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So, Mom could see us through the window in the door, so, I was a little bummed she wasn’t immediately smiling as she opened the front door to the small, three bedroom house she and dad had lived in for the last four years.
“Is the world ending?” she said smiling softly.
I awkwardly cleared my throat as Jill made a noise that was one-half scoff and one-half giggle.
“What else could get both of you to come see me?”
Jill smirked at me and I rolled my eyes. “Mom, Jill and I got back in touch and I thought you would want to know. I thought you’d be happy to know.”
“You couldn’t just call or email or text? Isn’t that always what you want me to do rather than have a real interaction with you? AFK, I believe you two say?”
Away From Keyboard. This was like a punch to the gut. Here we were reaching out, trying to have an “AFK” relationship but she has to be negative.
“That’s what I say, Mom. Not Jake. He has a life AFK. He has friends, a non tech job and sees the sun on a regular basis.”
“Can we come in, Mom?” I finally blurted out. She backed in, leaving the door open for us. As I waved Jill past me, letting her go in first, she muttered, “Like I s-s-said–she’s always with the n-negative!”
As I entered I made a declaration. “I have a new rule for you, Mom. You need to follow it for as long as you can. Only make positive, encouraging comments. No negativity about my own, or Jill’s choices in life, OK?”
“What? I’m never negative! You two don’t know me very well!”
“B-b-buzzzzz, you lose, Mrs. Rivera. Thanks for playing.” Jill said smiling through a smirk.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I love you both and had no problem when you decided to be gay, Jacob, or you, Jill, when you decided to run off with your technology. I suppose I should be happy you didn’t meet some terrible man who forced himself on you and got you pregnant.”
That felt like a punch to my gut–I can only guess how it felt to Jill.
“OK, this game was clearly not a game for us to bother with,” I said. “Mom, can we just have a pleasant visit, please?”
Mom looked to me and her face cracked a warm smile. “Of course.”