The movie ended and we left the theater.
"So..." I said as we waited outside for Mom, "Did you have fun?"
"Yes, I did." Tae-Hyun said, smiling sincerely.
I smiled back, "Awesome."
I don't know why I did, but I hugged him.
"Thanks for coming." I said.
Tae-Hyun seemed a little surprised, but he hugged me back.
"Yeah, I had a lot of fun." Tae-Hyun said, smiling broadly.
I smiled back and I heard a car pull up to the curb.
"Hey, kids!" Mom called from the car.
Tae-Hyun and I turned around and I said flatly, "Hi, Mom."
"Ooh, I'm sorry." Mom giggled, "What do you prefer to be called? Teenagers? Teens?"
"Mom..." I said.
"Teenyboppers?" Mom chuckled.
"How about 'Tae-Hyun' and 'Angie'?" I said.
Mom giggled again as we got in the car.
"Oh, Angie. You've always had a great sense of humor!" She gushed.
I groaned and put my head against the seat.
When we got to Tae-Hyun's house, I walked him to the door.
"Hey, I'm sorry about my mom." I said, blushing, "She just gets like that."
Tae-Hyun laughed, "It's okay, Angela. Really. She is nice. And I told you, I have two brothers."
I smiled and said, "Yeah... So, I'll see you later."
"Yeah," Tae-Hyun said, going into his house, "Bye, Angela. Thank you for inviting me."
"Yes..." I said, smiling and turning to run back to the car.
I got into the car and closed the door behind me.
Mom grinned at me in the front mirror.
"Well, he sure is nice." She said, "Don't think I didn't see you two hugging when I drove up."
I rolled my head against the back of my seat and glared at her.
"Mom, could you have possibly been more embarrassing?" I snapped.
Mom looked hurt and I wanted to take it back.
She didn't say anything for a moment.
Mom started the car and started driving.
"... I'm sorry, Angie. I-I just..." She said quietly, "I'm just happy for you and I want to encourage you going on dates and having fun."
"Why?" I said, "Because you don't want your son to go out with a boy without your daughter doing it too?"
Mom was silent. She glanced at me in the mirror for a second.
I bit my lip. I probably shouldn't have said anything.
My mom is really sensitive. She tries so hard to fit in with us and be 'cool' and all that. She's tried especially hard to make us happy ever since Dad left.
Chris has no problem with talking to Mom, but I can be more harsh. Sometimes I forget to be gentle.
"I'm sorry," I said, "I shouldn't have said that."
"Angie, sweetie..." Mom said without taking her eyes off the road. Her voice was cracking. Oh geez...
"You know very well that I just want what's best for you and your brother." Mom said, "I want you to be happy. That is my main goal in life."
I raised my eyebrows at her, "Really?"
She nodded and said, "Yes, it is. I want you and Chris to be happy. Your brother is gay, I know that. I knew even before he did, when he was just a little boy."
"Really?" I repeated.
Mom nodded again, "Yep... Of course I didn't know for sure, but I had a pretty good guess..."
There was a pause before she spoke again, her voice crackling, "Now, he has a boyfriend who makes him so happy."
I blinked back tears and Mom pulled over.
She turned around to look at me, "I just thought that maybe Tae-Hyun could make you as happy as Geoffry makes Chris."
I bit my lip and a tear rolled my cheek.
"I'm sorry," I said, looking down at my lap, "I was too hard on you."
Mom smiled and put her hand over mine.
She turned back around in her seat and wiped her eyes.
"So," Mom said, "What do you say we go home now?"
I nodded, "Yeah..."
Mom and I came through the front door.
Chris was sitting on the couch.
"Hi, Chris." I said.
"Hey, guys." He said, not looking up from his magazine.
Mom said, "I'm going to work on dinner. Okay?"
I nodded and said, "Yeah."
Mom left the room and I sat down next to Chris.
"So, what did you do while I was gone?" I asked.
Chris looked up from his magazine and at the TV for a second, but he quickly looked back to it.
"Umm..." Chris said, turning a page, "I read magazines. There's a Lady Gaga article in this one."
I nodded suspiciously, "Of course... Anything else?"
Chris swallowed, "Not... Really. I-I watched a movie... On the TV."
I nodded again and said, "Yeah? What movie was it?"
"John Tucker Must Die." He said.
"Cool..." I said.
Chris swallowed again and turned another magazine page, "So, uh... Did you have fun?"
"What, with Tae-Hyun?" I said.
"Oh, it was fine." I said, "We didn't talk much, but it was fun. The movie was good..."
Chris nodded and looked at me for a long time.
"What?" I said.
Chris shook his head and closed his magazine, "Nothing. Well, I'm glad you had fun."
Before I could say anything else, Chris got up and went down the hall to his room.
"Hmm..." I said to myself, "That was weird."
Chris closed his bedroom door and picked up his cellphone. He dialed Leo's number.
"Hello. She doesn't suspect anything." Chris said into the phone.
"Oh, good." Leo said.