he’s a gentleman, mom

My dad hates the word “fudgebucket” for some reason that he won’t disclose. It’s not like I’m actually swearing… I mean, I could be, but that’s what I made up a bunch of profanity for: so that I wouldn’t have to be cussing in front of a ton of little children.

“Okay, so you’re going to sleep in that room, and you’re going to sleep in the other room…” Mom was trying to sort everybody into sleeping spaces in the tiny cabin that we’d somehow decided to spend the next few nights in. I mean, the cabin itself was huge, but because it was owned by a quite older man in my family who couldn’t exactly bend around and all that limber stuff that young people could do, almost all of downstairs and part of the living room was quite filthy with tons of dead flies over the floors and windowsills. Although, since my parents kept bringing stuff home to wash and restore it, it was slightly getting better. “And Constance?”
“Yes, mom of May Vane?”
Mom bit her lip at that name. I’d chosen it for myself, raising money a few years ago so that I could have a legal name change. Dad hadn’t exactly been approving of it, but Mom always seemed more like the one I could count on to back me up, understanding that maybe Roberta hadn’t been the best thing to name their first child. “We’re kind of tight on sleeping space, so I’m going to have to make you and May sleep in that room-” she pointed to the room on the left side of the short hallway by the kitchen- “and I’m hoping that you’ll control yourself.”
“I barely know her, and you’re thinking that I’m going to shag her or something?”
Mom winced at his directness, glancing over at me to make sure that I was still fulfilling my job of bringing in stuff from the car and dumping it on the table since we had no more counter space. “Well… you know… Teenage boys these days aren’t exactly gentlemen…”
“I can sleep on the floor if you’re so worried about that, Mom,” I piped up, setting down a bag of Oreos. “Because I’m sure that Constance isn’t a douchebag like some of the kids at school, but if you’re going to make a big deal about two kids sharing a bed, I’m more than willing to sacrifice a few nights of sleep so that yours aren’t filled with worrying.”
“No, it’s just…” Her eyes flared a bit, surely noticing that I’d forgotten to pack any pajamas at all and was now wearing one of the tank tops and shorts that we’d gotten from Walmart earlier on the way here. “You know what, never mind. I believe you. Might as well dump your stuff in the bedroom.”


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