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Strum: Chapter Ten

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We were actually pretty good, we weren’t bad at all. Everyone knew how to do their job, we just had to put the parts together. We played a couple songs, including “Bring Me to Life” by Evanescence, “Suddenly I See” by KT Tunstall, “Rooftops” by Lostprohets, and a few others. You know, for variety.

After our little practice, and getting a good B- on each song, we decided to take a break. Ben and I grabbed a water bottle, and sat together on a dusty old love seat, Chasity was retuning her bass, and Spencer was jamming out on his guitar, flashing the occasional glance at Chasity.

Ben started talking, but I wasn’t really listening. I don’t think he noticed though, because he was just tracing the lines on my hand.

“I think I’m done for the day.” I said, my voice cracking. Everyone looked up from what they were doing, and Spencer snapped a string, then sighed.

“Okay, let me walk you home, babe.” Said Ben, standing up. He grabbed my waist, and started steering me towards the stairs. I pulled away.

“I can go home by myself, thanks Ben.” I said, kind of viciously. Ben looked really hurt. So I walked up to him and planted a kiss on his cheek. “Thanks for the offer though.”

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It was when I first got home that night, that I first “met” him. It was actually kind of awkward. I told my mom I would be home at 7:00. I was a little early. It was 5:00.

I opened the door to our apartment. I was surprised. Usually the door squeaks, but when I opened it, it was silent. I made no noise at all. Mom must’ve gotten someone to grease it. When I looked up from my iPod, I saw movement on the couch. I walked up closer, and looked down.

My mother, my mother, was on the couch, with a man. I had no idea who he was, but she must have, because she was making out with him. They were wrapped in each other’s arms, and his hand was all through her hair. Then, when he started sucking on her neck, Mom laid her head back, with her eyes closed. And finally, she opened her eyes, and looked right into my shocked / angry eyes.

She jumped up, and probably made that man pee his pants. He looked up, saw me, and grunted, then jumped up himself.

You should have seen the color of Mom’s face. Think of the deepest red. Now multiply that by about a hundred. That was how red she was.

Just as well, too, because, I haven’t mentioned this, but ever since I told her I was dating Ben, she had been giving me a hard time. Telling me “no hugging, no kissing, and most of all, no sex.” But, now that I had found her, close to sex herself, I would never let her tell me that ever again. I would give her a hard time.

“Uh, Natalie?” She said, her voice about as high as an opera singer. “This is David Pullen. David, this is my daughter, Natalie.”

I glared at him.

“I think you should go, David.” Mom said. I was ready to say the same thing, except much more harshly.

“Of course.” He said. He had a deep voice.

I hadn’t really gotten a good look at him until now. He had a heavy tan, blue-grey eyes, and brown hair that was spiked up in all directions. He had lots of stubble on his chin, and his polo shirt was unbuttoned, showing his chest hair. I could see why he was appealing to my mother, he was very handsome.

I was appalled by what he did next. He walked up to my mother, and kissed her cheek. She was just about purple now. It was a brave thing to do. After making out with my off limits mother. It wasn’t really meant to be for her, I don’t think. I was pretty sure that kiss was for me to see. For me to see how much power he had.

“I’ll see you at rehearsal tomorrow.” He whispered in her ear, giving her an amorous hug. He stroked her cheek, then they separated, and he walked out the silent door.



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Once he was gone, attacked my mother with accusations. Question after question. She stopped me in mid sentence, and brought me to the very couch she was just having “fun” on.

“One question at a time.” She said.

“Who the hell was that?” I asked, first and foremost.

She sighed, then started. “That was David Pullen, he works with me now.”

“Mom, you’re unemployed.” I reminded her.

“No, not anymore.” She smiled. “David came over to tell me I was excepted as a Glinda. He plays Boq, in Wicked.”

“Oh.” I said, blushing. “What about Dad?”

“He’s - he’s gone, Nat. He’s been gone for a while. Forget about him.” She said, looking angry.

“And, I suppose you got sidetracked from your conversation with him, like you did with Dad? And you’re probably going to tell me there is a little one on the way again?”

“NO!” Mom yelled, really angry all of a sudden, then she blushed. “What you saw was the most intense it got.”

“So pretty intense then.”

“Well … no.” She said, kind of embarrassed.

“Mom, you guys were sucking face.”

“Okay, whatever,” She said. “Anyways, I wanted to talk to you about this job I have now. It might open me up into a bigger career, which means lots of traveling - ”

“Mom.”

“And that means you might have to stay at a friend’s for a long period of time - ”

“MOM!” I yelled.

“What honey?”

“Congratulations.”



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