“If you care about her, honey, that’s all that matters,” she assured him from her end of the line. “If this girl makes you happy . . . ”
“She does, Mom. I think she’s something special.”
“Your father and I look forward to meeting her, hopefully sooner than later. You know it’s hard for him to travel these days, with his health and all.”
“This feels right. Don’t get me wrong. We get along great. It’s just that . . . ”
“I can’t help thinking she has a lot of baggage.”
“Honey,” his mother said, “if you truly care about each other, you will find a way to work around it. Follow your heart.”
“Okay. Thanks, Mom.”
“I’d better run now. Your father’s been craving Red Lobster all week, and he’s standing at the door tapping his watch.”
"He needs to watch his diet."
"I know. But he gets so cranky when he doesn't get his way . . . . "
He chuckled. “I love you, Mom.”
“We love you too. Can’t wait to meet this special young lady!”
He hung up.
And then he made his way back to where his lover lay dozing on the couch after a long, hard day of moving in.
He tried not to break his neck as he negotiated a path through his cluttered kitchen, down the hallway, into the labyrinth that his living room had become. He stepped carefully over her suitcases, backpacks, briefcases, travel satchels, and plump duffel bags . . . around trash bags, totes, carry-alls, grocery sacks, pocketbooks, and even a few brightly-colored diaper bags. They sat all over his house, taking up at least two-thirds of the floor space in every room.
More than a few of them leaked viscous fluids that soaked into the carpet.
They all reeked of rotting flesh.
A fly buzzed in his ear. He swatted it away, bent to close up one hefty Samsonite suitcase when he glimpsed a glazed grey eye staring out at him from within.
By God, he would make this work. He had a feeling it was meant to be this time.
She was the one. He was sure of it.
Even with all of her baggage.