“It looks like Bethany isn’t coming.” I sat down after finishing radioing her outside.
I had worried that I wouldn’t get a signal inside, so I had sent mom in to get a seat while I let Bethany know where we were. I had to buzz her three times before she finally answered, and when she did, she responded that she was too busy and decided to skip lunch. She told me I should just eat with mom alone. She sounded slightly irritated over the radio, so I was a bit worried.
“It’s no problem.” Mom smiled, standing up slightly until I sat down. “I get to go on a date with my precious son alone. How could I not be happy?”
I really couldn’t take some of the things she said sometimes. It was embarrassing hearing that stuff from my mom. It made me feel like I was still a kid, rather than a teenager. I was grown up now. I had sex with tons of girls and was even dating a few. Well, I wouldn’t say that part to my mother, but the point was there. I didn’t want my mom referring to our actions as a date.
Yeah, when I had first gotten to this world, I had flirted with my mom a bit too much. I had even bordered on inappropriate. However, that was when I first came to this world. I was getting used to the way things worked, and I was just testing out some things. It wasn’t like I was planning to seriously pursue my mother. There was a big difference between my sisters and my mother. If I was being honest, I wasn’t sure if I was more scared that she’d accept my advances or refuse them.
Mom only laughed at my embarrassment, seeming to find it funny.
“I mean it though.” She recovered from her laughter and then took on a more serious look. “I haven’t had enough time to spend with you. I feel like my little boy is growing up far too fast. You’re taking an interest in girls, and sometimes I worry that you might be making bad decisions.”
Bad decisions? I wondered what bad decisions she meant? I had a few regrets, but overall, I wouldn’t say I was unhappy with the choices I made. I was closer to my sisters. I had two girlfriends who were sort of okay with each other and even a third girl on the side. My grades were doing well, especially in a certain class. The last few weeks had been great. Had it only been a few weeks? It felt like I had lived in this world forever now.
“You don’t need to worry, Mom. I’m doing fine.” I assured her. “I’m happy.”
She looked at me carefully, but she slowly nodded. “As long as you stay safe… then I won’t say anything.”
The way she worded that worried me slightly. Did she know I was having sex? What else should I stay safe about? How much did mom know?
I didn’t have much time to dwell on it as a young girl approached us to take our order. She was Chinese, and probably not much older than me. She gave me a friendly smile.
“What would you like?” She spoke with a heavy accent.
“I’ll have the Moo Shu Pork.” Mom cut in, giving the woman a stern look.
The girl shot mom a look but then smiled at me again. “And you? What can I do for you?”
“Oh… um…” I picked up my menu and found a dish I usually ordered and pointed to it.
“Oh, good choice. Today, it’s on the house.”
“For cute boys.”
She winked at me, and then walked away, ignoring my mom who was staring daggers at her.
“The nerve of that slut.” Mom growled.
I coughed. “Uh… mom?”
“Going to hit on my son right in front of me? She’s looking to get her ovaries cut out.”
I blinked, and then when I came to a realization, it was my turn to give her a smug look. “Are you jealous?”
“Jealous?” Mom frowned. “I’m on a date with my son and this little twat is going to start hitting on him. Why shouldn’t I be angry?”
“We got a free meal?” I offered.
“Is she implying I can’t afford to feed my son?” Mom grumbled.
I let out a slightly uncomfortable laugh. I had to admit that it was still off being hit on at random. If mom hadn’t mentioned anything, I probably wouldn’t have even paid attention to it. Well, she called me cute which stood out, but when you weren’t expecting it, you didn’t think it meant anything.
“Relax, you’re the only woman in my life,” I repeated the line back to her she had used on me before we got here.
She barked a laugh. “As if I’d believe that. I know you’re leading several girls on. Your sisters do talk occasionally.”
“That’s not true,” I responded a tad too defensively.
“It’s fine. I’m not in a place to tell you how to date.” Mom shrugged. “I won’t bore you with antiquated stuff about sticking with one person. It’s normal for a young man to lead on a couple of suitors. Modern male rights and stuff like that.”
“I don’t think there is anything modern about suitors,” I responded helplessly.
“You are still a virgin though, right?”
“What?” I jerked, almost hitting my knee on the table.
“Sorry… I know you’re not supposed to ask that. I just want to think my baby boy is still pure.”
“You’re right!” She lifted her hands. “Just forget I asked. Rather, I don’t want to know. I don’t want the blood on my hands.”
“I just don’t want you to end up like your fath- like me.” She made a face. “I ended up marrying twice and having so many kids. Not that I don’t love you all! It’s just… I want you to have the future I never could.”
As mom said that, she was looking off into the distance as if lost in thought. I recalled dad’s appearance not too long ago. Mom had said that she had cheated on him, but it was dad who was acting, well, like that. A part of me had felt sorry for my dad, which was perhaps why I hadn’t said anything when he had shown up in our house.
Wait. Didn’t mom mention earlier that there was money missing and she was coming up short? I knew that something was nagging me, but it wasn’t until that moment that I realized what it was. Did dad steal from us? No, of course, he stole money from mom. Why else would he have snuck into our house? He had said it was a private matter, and I had been so eager to believe him, that I hadn’t even questioned it. I felt like an idiot. I felt used.
“Noah?” Mom noticed the face I was making.
I tried to smooth my expression immediately, but with mom’s current expression, I knew she wouldn’t let it go. I debated telling her some kind of lie. I could try to change the conversation. I could throw out a few cheap, flirtatious lines to try to cause her to grow flustered. I had a lot of options, but after a few moments, I let out a sigh.
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“I ran into dad recently.” Such simple words, but they were difficult to get out.
Mom stiffened. “Y-your father. He’s… in town? Where?”
I bit my lip, forcing myself to continue now that I had started. “I ran into him at a club. A girl took me there, and so we hung out for a bit.”
Mom’s expression didn’t change, but when I didn’t say more, she finally gave a simple. “I see…”
“About a week ago, when I stayed home sick, I caught him sneaking in the house. He… he went into your room. He said he was just looking for something personal he had left behind!” By the time I was done, my eyes were closed.
I didn’t know how angry mom would be at me. I just knew that I had messed up. I had just wanted a chance to get closer to dad. In the end, I had kept this a secret from her, and she had every right to yell. As I waited for the berating with my eyes closed, I felt two hands grab me. I was pulled, my face ending up pressed between a pair of soft, round things. Mom squeezed my head tightly as she hugged me. It wasn’t until I lifted my head that I felt the warm liquid running down my cheeks onto her breasts and realized I was crying.
“Sweetie. It’s okay.” Mom looked down at me, a smile on her gentle face. “You didn’t do anything wrong.”
“I-I should have told you…”
“What son doesn’t keep secrets from his mommy.” She laughed. “It’s really fine. I might get some new locks, but it’s okay. I’m really happy you told me.”
She put her finger on my lips. “Shhh… I love you. No matter what.”
I didn’t know what it was. Maybe it was the feel of her chest pressed against me. Maybe it was the familiar and calming smell. Maybe it was my emotional weakness, or my sadness over the state mother was in thanks to having to take care of us kids. Without consciously doing it, I raised my head and kissed her on the lips.
“Mm!” She made a noise of surprise as I kissed her.
My lips lingered there for some time. If I was a bit closer, I might have even ended up using my tongue. Her lips were warm and soft, and my mother smelled extremely good. When I pulled away, I finally allowed myself to open my eyes. Mom was staring at me with wide eyes, not unlike a deer in headlights.
“N-Noah…” She let out a hot breath.
“I love you, m-mommy.”
I stumbled over calling her that. It was a bit much, even for a guy as shameless as me.
“Haaaah…” She panted before shaking her head. “Get it together. Get it together. He’s your son.”
“Mom?” I pretended I didn’t hear the words muttered under her breath.
I didn’t know why I kissed her. I just felt like mom needed it, or maybe I needed it. I went to sit back, but it was only then that I realized she was still holding onto me. I blinked, and then I noticed she was staring at me. She had a slightly ravenous look, like a hungry wolf. I was shocked her appearance had suddenly grown so scary. Her hands were tightening, and for a second, I thought she was going to kiss me again.
“Mother…” I changed what I called her again.
As fast as it began, it ended. She let go, her previously dangerous expression disappearing behind a smile. She let out a laugh, scratching the back of her head.
“Ah… shit… you’re embarrassing your mom. Is it hot in here? I need a drink.” She pulled back to her side of the table quickly.
I noticed she was keeping her legs pressed together tightly and seemed out of breath. Maybe I had a greater effect on her than I had originally thought. Food came, and the server woman put the plates down with a bit more force than necessary. Did she see us kissing? She probably didn’t know we were mother and child. Since mom was dressed in business attire, from the outside with reversed roles, doesn’t it look like one of those married men who secretly takes his much younger mistress out for lunch?
“Is that all?” She asked coldly, now not even looking in my direction.
“Can I get a long island ice tea?” Mom was all smiles.
“Mom, your working!”
“Don’t worry so much? Do you want a drink?”
“Haha… I’m kidding, I’m kidding!”
Mom acted strangely giddy the remainder of the dinner. She even waved it off when the waitress didn’t give us the free meal she had previously promised. The cute waitress didn’t even give me another look. I felt a bit depressed about that, but at least mom was happy. Not bad for our first date.