Richard's dad was around while you're there?"
"You mean Eyeball's old man? I dunno, mom. I can hold my own."
Shaking her head, she stood up, picking up the napkins and unused ketchup packets from the table, "You're gonna get you're ass kicked one day."
He raised his brows, "Not by Eyeball's dad."
After a second, Ace stood up, walking behind me and pushing his lips to my cheek. He kept his face close to mine, "I'm gonna go use the bathroom alright? I'll be back in a second." He kissed my cheek again and turned down into a hallway of his home. His mother put a hand on her hip, shaking her head at him, "That boy..."
I chuckled, "He's a handful, isn't he?"
She smiled kindly, "Yes. Thank you for taking him off my hands." I laughed politely and she sighed, "I know it's not much to you, but it really means a lot to me that Johnny's found a girl that means something to him. Something more than a body, anyways."
I shrugged, helping her pick up some, "Well, he means a lot to me too... He's a real special guy."
"I'm glad you think so. He can be a real knucklehead sometimes, and an ass to those younger boys, but he's not so bad... not once you know him, anyways."
I sipped my drink again before throwing it away, "Yeah. He can be a pain sometimes, but I wouldn't have it any other way."
"He's changed since meeting you. Not that anyone else has noticed, but... He's a lot... happier. Smiles a lot more." She chuckled sadly, "I actually think he laughed the other day. Like... a real laugh, you know? Hadn't heard him giggle like that since he was in grade school."
I smiled warmly, "Well, ma'am, I'm real glad that I could make him that way."
I was suddenly picked up from behind and squealed with laughter as Ace twirled me before setting me down. He planted a kiss on my lips, looking to his mom, "Hey, we're gonna head out now. You need anything?"
She shook her head with a small smile, "No. Everything's just fine here. You two go have fun now. Don't make me have to pick you up from jail."
"Yeah, I learned that lesson the first time, mom. I'll see you tomorrow morning, love you!" We ran out the door as she shouted not to slam it. I think I like Ace's mom alright.
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