The Secret Life Of Billy Chase: Book 9

Chapter 45

Sunday

- Okaaay, so I'm not the greatest cook in the world, alright? It's not like I didn't know that ahead of time, but I was trying to do something nice for my mom this morning. I made sure to wake up early enough to try to make us both some breakfast...and, well...that didn't go so well.

I mean, it was supposed to be, like, a special 'truce' breakfast, you know? How hard could it be to scramble some eggs, fry up some bacon, and flip a few pancakes?

Apparently a LOT harder than I ever thought possible.

The eggs kept sticking to the bottom of the hot pan, and the second I turned my head away from them, they started to burn! What the HELL? Are eggs even supposed to cook that fast? And why the fuck does bacon cook on the ends and the outsides to the point of burning, but stays cold and rubbery in the middle? How the heck does my mom manage to get it all crispy and cooked through? Do you have any idea how LONG bacon strips are? They don't fit in a pan! Not in ANY pan! And then it shrinks up, and I'm stuck trying to get it back in the pan so the raw parts will cook, and I try to flip it over, but...ugh! Nothing about cooking bacon makes any kind of logical fucking sense! I'm so LOST with this shit!

And don't even get me started on making pancakes! Is it possible to flip a pancake without runny batter sloshing all over the place, or accidentally folding the damn thing in half? And without burning one side black and having a mushy mess in the middle? I'm starting to think that my mom's breakfast skills have been severely underestimated over the years.

Eventually, the smoke from the kitchen reached my mom's bedroom...either that, or my angrily whispered curse words as I struggled through the art of not burning the house down. She walked into the kitchen, and was like, "Billy? What on Earth are you doing in here?"

Yeah...it was kind of embarrassing to have her catch me in the middle of such a childish mess, but I was like, "I thought...maybe I'd make us some breakfast this morning. You know...do a little something different."

My mom tried not to make a face when she looked at the scavenger garbage that I was attempting to put on a plate for her consumption...but I could read her expression easily. I fucked it up. Goddammit...so much for making amends.

She walked in and turned on the exhaust fan over the stove to get some of the smoke out of the kitchen before it set off any of the house's smoke detectors. Then she just shook her head and asked, "Don't you have to work today?"

I'm like, "Not for a few hours."

She said, "Ok. Well...why don't you get a shower in and...I'll clean this up and make us something to eat. Ok?"

I felt like such a failure. The whole point of me even attempting this magnificent feat was to make it so she didn't have to make us breakfast. I'm just...I was really trying to do something right today, ok? I just wasn't any good at it.

Before allowing her to successfully 'shoo' me out of the kitchen, I mumbled, "I'm sorry. I just wanted...to do something nice for you."

She heard the disappointment in my voice, and she gave me a hug. "It's ok, honey. I know. Just...let me help you next time, ok?"

I don't know what it was that I was feeling at that moment, but I suddenly just surrendered to the comfort of her casual embrace...and I found myself holding on for longer than she might have intended. It just made me realize how long it had been since we had even really touched one another. We've been at odds for longer than a mother and son should be, in my opinion. Something about holding her like that just moved me.

My parents split up because of all the things that went unsaid. I love my dad, but I don't want to become him. Not in this sense. I think I can be 'better' in that respect.

I think the unexplained affection caught her off guard at first, but she welcomed it by squeezing me tight and placing a gentle kiss on the top of my head. There was SO much that I wanted to tell her. So much that I wanted to apologize for. But I couldn't find any words that would match what I thought she needed to hear. I couldn't speak at all. I could hug...but I couldn't speak. How weird is that.

I think she got a little misty eyed, and kissed me again before letting me go. With a quivering voice, she said, "Go. Get ready for work. I'll make us a proper breakfast. K?"

Oh God...was she holding back tears? What have I done? I'm such a rotten asshole sometimes. The shame of it caused my eyes to water up a bit as well. But I just nodded and said, "Ok. I love you, Mom..."

She's like, "Love you too, sweetheart." And she had to wipe her eyes as she turned to clean up the unintentional mess that I had made. She really is an amazing woman. I take her for granted more than I should. If I'm going to assume the role of 'man of the house'...as if I even know what that means at this age...then I should fix that. I really should.

I swear, the more I learn about myself, the more I realize that I've got a LOT to work to do when it just comes to being a decent human being. Maybe that's why so many people avoid this part of growing up. Nobody likes to wake up in the morning, look in the mirror, and be critical of the person they see staring back at them. They'd rather lie to themselves and pretend that it's the rest of the planet that has it all wrong.

Must be nice.

Unfortunately, my ego isn't big enough to believe that kind of delusion about myself. I might have Sam to thank for constantly keeping me in check. If I can't fool my best friend, who AM I fooling? Why even bother with the lie at that point, you know?

Anyway, my mom just made us some awesome bacon and egg sandwiches this morning. Actual, crispy, well cooked, bacon and eggs that actually looked like...eggs. I need her to teach me how to do that! And then there was the thin layer of mayonnaise on each slice of bread...and it was SO delicious! She's an expert when it comes to making the simplest things awesome!

I know that it wasn't necessarily a 'talk', but...at least we both acknowledged the idea that a talk was going to be possible in the near future. Might as well be diplomatic about this whole thing. Right?

I went to work feeling good about the whole thing, but work was a bit...weird today.

Scott asked me if I could come in tomorrow to work Dizzy's shift for him. He felt bad for asking, but apparently Dizz is having some emotional issues at the moment and needs some time away from the rest of the world until he feels better. I don't mind the extra hours, and I wasn't doing anything tomorrow anyway. But...I have to say that I was a bit worried about what Dizz was going through. Nobody wanted to talk about it. Nobody could tell me what was happening. Was it serious? Was it temporary? I didn't want to pry, but...dammit! Can somebody at least clue me in as to what's going on here? It's not fair for them to know when I don't!

Business was pretty slow today. I guess everybody is back-to-school shopping for clothes and materials these days. I can't believe the Summer is already over. It raced by me in the blink of an eye. I had soooo much that I wanted to do, and now I've got a week left to get it all together. I should have spent a lot more time with Brandon than I did. I know that we kinda put a cramp in things by having my mom, quite literally, catch us with our pants down...but I'm sure we could have found a way to work around it. Hell, he probably spent more time with Stevie than he did with me. And that's just not cool at all.

Speaking of things that aren't cool...Robin did something really weird today. After watching his moodswings toss him from joyful grins to nearly bursting into tears, it's hard for me to ever know if I should approach him or not on any given day. But today? I mean...what the hell?

He smiled at me a few times, and tried a few times to make small talk. We haven't really talked to each other much since he went back to dating that walking pile of sewer vermin, AJ...so it was odd for him to be so nice to me again out of the blue. It's not like we had any real friction between us or anything, but to say that we were more than casual, friendly, acquaintances...would be stretching things.

Then...without warning...he's all like, "You know, I was thinking about grabbing some of those wireless headphones from behind the front counter one of these days. So I can walk around the basement with the music blasting, and the bass up, but without ny pesky wires holding me back."

Why would Robin even bother to tell me that. I'm like, "Okaaay..." Again, I wasn't trying to be rude. It's just...what the hell? You know?

I think he was waiting for me to stretch the conversation a bit more, but I just kept stocking the shelf with product. There was a slightly awkward pause, and then he's like, "Of course, it would probably be cheaper to just get some booming speakers down there, but I don't think my parents would go for it. They'd get on my ass about the noise, I'm sure. I'd really only be able to turn it up when they were away at work or something."

Where is he going with this? I scraped together a few words and I told him, "Yeah. That would suck. You might be better off with the headphones then. Sometimes, a little extra dough is worth it."

That's when Robin says, "Yeah. You're probably right." Another pause. Then he's like, "You haven't been over in a while. The basement looks a little bit different now. I rearranged a few things...you should come over some time. You know? Just to hang out."

Just to WHAT??? What the hell is he talking about? I'm like, "I don't know, Robin...I pretty much migrate from home, to work, and then back home again. It can be a bit tiring."

Robin says, "I hear you. Me too." He said. Then he smiled at me again. "Still, if you ever just want to come over and chill for a bit...my door's always open."

Ok, now...am I having a weird 'ego moment', or is Robin hitting on me? Am I imagining this? We have NEVER gotten together to 'chill for a bit'! I came over and pounded his ass on more than a few occasions, and then participated in a few regretful threesomes with him and AJ...but that's it. And I'm not in the business of giving my body over to that kinda lustful impulse anymore. I'm not that boy anymore. I have a boyfriend now. One that I love. One that I want to keep.

Certainly one that I don't ever want to hurt again by being a reckless asshole with his feelings.

I just sorta gave Robin a strange look, and didn't bother to comment on his 'offer'. Like I said...maybe I was making it all up in my head, but I tried once to see if Robin might be the kinda boy that I could get close to. And we're just not compatible in any way other than we both really like sex. I'm not proud of the afternoons that I spent down there in Robin's basement, selling myself short. I found something truly beautiful in my life. I'd take my Brandon at a distance over some close and personal sex with a couple of hot boys ANY day!

Looks like AJ isn't giving Robin what he thought he wanted, after all.

Then again...sometimes, being within reach doesn't necessarily equal being 'close', does it? Robin had to learn that the hard way. But hey...it's not like I didn't warn him.

I don't know why I'm so sleepy tonight, but I'm going to wrap this up and talk to Brandon for a little while before I doze off. Just to let him know that I got pulled into picking up an extra shift tomorrow. Monday mornings suck at the mall. All of the past weekend's life essence gets drained out of the entire building, and it takes a few days to start building up again in preparation for the weekend to come. But I might as well do Dizzy a solid and make some much needed cash on the side on top of it. Besides...sighhhh...Brandon's going to Stevie's tomorrow like he always does on Mondays. I'd probably just get in the way if I sat around the house texting him all day long. I'm just going to step aside and leave that whole situation alone. I don't belong anywhere near that mess.

Oh look...I just checked my messages and I got another one from Jimmy. Gee, what a surprise.

NOW what is he whining and crying about?

"Billy...I just wanted to say that I was sorry about what I said before. You know I didn't mean it, right? I just...I miss you, ok? Haven't we played this stupid game for long enough? Just call me when you get this. No matter how late. I wanna hear your voice. Can't we just talk? Please? I'm trying to make things right here.

I love you.

- Jimmy"

Yeah. Whatever. Very sweet. Thanks. Annnnd...'delete'.

I thought he hated me so much that it made him laugh out loud? And now he misses me and wants to talk? That's a pretty psychotic switch in attitude.

NOPE!

I've learned my lesson, and I'm no longer a fan. So he can be mean to me, he can be nice to me, he can cut off a fuckin' testicleand send it to me in the mail...but me and Jimmy LaPlane are done. He was cool at one point, but he's not that person anymore. And despite more sweet and dreamy moments that we once shared as friends...all I see is who he is right now. And I don't see a need to work up the minimal energy it takes to even care, much less react.

Go to hell, Jimmy. How's that for a 'talk'?

Alright, gotta run. More tomorrow. I've got Tuesday off from work. Maybe Brandon and I can find some time to be alone. God knows I need some lovin' right about now. :)

Laters!

- Billy