The mess scattered around the family room spoke volumes. And her son, sitting on the couch nonchalantly eating Cheetos and watching television, screamed of irresponsibility.
She surveyed her son and lamented his dilatory nature, resisting the urge to compare him to his father. Her late husband never ate anything that wasn’t organic, but he had the same uncanny ability to calmly exist in the eye of a hurricane. That was not Patricia’s strength.
“Matthew…” She was straining to keep her composure. Her husband used to throw around the term OCD when she got like “this.”
Her son’s head whipped around in her direction, noticing her presence for the first time.
“Hey, Mom!” He wasn’t the least bit concerned about the mess. “When’d you get home from work?”
Something about his orange-coated fingers was grating on her nerves.
“Matthew, I need you to turn off the TV and pick up your belongings..now…”
Based on her son’s facial expression, Annette was certain that vein in the middle of her forehead was already bulging.
“Yeah, Mom…not a problem…”
Annette turned and headed toward the kitchen.
“I value you, Mom,” Matthew called after her.
If she were honest, Annette would prefer that her son value the free market and get a job, but she consoled herself with the thought of the four years she had left before she could retire, sell everything, and move to Florida to be with her older sister.
Annette poured herself a glass of iced tea and took a gulp, remembering simpler days when she didn’t feel like an indentured servant to her family. She sighed wearily as she concocted different scenarios that could get her son out of her house and into a job and a life of his own.