It stung more than a little.
Mark stood in the hallway now. He glanced around before stepping inside. As he closed the door, everyone grew quiet. “David and Mom are downstairs, so I thought it was the right time to come up and say this.”
The feel of the room changed. It was like a cold blast of wind tore through it, and everyone tensed. Mark said, “I don’t know what you guys have planned.” He glanced at me, but everyone knew he was talking to Mason. “But I’m in for whatever it is. I know how you are with trust. You don’t trust anyone except the three of you in this room. You don’t have to tell me the plan; you don’t have to explain anything to me. Give me a job to do and I’ll do it.” His gaze lingered on me before his jaw hardened and he looked away. “No questions asked. That’s all I wanted to say.”
He started for the door, but Mason stopped him. “One thing.”
“Your friends can’t come here this week.”
“It’s already done. I told them my mom’s having guests staying here. My mom never says anything, so if you guys don’t say anything, no one will even know you’re here. Not like it’s a secret or anything.” He lifted the corner of his mouth up and shrugged. “Besides, it’s usually only Adam that drops by or comes over for dinner. My house is quiet compared to his, but he won’t ask any questions. My mom has random visitors all the time. We had a homeless dude stay for a week one time when she volunteered at the shelter last winter.”
Logan started laughing. “Your mom can’t be any more opposite from ours.”
Then we heard from the hallway, “MARK!”
“And she summons …”
“MOVIE’S STARTING IN NEGATIVE FIVE MINUTES.”
Mark said to us, “She won’t pick a comedy because she doesn’t want to make Sam laugh.”
That was much appreciated.
“But if we don’t get down there and pick the movie first, the scariest damn movie will be starting. My mom never gets scared from horror films. I have no idea why. Her other sisters are like that, too. I wish I had inherited that gene, but she loves watching the rest of us when we’re close to pissing our pants.” He rolled his eyes. “You’re right Logan, but my mom is not like any other mom. She’s not normal. For real.”
The doorbell rang.
“MARK, GET THE DOOR. THOSE ARE THE PIZZAS.”
He grumbled, but left.
“If Mark wasn’t a cool guy, and if your dad hadn’t got there first, I’d bang Mark’s mom.”
If I could talk easier, I would’ve informed Logan my vomit was coming in three … two … one … I couldn’t and it would’ve hurt to throw up. It hurt to do anything, so I gave him the middle finger. That would have to satisfy me for now.
Logan laughed, and for the rest of night, he flirted. Mason didn’t care. I did. Mark seemed confused, and David shook his head. As we watched a movie about teen wizards, followed by a documentary about polar bears, Malinda seemed to enjoy herself. Her cheeks were red by the end of the night from her wine.
The first night passed quickly and so did the rest of the week.
Things seemed normal between David and me. There were no awkward silences or uncomfortable moments. In hindsight, I realized it was because of Malinda. She always had a quick retort for Logan, and when there was a lull in conversation, she’d grill Mark on his love life. He was mortified when she suggested getting a vibrator for his girl. “Mom!” he cried out. She shrugged. “You’re not a virgin, and I’m promoting her pleasure as well. The girl will enjoy it a lot more. They don’t always, you know.” She scanned the rest of the table. “I’m sure you two bucks think you’re the stud for all those does,” she remembered me and amended, “well maybe just you and Logan, but I’m telling you. Girls fake it eighty percent of the time.”
That opened a whole new channel of adoration from Logan. He wanted to know it all.
The rest of the conversation was a question and answer forum from Logan while Mark looked ready to throw up. I even caught Mason listening intently to her. He told me later that he’d be stupid to pass up information like that. When I came back from the bathroom, ready for bed, his eyes had darkened in lust. His hand skimmed over my waist, gently rubbing before he moved to cup my br**sts. Curling into my side, he kissed the side of my neck and remarked, “Six weeks cannot get here sooner.”
I knew what he meant. The ache lingered in me, but it was mixed with pain and stiffness. However, that ache conquered all other aches when he would get ready for school in the morning, or for bed at night, or come back from basketball practice, or being around me in general. By the end of the week, when the pain was starting to lessen even more, the ache for Mason was unbearable at times.
During the time when they were at school, it was easier, but Mason was gone. Malinda didn’t hover. Thank god. I had worried she would, but she seemed to pop in at the right moments. She brought me smoothies. At first, my stomach protested at the sight of the green color, but I was reassured it was delicious. I soon craved them, so I spent hours in the kitchen watching her experiment with new recipes.
The rest of the time was spent watching movies and I napped. I napped a lot.
Mason was granted half-day practices. He could leave after an hour into practice, so he was there when I woke from my naps. Principal Green approved of his request so he didn’t lose any playing time for their games. Between the two, they got all of my homework assignments for me, every day. It wasn’t until the end of the week that I asked, “What’s everyone saying at school?” Heather had called a few times, but she hadn’t said much either. When she was vague, I let it go, but something was wrong. I wasn’t stupid, but I hadn’t been ready to tackle this hurdle.