Note: This is a paid commission piece.
Sylvia laid within the coolness of her silken sheets, the moonlight spilling into her bedroom in thick lines through the cracks of her window blinds. She lie awake, eyes heavy with the need for sleep. She stared up at the ceiling, the moonlight haze somewhat revealing the outline of her ceiling fan that turned lazily in circles.
She rolled onto her side, tugging her sheets along with her as she sighed, shutting her eyes tight. She could hear Alex, childishly loud in his attempt to not be, creeping down the stairs. A soft smile tugged at her lips as she heard his big clumsy feet trample downstairs, the familiar rhythm of the floorboards creaking quietly throughout the house. She chuckled to herself. Eighteen years and this boy still doesn’t know how to quiet his feet. She heard the faint closing of the microwave door, the even fainter beeping of the pressing of its buttons. She shook her head and couldn’t help but smile at the actions of her son. She had made a huge dinner earlier that night but like the growing adolescent he was, he always found more room to eat even more.
She could hear Alex’s slow steps back up the staircase, each step his foot made caused the boards to creek out in response to him. The stairs sang their harmony as he made a weak attempt at tip toeing up them and back into his room. She could hear the quiet shutting of his bedroom door and the low murmur of his TV.
He’s going to be in for a rude awakening when he starts college, staying up like that.
She sat up, looking over at the alarm clock sitting perched on her night stand. 2:02a. The green haze of the numbers illuminated a picture of her and a man, the near identical image of Alex, just older. She touched it with her fingertips, another tear sliding down her face. Tracing the lines of the man’s smile, darkened by the lack of light in the bedroom. She laid back down.
I’m sorry, Bill… she thought, a tear running down her cheek and onto her champagne colored satin pillowcase. She could still taste the musk of his adolescent sweat in her mouth. It lingered like a morning fog, distant but thick. What have I done?
The soft palms of her hand rubbed the tear-stained spot of her pillowcase, sighing again. She shut her eyes tight, praying for the moon to finally kiss the dawn and for the new day to start.
Overtime, she had fallen asleep.
The next morning she blinked into the sunlight that had replaced the moon and rolled over. She looked at the digital clock next to her bed. 11:15a
“Shit.” She whispered to herself, scrambling to get up. She knew Alex could fend for himself, but that never stopped her from rushing up to make him breakfast. She rolled out of bed, snatching the robe off of the closet door hook. Wrapping it around herself tightly, she tied it at the waist. She left her bedroom and headed downstairs. .
Alex laid in his bed, arms supporting his head as he stared up at the bare white ceiling, watching the ceiling fan go around and around above him. His stomach hurt. The pit in his stomach dug away at him, as the events of the night before flashed vividly through his mind. The way her hands softly caressed them, how warm her mouth felt…
He shook his head, trying to wave the images from his mind. “This is so fucked up.” He spoke out loud, to no one in particular. He sighed. The late morning sun darkened his room, going behind a cloud, and it seemed to match his mood. He had spent most of the morning lazily scrolling through his social media to distract himself, but eventually threw his phone within his sheets and laid there.
He rolled over, curling himself up in a ball, although that did little to release the rock that sank to the pit of his stomach. He could feel his phone vibrating somewhere within his bed, and he searched for it, his sleep deprived muscles heavy as his arm patted the soft sheets behind him. It vibrated again. He groaned, knowing the first thing he was going to do was put it on “Do Not Disturb” until he felt like being a member of society again.
His hands slid over his iPhone and he smiled, grabbing it and looking at the screen. It was a text from his best friend, Danny. He opened it.
So what’s the word? I tried to call. Tripp, Nicky, and Josh are all in. We’re just waiting on you, bud.
Alex stared at the text message, his grip on his phone growing tighter. He hissed hot air from his mouth and slid his phone under his pillow. He rolled back over onto his side and sighed. He could hear the floorboards creek around Sylvia’s feet as she walked past his room and his heart sank into the pit of his stomach, listening to her walk downstairs. “Goddamnit!” The frustration bubbled within him, just below his surface.
He laid there for several more minutes, until the pressure on his bladder demanded that he get up to use the bathroom. He groaned, pulling himself from the comfort of his bed. He dragged his feet into bahis firmaları the bathroom, ignoring the dull ache of his stiff muscles as he stood in front of the toilet.
“Good morning!” Sylvia chirped, knocking on the bathroom door after hearing him close it. “Breakfast will be ready in a little bit. I hope you’re hungry.” She dropped the laundry basket full of dirty clothes onto the floor. “Also if you have any dark clothes that need washing, I need those after you’re done Ali-Bear.”
Alex jumped, startled by the knock on the door, accidentally splattering pee all over the toilet seat. His heart thundered in his chest and he was hoping that she was downstairs and he could creep back into his bedroom unnoticed. “Shit.” He muttered, shaking himself off and ripping off a piece of toilet paper to clean up. He rushed to wipe his accident away, his elbow waving in wide, clumsy motions that knocked the toilet brush over. “Fucking shit!” He sighed.
“Ali-Bear?” Sylvia asked, knocking on the door again lightly after hearing the clatter of the toilet brush hitting the ground and his inaudible mumbles to himself. “Are you okay in there?” She turned the doorknob, surprised to find it locked. Normally Alex was too lazy to ever lock his bathroom door in the morning. “
“Don’t!” He hissed as his heart leapt into his throat after hearing the doorknob click against the lock. He winced at himself and took a second to reflect his tone. After an awkward pause, he cleared his throat. “I’m okay, Mom. I’m still waking up. I’ll get my clothes for you.” His heartbeat galloped through him as he flushed the toilet and went to wash his hands.
“Oh…” Sylvia sighed, quieting her voice. “Okay. Well, breakfast will be ready in a bit,” She repeated, lingering near the doorway for his reaction.
“I’m not hungry.” He replied flatly, turning the water off and drying his hands. He looked at himself in the mirror, not quite sure who he was staring at, or who was staring back at him. He looked away from his reflection and then towards the door, listening for her footsteps.
“Since when are you not hungry for breakfast? I’m making your favorite, french toast!” She turned the doorknob again. “Are you sure you’re okay Alex?”
“Yes.” Alex hissed. “I’m fine. I’m just…” He paused, searching desperately for the word. “Tired.”
“If you’re not feeling well, maybe I need to take your temperature. Do you need me to run to the store for Tylenol?” She turned the doorknob again, and each time she did Alex’s heart skipped a beat, the anxiety crawling up his spine.
“I said I’m fine!” He nearly shouted back at her, squeezing his eyes shut, trying to desperately calm himself down.
Sylvia gasped, taking a step back from the door. She shook her head, tears welling up in her eyes and bent over to snatch up the laundry basket. “Oh…okay.” She replied softly. “Just let me know if you need anything.”
“Yep.” He replied, opening the door. He towered over her, eyes dull and avoiding eye contact with her. He stood tall, shirtless and only in a pair of sweat pants, his bare toes poking out from underneath the folds of the baggy fabric.
She huffed, grabbing the stray bits of fabric from the edges of the basket. “Okay.”
He looked down at her then, at the look in here eyes and felt like a black hole of guilt opened up at his feet. Her maturing facial features, laced with sadness drove a stake through his heart. He could see her fight the tears in her eyes. “Mom, I didn’t mean-“
She waved her hand in dismissal, turning on her slippered heel and heading for the stairs. “It’s okay.” She cut him off. “Get some rest. It’s Saturday.”
“Mom,” Alex repeated, reaching out to her.
“It’s okay.” She repeated, refusing to turn and face him. “Get some rest, baby. I’ll come check on you in a little bit.”
Alex sank into himself, watching her walk down the stairs, her light footsteps barely causing the floorboards to creek the way his loud, heavy ones did.
He slummed back into his bedroom, shutting the door behind him. He knew he didn’t mean to snap at her, but he also couldn’t handle the way she smothered him and his space, especially after last night. He crossed his room, picking up stray articles of clothing and throwing them on his bed in a messy pile, thinking that turning on music would help distract him. Anxiety hovered over him like a dark cloud, its teeth sank deep into his back, clawing at him. He snatched his pillow away, tossing it to the other end of the bed and grabbed his phone.
Danny, 6 Missed Calls
He stared at the screen and cleared the notification away, and soon after a text message popped up, the phone vibrating in his hand. Dude, I don’t know what you’re doing, but call me back. Then another, I know you’re awake. You were online on Facebook. What’s going on man?
He had always admired Danny’s proper grammar even while texting; Alex never had the patience to even text and opted kaçak iddaa for just sending audio messages instead. He could feel his palms starting to sweat as he held his phone in his hand. He opened up the message thread, seeing a slew of other text messages from Danny looking for his whereabouts.
He pressed the audio button. “Hey man, I just woke up. I don’t know why it showed me online.” He spoke into the phone and sent.
Immediately, the “delivered” sign turned into “Read at 11:42” and the chat bubbles filled the bottom of the screen.
Ok. So what’s the word?
Alex sighed, staring back at the screen. He closed the message thread and instead connected his phone to the Bluetooth speaker on his desk. He opened his Spotify and turned on his lo-fi hip hop, rainy day playlist. He set his phone on his desk and continued to pick up his laundry for his mom. He grabbed his hamper and dumped out all of the contents, his other dirty laundry spilling into a pile on the floor. He tossed the clothes on his bed into the hamper and set it next to the door.
His music suddenly stopping tore his gaze to his phone and he could see it vibrating around the table, Nicky’s name flashing past. He froze as if Nicky could physically see him and waited for the ringing to stop. He sat down at his desk and sighed. I might as well get it over with…
He opened his phone and went to their group chat. He paused again, pondering on what exactly to say. I won’t be moving in w u guys He paused again, erasing it. Im gunna stay home. He winced, pressing send.
As the thread filled with the young men’s disappointment, Danny called him again. He sighed, answering.
“Hello?” He said sadly.
“Yo, what the fuck, Alex? We’re supposed to move in, in like, a week!” Danny yelled at him, blaring through the Bluetooth speaker that Alex was too distraught to turn off.
“Hey man, you don’t have to scream.”
“You’re a fucking joke, Alex! You’re the one that found the goddamn house to begin with!”
“My mom just thinks it’s a better idea if I…” Alex hesitated. “Stay here.”
“Your fucking mom?!” Danny bellowed, his deep voice ringing out through the entire room through the speaker. Alex sighed, rubbing his temple as he sat down on his bed. “So we have to scramble to find a new roommate because of your fucking mom?! Yo, like, I love Miss K to death, you know that man. But you got to get off the fucking tit.”
The scenes of last night flashed through his mind. Her bedroom eyes looking up at him as she descended on his cock, the way her hands pumped the length of him. His cock twitched as he thought about it.
“Alex!” Danny yelled, exasperated. He paused for a few moments, then took a deep sigh. “I’m sorry man. I know it’s hard without your pops. I shouldn’t have said that.” The sincerity laced his voice as he quieted down. “I’m sorry.”
“It’s okay…” Alex said quietly, gulping down breaths of air, trying to soften his hardening cock. “I just want to save some money. Mom’s gonna pay for everything the first four years if I stay here. I really wish I could move in with you guys, but I think this is a way smarter move for me.”
“Damn, man. I mean, that’s dope that she wants to do that, but can you handle living at home for four whole years?”
“She’s buying me a car, so I’ll be able to come see you guys whenever I want. So I don’t think it will be that bad.”
“Oh shit, man! She’s buying you a car?!” Danny whooped, his boyish excitement suddenly taking place of his frustration. “How the fuck did you manage that one? You’ve been saving for one for forever!”
“Yeah,” Alex smiled meekly. “She said if I stay here it will just be easier if I have my own car…So I don’t have to ask to use hers when I want to go out with you guys. So you know what that means for us and the ladies!” He continued in a sing-song voice.
“Yeah! Whew.” Danny let out an incredulous chuckle. “I don’t fucking blame you man. If my ma and pops wanted to buy me a car, I’d fucking stay home too. You’re so fucking lucky. And you’re gonna be getting so much fucking ass with a goddamn car. Shit. I’m jealous, man.”
Shit. I’m jealous, man.
The words echoed through his ears as flashbacks of him fighting Sylvia off last night flashed through his mind. “Yeah.” He rolled his eyes. “You should be.” He tried to hide the sarcasm in his voice.
“Well, shit man. Hey, this is Tripp calling me. I’ll let the guys know. I’m sorry again man. Talk later, bye.” And with that, Danny hung up, the end call beeping ringing out through the room. Alex let out a huge breath and flopped back onto his bed.
“Shit, that was easier than I thought it’d be!” He gasped, feeling the anxiety release its teeth and lift away from him. A knock on the door startled him. “Hey mom, I got that laundry for you!” He yelled just loud enough for her to be able to hear, already knowing it was her.
“Hey, honey.” The expression on Sylvia’s kaçak bahis face was one Alex couldn’t quite place, but he figured she was probably still upset that he raised his voice at her. “Thank you for gathering the laund- Alex!” She pointed to the abandoned pile of clothes on the floor. “I washed whites the other day!” She sighed, scoldingly. “I think if I wash my sheets and bedclothes I can throw these in too.” She gathered the clothes, dumping them into her own laundry hamper that she had brought into the room.
“Sorry, mom.” He laid back on the bed, eyes closed.
She looked at him and smirked at his laziness. “Can you help me, Lazy Bones? Carry your basket downstairs so I don’t have to struggle.”
Alex opened an eye and groaned to himself. “Okay, mom.” He sat up. Following her downstairs into the laundry room, he dumped his own basket of clothes into the washer. “So…” He awkwardly rubbed the back of his neck. “Did you sleep alright?”
Sylvia went to work, pouring the laundry detergent over the clothes. “I slept alright. Are you still not hungry?” She asked, avoiding eye contact.
“I could eat.” Alex shrugged.
The awkward tension between them could have been cut with a knife, its thick presence hanging over them like like a curtain. Sylvia let the washer’s lid close with a loud, metallic clank and smiled, “Then I better go get…” She checked her gold designer watch, “Brunch started then huh?” She playfully slapped him on the arm and walked out of the laundry room. Alex sighed, mentally kicking himself. Why is she being so fucking calm about this?
He followed her out into the kitchen as the warm, buttery scent of french toast filled the space. He sat on a bar stool.
“Do you want eggs?” Sylvia looked back at him as she grabbed the carton of eggs and set out two for herself.
She quietly sat out two more eggs and put the carton back into the fridge. The aura of the room was heavy with unspoken thoughts and feelings.Outside of the sizzling coming from the skillet, the room hung with silence that swallowed the both of the whole. After what seemed like hours, Sylvia turned around, serving him a plate bursting with fresh french toast, dolloped with a pat of butter, fried eggs and bacon. She set a bottle of maple syrup and a fork down in front of him and then leaned back, supporting herself against the stove by the oven’s handles, her usual position. She took a deep breath and looked down.
She could hear the fork clanking against the ceramic plate as Alex dug into his meal and squeezed her eyes, the anticipation making her head swim.
“I heard you earlier…” She said quietly, pinching her delicate pinky in anticipation for the conversation. “I heard everything. You’re not going to be happy here… are you?” Everything within her pleaded with him to say no. To say that he would love to be there with her, spending time with her. Everything in her begged that her actions and all that she did for him would hold enough weight for him to just say no.
Alex paused, the answer written all over his face, as he chewed his lip and sighed. “I-I…” He stammered out, trying to find the words but none came to his mind fast enough for him to string them along in an appropriate sentence. “I mean… I didn’t have a choice, mom. When you…” He gestured vaguely around his crotch, the color rushing to his face. “You know… I didn’t have a choice.”
“You had a choice, Alex! I gave you one!” Sylvia began raising her voice, her own frustrations seeping out of her.
“No, you didn’t!” Alex glared at her. “Y-y-you…You seduced me like a psycho! How was I going to say no after that!”
Sylvia gasped. She opened her mouth to speak and then closed it again. She shook her head, her lips curling into themselves as she rubbed her forehead.
“Mom, wait. I didn’t-“
“So you think I’m a psycho.” She crossed her arms across her chest. “You acted otherwise last night.”
His mouth snapped shut. The images that had been floating through his mind all day had surfaced. He struggled to fight the shiver that clawed its way down his back. It angered and confused him that she was right, although he didn’t even want to admit that to himself in the darkest places of his mind.
This. Was. Wrong.
“I…I…” Alex stuttered. “I didn’t mean it like that. I just didn’t have a choice.”
“But you did, Alex. You always had a choice!” Sylvia yelled at him, the grit growing in her voice as tears welled into her eyes. “You had a choice and you made one! So what? Are you going to spend all your time with Danny? I heard you Alex! Talking about your car and all the ass you’re going to get. How you’re going to be over there all the time!”
“Why were you listening to my phone call?!” Alex’s blood started to boil, all the emotions he had been struggling with began to surface.
“Because, son, you decided to take your call on speaker! I bet the neighbors even heard you!”
“I—” Alex stopped, and deflated. She was right. He did have his phone carelessly still connected to the Bluetooth speaker. He had basically invited her to listen in, and he couldn’t be mad at her for eavesdropping. “I just want to be with my friends, Mom.”