Another week, another flash! I hope you enjoy it. Be sure and check out the other authors listed at the end of this chapter.
Eli wasn’t joking. I was on the shit list with him. The drive to his parents house had been quiet. Not really tense, just quiet. I decided I was in enough trouble, I wasn’t going to push the issue. Besides, I had to worry about meeting Eli’s mother. And I knew how important she was to him. We pulled into the driveway and sat for a moment before Eli turned to me.
“Well, this is it. You ready to meet my mom?”
I nodded agreement, but the voice sounded more like the squeak of someone going through puberty. “Okay, cool.”
Eli grinned a little wider, but didn’t comment. We crawled out of Eli’s compact car and walked to the door in silence. Eli opened the door and motioned me ahead of him. I walked into and immaculate cottage that looked like a slice of perfection from the fifties. But then a tiny woman with the energy of a tornado swept into the room.
“Oh lordie, lordie. Look who’s home! My honey cakes!”
I bit the side of my cheek to keep from laughing but Eli shot me a scowl that let me know I was busted. He stepped to his mother and hugged her tight. He released her after a few moments, then sniffed the air.
“It smells great, Mom.”
“I made all your favorites, Eli. Turkey and stuffing, sweet potatoes covered with those marshmallows you love. And lemon pie.”
The smile covering Eli’s face this time was genuine. It stayed in place as he turned back to me. “I love lemon pie, and Mom’s is the best ever.”
Eli’s mom grabbed me in an equally enthusiastic embrace. “You must be Nate. Glad to finally get to meet the person who is so important in Eli’s life. I’m Eli’s mom, Mary. Please just call me, Mary.”
I blushed, glad that Eli hadn’t shared what I’d done, but saddened that I’d been so stupid to let it happened at all. I glanced at Eli and his face was neutral.
“I have Eli’s room all ready for you. Just take your bags in there.” She winked at me and playfully jabbed her tiny elbow into my ribs. “I’m sure you boys are sharing a bed anyway. I’m no old fuddyduddy. You boys should have the same sleeping arrangements here as at school.”
She beamed at us both, but behind her Eli looked at me and lifted his eyebrows. Letting me know I was still on probation and sleeping on the floor was an option.
Only a handful of minutes passed before we were all in the kitchen helping Mary. I was mostly trying to stay out of the way when Eli plunked a pot of steaming sweat potato and some gadget that looked like you’d squish bugs with it.
“Mash these up, its got all the brown sugar and junk already in it. You just need to mix it up then I’ll cover it with marshmallows and stick them in the oven for a few minutes,” Eli said.
I nodded and started mixing and mashing until it look smooth to me. From there the whole meal preparation thing was just a big blur. I did whatever Eli or Mary told me to do, and didn’t seem to piss anyone off. Before too long we were all seated at the table. A couple of friends from the neighborhood who had no other place to go for the holiday had been invited too.
The food was arranged on the table and everyone settled into place. I waited for them to start passing food, but everyone was sitting expectantly. After a moment Mary held out her hands to the people on either side of her.
“Let’s bless this food.”
A quiet ripple went around the table as everyone held the person’s hand next to them. Eli slipped his hand in mine and gave me the best smile I’d gotten from him in a few weeks. I glanced around to everyone else, because this was foreign to my world. Mary began and I ducked my head.
“Lord, thank you for letting us be hear today, and for all the bounty you have bestowed on us. Lord, we thank for you for Eli and Nate’s safe travel and pray you take them back to school safe and sound. And Lord, we especially thank you for Nate begin able to join us this year, and we hope this will just be the first of many. Lord, stand over the boys and their fragile relationship as they learn to lean on each other like all suggsessful couples. We ask for your blessings Lord. Amen.”
I looked up and caught Mary’s eye and got a wink.
The rest of the meal was the most relaxed time I’d had since I’d been a fool. The neighbors were apparently all old friends and loved to tease Eli about his handsome boyfriend, which didn’t hurt my feelings at all.
Most stayed long past the meal, reveling each other in stories. But eventually the room began to clear until Mary and Eli were saying goodbye to the last visitor.
Mary turned to us with a grin. “You boys go on up and relax. Everythings already done down here and I’m headed for bed.” She kissed Eli and to my surprise, kissed me too. “Thank you for the help today. I couldn’t have done it without your help. Now go, I’m right behind you.”
I followed Eli up the stairs, not certain what would happen now. I stripped down to my briefs while Eli was doing the same. He glanced at the game console and then at me. “I’m really kinda tired. You okay with just going to bed?”
I stifled a yawn and then chuckled. “Yeah, that’d be fine.”
“Cool, let me brush my teeth then you can had the bathroom.”
I waited while Eli got ready for bed, I went in and wondered where I’d be sleeping. By the time I came back into the room, Eli was in bed with the blankets pulled over him. I waited for a moment, wondering what to do.
Eli caught my eyes and flipped the covers back. “You want to sleep with me?”
My voice caught and all I could do was nod. I crawled across Eli and settled into the bed. After a few moments, Eli reached over, grabbed my wrist and pulled my arm around us. I spooned against him, and smiled.
If you’d like to see a snippet from the other Wednesday Briefs authors you can go to the groups website. Or click on the name listed below to go directly to the story.