The Other C-Word(9)

By: MK Schiller

“I know. I’ll be there.” I couldn’t believe she’d called for this, as if Stevie hadn’t already told me ten times.

“Sorry, honey, you know how your sister is, especially when it comes to this wedding. Speaking of, do you have a date yet?”

“Mom, it’s like four months away!”

“Actually, it’s only three and a half. Don’t leave it for the last minute, Marley. Even Billie has a date already. Do you want me to have Adam set you up with one of his friends?”

“No! Look, Mom, I can’t discuss this with you right now. I have to go, okay?”

“Okay, honey, it was just a suggestion. I’ll see you tonight, and you’re in for a treat.”

“Why is that?” I regretted it as soon as I asked the question.

“Because it’s vegan meatballs tonight,” she replied happily. “Oh, and I found a recipe for vegan mousse too!”

I had no idea how one would go about making vegan meatballs…it sounded like a contradiction in terms.

“Okay, got to go. I love you.”

“I love you too, sweetheart.” Despite my embarrassment, I couldn’t hang up without telling my mom I loved her. She was the most special person in the world or at least to me.

Rick grinned, rather foolishly, at me. I tugged absently at my borrowed pink shell top realising it probably resembled the same colour as my flushed face.

“Are you a vegan?” His question surprised me, but put me at ease too.

“No, just my mom is. I like meat.” What the hell am I doing? Did I just tell this very hot guy next to me that I like meat? Rick further cemented my mortification by chuckling, but thankfully, he moved on.

“Your sister’s getting married?”

“Yes,” I answered gratefully. He was taking the high road and ignoring the whole cheapskate debacle.

“Her name’s Stevie?”

“Yes,” I wondered if I should share how crazy my family was. He seemed curious. “It’s for Stevie Nicks.”

He smiled, nodding. “It’s Monday morning and you sure look fine.”

Huh? Is he flirting again? I cocked my head at him, trying to give him my intimidating gaze, which didn’t even falter his smile.

“Fleetwood Mac, right?” he asked.

“Oh yeah,” I replied, feigning nonchalance, realising he was quoting song lyrics. I thought it was ironic, since it was Monday morning and besides being a blundering mess, I felt I did look…fine.

“So, did your mom name your sister Stevie because she’s in love with Fleetwood Mac?”

I smiled because it was corny, but I loved the way my mom named us, although not everyone thought it was so cute. I might as well tell him—I’d most likely be out on my ass by the end of the week anyway and never see him again.

“My mom loves all types of music. She’s been to every kind of concert there is. It’s a part of our lives. I know people say that music is important to them all the time, but in my family, it’s more than entertainment. It’s a form of communication.” My mom often would play a song on the living room stereo to emphasise her advice or feelings—we all did. Sometimes, we couldn’t find the right words ourselves, so we used other people’s sentiments to fill the void, and why not? They were poets after all.

“She sounds like a character. Who’s Billie, your brother?”

I laughed because my eighteen-year-old sister Billie was the epitome of femininity with long blonde locks and bright blue eyes. “No, she’s my younger sister.”

“Let me guess, Billy Joel?”

“That’s what everyone thinks, but she’s actually named after Billie Joe.”

Rick looked at me quizzically.

“Billy Joe Armstrong, the lead singer of Green Day. Dookie came out the year Billie was born and my mom decided she was in love with him.”

“Ah, must be the guy liner thing.” It impressed me that Rick knew the band and could follow along with my mom’s crazy logic for naming us.

“Yeah, guess so.”

“And your name is Marley? So that’s for…”

“I’ll give you a hint. If I was a boy it would be Robert, Bob for short.”

“Bob Marley…very nice. Your mom’s very…eclectic in her tastes.” I couldn’t believe I’d divulged how crazy my family was in a few sentences. He most likely thought I smoked weed—I didn’t, but I decided not to voice it. It would probably make me sound worse. I mean that’s what someone who smoked weed would say, wasn’t it? Just great…I’d managed to reveal that I didn’t know the meaning of simple words like randy, I got lost, I talked to my mom all day long and I smoked weed, even though I didn’t. I should just fire myself at this point.

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