So it’s the following Tuesday and everywhere I go I scan for a mysterious person in sunglasses dressed in black. Alexander didn’t say his mom would send someone who was dressed like that, I just imagine he will look like that. Some big, husky guy who was a former kickboxer or linebacker, dressed in a black suit and tie. He will grab my arm, dragging me away but won’t say a word.
Obviously, due to my imagination I am a little on edge.
“What size would you like?” The voice rings in my ear and I jump. Actually jump about a few inches in the air and point a key on my keyring at the wide eyed barista behind the counter.
She is short, maybe five feet with a cute black bob hairstyle and smoldering exotic eyes. I suspect she gets hit on a lot from the male customers, and maybe a few females, but I am sure based on her reaction that she never had someone try to stab her with a key.
“Oh, I’m sorry. Just a little on edge today. Maybe I should have a decaf. Large Iced Decaf with room for milk please.”
The barista nods wearily as she rings me up on the register. I notice she doesn’t bother asking if I want anything else with my order. She flinches as she tells me the total. I don’t jump this time, just slowly reach into my purse and hand over the cash, telling her to keep the change.
After a minute they call my order, I pick it up at the counter and head over to the table that holds the milk and sugar. As I am fixing up my drink, using a straw as a stirrer, a woman in her late forties with beautiful long brown hair in a floral peasant blouse and tan pencil skirt brings her drink to the table. As she removes the lid from her cup I notice the striking emerald ring on her right hand.
“Beautiful day. Finally, Chicago is getting good spring weather.” Her pleasant tone matches the sweet smile that spreads across her face. She is attractive, but not striking until she smiles. Her whole face lights up with the grin and I swear she looks familiar to me.
After taking a sip from my straw I scrunch my brow, “Do I know you from somewhere? I am terrible with names but I rarely forget a face.”
She focuses back on her drink, replacing the lid and gives a shy smile. Then it hits me like sunshine cascades over a lake on a cold winter’s morning, that smile. It’s Alexander’s. This is his mom.
“Oh God.” Comes out of my mouth before I have time to stop the words.
Finally she turns to face me, bringing her cup to her lips and taking a sip. Her eyes scan my body as if I am a pair of sandals she has yet to decide on buying.
“No dear, not God, but some have called me the devil before.” She states deadpan. Her face doesn’t move a muscle at her little joke, probably because it isn’t a joke.
“Where do you want me.” I find it hard to swallow as my throat constricts.
I close my eyes and take a deep breath to steady myself. When I open them again I see Mrs. Hawthorne trying to cover a laugh with her hand. She shakes her head and motions for me to follow her as she turns toward the door of the coffee shop.
Once we are outside there is a black town car waiting for us by the curb. A driver who looks very much like my imaginary kidnapper opens the door as we approach. We get inside and the seats are tan leather. It is quite comfortable and I buckle up instantly out of habit from being in many cars with Morgana and her car safety rules.
Mrs. Hawthorne turns in her seat and her eyes take me in, all at once. I swear they glow as they meet mine. She has the same light blue eyes as Alexander. It’s hypnotic on him, but scary as hell on his mom.
I try to swallow again but can’t. I suddenly realize my right hand is ice cold from holding my drink too long, so I switch hands wiping the moisture on my jean covered thigh.
“I can tell what my son sees in you. You are quite beautiful Aria. I just thought when he finally picked a woman she would be more, uh how do I put this tastefully?” She taps her chin with her finger while staring out the window behind me.
“I just assumed you would be more on his level. Someone from a more prominent background.” She decides on her words and glances back at me, her features unmoved.
I sigh, because really? What is this 1850 and I’m the scullery maid going after the rich bachelor of the home? No.
She notices me rolling my eyes at her and clears her throat.
“I meant no offense by that statement Aria. You can’t help where you are from, no more than Alexander can help who his father was.”
Perhaps she thinks I’m going to sleep around on Alexander like his father did to her. Maybe she is just being protective of her son, which I don’t blame her.
I bring my hand to her knee as she gasps. Her eyes travel to where I am touching her as she sneers. This woman does not like to be touched, no wonder her husband cheated on her. I remove my hand as she brushes at her knee in case I left dirt behind.
“Mrs. Hawthorne, I have always been honest with your son. If you are worried I will hurt him, please understand that is the furthest thing from my mind.”
She snorts and shakes her head.
“Oh dear, of course you will not hurt my son. He will hurt you. Has he told you about the prostitutes?”
The corner of her mouth ticks up as she leans into me. She is eager to wound me, so that I will leave Alexander. I figured she might play this game, based on how Alexander described her.
“Yes. All of them.” I nod.
Her eyes widen a little but her face doesn’t move much. It suddenly hits me why her features rarely change, Botox. This is her shocked expression but I can barely register it due to the paralyzed muscles in her face.
There is a silence that falls between us and all I can hear is the hum of the car as it glides along the city streets. Mrs. Hawthorne sighs and turns to look out her tinted passenger window.
“How understanding of you Aria. That you would look past my son’s unusual needs. But, you do realize he will never love you. That’s why he always prefered those women. A relationship, so to speak, that doesn’t involve emotions.”
“Wow! You really don’t know your son at all.” The words tumble out of my mouth as utter surprise quickens their fall.
Her head whips around as she narrows her eyes at me.
“I know my son quite well Aria. I have known him all his life. There isn’t anything he keeps from his mommy.”
I shudder as she speaks the last word. I can feel bile rise in my throat as I can’t help frowning at her words.
“He is a grown man Mrs. Hawthorne. I am sure he wouldn’t call you his mommy anymore.”
She smirks and I am surprised her frozen face can make the expression.
“Why does that disturb you Aria? Of course he calls me his mommy. He will always be my baby boy. Only I can comfort him the way he needs.”
There it is. No woman is ever going to be good enough for her son. I feel sorry for her, that she thinks the only way to stay important in her son’s life is to keep all the women away.
“But he’s not your baby, he’s a man now. Your job as mother is to raise a functioning adult that can contribute to society in a positive manner. You did that. Now it is his turn to prove to you that he can do what you taught him. The only way he can do that is if you let him make his own decisions. That includes his love life.”
Her lips thin and I can tell she is clenching her teeth. After a moment she sighs and I see her pressing a button on the armrest by the window. Another minute later the car comes to a stop.
“I am letting you out here Aria. Perhaps you are right and I should give my son some space. But I did mean it when I told you he isn’t going to ever love you. When he was younger he was a bit different then other boys his age. I took him to several doctors until one finally diagnosed him. There is something different about him, he becomes obsessed with things. I guess currently it is you. He will do anything to have what he wants, but the only emotion he feels with it is fascination, curiosity. Like a scientist trying to discover something that has never been seen before.”
His mom pat me on the shoulder in what feels like general comfort before continuing, “Once he tires of you or becomes fascinated by something else, he will leave you. He will not shed a tear as he walks away. Unfortunately, you will be left crying over someone who never felt anything for you to begin with. He has done it before. That’s why I kept him hidden away growing up. Not for his safety, but for others sake.”
The door opens on my side and his mother sits back in her seat, staring straight ahead. I keep looking at her in shock, expecting something more but she refuses to even glance at me. Unbuckling my seatbelt I exit the vehicle and see I am in front of my apartment building. When I turn back to the car the door closes as the driver races around the front of the vehicle and into the drivers seat. I can’t move as I watch the car take off, wondering if what she said is true. That would explain his years of using prostitutes.
Finally snapping out of it, I head toward the front door of my building when I hear my phone ring. Digging into my messenger bag-like purse that is still strapped around my torso, I find my cell. Alexander’s number flashes across the screen.
Sighing I answer, “Hello?”
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Payne Posts Menu
63. THE Insane
62. THE Bechmann
61. THE Morning After
60. THE Attack
59. THE Decision
58. THE Emergency
57. THE Welcome Home
56. THE First Day Back
55. THE Strange
54. THE Question
53. THE Crazy B
52. THE Teacher
51. THE Discussion
50. THE Mommy
49. THE Bar Fly
48. THE Watchful Eye
47. THE Big Guns
46. THE Never
45. THE Feast
44. THE Bathroom Threesome
43. THE Pee Pee
42. THE Fine
41. THE Shirt Attack
40. THE Police Song
39. THE Discovery
38. THE Pull
37. THE Aria Show
36. THE Switch Up
35. THE Delivery
34. THE Scheme
33. THE Drink
32. THE Uncomfortable Silence
31. THE Online Experience
30. THE Same Old Shi
29. THE Talk
28. THE Drunk Dial
27. THE Birthday
26. THE Meeting
25. THE New Job
24. THE Disagreement
23. THE Big Movie
22. THE Sleepover
21. THE Club
20. THE Leave
19. THE Beggar
18. THE Confrontation
17. THE Jackoff
16. THE Bathroom
15. THE Joint
14. THE Let Down
13. THE Truce
12. THE Phone Call
11. THE Assistant
10. THE New Year
9. THE Payneful Reminder
8. THE Holiday Party
7. THE Zipper Incident
6. THE Cake
5. THE Incident
4. THE Paperwork
3. THE Letter
2. THE After Effects
1. THE Interview