Toby Williams: Chapter Six

by admin on March 3, 2011

Toby Williams

Chapter Six

The comparisons between love and torture. Let’s start with the ones Toby was going through, particularly the one he was currently experiencing, sleep deprivation. The following weeks proved to be drawn out due to the lack of rest he was receiving, something that his mother took notice of after the first couple of days. She cornered him one morning at the kitchen table, right before he had finished his breakfast of a single scrambled egg and orange juice.

“Say, Sport,” another term of endearment that drove him crazy when she said it. “How have you been feeling as of late?” she questions, as she takes a seat across from him at the table probing further. “Been getting much sleep?”

Swallowing the last ounce of orange juice before answering, Toby weighs his words carefully. The last thing he wanted to do was upset his mother or have her worry unnecessarily about a silly crush that her son was going through. That was what it was after all; he thought not trying to convince himself otherwise.

“You know how it is, mom. Between school and my writing, I have been just a little bit overwhelmed,” She is not buying it, so he continues on, choosing to navigate down a different line of subject matter. “How’s the teaching going at Elliot Fisher? Are the junior leaguers getting better or worse this year?” he finishes speaking with a transparent smile that his mother sees right through. Mothers seemed to possess the uncanny ability to screen out bullshit from their family members, and Karen Williams was no exception to this truth. She throws him an all-knowing smirk, and he knows she definitely wasn’t going for it, the change of subject, but she answers his question anyway, amused at the word game the two are now engaged in.

“My students are fine, Fisher is still standing, but that is strike one for you. You’ve got two strikes left so answer my questions or no more extracurricular activities after school for a week, ya dig?” She accentuates this point with a rising of her eyebrows and another ‘mom cares about you’ smirk.

“Toby raises his hand in surrender, then answers his mother. “Okay, okay. Don’t have a cow. I’m fine mom. Really,” He takes his hand from her before continuing. “Just trying to work out some personal things. You know guy stuff?”

“I have two guys in my life,” she says. “I married one; I raised the other from birth. There is nothing you can tell me about guy stuff that I probably don’t already know,” She pauses, then goes on, squeezing his hand. “Its not drugs, is it? You know you can tell me anything, right Sweetie?” and this time the ‘mother is more than concerned’ look comes out of her. Toby had been caught off guard with that question; he never saw it coming. Did he look that bad? Must be the bags under his eyes she is concerned with. He was touched his mother showed such care and concern.

“No, mother. I am not on drugs,” and squeezes her hand back to reinforce his answer. “I know I can tell you everything. Dad’s the one I hesitate to talk to sometimes. He knows that, and he’s cool with it.”

His mother removes her one hand from Toby’s, using both of them to push back the hair off her forehead in a sigh of relief. A rush of pent up air escapes her lips before she speaks. “I know, or rather I prayed that wasn’t it. I guess it’s just the motherly thing to do is to worry.”

“Well rests easy, maternal one. Crack is whack.”

“There’s no hope in dope.” She fires back.

“Heroin is not a heroine.”

Where the hell did he get this stuff from, she thinks as she erupts in surprise laughter. She wonders if his father’s command of the spoken word could literally be passed on through the bloodstream. She stops her laughter and just stares at him for a moment, at how fast he has grown, how smart he has become, her son. Her darling son.

“I have to go, mom. You don’t want me to be late for school, do you?” He is in motion, taking his plate and emptying the remaining scraps into the garbage bag next to the oven, and putting the plate and glass into the sink. “I will get more rest and slow down a bit.” And walks around to his mother’s side of the table and plants a single kiss on her left cheek before grabbing his backpack from the back of his chair, getting ready to head out the door.

“Wait,” his mother says and stands up reaching her son’s arm at the same time. “Come here for a moment.”

“Mom, please.”

“Please what? Can’t I see my son off to school?”

He breaks down and lets his mother have her way with him, placing his arms to his side in submission.

“That’s more like it,” she hugs him; a hug filled with the love that a mother has for her only son, a hug of sheer admiration. “Now get out of here, Shakespeare.” They walk to the front door with their arms wrapped around each other.

“Thoust wish shall be granted, my lady,” Toby says, bowing at the same time. “I love you, mom.”

“I love you too.”

His mother watches him leave the house, backpack swinging off one shoulder, heading in the direction of her old high school. Closing the door and sitting back down into the chair she briefly abandoned, she can’t help but stare at the now vacant chair that only a minute ago was occupied by her darling boy. He has grown up and will be leaving her and her husband in a few years; this she is quite sure of. She is also sure that her son, the same son who cried when his best friend had moved away six years ago, the same son who at the age of thirteen managed to come home with a perfect report card of straight A’s without any help from anyone, was one hundred percent, quite visibly smitten with a young lady. She could tell. It was one of those uncanny mother things.

“If she hurts him, I’ll kill her.”

She had worried prematurely about Jill. She would end up loving her as if she was her own daughter.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Pixie 09.23.11 at 9:51 am


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