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Chapter 10 : Mummy Dearest
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Perfect chapter image of Freddy Weasley by legendson @ tda :D
I am the biggest berk on the face of the planet. No contest.
The fact is as simple as that. I mean, I’d like to think that I’m perfectly normal but the reality of the situation is far too immense to ignore. I mean, what the bloody hell is wrong with me? At this point, I’d go as far as saying that I am just socially inept. Because there is no way that this can be normal.
No way. None. Nada.
But as alarming as my issues are, I can only hope that James can overlook the random nonsense that insists on spewing out of my mouth. The universe knows that I’ve done my fair share of that already (I mean, “I have to pee” – really?) but I have a feeling that the rambling that ensued at the close of our evening could have been the oddest of odd behavior that an odd person like myself could have behaved before another life form which I have to say isn’t really all that appealing.
And look at that! Run-on sentence! Who in the right frame of mind composes such fatal grammatical errors?
Spencer Lockwood, apparently. Please excuse me while I go drown myself in literature.
But wait! I’m getting off track here. I still haven’t described the who, what, where, and when of the social horrors that transpired before my mother’s abode.
Alright, as embarrassing as it is, here it goes:
So James and I were standing on my front porch after he let me off his back (which I didn’t urinate on, thank you very much). And we were talking a little bit, leaning more and more towards saying goodbye, when it suddenly occurred to me that there was a slight – extremely slight, almost microscopic – chance that he would kiss me. I mean, this had been the second time we’d gone out together and not that I’d know, but wasn’t it part of the unspoken social code that the guy kisses the girl after he walks her home? And as far as I could tell, he seemed to like me. At least I thought – hoped – that he did.
And at first, the idea of that seemed really great: my first kiss being with a great bloke whom I really liked. And my heart began to pound like crazy, on the verge of bursting out of my chest, and butterflies erupted in my stomach, fluttering through my body and turning me into mush. I could barely breathe. But then, the more I thought about it, panic began to sink in and spread through me faster than the butterflies ever could – almost like poison. Suddenly, this seemed terrible, and for many more reasons than one.
I mean, let’s examine this, shall we? It would be fairly unrealistic – and not to mention foolish – of me to believe that James had never snogged anyone before. I mean, have you seen him? Or had a proper conversation with the bloke? He’s fucking amazing. There would something seriously wrong with the world if those beautiful lips of his were virginal. So I think that it was wise to assume that he had had his fair share of girlfriends with whom he exchanged saliva. And on top of that, for all I knew, he could have even shagged. And the idea of this didn’t make me at all jealous or bitchy or anything like that. Instead, I felt rather…intimidated and not to mention self-conscience.
I mean, what if I was bad at it?
And dear God, where the fuck do I put my hands?!?!
There were just so many things that could go wrong, that I could do wrong. I mean, was it safer to stay in the little protective bubble I had created around myself? To remain in familiar territory? To become a mad cat lady who lusts over the Sex Gods on the telly?
Maybe that option was preferable to embarrassing myself – which was most certainly a given. I mean, I think it’s kind of clear by now that I’m prone to humiliation, it’s in my blood.
And even worse than that, what if James didn’t want to kiss me? What if I was left with nothing but a promise of mateship and a handshake? How would that make me feel?
With all of this running through my mind, things just seemed to take a turn for the worst. Before I knew it, self-doubt and fear of rejection overtook me and I did something that makes me wonder if I missed the apparent memo that went around on how to conduct yourself in the company of others.
Because that totally would happen to me. Because my life is just that awesome.
Virtual star to anyone who could detect the sarcasm in that statement.
Bravo. You should be very proud.
So, yeah, James was talking, I don’t even remember what he was on about; my eyes were just glued to his lips, cursing them for landing me in this predicament and bringing me to my certain doom. But then I felt kind of bad about it because they are beautiful lips and I fancy the pants off of him.
Have you ever noticed how stressful blokes can make you? I think that it goes without saying that I have.
Stupid James Potter and his non-muggleness. Whatever that is. You know, since he won’t put me out of my misery and just tell me.
But that’s a rant for another time.
So I can’t really explain what happened next to be perfectly honest, as I’m not quite sure what thought process led to such actions. All I know is that one moment I was on the verge of pissing myself due to the nerves he was inadvertently causing me, and the next I was throwing my arms around a still talking James’s middle, and burying my face into his shirt. I mean what the fuck was that? He was – naturally – stunned into silence and then I went and did that thing I told you about. Yeah…you know, the one where I ramble and go on and on and don’t stop for an extended period of time? Yeah, that one.
Before I could even stop myself, I was word vomiting all over the place; it was a bunch of rubbish that could hardly be considered coherent, and said rubbish was slightly muffled by the fabric of James’s shirt. It was literally a ramble of complete and utter nonsense and a bunch of things that shouldn’t have been said aloud. Because normal people don’t do that kind of shit. But I, on the other hand, am quite far from being even remotely normal.
It went something along the lines of:
“So I had a lot of fun today, did you have fun today? I bet that you didn’t have as much fun today as I did because I had a lot of fun – and I mean a lot. Like, on a scale from one to ten, I had about a forty-seven. Yeah, that much. Which is a good thing, I think, because forty-seven is pretty much my favorite number. Hardcore, I know; that’s how I roll. So, anyway, I think that we should do this again sometime – let’s do this again sometime! Well, that is, if you want to. I know I do. But I mean, if you decide that I’m a Major-Prat-McGee and never what to see me ever again, I’d be totally cool with that. Well, I wouldn’t actually ‘be cool with that’ but that sort of thing is up to you, I guess. And you know what? It’s totally okay that I’m three months older than you because you’re really cool and awesome and nice and fit and you smell good. So we should do this again sometime. Okay, so I’m gonna leave now…stay gold, Ponyboy.”
I don’t know which I’m more upset about: the fact that I said all of that, or that afterwards my follow-up action was immediately detaching myself from him and making my mad escape through the front door. Like I said, I am the biggest berk on the face of the planet. No contest.
And probably the worst part is that as I was closing the door, I heard James say, “Erm…okay?”
He hates me. He hates me and he thinks I’m a moron.
After my retreat into safety was completed, I then proceeded to repeatedly bang my head against the door, muttering to myself: “stupid, stupid, stupid” over and over and over again.
I wish I could say that I’m exaggerating but then I’d be lying. I have to say, it’s a wonder that I’m not on any medication.
Especially since it wasn’t any of that wimpy, minor, head banging; it was actually pretty hardcore. As in my head hurt like fuck, I don’t even know how to properly describe it. Just really bad, I guess. Some major brain cell lossage there on my part. And then, the strangest thing happened as I was attempting to dent my cranium: I heard a loud, distinctive crack! noise and, thinking that I had actually succeeded in damaging my skull, I stopped, holding my head in my hands, and began to cry.
I’m such a pathetic excuse for a human being that it’s not even funny.
Just as a sob escaped my lips, and before I even had the time to really get myself worked up, my mum fucking floated into the room, arms stretched out, and an expression on her face that clearly read “Oh, my poor baby.”
She is such a drama queen, it’s not even funny. I am so lucky I didn’t inherit any of that shit.
“What’s the matter?” she cooed as she engulfed me into a hug. I instinctively snuggled closer to her.
My crying bypassed before the hysterics could really take over, I had been reduced to heavy breathing and the occasional hiccup. “I was – hic – banging my head against the – hic – wall and I heard this – hic – cracking – hic – noise. And I think it was – hic – my head.”
“Shh, it’s okay,” she whispered in a soothing voice, rubbing circles into my shoulder blades. “I’m sure it wasn’t your head that you heard crack.”
You know there’s something wrong when your mum doesn’t seem at all shocked by the news of you banging your head against the wall.
I sniffed and wiped a runaway tear on my mum’s shirt. “Yes it was,” I insisted stubbornly.
She just hushed me and continued to rock back and forth with me still in her arms, humming softly into in ear.
…Okay and now this is just weird.
Suddenly uncomfortable in the embrace that I found myself in, I wiggled my way out of her grasp and made sure that there was at least a half a meter distance between the two of us. I don’t know why, but heart-to-hearts with my mum made me feel all awkward. I just wasn’t into the whole touchy-feely crap that she was so obviously yearning for. And I wasn’t really like that with my dad either, but the difference was that he didn’t seem to mind. I guess that kind of thing made him uncomfortable too. When it came to him, all I had to do was describe my feelings/current predicament in terms of characters from his favorite novel/comic/film. It was just so much simpler that way.
But I’d be lying if I said that the hurt look on my mum’s face didn’t make me feel bad.
“Does this have anything to do with that boy you were with outside?” she asked in a quiet voice.
My eyes widened in immediate panic. Fuck, there had been a witness. “Pfft, I…uh…erm…no…pfft…were you spying on me?” I stammered, sounding like a complete idiot.
My mum bit her lip guiltily, wincing slightly. I resisted the urge to collapse onto the floor and die. “He’s very cute.”
Whoa, back off bitch, he’s mine.
I wasn’t even sure how to respond to that. I mean, I know that lately she decided it was cool and all to prey on younger men, but honestly.
Luckily for me, though, I didn’t have to say anything in reply to her comment because she spoke before I even had the chance to. She spoke quickly and in a stern voice which was rather contrasting to her previous tone of motherly affection. “But what about Ned Knickerbocker?”
My eyebrows knitted together in confusion, completely at loss as to what she was referring to. “Er…”
“I mean, how could you do something like that to him? After all of these years?”
Still utterly bemused, I continued to stare at her, my eyes clearly saying, “What the bloody hell are you going on about woman?!?!”
And then suddenly it hit me:
My fake boyfriend.
I knew that this would bite me in the arse someday!
You see, what had happened was that when I was fourteen, my mum kept bothering me about giving Danny a chance because he was “such a nice boy” and “clearly likes you a lot.” And, well, after about the billionth time, I had had enough. So I told her that I had started going out with the brother of one of my roommates at school. And she believed me.
And thus, Ned Knickerbocker was born.
I’m not really even sure why she believed me in the first place, though. I mean, how would I ever even meet the brother of my roommate? And when would we ever see each other? I go to a bleeding all-girls school for Christ’s sake!
And probably the worst part of this whole thing was that when I conjured up Ned Knickerbocker, I was in that phase that practically every teenage girl seems to go through: the Cheesy Romance Novel=the Holy Bible Stage.
So as you probably already guessed, Ned Knickerbocker was a complete poof with blonde locks of delicate gold who read poetry to me after we finished the food from the picnic he surprised me with earlier.
What a git.
I mean, why have a Ned Knickerbocker when you could have a James Potter?
Erm…that is if he still wants me.
Erm…that is if he ever wanted me in the first place.
Regardless, I didn’t like being in this tight spot with my mum. She thought that I was a cheater when I didn’t even have anyone to cheat on in the first place. And she was giving me that look. You know, that one that was full of judgment.
Attempting a quick save, I simply shrugged. “We broke up.”
My mum gasped, her dainty hand fluttering to rest on her heart. “When?”
“Er…a few months ago.”
With another dramatic gasp, she pulled me into another stranglehold – er, I mean hug. “Oh sweetie, you must have been so heartbroken. Did he say why he wanted to break things off? I mean, after three years?”
Indignant, I pushed her away, folding my arms across my chest. “Oi! What makes you think that he broke up with me?”
My demand was met with guilty silence.
Thanks mum. Love you too.
“Well, just for your information, mum, I broke up with him.”
She stared at me incredulously as if I had just told her the most ludicrous thing. Was it really that disbelieving that I would be the one to break up with someone and not the other way around? Even if the subject of said break up was imaginary? Should I be insulted by this?
The answer to that is yes.
“Why would you do such a thing?” she all but screeched. I couldn’t believe it; the woman sounded absolutely horrified.
“Because he was being a prat,” I said, inventing the character flaw on the spot. “Trust me, he had it coming for a long time.”
She shook her head, seeming disappointed and completely put out. “I just can’t wrap my head around it. I mean, he was so perfect for you, Spencer. For the longest time I thought that he could be The One.”
Oh, you have got to be kidding me.
So my mum and I kind of, sort of, got into a bit of a row a little while later. She was cross that I broke of up with Ned Knickerbocker who, according to her, was “The One” and I was cross that she would be delusional enough to think such a thing when she had never even met the bloke.
And have I mentioned that he’s bloody imaginary?
The argument was going on and on, and I was starting to get really annoying, especially considering the row’s forged foundation. I was on the verge of just apologizing to appease her when she suddenly got this serene expression on her face and suggested that we watch a movie.
Needless to say, I didn’t trust it a bit. But I reluctantly accepted the invitation, presuming that it probably wasn’t optional anyway.
So we went into the living room and began watching the movie of her choice.
A half hour into the film, I noticed two things:
1. We were currently lounging on the very couch I had walked in on her and Freddy fornicating on.
2. The ulterior motive behind us watching this particular film.
You see, my mother was a huge supporter of subliminal messages; I was surprised that I hadn’t founded her out sooner. The two of us watching this film was her way of making me “see” what I was so “blindly missing.”
You want to know what I learned about myself?
Apparently, I have Alzheimer’s Disease.
I have Alzheimer’s Disease and my husband is reading our love story to me.
Yes, you guessed it, we were watching The Notebook. And from what I had gathered from my mum’s constant reminders of that “Lon Hammond’s are temporary; Noah Calhoun’s are forever,” in her mind James was Lon and Ned was Noah.
Let’s just say that I was getting very annoyed, very quickly.
But about twenty minutes before the end of the film, I was saved: Chester had finally decided that it was time to grace us with his presence, strutting across the room with his fat belly swinging back and forth with each step. I had never been so happy to see the furry little bugger in my entire life (which says a lot considering I was always happy to see him).
“Chester! You fluffy potato munchkin!” I squealed with delight. I bounced excitedly – and undoubtedly obnoxiously – in my seat, slapping my lap with my hands as an invitation for him to park his fat kitty butt there.
With a superior glance in my direction, Chester hopped onto the couch with great effort, only to take a seat in none other than my mother’s lap.
I stared at him in disbelief, hurt and rejection running through my veins and causing me to slump in my seat. I noticed out of the corner of my eye that my mum was smirking slightly.
“Well, maybe if you didn’t annoy him so much, he would actually like you,” she said haughtily.
“No one asked you, child molester.”
…Whoa, did I just say that?
Apparently, my mum had been thinking the same thing because she instantly responded with a razor-sharp, “Excuse me?”
Long story short, I was sentenced to my room after a lot of “It just so happens that Freddy is of age,” and “How could you say something like that to your own mother?” and, well, let’s just say that it wasn’t very pretty.
I left the combat zone thoroughly outraged with both my mum and Freddy. I mean, if it weren’t for her slaggish and cougar ways, something like that wouldn’t have slipped. So yeah, not entirely my fault. And fucking Freddy, if I had a pound for the number of times that I got in trouble with my mum because of him I would have…okay I’d only have two pounds, but still. The bloke was just getting higher up on my shit list.
Upstairs, as I was trekking my way down the hall, I felt my phone begin to vibrate and the familiar jingle of my ringtone sound. Checking the caller ID, I saw that it was my dad.
“Shit,” I muttered, staring at the screen. I let it ring a few times before picking up. “’Lo.”
“Cadet?” barked a voice about an octave below my father’s. I rolled my eyes.
“You mean ‘yes, sir,’ Cadet!”
I sighed heavily. “Yes sir?”
“Is the Cadet stationed in a place of secrecy?”
“Er…” I threw open the door to a hallway closet, entered, and closed the door behind me. “I am now…sir.”
“Now, Cadet,” he began, his voice slightly higher than previously. Noticing his error, he quickly cleared his throat and when he spoke again, his tone had returned to the deep rasp from before. “What are your reports on Operation: Scoundrel?”
“Oh,” my dad said, all signs of baritone gone. “I forgot to tell you, when you left, I named the mission Operation: Scoundrel because it’s an operation…and the bloke your mum’s dating is a scoundrel.”
“Clever,” I noted, a hint of sarcasm in my voice. If he detected any at all, he didn’t mention it.
“…So how’s it going? With the mission?”
I wasn’t sure why, but I kind of didn’t want to give Freddy up. Whether it was to save my dad’s feelings or to make sure that he didn’t embarrass himself by trying – and failing – to beat down Freddy, I wasn’t sure. For a brief moment, I considered that it was to protect Freddy from my dad’s insanity but that couldn’t possibly be it because that would suggest actually liking Freddy and that would be just stupid.
But whatever it was, I didn’t tell him. I knew he’d have to find out eventually, but maybe he could stay hidden in the dark for just a little bit longer. For now, he was better off not knowing that his ex-wife’s recent extracurricular activities consisted of sleeping with a younger man.
“I haven’t met him yet,” I said finally, the lie coming to me easily.
“Well, what’s his name?”
“How tall is he?”
“I don’t know.”
“Where does he live?”
“I don’t know.”
“What’s his favorite color?”
“I don’t know.”
“Anything? Do you know anything at all?”
“Er, not really.” My dad exhaled heavily, sounding frustrated and annoyed. “Well, I’ve only been here a day. I need more time.”
“How much time do you need?” he snapped. “I asked you to do one simple thing for me and here you are empty handed.”
I was silent. I didn’t like the way he was talking to me, so disappointed and all. He’d always had that ability to make me feel bad like that.
“He sounds really boring from what she has said about him,” I invented on the spot, hoping that it would make him see me in a better light. “And he’s probably really uncultured. You have nothing to worry about, dad.”
“Commander,” he corrected, his voice returning to that deep bass.
“Er, right. Commander.”
“Well, Cadet, if that’s all you have to offer me, you will resume to your line of duty until further notice. Do I make myself clear?”
“That’ll be all, Cadet.”
I rolled my eyes. “Dad – er, Commander – I’ve been a ‘Cadet’ for I don’t know how long. When the hell am I gonna be promoted?”
“When you start giving me results,” he said shortly.
And then he hung up.
I stared at my phone, eyes wide and jaw dropped. I couldn’t believe it; he hung up on me. The little fucker actually hung up on me.
I had succeeded in making both of my parents cross with me within one evening, quite an accomplishment, I have to say.
Shoving my phone back into my pocket, I emerged from the closet, continuing my journey down the hall and into my bedroom. After closing the door behind me, I froze in place, sensing a disturbance in the force. I scanned the room with narrow eyes until settling upon my bed; taking a step forward, I looked underneath it.
He nodded his head at me in a businesslike manner. “Spencer.”
“You wanna watch Mean Girls with me?”
He seemed to consider this for a moment before nodding his head once more. “Okay.”
As I set up the cheap, DVD player that I suspected was from the beginning of the twenty-first century, Danny crawled out from under my bed and planted himself on the floor in front of my equally ancient telly. I’d be lying if I said that this hadn’t happened before. Last time, we watched The Breakfast Club.
Everything set up and ready to go, I sat down on the floor next to him. We were silent for a moment until Danny cleared his throat. “Can I put my arm around you?”
I considered this for a minute. “Only during the beginning credits,” I decided finally.
I should have known by now, that when given an inch, Danny has the tendency to take a mile.
Let’s just say that by the time the credits had rolled to “Produced by” his hand had begun to creep towards my left boob. And let’s just say that I was not okay with it. Danny’s acts of sexual harassment were met with fifteen minutes of film time being viewed from the corner of the room. When he was finally allowed to rejoin me at his place in front of the telly, he had to be at least three meters away from me or else I said I’d press charges.
But overall it had been rather pleasant. Once the movie was over, Danny made his grand exit through my window without even attempting to snog me first which I thought was a triumph within itself.
My little stalker is growing up!
The following morning, I woke up feeling pretty refreshed and enjoyed a divine bowl of Lucky Charms by myself without the interruption of a certain shirtless bloke.
I was walking on sunshine, damn it!
That is, until I left the kitchen.
There to greet me as he ascended down the stairs was said shirtless bloke, although he had done me the honor actually wearing a shirt. But I was appalled regardless because he was in the process of zipping up his pants and buckling his belt.
“Freddy,” I sneered, a look of pure revulsion on my face. I hated him, I really did.
“Ah, Crazy Bint Lockwood,” he said brightly, giving me a quick salute. Noticing my expression, he looked down at his half-done pants and then back up at me. He smirked. “Just had a quickie with Mummy Dearest, don’t mind, do you?”
I think it took all of my willpower not to run over and strangle him. “Arsehole,” I muttered.
“You know, Spencer,” he said, suddenly serious. “I know you don’t take a particular fancy to me right now, but someday, someday, we will be mates.”
“Doubt it,” I deadpanned.
“Mates that play Exploding Snap with one another,” he said majestically, ignoring me completely. His voice had a dreamlike quality and his form of speech reminded me of a crappy medieval movie.
“Dunno what that is.”
“Mates that travel into the Forbidden Forest together,”
“Dunno where that is.”
“Mates that steal Auntie Muriel’s wig.”
“Dunno who that is. And that’s just terrible!”
Freddy seemed to have emerged from his little vision of our never-gonna-happen mateship. “The old bat’s a wretch; you’d feel differently if you knew her.” A smirk appeared once again on his face. “Little Jamsie helps me steal it every time. Doesn’t seem so bad, does it, now that you know your lover boy participates?”
I didn’t say anything, only glared.
“Speaking of the Birthday Boy, I must be off to the Burrow. Gram will jinx me if I’m late again.”
My eyebrows knitted together. “Jinx…?”
He waved me off with his hand, making his way towards the door. “Nothing you need to worry about.”
“And what’s ‘the Burrow’?” I demanded as he grabbed a hold of the doorknob.
He turned his head to look at me. “That’s what we call my grandparents house.”
“Bye, love,” he said seductively, blowing me a quick kiss and throwing me a wink.
In return, I flipped him off.
I’m such a nice person.
Laughing rather heartily, Freddy opened the door and walked through, leaving me alone in the living room. Not a minute later, I heard that same crack! noise from the other night when I had been banging my head against the door. Thinking that perhaps he had slipped and cracked his head on the steps or something, I ran to the door, throwing it open and stepping onto the front porch to see if he was okay.
But he was gone.
A/N Chapter ten! Finally! Again, I am so sorry that it has been taking me such a long time to get each chapter out, I am just so busy these days. Just know that I'm never giving up on this story and I will update at least once a month; the wait will never be longer than that. (The exception for this chapter; I had put it in before the queue closed but then it got rejected).
So I hope that you enjoyed this chapter! I've had a lot of the scenes from this planned for a while now so it was fun to finally write them. Let me know what you thought in a review :D
Disclaimer: I do not own anything that you recognize. The quote "Stay gold, Ponyboy" is from The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. All plot points and characters from The Notebook mentioned in this chapter belong to Nicholas Sparks; the film screenplay was written by Jeremy Leven. Credit for Mean Girls goes to Tina Fey and credit for The Breakfast Club to John Hughes.
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