Lucifer grumbled at the noise of his phone. Turning over he picked up, “Hello?”
“Hey what’s happening?”
“Oh, hey Tool.”
“Don’t tell me you’re already in bed? It’s only eight-thirty.”
Lucifer looked up at his clock. He hadn’t realized what time it was. “It’s not like I went to bed intentionally. I fell asleep working on song tabs.”
“Oh, well that’s good. Now get your ass outta bed and meet me at the movies. The new slasher movie’s out. It starts in forty.”
Before he could argue Tool hung up. So to avoid pissing him off, Lucifer climbed out of bed and headed towards the front door.
When he went to reach for the door a pale hand grabbed his wrist. Lucifer turned to see his somewhat sober mother standing next to him.
“Where do you think you’re going?”
“I’m meeting Tool for a movie.”
“What about dinner? You haven’t eaten yet.”
“Yes I have. I cooked hamburgers remember? There’s a spare patty in the pan. It should still be warm. Have a good night.”
“Oh thank you. What a good boy.” She patted his cheek giving him a toothy grin. She seemed to be laying off the alcohol a little lately. This morning her found only four beer bottles on her bedroom floor when there were typically six or seven. “When did I get to have such a good son?”
“Well one of us has to be the adult around here.” He pulled away from her hand and swung the door open, letting it close hard on its own behind him.
* * * *
When the movie was over Tool asked him if he wanted to grab a bite to eat.
“I’m good. I ate earlier an I’m sure mom left a mess for me to clean up.”
“Why do you bother even trying? I mean the woman is going to drink herself to death anyway.”
“She’s my mom. Someone has to do it. God knows my dad won’t.”
“That rough man. But I can see your point. I probably would do that same. Alright, have a goodnight then.”
Lucifer watched him walk in the opposite direction.
The difference between us is that you have a father and a sober mother. You just don’t see how lucky you are.
He looked up, staring at the clouds masking most the moon. Only a sliver showed, giving only a sliver of truth. As soon as the pieces grew visible clouds came crashing in, once more hiding the true meaning behind the disappearance.
He shook his head, speaking softly to himself, “Things will never change, even if a reason is given.”
He started heading back to where he parked, taking his time. Tool was right, he didn’t really want to go home, but he had to check in on his mom an he had school in the morning.
When he turned the corner he saw a sight he still wasn’t quite used to. Marietta was walking hand in hand with Chad.
“Oh, hi Lucifer. How are you?”
“I’m alright.” Chad caught his eye, giving him a stare down. Lucifer kept his words short, discouraging any further conversation.
“Are you out by yourself?” She still gave him her real smile, the one that always gave him chills.
“Tool and I just saw that new slasher movie. Now I’m heading home.”
Chad burst out laughing, giving a snide comment. “That movie looked so stupid. It’s just full of fake blood and absolutely no story line to follow.”
Lucifer didn’t respond, figuring he would just let it be. He didn’t want to irritate Marietta.
“Don’t be mean. Just because you don’t like that stuff, doesn’t mean that he can’t.”
Lucifer watched Chad’s reaction to Marietta’s words. At first he seemed surprised she spoke up like that, especially to him. But when he looked to see Lucifer slightly smiling he became a little more verbally agitated. Not full blown pissed off, but certainly not happy.
“What are you smiling at?”
“Nothing.” he wanted to avoid a fight. Marietta didn’t need to deal with their problems. By now they should be over. His hatred for him since elementary school and the snide remarks and abusive words had grown old.
“Why don’t you go home to your drunk mother? No one wants you around anyway.”
He crossed the line. bringing his mother into this was the one thing Lucifer couldn’t ignore. “Why don’t you shut the hell up.”
Chad got right in his face, pushing his chest against Lucifer’s. they were roughly the same height, taking them to the same eye level.
“Why don’t you make me?”
Before Lucifer could respond he felt two small hands on his chest and her weight against his chest.
“Please stop fighting. You don’t need to.” He could feel her tears soaking into his shirt. His only reaction was to wrap his arms around her. He looked over her head and looked Chad in the eyes. His mouth gaped open, fists now loosely hung at the end of his arms. The fight disappeared from his face.
“I think it’s time we stop going out.” Chad’s words sounded defeated, as if he knew that there was no chance for him to win this fight. “I’m going to head home. See you around.”
Marietta didn’t make a sound, just let him leave. Whether he stayed or not didn’t matter. She had Lucifer now. That’s all she wanted. She was happy.