Family Affairs Ch. 45byD.C. Roi©
Matt and Mary stopped at a fast food outlet and got some take-out food, then they headed for the Forrester house.
"You know," Mary said as they walked through the door into the kitchen, "Rick's going to have to be told about us sometime."
Matt put the bags of food down on the table. "I guess so," he said. "But..."
"I'm going to have to be told what?" Rick said, walking into the kitchen from the living room.
Matt and Mary turned, startled, and gaped at him. Neither of them expected him to be home, and they hadn't looked in the garage to see if his car was there. They looked at each other and saw the panic that was clear in both their faces. All of a sudden, they were being forced to confront the thing they were most frightened about.
"Ah..." Mary stammered. She wanted to say something, but she didn't know what to say.
Rick walked to the refrigerator, got out a soda, opened it, and turned to face them. "I think I know what you guys are talking about," he said. "I already know all about it."
"You...you do?" Matt stammered. "How...?"
"Oh, Rick," Mary said. She felt tears well up in her eyes. "I'm sorry, I-I should have told you earlier, I-I wanted to, but..." She looked at her son, puzzled that he didn't seem angry. "How...when did you find out?"
"I found out the other night, when I came back from my trip to State U.," Rick said. He walked over, sat down at the table, took a hamburger out of one of the bags, unwrapped it, and took a bite.
Matt and Mary stood there, wide-eyed, staring at him. How could he be so calm about all this? Both of them expected him to be at least a little upset, but he was acting like their affair was no big deal.
Rick swallowed his hamburger, drank some soda, and looked at them. "When I stopped at Dad's place, I saw them," he said.
"Them?" Mary said. She looked at Matt, then back to Rick. "Who? Who did you see, honey?"
"Miss Conklin and Lisa Dutille, with Dad," he said.
"Wait a minute..." Mary said, trying desperately to understand what her son was talking about "...are you saying you saw your father with...with two..." The reality of what her son had just said shook Mary.
Rick nodded. "You got it," he replied. He took a box of French Fries out of a bag and ate one. "Dad was with Miss Conklin and Lisa Dutille. It looked to me like they were having some kind of orgy." He grinned at Matt. "I guess Miss Conklin's not a Lesbian, huh, Den?"
"I-I..." Matt stammered.
"Oh, no..." Mary said. She stood up, walked to the kitchen window, and looked out. She felt a flash of anger when she first heard what Tom had been up to, but that passed quickly and was replaced by concern for her son. "Are you all right, Rick?"
Rick got up, walked over to where she stood, and hugged her. "I'm fine," he said. "Hey, you and Dad are divorced, right? Why shouldn't he be able to screw around with other women if he wants to?"
"I...I guess you're right," Mary said. Then something dawned on her. "Did...did that talk we had the other night have anything to do with what you saw at your father's place?"
Rick looked at her, smiled a little, then he nodded. "Yeah. I guess it did," he said. "Mom, I don't want to be like him. On...on the way back from State, Coach, he...he said I was just like Dad."
"Maybe part of you is like your father," Mary said, hugging her son, "But you're part of me, too. I think you can be whatever kind of person you want to be."
"Sure Rick," Matt said. He walked over and put his arms around the mother and son. "You're OK, and it seems to me you're getting better."
Rick backed out of his mother's embrace and punched Matt playfully on the shoulder. "I'm sure glad you're part of the family now, Den," he said. "It's kind of neat having a brother, you know?"
They sat down and ate. The food was cold, but they didn't notice. When they were finished, Matt collected the assorted detritus from the meal, picked it up, and carried it to the trash can.
"What about you, Mom?" Rick asked.
"What about me?" Mary replied.
"You're still young and pretty," her son said. "Are you going to start dating again?"
Matt missed the waste basket and the paper scrap scattered on the floor.
Mary turned bright red. "I...I don't know," she stammered. "Now would be the perfect time to tell him about Matt and me," she thought. "I should just do it and get it over with."
"What's the matter, Mom?" Rick asked. "You nervous about dating? You shouldn't be. You're a real good-looking lady."
Matt wasn't sure what was going on. He got down on his knees and picked up the paper scraps, then he got up and put them in the trash.
"Maybe..." Mary hesitated, then continued, "...maybe I've already found someone."
Ricky brightened. "Hey, that's neat!" he said. "Is it anyone I know?"
Mary coughed and got even redder. "Ah...sort...of," she murmured.
Rick turned to Matt. "Hear that, Bro?" he said. "Mom's got a boyfriend already! I knew a lady as pretty as she wouldn't have any problems in that area."
Matt wasn't sure what to say. "I guess that's OK," he mumbled.
"OK?" Rick said. "Shit, I think it's great. Mom deserves to have a good time, too, don't you think? Only thing left for us now is to get you fixed up with someone."
Matt gulped and said, "Me...?"
"Yeah," Rick went on, oblivious to the state of panic the people he was talking with were experiencing, "some how or the other, we're gonna get you a girl, too." He stood up. "Look, I promised Dianna I'd help her study for that math test. I gotta get going. Tell you what, Den. I'll ask her. Maybe she knows someone we can fix you up with." He slipped his jacket on, kissed Mary, and was out the door.
After he left, Mary and Matt stood there looking at each other, dumb-struck. Then, at the same time, they burst into laughter.
"Do you believe that?" Mary gasped. "When he said he knew..."
Matt moved close to Mary and took her into his arms. "I know," he said. "For a minute, there, I wasn't sure what was going on."
"I almost told him," Mary said. She buried her face against Matt's chest and hugged him tightly. Then she leaned back in his arms and looked at him seriously. "We do have to tell him. Soon."
"I know," Matt replied. "But I'm worried about how he'll react when we do." Impulsively, he bent and covered Mary's mouth with his. With a soft moan, Mary moved against him.
"Hey, Den, my car won't start, can I...?" Ricky said. "What the fuck?"
Matt and Mary jumped apart and turned to look at Rick who stood there, ashen-faced, his mouth open. "What...the...hell...?" he stammered.
"Rick, honey, let me explain..." Mary said. She took a step toward her son.
Rick backed up, shaking his head. "No. This is...is..." he gasped. He turned and bolted out the door.
"I guess our problem just got solved," Matt said. "Although I'm not sure it got done the best way it could have."
"We...I have to go after him," Mary said. "I have to explain."
"Get your coat, I'll drive," Matt said.
They got in Matt's Mercedes and left to look for Rick.
Rick, meanwhile, ran through back yards and down streets, too shaken to think. He had no idea where he was going or what he was going to do. His Mom and Matt. They were... Tears streamed down his cheeks and his chest heaved.
He considered going to his father's place, but decided his father wouldn't be any help with this situation. Where was he, anyhow? He looked around.
Without realizing it, he'd run to the street Dianna lived on. He needed someone to talk to. Maybe Dianna would be able to help him figure this out. He wiped his eyes, blew his nose, and started down the street to her house.
Matt and Mary, concerned about Rick's state of mind, drove around the neighborhood. They looked in place after place, with no luck.
"Where is he?" Mary was scared. What if Rick was so upset he...?
"Don't worry," Matt said. "We'll find him."
"Maybe...maybe he went to his father's place," Mary suggested.
Matt headed for Tom Forrester's condo.