“Come on, mama. I think he’s had enough.”
“And I think you should mind your business.”
I blew out a sigh as my mother scooped another helping of macaroni and cheese on Sean’s plate, beside the baked chicken wings she’d placed there the moment before. The corners of Sean’s mouth turned into a little smile, and he met my gaze with a subtle shrug. At least he was maintaining his sanity – and expanding his waistline – with my mother around.
Two weeks had gone by, and my parents were still here. I was starting to question the wisdom of three bedrooms and three bathrooms, in a freshly renovated house. It was way too comfortable around here for them to want to leave. Even though I had Ayden around, and now Sean and I were back in a good place, my parents insisted on sticking around.
And they insisted on getting on my damned nerves.
They were always just… around. Making me get up early for no good reason, go to bed early for no good reason, policing my time, policing my movements, and again… they were always around, which heavily limited the time I could spend with Sean.
I loved my parents dearly, but… I would love them more from afar.
“This is a nice big, strong man,” my mother said, running a hand over Sean’s arm. “He needs sustenance, baby girl.”
I twisted my mouth. “That’s his third plate, mama, he’s gonna explode if you don’t stop.”
She narrowed her eyes at me. “Mind. Your. Business.”
“This boy can handle it,” my dad chimed in, covering my hand with his on the table. “Not like that other piece of shi—”
“Could you not?” I asked, using my free hand to swipe my face.
My dad scoffed. “Why? You see this right here,” – he pointed at Sean – “Is a good hardworking young man. Man that works with his hands, gets a little sweat on his forehead, some dirt under his nails, gets shit done. Unlike that crooked ass lawyer you were dealing with. Let your mama feed this boy so he can go build those houses and shit. A man that can build you something is one to keep around. Unlike one that goes to get mani-pedis with you.” He shook his head, and added a disgusted eye-roll for good measure.
“It was one time daddy, Ray didn’t have a standing spa appointment with me.”
With me, being the operative words.
He looked at me, head tipped to the side. “Well it was one time too many, for a grown ass man.”
“Daddy, two weeks ago you were asking me what kind of grown man let himself be named ‘Sean’, remember?” I lifted an eyebrow, and contained my smirk as my dad narrowed his eyes. I couldn’t pinpoint exactly why I brought that up. It wasn’t as if I had a problem with my parents taking a liking to Sean – the exact opposite, actually. With Ray, they’d hated him so much, from jump, that it wore on me. I was excited that they liked Sean, but… the kind of liked him too much. So much that when he was here, they monopolized his time.
My dad nodded. “Of course I remember, baby girl. That was when he was another ashy fool that had hurt your feelings. But once I understood the situation, now that was different. If he’s right by you, my dear, he’s right by me.”
Mental note – don’t tell mama nothing else, she can’t hold water.
I twisted my lips again. “But dad, even when Ray was right by me, you never liked him.”
“Cause that negro just wasn’t right, period. Ain’t never been, ain’t never gone be. Me and your brother still owe him a visit.”
My eyes went wide. “Okay, I’m going to lay down,” I said, pushing away from the table to stand up. Before I could put any weight on my feet, my father and Sean were both out of their chairs, helping balance my weight. I assured them both that I had it under control, then slowly made my way up the stairs to my room, where I laid out across my bed, with my phone in my hands.
“Come get your parents.” I sent to Donnie, and not even a minute later, my phone lit up with a reply.
“Aw, c’mon big sis. They just tryna make sure you’re good. – Dancin’ Ass Donnie”
(I always got a good chuckle out of the way he was saved in my phone.)
“I knowwww. But goddamn they are driving me nuts. I can’t even get any time alone with Sean.”
“That’s why you gotta be straight up. Tell mama you’re tryna let Sean release some DNA on you, she’ll chill. – Dancin’ Ass Donnie”
“Little Negro, WHAT?! “release some DNA on me”?! The fuck?!”
“*crying laughing* sorry sis, I forgot who I was talking to for a second, my bad. – Dancin’ Ass Donnie.”
“I said I was sorry, damn. But farreal, mama had me buy those plane tickets. Unless they changed them, they’re coming back to Chi at the end of the week. – Dancin’ Ass Donnie.”
“Thank the lord. Are you still in DC with Pixie?”
“Yeah, tonight is the last show in DC, and then back to the Chi for me too. Hey, Auriel says if you’re feeling better, you should come to her birthday party in a few weeks, in Vegas. –Dancin’ Ass Donnie.”
“Sorry. She doesn’t like me calling her by the stage name. – Dancin’ Ass Donnie.”
“Ohhhhhh, I see. So y’all are like… serious?”
“We’re chillin’. – Dancin’ Ass Donnie.”
“So, yes then. Got it.”
“I’m about to text mom and tell her you’re in pain and won’t say anything about it. – Dancin’ Ass Donnie.”
“DON’T YOU DO THAT SHIT, SHE’LL NEVER LEAVE.”
“Catch you later sis. – Dancin’ Ass Donnie.”