My Summer with Mombyalwayswantedto©
All characters are 18 years or older.
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"He has to come out of his shell some time."
I heard it all the way from my room, not the top of the stairs or in the hall. I didn't need to hear what my father was saying because I'd heard it all before. Even at my desk on the far side of the room with the door closed I still had to cover my ears because he was yelling so loud. There was a pause in which I knew my mother was leaping to my defense but I couldn't hear her voice let alone what she was saying.
"It's not about the money," my father continued. "It's about getting out in the world. For Christ's sake, he's almost done school. Another year and he'll be out there. What's he going to do then?"
Interested in Mom's answer, I moved closer to the door. I opened it a couple of inches but couldn't hear any better.
"Well, shy or not, he's not sitting on his ass all summer. If he can't get a job he can work around here until he gets the gumption to get something better."
I moved a few steps into the hallway.
"He can dismantle the barn and the old loafing barn out back and those sheds too."
I heard Mom's voice but not what she said. I moved farther down the hall.
"He can pull all the nails and stack the wood. We'll sell it for what we can get and that will pay his wages."
"What are you going to pay him an hour? Ten dollars?"
"Ten bucks? For loafing around here? No way! Five."
"You have to give him more than that."
"It depends on what we get for the wood."
"You want those derelicts taken down anyway so you can pay him for doing it."
"We'll see. You tell him if he doesn't get a job he's got to do that. Do you need anything from town? No? Okay, I'll see you at supper."
"When do you want him to start?"
"Tomorrow. I'll pick up a pry bar and show him what to do tonight unless he gets off his ass decides to look for work."
So at breakfast Mom broke the news and I acted like it was news to me. I took after her. She was slender with fin, light brown hair, wisps of which often broke free from behind her ears and hung around her plain, freckled face. She spoke quietly, in contrast to the booming voice of my brawny father.
"Your father doesn't really want you to do it. He's trying to get you to go into town to find a job, to interact with people."
"I don't like people."
Mom laughed. I never felt awkward around her.
"There must be someone you like."
I shook my head.
"What about Shelley?"
"You used to play with her a lot."
"She's interested in older boys now."
"You're a couple months older than her."
"It's not the same thing."
"Didn't you go on a date with her a few months ago?"
Blush deepening, I took my bowl and spoon to the sink.
"So what is it he wants me to do?"
Mom ignored the question.
"What happened?" she persisted.
The memory of my awkward attempt at kissing Shelley Hunt flooded my mind. I was such a klutz she actually giggled and her best friend, Shirley Johnson, laughed out loud.
"I doubt it was nothing," Mom spoke more gently.
"What does he want me to do? I should get started."
"He doesn't want you to start until tomorrow."
"I'll start now."
Mom repeated my father's instructions and I went out and started with a hammer and the small crowbar from the garage. I managed to get the casings off the windows and a few of the windows and stacked them neatly in front of the barn, throwing the old, bent nails into a bucket. I didn't stop for a break until lunch. After that I dismantled the doors but it was difficult with just a small crowbar and hammer. By two, I decided to wait for the bigger bar and went into the house.
Mom was watching a movie in the living room which, with the drapes closed, was bathed in a twilight that made it resemble a movie theatre. I got a large glass of milk and returned to the doorway.
"Chick flick?" I asked, looking at the stack of DVDs she kept in a large bookcase in the corner.
I stepped into the room and turned to look at the TV. It looked like one of the Bourne movies. I backed slowly toward my father's chair, eyes on the screen.
"Don't," Mom warned.
"He's not home."
She was probably right. She lifted her feet off the coffee table and I sidled across, landing with a thump beside her on the loveseat. The living room was too small to fit a full size couch. We watched in silence until Mom paused the movie just as the good chase scene started.
"There's no intermission in this movie."
"Snack break," she replied.
Mom made tea and got some cookies out of the freezer, the large homemade peanut butter ones I loved. They were crumbly but delicious. We returned to watch he movie and I sat closer so I could dunk my cookie in her cup before she could cover it.
She laughed but didn't push me away. I waited until she tired of watching from the corner of her eye. I didn't care much for soggy cookies but it was a game we had played since I was little.
The car chase over, I thought about being stuck at home for the summer. We lived on twenty acres so there wasn't anybody close by, except Shelley and she would be working at the cafe in town for the summer. I didn't mind being around people, I just didn't like talking to them because I wasn't good at chit chat. I would get bored working at home and knew my father was counting on it. I hated to give him the satisfaction.
I looked at the mug of tea resting against Mom's legs about halfway down from her knees. The hem of her dress had been pushed down so the bottom of the mug could rest on bare leg to remove any danger of a tea stain. Mom's thighs were slightly parted to form a wedge for the mug. When she lifted it to sip her tea, I noticed that the hem was sufficiently high to show the initial widening of her thighs. I had never seen that part of Mom's legs and it caused an odd feeling in me. She had slender thighs with soft-looking skin unlike the more weathered part from just above her knees down.
Mom's eyes slid sideways, perhaps in anticipation of a sneak dunk, and I jerked mine away. Jesus Christ. What was I thinking? I liked looking at pictures of women, even when dressed, but I had never looked at my mother that way.
The action picked up and Mom's attention returned to the screen. I normally would have watched this part with intense interest but my gaze returned, involuntarily, to Mom's legs. She raised the mug slowly to her lips but didn't sip as the screen held her attention. Her thighs remained parted as the mug hovered in front of her mouth but I was only aware of the widening flesh of her thighs disappearing alluringly into the darkness of the dress.
"Ooohhhh," Mom cried, shivering in reaction to something on the screen.
I was too focused on the quivering flesh of her legs to look at the screen. My loins stirred and, despite my horror, I couldn't divert my gaze. I couldn't remember a more magnificent pair of thighs in all my nightly hours sifting through Web porn. I imagined them opening wider and my hand sinking into the darkness of the dress, scraping against soft flesh, then pushing against increasing resistance as the V closed near the apex, and panties as white as freshly fallen snow.
My head snapped up. Mom laughed and relief swept over me. My hand had strayed down to her legs, cookie in grip, but the mug wasn't there, as I well knew.
"Nice try but the tea is up here."
Mom shook the mug to make her point and laughed again. As if needing to prove my innocent intentions, I redirected my hand and tried to dunk the cookie but she evaded me easily, then relented, swinging the mug my way so I could dunk the cookie.
"Mmmmmm," I murmured, biting into the soggy mess.
Mom looked down and said, "Look what a mess you've made."
Her lap was full of cookie crumbs. She started picking them up with her free hand. I bit on the cookie to hold it in my mouth and put my hand near hers, palm up, so she could deposit the crumbs. It was awkward for her left hand with mine coming in from the same direction so I pushed hers out of the way and began picking up the crumbs myself.
It was almost a minute before I realized what I was doing. My fingers were scraping across Mom's skirt right were I had imagined my hand reaching. To be sure, there was a curtain of dress material between them and her panties, but I could feel the soft, yielding flesh underneath and it was making me hard. I blushed and was thankful for the semi-darkness.
I didn't mean to extend the crumb retrieval on purpose. Awareness of what I was doing made me fumble the crumbs, or perhaps the ones left were smaller and harder to pick up. At any rate, it took me a while to get all of them. Mom waited patiently, holding the mug near her right cheek and looking down with idle curiosity instead of watching the movie.
When I was finished she said, "Try not to spill any more."
"I won't," I replied and dumped the retrieved crumbs into my mouth.
A few minutes later I tried to dunk my cookie again and purposely pinched it, sending a cascade of crumbs tumbling into Mom's lap. She lifted the mug up to the side of her face to make room for my cleanup operation. This time, she watched the movie and the cleanup took longer. I managed another spill before my cookie was done and was disappointed when the movie ended.
"Do you always watch a movie in the afternoon?" I asked.
"Most days," she answered.
"Do you mind if I join you again?"
"Of course not. It's nice to spend time together."
"Yeah," I agreed.
"But don't mention it to your father."
I blushed and the skin around my face tightened, thinking she was aware of my awful thoughts.
"He'll want you to spend all day taking the barn apart."
"Oh yeah." I nodded.
"But you don't have to." Mom winked.
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Dad was pleased that I had started on my own and approved of the way I had separated and stacked the boards. For the rest of the week I worked on the barn in the mornings and for an hour after lunch. Then, Mom and I retired to the living room, drapes closed, to watch a movie. The action movies gave way to mysteries and love stories but I didn't mind. There were always cookies and I always managed to spill crumbs.
I always sat close to Mom but she never seemed to notice let alone complain. By the end of the week I was sitting so close our thighs rubbed. The movie on Friday was a real tear jerker and Mom cried so I put my arm around her shoulders and hugged her to me.
The following week, I started putting my arm around her regardless of the type of movie and we chatted during the duller parts. I opened up about Shelley and the catastrophe of our date just to keep her talking.
"I know we've been friends for years but being on a date made everything different." I paused, then continued. "I guess the problem is she's been on lots of dates and it was my first."
"I think you're right, Jeremy. It's just a matter of experience. You'll get the hang of it."
"But with who? Everyone but me has been dating for years. How can I catch up?"
"You could read…"
"Yes. They say you can find out about anything on the Internet. Why not about dating?"
"That's bullshit," I snapped.
Startled, Mom pulled back and looked at me but, noting the degree of my frustration, didn't give me heck.
She pulled in close to me and I hugged her tight. Neither of us was interested in the movie but we looked at the TV anyway. Minutes passed.
"Could you tell me how to do it right?" I asked.
Mom drew away and looked at me.
"It's been years since I've been on a date."
"But you have been on them."
"Well, yes, but I'm sure things have changed since then."
"You mean guys didn't kiss their dates or try to touch them in your day?"
Mom laughed. "Of course, but…"
I broke in.
"I just need to know when the time is right, if at all. I don't know how to tell if a girls wants me to or not so I sit there like a block of wood, afraid to move, when she might be wanting me to do something. I feel like a dummy."
"You're not a dummy."
"Yeah, I am."
"I don't think me telling you about my dates would help."
"Couldn't hurt," I countered.
Mom settled back into the couch and we watched the rest of the movie in silence. She didn't give me an answer and I was trying to figure out why I had asked her in the first place.
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The weekend passed and Mom chose a war movie for the movie matinee on Monday. Tuesday, she said she was too busy but on Wednesday she picked a long, boring chick flick she'd seen a million times. Fifteen minutes in, out of the blue, she started talking about her first date.
It was almost as funny as mine. Her date had held her arm and finally made a move to cup her breast but in the darkness of the theatre managed to fondle her elbow instead. Things progressed from there until she was fending off groping hands and sloppy kisses for months until she met the guy she was sure she would marry. He was the opposite of all her previous dates, confident but not too sure of himself, funny but not goofy, and good looking. He was quiet around others but comfortable with her, like me.
"Dad?" I asked.
"Did you let him touch you?"
There was a long pause and I wondered if Mom was thinking about whether she should tell me.
"Because of the way he went about it and because I knew he wouldn't brag about it to anyone."
"I wouldn't do that," I mumbled.
"I know you wouldn't," Mom said. "You remind me of him."
"What was his name?"
There was another long pause and I knew Mom didn't want to tell me. I didn't prod her and was about to change the subject when she answered, quietly.
It was my turn to be silent but I couldn't do it for long.
"What did he do?" I asked.
Mom turned to me and laughed. "What did he do?"
I blushed. "I mean, how did he go about it? Why was he different?"
Mom sighed and sank back in the couch. She grabbed my right hand and pulled my arm around her shoulder. She tucked her chin into her chest and spoke even more quietly than usual.
"He went slowly because he knew I needed time to be comfortable with what he was doing. He never pushed or rushed me."
"Uh huh. So he…"
"Held me close with his arm around me for a long time. I don't think he tried to kiss me until our fifth date."
"A patient man," I observed.
"Yes. His patience made me impatient."
Mom chuckled and I noticed how it made her legs quiver. The hem of her skirt was high on her thighs and her knees were parted though there was no mug of tea that required a nestling place.
"He used to put his arm around me and rub my neck with one hand and stroke the other side all the way out to my shoulder with his other hand. For balance, he said."
"Smooth," I said.
"He was," Mom mused. "I didn't even notice when his hand slid down my upper arm instead of going on to my neck."
"And then he touched your…breast." I almost choked on the word and couldn't help looking down at Mom's chest to admire the way the material slackened upon the upper swells of her breasts and tightened on the sides.
"No. I expected him to but he just kept stroking my arm. On a later date, he made almost jump out of my seat. I was waiting for it, but he surprised me again."
"He went for my leg instead of my breast."
"Yes." Mom chuckled. "My leg. He put his hand on my knee and it was another two dates before he moved any higher."
I nodded, appreciating the wisdom of my mother's long ago lover. Had they been lovers? Was Mom implicitly confessing that she had lost her cherry lost to someone other than my father? I wasn't brave enough to ask that question directly so I turned to the movie. She seemed lost in thought anyway. I almost didn't notice my index finger gently scraping along the right side of my mother's neck and had no idea how long I'd been doing it when I did. I stopped when I became aware but started again and kept it up when she seemed not to notice.
The next day I rubbed the top of her shoulder. When Mom didn't react I felt an overpowering urge to bring my left hand into play on the nearer shoulder but held back in case it was too soon. I had a feeling she was aware of what I was doing though she gave no sign of it. I felt like I was in a classroom and if I went too fast I would get a failing grade. So I satisfied myself with her right shoulder and neck for that movie and the next.
I almost felt her nod in approval when I made my move the day after that. I did such a good job caressing her neck that, several times, Mom stretched her head back and closed her eyes instead of watching the movie.
I was getting quite a pile of wood in front of the barn and Dad was pleased with me. He had put a sign up on the road and several people had inquired about the old boards. Evidently, it was fashionable to use old wood in house renovations, especially from floors in old lofts. Some of the wood went for a price way over what Dad expected and he raised my hourly rate from five bucks to seven. Given he thought I was working eight hours instead of the five I was actually doing, that wasn't bad.
Soon, Mom had me down to fours hours because we started watching two movies in the afternoon. By then, I was quite practiced in making her very, very relaxed. I had moved on to her upper arm and sometimes she closed her eyes for so long I thought she was asleep, but I was wrong which I found out when I moved from her elbow to her left knee.
"Practicing?" Mom asked without lifting her head or opening her eyes.
"Huh?" I asked, surprised.
She opened her eyes. "I said, are you practicing."
I didn't know what to say and remained silent.
"It's alright. It's okay if you're just practicing."
I nodded and Mom closed her eyes. I was left with my hand on her knee, not knowing quite what to do with it. I kept it still until the end of the first movie but shortly after starting the next one I began twisting my palm on top of it.
"Stop that, Jeremy. It's annoying."
I did and returned to simply holding Mom's knee. Five minutes later, I asked.
"How did Jerry do it?"
"He put his hand on top of my leg, just above the knee with his fingers on the inside."
I did so. "And then?"
"He stroked my leg with his fingers, nicely, and not too soft to tickle."
For the rest of the movie I practiced caressing the inside of Mom's leg just above the knee. I didn't venture any farther.
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I started working harder in the mornings so I could pile up more boards and quit earlier. After lunch I waited while Mom went upstairs to change. She often wore pants in the mornings when Dad was home but always wore a dress or skirt to watch movies. For the past two days she had been wearing loose, pleated skirts that fell higher up her thighs. I hadn't thought much about it but enjoyed the exposure of a greater expanse of thigh. I wondered if Mom was inviting me to extend the range of my 'practice'.
I always started at the beginning, stroking neck and shoulder before progressing down the arm and then onto the leg. The apprehension I felt the first days was so intense I was almost unable to move. To alleviate my nervousness, I sought indirect approval from Mom.
"Is this the way Jerry did it?" I whispered.
"Mmmhmmm," was the inevitable answer.