The Peace Offering

by gerryonbroadway


Years ago, I was so desperate for some self-reliance from my overbearing mother, got involved in more than one unhealthy experience. Names have been changed to protect the guilty and you can guess the rest.

     Raimy and Devon curled up in front of the fire expressly set for romancing. Nothing beyond staring, and then to explore, in a cuddling experience generated by the heat of something other than their own bodies. At first, Raimy felt like a voyeur. Until reminding himself those sensations he felt were entirely self-inflicted. The excitement in actual first-date status after an initial hookup at their local watering hole a few nights before. Fear of so much unexplored territory his companion already had mapped out with secret coordinates.

    Utter confusion about how Adrian showed up as another slithering entity. Randomly showcased among so many other images between Raimy and true happiness, flickering there in the fireplace. Momentarily, back at home as he watched his single mother put her face back on through master bedroom's vanity mirror. After the dirty deed he was currently failing to commit, by whichever hookup, wherever she found them, quietly snoring in bed further out of sight.

     "Oh, don't look too surprised," Adrian managed to say through smacked lips in red, with lipstick reapplied. "I have to find someone new now that you're on the prowl every night."

     "Like I would go if you really didn't want me to," Raimy saw himself say something he would never dare admit anywhere except through the glass.

     Adrian also took a good, long look from head to toe. Her own dark looks staring right back at her with loads of swarthiness for good measure. Overall appearance purposely rumpled, from wavy sable locks, the two or three day's stubbled face, a button-down shirt open enough to reveal ample chest hair, and skinny jeans that helped reveal the rest. "I'd be crazy to stop you, having been your age once myself. Makes no difference, except to have one of our nosy neighbors call and tell me how they saw you hitching over to that new gay bar in town when I thought you were sleeping."

    "Then, how did you find out where I've been?" Raimy no longer found anything interesting to watch in application of eye makeup and rouge, when his own visage naturally blushed.

     "A mother always knows, my Darling." Adrian sat back to see how she portrayed herself. Eyes never off of her greatest achievement. "Besides, we both know you're better off being gay than try and deal with the opposite sex. Especially, in this house."

     There in the blaze, Raimy saw his late teens into early twenties go up in smoke, as he chased a missing father-figure. Just about any guy in his mid to late thirties that could rescue him from an emotionally distant mother, only able to show affection and intimacy with other men his age. Young Devon, an alien species Adrian knew well, whom he familiarized himself with via butterfly kisses and baby caresses long past a reasonable hour to return home. Too ashamed to admit front door locked and given no housekey, so Mom could keep track of him.

     "Then, why don't you move in here?" The young, blondish enigma further mystified through already vaporous firelight. Hazel eyes emanating first green and then yellow with some blue, pending on what color the burn. Raimy's trepidation almost palpable in crackling wood as well as ebb and flow of those flames fed by all that oxygen in the room. "But we just met."

    "It has nothing to do with us," Devon's words broke the spell they were under, as he sat up fully clothed and intact after their completely innocent make-out session. "My housemate does fairly well and saved me from a pretty heavy scene, too. All that was asked in return would be to someday pay it forward."

    Nothing but questions emitted by the dying glow that other man got up to stoke. At least, Raimy no longer having to wonder how someone his age could actually afford a multi-level town house in such an expensive neighborhood. No moral judgments on any fellow Millennial who did what he had to for sheer survival-- even if it meant being kept by an older executive-type. Just unsure it was the route he wanted to go after a childhood feeling so boxed-in thanks to a domineering mother like Adrian. One who had no qualms about letting her only adult son continue to remain at home as a live-in companion, even at the detriment of them both.    

     Her laughter sounded more like a shrill plea for something Raimy could no longer give. So much hidden anger and contempt in the forced clamoring of their otherwise quiet household, as he returned to Adrian and her latest boy-toy fixing breakfast together. A way to cope in his brief absences that grew collectively closer and longer in length. Considering it was the first time for him to ever stay out all night, she remained in emotional freefall usually at an end somewhere during wee hours of morning, when he would knock on front door until ready to come down and unlock it. Young life always in search of a new way to branch out and grow, no matter how much an over-protective mother tried to stunt it.

    "Hey, Baby." The normally tidy homemaker tried her hand at a little good, old-fashioned food fighting, as she greeted Raimy with a handful of flour thrown his way. "Care for some homemade pancakes?"

    Literally wanting to wash his hands of the whole thing in a nice, hot shower and then catch a few winks, Raimy said. "No, I'm sure whatever we have to say to each other can wait another four or five hours at this point."

    "Oh, but Jud here thinks we should nip it in the bud, Dear. Supposedly, like his parents do with him. So, I figure at least one of our families should really stick to their word by serving up this first and last post-coital meal before imposing another curfew on your ass." Adrian took all of her frustration out on the pancake batter she went back to stirring.

    "Come on, Mom. We both know things haven't been working out between us for a while now," Raimy ready with a reply. "Which is why you exploit so many of these poor schlubs who could have been schoolmates of mine, or other boys out on the playground we used to visit. Who knows, maybe for whatever kicks unable to get with me, but then using your own kid to replace his old man was never a particularly good idea, anyway."

    The other youth stood at attention to bear some kind of recognition, even with a silly apron on, in addition to various baking goods that marred his model-like looks. Rather sure there would be no breakfast, but unable to find any graceful way of excusing himself when mother and son went off on each other. A cacophony of unfinished sentences cut off by so many expletives. "Just like your lousy father..." and, "... Thanks to you I never met the prick." Back in real-time, when Raimy said he would be back for personal effects, and a load of pancake batter thrown in his direction. Heaving breasts of still beautiful Adrian at forty-something, who tried to catch her breath as their eyes met for no sexual release, since no need to tell Jud their playtime was over.

    Since sleep also all but relinquished along with everything else his mother held sway over him, Raimy took a bus to the local mall. Where there would later be brunch at one of those fancy sit-down restaurants so Devon could finally introduce him to that mysterious roommate. Having several hours to kill, allowed for casual breakfasting on a short-stack of pancakes just to spite Adrian. Buy a new shirt so no explanation required about wearing the same outfit as night before, and take his regrettably named whore's bath in restroom. Hence, feel sufficiently refreshed to spend another hour in search of just the right gift for that new boyfriend. Settling on a miniature wall plaque he hoped would spell out their mutual affection enough to hang somewhere near and dear.

     Not even close to that stage of dating for a box of chocolate with flowers, Raimy frustrated about just what would be right to convey one's appreciation regarding free room and board until able to get on his own two feet. A five-alarm fire of warning bells going off as he made the final purchase right in time to arrive for first of their small party's seating. Apparently, no one in the mix wanting a wasted beat when it came to introductions. The other twentyish male wholly immersed in ordering drinks and his companion rather an old friend to Father Time in quite the literal sense.

    Her name was Audra, with whom Raimy did not formally shake hands because she was a natural-born hugger, in much the same way as two grandchildren could attest to. Not that he had been given much of a clue by Devon, since he was a guy who appeared clueless in the first place. More nervous about how they looked as a couple than the other way around. Like those laugh-lines in the grid of many on such an affable sixty-year-old face a perfect judge of character. Whereas, Raimy's youth and inexperience meant he had as much to prove to any other authority figure who came along as with Adrian, that made him feel equally defensive.

     Their failed meal a foregone conclusion once the gift for Devon came off more like a peace offering, and unceremoniously left behind to add one's insult to the other's injury. Raimy unsure who was who, when forced to go back home donning proverbial tail between legs. Adrian sure to have done her part by cleaning up the mess made with Jud and sent him on his way. No room for anyone except each other, just as it always had been. The rightful bearer finding that mini wall plaque hidden in breast pocket of a sport's coat and take in the same spirit, which it was given.     

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