I didn't even know my Mom had come back into the room until I heard the little 'camera sound' going off in the background. "MOM!" I said, turning to face the sink. "You said you wouldn't do the picture thing!"
"Hehehe, um, no. No, I never said any such thing, and you know it!" She said, half giggling, half sniffling with tears of joy. "Awwww, you two! That's the cutest thing I've ever seen! Give me another one. I didn't get that kiss framed up probably."
Tanner was happy to pose while I kept my back turned, then he started trying to turn me around. "Derrrrrrrrick? Hehehe! I believe your mom wants another picture."
"Why are you helping her? You're supposed to be on MY side, you know?" He kept twisting my shoulders around, and with a loud groan and a roll of my eyes, I turned around again and I actually took a few more pictures with my boyfriend for my mom's benefit. Even one or two with a kiss on the lips, but just little ones. I wasn't going to give her that much satisfaction.
She stood up, trying to fight back the tears in her eyes by fanning her face. "Wow...you two are making a big crybaby out of me today. Why don't you two go in the living room? Watch TV. I'll finish up in here."
"Are you sure?" Tanner asked.
"Yes. Yes. I'm sure. You boys go enjoy some alone time. I'm going to put everything together and make it gel so we can eat. Ok?" She said, her voice quivering now. "Ok...you boys go ahead now. Go on."
"Hehehe, are you super super sure, Mom?" I grinned, seeing her on the edge and teasing her for it.
"YES! Get out of here! Go!" She insisted. She gave Tanner and I both a big kiss on the cheek as we walked past her, and out of the kitchen.
I made sure to tease further by peeking my head back in the kitchen as she was crying. "Hehehe, I brought you some tissues..."
She laughed at me. "Smartass! OUT!" Then she added, "Leave the tissues..."
I do love my little tortures just as much as she loves hers, you know?
Tanner and I went right to the sofa and just sort of cuddled up in front of the TV. Hehehe, I can't say that I wasn't still a little nervous doing this. I was trying to get rid of the paranoia, but it was hard. I guess it just takes time. Maybe one day I won't notice at all. I just...I never feel like I'm going to reach a point where all of this is...ok. After all the media and the hatred and slurs and homophobia in the world being shoved down my throat every time I look online or on the nightly news...it seems unlikely that I'll ever see a day where this is recognized as being just as normal as anything else out there in the world.
My mom kept coming into the living room every now and then, just to check on us. We had to wait for the sauce to cool and the steak to 'relax', as she would always say. But every time she saw us together, her heart melted, and she ran for cover again. Hehehe, she could be such a sap about this kind of thing.
Tanner and I sat shoulder to shoulder. Thigh to thigh. We held hands the entire time. He leaned his head on my shoulder, and I leaned my head over to rest on his. Occasionally we'd get the urge to share another few kisses, and with a smile...we'd fallright back into our natural position. It was the most comfortable thing in the world, know that my sweetheart was so welcome in a place that I called home.
Things were almost feeling nice and natural again. I was beginning to think the worst part was over. Then my mom came in and told us that dinner was ready at last. Aww, man...now we have to all sit at the same table and...'talk', don't we? Dammit...
Tanner was quick to pop up and give me a brief kiss on the cheek as he took me by the hand to peel me off of the couch and lead me into the kitchen. My mom had the table all set up like it was being filmed for TV. Everything smelled great, and she made sure that Tanner and I sat together...his roses displayed proudly between us. And...our special dinner continued on from there.
The meat was just as tender and succulent as she promised it would be. Seasoned to the point where every juicy bite was an experience in itself. Our special sauce came out adding another burst of flavor that made Tanner beam with pride for being able to stir it himself. Hehehe! So cute! It was much more than he, or even I, was expecting tonight. I guess I have to admit that I was kind of proud of my mom tonight too. It's true.
Tanner was moaning and enjoying his meal, slowly shaking his head with his eyes closed. Hehehe, eventually, my mom asked him, "Is it like the kind of meals you get at home?"
"Sooooooooo, much better! Oh God...so so so SOOOOOOOO much better! I've never had anything like this before in my whole life! Wow! Can I have some more sauce too...and some onion and mushroom...ummm...whatchyamacallit..."
"Relish, sweetheart." She said, and served him a bit more of both. Tanner's eyes rolled back in his head with the first bite, and I was starting to get a little bit jealous here! If he enjoyed his meal any more I was going to accuse him of cheating on me, the heartless bastard! Hehehe! "I'm sure your mom cooks up a nice steak for you every now and then."
Tanner said, "Ha! No, Mrs. Liddle. Trust me. My mom can barely operate the microwave. She's not the culinary type. My dad? Even less so."
"Oh..." My mom replied. "...Well, you have people in the house that help out, right? They take care of that kind of thing. I can give you the recipe to take home. Every boy needs to smile like you're smiling every now and then." She grinned.
Tanner grinned back. "That...would be awesome!" He kept eating, and it just made me feel warm inside to know he was happy. "I can't tell you how INCREDIBLE this is! Everything just melts in my mouth! Mmmm...I can't stop chewing!"
"Hahaha! Well, eat up, hon. Eat until you're full." She said. "I tried to teach Derrick to cook too, but the force is weak with this one."
I grinned. "Yeah. I don't have her kind of patience." I said. "I don't have her instincts either. She can totally make something out of nothing at all. I could never do that. That's something I think you're just born with."
My mom said, "You know...my mother, she never measured anything while she was cooking. I never saw her with any measuring sponsor cups or anything like that. She did it all by hand. Every time." I saw her eyes stare off into space a bit, as if remembering. "Sometimes she'd go a bit heavier on the salt, or the butter. Sometimes a little light on the pepper, or the garlic, or the milk. Every meal was different. It was almost as if you could 'taste' whatever mood she was in...just by the power of the ingredients alone. She really put herself into her dishes, and I felt so inspired by that. It was something that I always inspired to be." She smiled.
"Mmm...well, you were certainly in an awesome mood tonight, Mrs. Liddle!" Tanner said, not even looking up from his near empty plate. It really made my mom happy to hear him say that. Really happy.
They're getting along! My mom and my boyfriend are actually getting along!!! AHHHHH!!!
Cleaning what was left on his plate, Tanner was enjoying the food so much, he almost didn't want to stop shoveling another forkful or two into his mouth before answering my mom's random question about...you know, how his family got to be so privileged. not a 'rude' question, just a curiosity. "Actually, I can't really say that I know how the business part of it works. I never did. It's mostly my great grandfather's genius that put everything in motion. At least, that's how I understand it." Tanner said, and he looked at me, "He had a big hand in the beef industry in Chicago..." That started us both snickering wildly, and my mother, while trying to ignore the innuendo...had an obvious blush come to her cheeks. "Anyway, everything after that was just one clever investment after another. I guess the family took some lucky risks, and things have been pretty stable ever since. Savings and interest and all that. It's not like we went digging for diamonds or anything. Once they had money, it just kind of started to work for itself. It's not like we can claim much credit." I couldn't tell if Tanner was uncomfortable talking about this stuff or not. He didn't seem to be. I honestly don't think he cared about having money at all. He just wasn't the type.
My mom asked, "So...what does your mom do, Tanner?"
"Drink, mostly." He giggled. "That's about it, to be honest."
"Really?" My mom asked.
Tanner grinned to himself. "I mean...she really doesn't do much of anything. My dad? He crunches numbers and stuff, and he goes into the office to show his face every now and then, but he could pretty much run his whole business out of his study at home." Tanner shrugged his shoulders, looking down at the table. "That's about all there is to it. I wish it was a bit more interesting."
My mom smiled. "That's interesting. At least I think it is. I mean, I imagine that it must be nice. Not having to struggle or hustle to make ends meet from paycheck to paycheck. Right?"
Tanner lightly shook his head. "I don't know. In theory, it sounds like it would be the life. But, if I was being true to myself...? I don't think I'd want to live like that for the rest of my life."
Both my mom and I were surprised by his answer. I asked him, "Why not?"
He said, "Neither one of my parents has anything that really 'excites' them, you know? I look at my mom sometimes...and she just seems so totally bored sometimes. Complacent. She goes shopping, then she watches TV, then she plans a rather lonely vacation for the rest of the family. She hangs out with 'friends' that aren't really her friends. Holds dinner parties...feels obligated to show up at other people's dinner parties...the whole routine seems so empty to me." Tanner felt a little self conscious, but his honesty pressed him forward. "My parents don't have any real passion, you know? No drive. No real sense of purpose. Honestly, Mrs. Liddle...I saw you get more genuine satisfaction and actual JOY out of cooking this ONE awesome meal for us than my mom has gotten out of...well, pretty much anything she's done over the past six months! It's just really cool to see someone who really has an enthusiasm for something they truly love." That's when I felt Tanner gently take a hold of my hand, and I blushed as he looked into my eyes. "That's what I first noticed about, Derrick. That's what I first fell in love with. He had so much passion for life. He was such a genuine person, you know? He wasn't like everybody else. And he never once asked me for anything. I never had to buy him anything or cater to his needs to keep him interested in me. He just...he knew how to get in touch with his own emotions...and he shared them with me. Open. And honest. Unafraid. He knew just how to make me feel...'worthy' of seeing the pure gold in everything he did." Then, with a little sigh...right in front of my mom...Tanner said, "He was, quite simply....the dreamiest boy that I've ever met."
Tanner started by lifting my hand up from under the table top to place a gentle kiss on the back of my knuckles, which gave me a little bit of a scary thrill...seeing as my mom was sitting right there across from us. But then, our eyes connected...and Tanner leaned forward to give me a kiss on the lips. Nothing overtly sexual or anything. Just a peck...followed by a bashful grin.
I heard this high pitched squeal being muffled in the back of my mother's throat, and Tanner and I both turned bright red as she gave us this long, drawn out, "Awwwwwwwwww...." Then she started sniffling and grabbing her napkin to wiper her eyes.
"I'm sorry. It's just that you two are SO adorable. This is great. Really great."
I wasn't sure at first why this intense emotion was building up within me, or why my heart was working extra hard to pump it through my system. It was almost as if my body was trying to make me cry against my will. But then....it hit me...
...This was 'ok'...
I mean...it used to seem like it would be such a little thing, but it's not. Is it? That sudden realization that I was sitting at the dinner table...my Mom on one side, my boyfriend on the other...the two people I loved most in this world...and this was ok. He's holding my hand. He kissed me on the lips. My mom knows for a fact that we're a loving couple...and it's all ok.
It hit me pretty hard, and despite clearing my throat a few times, the tears welled up in my eyes anyway. That's when Tanner surprised me by crossing his eyes with a goofy smirk. Once I started giggling, the tears began to fall. That boy tricked me, dammit.
I half laughed, half cried, as Tanner leaned in to kiss me on the cheek and hold me in his arms. It was, like...this perfect moment, you know? One that you just know you'll remember for the rest of your life. We could always use more of those moments in life, right?
That's when I heard my mother's chair suddenly scooting back from the dinner table. My head popped up instantly out of Tanner's embrace. "Mom? Mom, no! NO, Mom! I said NO!!!"
It was too late. She was already rushing over to our side of the table, grabbing Tanner and me in a death lock bear hug that could crack lobster shells! Weeping and rocking us back and forth as we waited helplessly for it to be over.
She let us go, and Tanner giggled cheerfully from the burst of affection, and I said, "Yeah...I should have warned you. She does that."
"Oh wow...you two are turning me into a wreck! Just look at us..." She said.
"Just look at US???" I giggled, getting a playful smack on the side of the head.
Tanner was smiling the whole time, but I was silently hoping that she'd let us GO before this got any more humiliating! UGH!!! Parents!
I think my mom was trying to contain her emotions again, and she said, "Ok...you boys leave my kitchen. I'm going to clean up."
"You don't have to clean up by yourself, Mrs. Liddle. I can help..." Tanner offered, which only made her manic flood of happy tears even worse.
"Oh wow...you ALAYS hold onto a boy who's willing to do dishes!" She said. "You hang on to this little heartbreaker with both hands, Derrick. You hear me?" She said. "Now go. I've got this. Find something to keep yourselves busy." Another comment that got Tanner and I to giggle madly at one another. My mom didn't say anything, but she gave me a sideways look to tell me to watch my 'manners' as they were. Hehehe!
What??? SHE said it, not me!
Tanner was smiling so wide as we went into the other room. "Your mom is the COOLEST! You know that? She's SOOOOO nice!"
"Shhhhhh!!!! Please, don't let her hear you say that! Hehehe, she'll want you to come over all the time!"
"I WANT to come over all the time!" He chuckled. "Oh, Mrs. Liddle? Can I come back over sometime soon....?"
I slammed my hand over his mouth, pushing him down on the sofa! "Hehehe, what the hell...?"
Tanner said, "Dude...you know...that was seriously like the best meal I've ever had."
"Psh! Ok, you can cut the theatrics, you know?"
"NO theatrics! Derrick, are you kidding me? I've even been to parties where caterers pull out all the stops with the direct intention of impressing their guests, and nothing they've ever made came close to the dinner your mom made in her kitchen tonight. And they get a small fortune for the garbage they put out for people to eat!" He said. "You know, with all sincerity, dude...you should talk to Chris."
"Talk to Chris???" I snickered.
"YES! Every time his dad opens a new restaurant, he goes through a whole list of the area's best chefs to run the new kitchen. Tell your mom to give it a shot. She's better than any of the other egomaniacs I've seen working any of the parties I've been to."
I laughed it off. "You're getting a little bit loopy now, aren't you? That's taking things a bit far. Why would Chris' dad want my mom anywhere near his fancy schmancy customers?"
"Why wouldn't he?" Tanner said. "The best part about having a real passion for something in life...is that it's something that money can't buy! And what your mom's got...money can't buy." He grinned. "You're mom's got skills!"
I rolled my eyes at first, but seeing as Tanner was still licking and sucking his fingertips from dinner...I don't know. Hehehe, maybe he's being sincere about this one.
[ Next Thread | Previous Thread | Next Message | Previous Message ]
Forum timezone: GMT-6|
VF Version: 3.00b, ConfDB:
VoyForums(tm) is a Free Service from Voyager Info-Systems.
Copyright © 1998-2019 Voyager Info-Systems. All Rights Reserved.