Funny Business – Chapter 10, Charlies Mother (not his Aunt)
Samantha Michelle Davies (SamanthaMD)
To say that Liz was stunned by the appearance of Charlie’s Mother would be an underestimate to say the least.
She was left standing there on the doorstep looking rather silly while his Mother was dashing between the rooms of the house looking for Charles.
“Where is he? What have you done with My Charles, you… you thing you?” she almost screamed.
“Charles is not here. Why don’t you just calm down for a minute and let me know what is wrong”
“I will not calm down. I know all about you. Who you are and what you are doing. You are not going to get a cent of his money I tell you”
Liz was frantically trying to get a word in but she was in full flight and there was no stopping her.
“I know that you were born a man. Despite what you might look like with all that stuff on your face you are still a man. I’ll bet you haven’t told him have you? I’m going to take him home with me. My Charles would never even want to be in the same room as someone like you. If I had my way, people like you would be strung up or locked away in a mental hospital for the rest of your life. Do you even have the brain cells to understand me?”
Finally, she had vented her spleen and came to a verbal halt.
Liz stood there in silence. She was unsure what to say or even if it was worth saying anything.
The impasse went on for almost 30 seconds.
Then Liz walked into the kitchen and opened her cell phone.
She called Charlie.
“Hi Darling. Your Mother’s here”
“Yeah. She knows. See you soon”
She closed it.
She returned to the Living room.
“Charles will be here in an hour or so. Why don’t you sit down and wait for him. After all, that is what you want isn’t it?”
She didn’t answer.
“Can I get you something? Tea, Coffee?”
She still didn’t answer.
“Look Mrs Everett, if you want to stand there fuming for the next hour or so then be my guest. I have some work to do and I’m going to get on with it. If you want to talk rationally then I’ll talk. There is tea, coffee and some freshly baked cake in the kitchen if you want it”
She didn’t say anything.
Liz went back to the desk in the dining room and tried to do some work. She typed the keys on the laptop but absolute gibberish came out.
Then the tears started. Her eyes misted up and tears ran down her cheeks. Her emotions had gone from a feeling of happiness to absolute disaster in a matter of minutes.
Liz just sat there with her world in tatters waiting for the final nails to be hammered into the coffin of her life.
She was still sitting there gazing into space when Charlie arrived back.
As soon as he was through the door, the tirade from his Mother began anew.
Wisely, Charles let her give him both barrels. When she had finished, Charles simply said.
“Nice to see you Mom. Now what were you saying?”
She went red in the face.
“Get you things, you are coming home with me. I’m not letting you stay with this… thing any longer”
“Mom. Calm down. You know shouldn’t get too excited. You know that Dr Hardy says about your Blood Pressure”
His Mother was about to say something but didn’t get anything out before Charles said.
“I take it you have met Liz. I know all about her. I’ve known for months”
“But… That thing. It was born a man. Can’t you see how repulsive that is? Are you one of the horrible gay people?”
“Please don’t refer to Liz as ‘it’. She is a woman. She is more woman than any of those so called ‘our set’ women you have tried to set me up with over the years. No, I’m not gay. Why should I be? Liz is everything I ever wanted in a wife”
The mention of the word wife caused his mother to go ballistic.
“Wife? You can’t marry that thing. It is not proper. I won’t allow it you hear. I’d be the laughing stock of the Country Club. What would your father say if her knew?”
“Dad knows Mom. I told him months ago. He’s cool with this. He just wants me to be happy that all”
“He knows? Why didn’t he tell me?”
“Because I asked him not to. As for the County club, that bunch of stuck up old busybodies can go to hell for all I care”
“How dare you talk about my friends that way?”
“Because that is what I think. Oh how the gossips loved it when my dear ex wife went off with her fitness trainer. You couldn’t show your face there for more than a month. Yeah, you’re so called friends. Not really friends are they? Gossiping old hags if you ask me. Far more money than sense and I’ll bet non of them has done a days work in their pampered lives”
His mother was really red in the face by now.
“I’ll see to it that you have no money from me. Not a penny”
“Mom, Liz & I don’t care about your money. I have my trust fund that was setup by my Grandfather. I am an adult and I can do with it what I want. We don’t need your money”
“But you’re my baby. I can’t have that thing in my house, in my family”
Charles moved over and wrapped his arms around Liz.
“I don’t care Mom. Liz & I are getting married very soon. You can’t put a stop to it. I wish you’d give her a chance. Liz is possibly the most unique person I have ever met.”
Charles’s mother had to sit down. She had gone extremely red in the face and was taking lots of very short breaths.
“Mom? What’s wrong?” said Charlie urgently.
He went to help her but Liz pulled him back.
She walked up to her and started chattering to her just like she’d done with the mare.
“Get away from me you abomination” cried his mother.
Liz continued and put her hands on her shoulders. Her incomprehensible muttering continued. Charles’s Mother tried to say something but couldn’t get the words out”
Gradually, the redness in her face died away.
Liz stopped the almost chanting and stepped away from her.
She looked at Charles who was smiling.
“What did you do?”
“I stopped her from busting a blood vessel or possibly having a stroke”
“Why? She was so horrible to you”
Just then Charles’s mother seemed to come round.
“Don’t let that thing touch me. Charles what has she done to me?”
Liz looked at Charles who shrugged his shoulders.
“Mom, just stop right there before you do yourself an injury.”
Nothing was said for a few seconds.
“I called Dad after Liz called me. He should be here soon to take you home”
“I’m not an invalid. I mean what I said. You will get no money from us. Nothing.”
“As I said Mom, I have the money from my trust fund. I also earn enough, actually far more than enough for both of us to live on. What are you going to do? Get me disbarred?”
“Yes. I’ll make you unemployable. Not even the local car wash will offer either of you a job”
This didn’t faze Charles.
“As you know all about Liz, you will know that she is a British Citizen.”
“I’ll get her green card taken away”
“Now how did I know you were going to say that?”
He smiled at Liz.
“I have grown quite fond of England. I’ve made some good friends there. These are all Liz’s friends by the way. Those friends know all about her and don’t care. They have accepted me without question.”
“What are you trying to say?” asked his Mother.
“Liz & I could very well move to the UK. A very long way from you and your so called friends at the Country Club”
“Why are you doing this to me. Bringing all this shame on me? I’m your mother.”
“Yes Mom you are my mother. I’m all grown up now and can make my own decisions. For once in my life, I’m thinking about me. Not like how you talked me into marrying that totally frigid woman when all the time you knew that she was having an affair with her so called Personal Trainer. I don’t know what was worse, her having the affair or you knowing and not telling me. That was the time you lost me as your Son”
Just then there was a knock at the front door.
“That must be Dad. I’ll let him in”, said Charles.
A few seconds later, he returned with his Father. A upright man in his early 60’s with a little greying hair at the Temples.
“Well Shirley, what have you been doing then?”
“I’ve been trying to save OUR son from this thing!” replied Shirley.
He turned to Liz.
Charles Snr smiled broadly.
“You must be Liz. I’ve been looking forward to the time we could meet. I’d hoped it would have been under more favourable circumstances”
He offered his hand to Liz who gratefully accepted it.
“Pleased to meet you Sir”
“Please call me Charles”
“Pleased to meet you Charles”, replied Liz trying to stop herself from smiling. She’d taken an immediate liking to Charles Snr. Her ‘instinct’ was that he was on their side.
“Son, I can guess what your Mother has been saying. I’ll take her home and speak to her”
“That’s not going to be enough Dad. She is really determined to make everyone know about us”
“I guessed as much. What do you plan to do?”
“We might go to England. We both have good friends there”
“That might keep her off your track for a while but you know your Mother when she gets a bee in her bonnet”
“I guess that is not going to be far enough away is it?”
“The problem is, we have some work to do that is going to take us the rest of the week. Then we will get out of town so to speak”
Charles Snr smiled.
“Then I’ll take your Mother up to Maine for the week in the hope that she will simmer down and forget all about this”
“Did you know what she was up to Dad?”
“No. Your call didn’t come as a complete surprise to me. When I got the call, I got thinking about how she’d found where you were holed up. So, checked my bank statements. She has spent nearly $3000 on a Private Eye to do her dirty work for her. From our joint account I might add.”
He turned to Liz.
“I am truly sorry Liz for the actions of my wife and anything she has said to you here today”
“Thank you Charles. She is not the first to say nasty things about me and I don’t expect that she will be the last. I only wish we had met under happier circumstances.”
“I do too. I can now see why Charles is so in Love with you.”
Shirley was glaring at her Husband.
“Shut up Mom before you say anything else”
“How dare you speak to me like that”
“Shut the Fuck up Shirley”, said her husband.
Charles Jnr’s mouth dropped open. That was the first time in his life that he’d heard his father raise his voice to his Mother and the fist time he’d heard him swear.
She did. She tried to utter something but the total shock of her husband answering her back had left her speechless.
A few minutes later Charles Snr drove off home with his wife still protesting but now almost silently.
Liz & Charles watched them go. Both of them felt sorry for Charles Snr when Shirley got her voice back.
“What are we going to do now?” asked Liz
“I’m going to take you out to a Basketball game. That’s what”
Things were back to some semblance of normality the following day. But there was a now distinct sense of urgency in their work. Fortune was on their side when four days later, they handed the final text over to Jake.
“This is one hell of a piece of work Liz. I had no idea where it would lead when this all started. Now that its done I can say that it is beyond all expectations. This is going to be a couple of firsts for the magazine. One whole issue written by just two people. One whole issue on one subject” said Jake with pride.
“Two things Jake”, said Charlie.
“One, we aren’t done yet and two, one issue written by one person”
“Liz wrote every word. I checked it for legal snafus and sure, I had some input but every word is hers and hers alone.”
There was an eerie silence for nearly 10 seconds.
Then Liz piped in,
“And it’s going out under your By-line remember?”
“I can change that Liz if you want?”
“No. No thanks. Just seeing my words in print and the bonus is thanks enough for me. I have written my last article. Full stop. The end. No more. Fin, I’m done with being a hack”
There was really nothing more to say. Nothing more to argue about.
For the second time that week, Liz & Charles watched a car drive away from their albeit temporary home. This time, the disappearance of the car meant that a chapter in their life was closing.
Charles closed the door behind them and said
“I’m so proud of you my Darling. So proud”
Liz hugged him.
“Thank you my darling. That means so much to me”
A somewhat bleary-eyed Liz then asked,
“Now where are we going to go for that holiday?”
[Continued in Part 11]
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