"Honey," He said, "Hey, Sweetie..."
"Call me by my name, if you'd be so kind." Chris hissed, "What do you want?"
"It's just..." Geoffry said, "I... I'm... I'm sorry, Chris. I'm really sorry. What I did was wrong and I really love you. But, then again, you kind of overreacted. I mean, you really overreacted. Seriously, Chris. I do that with all of my boyfriends and girlfriends! Like Mabel..."
Geoffry zoned out, grinning and reminding me of Leo. Chris looked like he was going to rip Geoffry's head off.
"Man, she is so hot." Geoffry sighed dreamily, not paying attention to what he was saying, "You see, Chris. The difference between you and her is she actually lets me put my tongue in her mouth and she would let me-"
Chris, who had been standing in front of Geoffry in bright red fury, lost it. He lashed out and slapped Geoffry hard across the face.
Geoffry staggered back and held his hand up to his face. He stared at Chris, looking hurt.
Chris didn't look the tiniest bit sorry. He hissed, "You're such a pig, Geoffry!"
Chris stormed off, leaving the rest of us standing in awkward silence.
Mouse and Leo exchanged a 'wow' glance and we headed toward the lunchroom, leaving Geoffry to think.
I opened the front door to our house and said, “Hi, Mom.”
Mom beamed cheerily, but her face fell when she saw Chris. He was still sulking and he wouldn’t look at anyone. I could practically see the storm cloud hanging over his head.
I shrugged to Mom and she watched sadly as Chris dragged his feet to his room.
Once he was gone, I sat down next to Mom and put my hand on her shoulder.
She looked at me and said, “What’s really wrong with Chris, Angela? Do you know? I know you do. Your brother tells you everything…”
I held my breath as she brushed my hair out of my eyes and said softly, “Honey, what are you hiding from me?”
I couldn’t tell her, it would ruin everything.
I swallowed and didn’t say anything.
Mom sighed and, stroking my hair, said, “Please, Sweetheart. You don’t need to lie to your mother.”
Crap, I thought, guilt trip much?
I stared at her and my breath shorted out. I said softly, “Chris will hate me if I tell.”
Mom stroked my hair more and said gently, “He won’t hate you, Angela. Chris is your brother and he loves you. That is a fact.”
She was right.
I closed my eyes and said quickly, “Chris went to Geoffry’s house on Sunday and they were… Er… Kissing… and Geoffry put his hand down Chris’ pants and now Chris is all depressed because he thinks he has to break up with him for it.”
Mom stared at me and there was a long, nauseating silence. I couldn’t believe how calm she was about it; Her daughter just told her that her baby had practically been sexually harassed by his boyfriend.
Mom’s calm blue eyes bored holes into me, her red lips twitching slightly.
She smoothed her dress and said, her voice barely shaking, “Is that it?”
I stared at her and nodded, forgetting my deal with Mabel, “What do you mean ‘is that it’? I think it’s a big deal and clearly so does Chris. You should be freaking out!”
Mom swallowed and said, “Angela, your brother is growing up and we have to except it. Things happen, it’s natural.”
“Oh, so you’re saying that it was natural for Geoffry to violate your son?” I said angrily. After it was said, I instantly wished I could take it back.
Mom gave me a serious look and said firmly, “No, Angela. I didn’t say that.”
Neither of us said anything for a long time.
Mom looked like she was about to say something, but Chris entered the room.
Mom and I whirled to face him, staring at him defensively.
Chris eyed us, looking confused.
Mom bit her lip and she put her hand on Chris’ arm.
“Sweetheart,” She said, cautiously looking at me.
I nodded to her and she said, “Chris, Angela told me about what happened last Sunday.”
Chris’ eyes widened and he didn’t say anything.
Mom squeezed Chris’ arm and said gently, “I’m sorry you had to go through that, Honey.”
Chris studied her face, looking horrified and confused. He let Mom take his hand.
With her other hand, Mom gently stroked Chris’ hair and said, “Did you not want me to know because you thought I would get upset?”
Chris continued to stare at Mom without saying anything. She smoothed his hair and stood up next to him.
“Chris,” Mom said, “I know you’re upset, but don’t let one person make you this unhappy. You don’t need Geoffry to be happy.”
Chris glared at her, pouting like he was trying to push back his feelings. That wasn’t something he did very often, but he was trying to strong and I was proud of him for that. I was sure Mom was too.
Mom put her hands on Chris’ shoulders and said, “You’re a brave boy and I’m glad you know when to say when. I think you did the right thing, but don’t let one person control your life. It’s your life. Yours.”
I decided that if Mom fixed everything, than I could tell Mabel that the deal was off and that we didn’t need to get Chris and Geoffry back together.
Chris took a deep, slightly shuddering breath and said quietly, “I’ll keep that in mind.”
Without another word, Chris left the room, but he didn’t seem quite as dark and alone as before.
Mom smiled and I said cautiously, “What are we gonna do about Dad?”
Mom’s smile faded and she said, “Well… I can handle that, Sweetheart. You don’t need to worry about your father.”
She smiled again and I nodded.
Now, to see what Chris would do.