Family Affairs Ch. 41byD.C. Roi©
Family Affairs: Passion In James County XIX
Matt and Mary were already in the kitchen when Rick came down the next morning.
"Hi, Rick," Matt said. He was standing at the kitchen counter, making fresh-squeezed orange juice.
"Hi, Hon," Mary said. She was standing next to Matt, whipping eggs, preparing to make scrambled eggs for them. "Sleep well?"
"Yeah, Mom, I sure did. It's always good to get home to your own bed," Rick said. He pulled out a chair and sat down at the kitchen table.
"How was State?" Matt asked.
"It was fantastic!" Rick replied. "They want to give me a full scholarship. Coach says he thinks they might make the NCAA playoffs if I go there."
"That sounds pretty neat," Matt said. He carried the pitcher of orange juice to the table and sat down next to his friend.
"It sure does," Mary agreed. "I'm sure your father will be happy. College is very expensive these days. If you get a scholarship, it will help a lot." She finished cooking the eggs and carried them to the table.
"You really ought to think about going to college, Den," Rick poured ketchup on his eggs. "It would be neat if the two of us could be together up at State. They'll need a good photographer if the team does as good as Coach thinks it will."
"Thanks for the offer, but I'm going to stay here," Matt said. "The newspaper wants to hire me and I've had a lot of interest from other people, too. I think I can make a pretty good living without going to college." He laughed. "Not that I really need to worry about money."
"You are going to get your own place after we graduate?" Rick asked. He shoved a forkful of eggs into his mouth.
"I guess that's up to Mary," Matt said. "If she wants me out, I'll move."
"I don't want to have to live alone," Mary said. "You don't have to move out on my account."
After he finished eating, Rick got up, grabbed his coat, kissed his mother, and started for the door.
"You're leaving early," Mary noted.
"I thought I'd swing by Dianna's and see if she needs a ride to school," Rick said then was gone.
"Boy," Matt said, "it does look like he's trying to change, doesn't it? I can't believe he's going to pick up Dianna."
"You don't mind that Rick's paying attention to her?" Mary asked.
"Why should I?" Matt replied. "She's a nice kid, but I've already got my woman."
Mary blushed, coughed, then got up and began clearing the dishes. She carried some to the sink.
Matt walked over, put his arms around her, and kissed her. Mary snuggled against him.
"She's a friend," Matt said, "not a girlfriend. I already have the only girlfriend I ever want."
"Is that what I am?" Mary asked. "Your girlfriend?"
"You're my lover," he said, "and you always will be, I hope."
Mary looked at him. "You're sure you don't want to try dating girls your own age instead of an old lady?" she asked.
Matt kissed her again. "You sure didn't act like an old lady last night," he said.
Mary felt herself blush. "You're impossible, you know that?" she giggled.
"Yeah, I guess I am," Matt said. He cupped her bottom in his hands and pulled her against him. "But I'm good in bed."
"You certainly are," Mary agreed. In spite of the things she'd said about wanting him to date girls his age, she really didn't want to share him, and certainly didn't want to take a chance of losing him. The fear of that happening was always with her and it did her good to hear him once more profess his love for her.
Matt kissed her again and released her. "I guess I have to get to school," he said. "How'd you like to come along with me after school and see if I can find a place to set up a photography studio?"
"I'd love to," Mary said.
Another fond kiss and Matt was gone. Mary finished the dishes and started doing housework. Her biggest challenge now was telling Rick what her relationship with Matt really was. How would her son react? She hoped it wouldn't destroy Rick's friendship with Matt and make her son hate her.
The phone rang. Mary picked it up.
"Mary, this is Tom," her soon-to-be-ex-husband's voice said.
"Hi," Mary replied. Since she filed her divorce action, Tom had been acting pretty decent. She was been surprised by that development, but glad, too, because it created less problems and wasn't so hard on their son. "What's up?"
"Ricky said he was going to stop by my house when he got back from State U. last night and he didn't," Tom told her. "I wondered if he was OK."
"As far as I know, he's fine," Mary said. "I thought he stopped at your place. He didn't get here until after ten last night."
"Ten?" Tom said tentatively. What time had Carol and Lisa left his place? Was it possible Ricky had stopped by while the two women were still there? "Well, all right, tell him I called, will you?"
"Sure," Mary said. "I will."
"How are you doing?" Tom asked.
"I'm fine, Tom," she replied. "How are things going with you?"
"I'm managing," he said. "You'll have to stop over and see my place some time."
"Some time," Mary said. She was in no rush.
"Maybe I can have you and Ricky over for dinner some night," he said.
"We'll see," Mary said.
"Well, I gotta go," Tom told her. "I just wanted to check on Ricky. Nice talking with you." The phone clicked and he was gone.
She and Tom were getting along better now than they had in years, Mary mused. Maybe they should have split up years ago. "But if we had, would I have wound up with Matt in my life?" she thought. "Maybe things happen when they're supposed to."