Eighteen: Ring of Fire
I stand in JFK airport waiting for my mom’s flight to land. Our company is hosting a charity event for foster kids and kids in the system so Mason and I asked my mom to come speak about the adoption process with Sadie.
I’m more than thrilled to have my mom in town, I plan on also taking this opportunity to spend some time with her. It’s been quite a few months since I’ve last seen her and truthfully, I much rather her company over my father’s.
Sadie isn’t joining my mother on this trip, it’s intended to be brief and only for the weekend. While my mother is visiting I plan to introduce her to Violet and hope for her blessing. I hope that my mother accepts Violet unlike most people in my life have.
After waiting for nearly an hour, I finally see my mother enter the arrivals. With flowers in hand, I walk towards her and pull her into a tight embrace once I reach her.
“My sweet boy, it’s so good to see you. How have you been?” My mom squeezes me tightly, just as she always did when I was a little boy.
There’s something about a my mother that makes life seem so much easier. She was the only person I could count on and even though I’ve been trying to put the past behind me, I will always value my mother differently because of her place in my life growing up.
“I’ve been good, mom,” I tell her as we pull away from the hug, “How about you? How’s Daniel and Sadie?”
“They’re wonderful. Daniel is taking Sadie camping this weekend,” The smile on my mom’s face reminds me that she’s happy now. Truly happy, like she deserves to be, “She has a big attitude, I tell you. I swear, Tommy, when you see her again you will be so surprised by how much she has grown.”
I haven’t see Sadie, my adopted sister, in over a year. I’ve seen photos and video chatted, but being almost five years old, she’s growing faster than I can keep up. It’s unfortunate that I moved so soon after Sadie was adopted, but it doesn’t make me love her any less. She’s my sister, just like Mila. The only difference is I’ve been around Mila for more of her life.
I bring my mom to my car and help her with her luggage. The charity event isn’t until tomorrow so for this evening I decided to introduce her to Violet. My mom’s opinion means more to me than anyone else’s, so if she doesn’t like Violet that could be a game changer.
What my mom doesn’t know is that Violet is already at my loft in the process of making dinner, I’m unsure what’s on the menu but I’m excite to see what Violet has up her sleeve. Violet has no idea that my mom is in town, but I didn’t want her to feel on edge or find a reason to get out of meeting her tonight, so I simply told her that we would have dinner together after an after hours business meeting. We’re becoming serious with each other pretty quickly but it just feels right. I feel like I have a place in this world and that place is with Violet.
We reach my loft within the hour and I carry my mom’s suitcase to the front door, setting it down as I dig through my jacket pocket for my keys, “You hungry?”
“Starving. How about we just order in tonight and I’ll make you dinner tomorrow?” My mom smiles at me and I can hear my stomach growl at the thought of a home-cooked meal by my mom.
I lean my head back and groan in satisfaction, “Please.”
I finally open the door, pushing it open and all of the lights are off. There’s candles scattered all over the floor and surfaces in the main area of the loft, giving the atmosphere a dim lighting. Then there’s Violet, laying on my couch in the most seductive piece of lingerie that I have ever seen in my life.
Her breasts are nearly popping out of the small lace cups that are holding them, her legs are completely bare and a small fabric of dark green lace covers her lady parts. She has a dark red shade of lipstick on and by the look of her, she had full intentions on getting fucked tonight.
Until she noticed my mom.
“Oh my god!” Violet screams, jumping from the couch and grabbing a cushion to cover as much of her as she can, which isn’t much.
“Vi... Holy shi--” I stop myself and turn to my mom, panicking as I try to distract her in some way. But nothing with distract her from walking in on my girlfriend in her underwear. Her very sexy underwear. “Uh... Surprise.”
“I uh... I think you’re the one who’s supposed to be surprised,” My mom comments uncomfortably, “Do you want me to wait outside, or?”
“No, no... Mom, just wait here.”
“Mom?! This is your mom... Oh god, Thomas. You never told me...” Violet is red from humiliation and I feel bad for keeping this from her, it was clearly a surprise gone terribly wrong and a bad first impression.
I hurry over to Violet, taking off my jacket and covering her with it quickly, “Babe, lets just get some clothes for you, okay? I’m sorry, you can kill me later.”
Violet is staring at me in shock as I lead her blindly to the bedroom, closing the door behind us and running my fingers through my hair. As soon as the door closes, Violet hits my arm - hard, “What the hell!? Do you not think this is something you should have ran by me?”
“I get that you’re upset, but...”
“Furious!” She corrects me, “I’m not ready to meet your mother, especially not like this!”
“Violet, I’m sorry... I thought it was a great idea at the time, but I fucked up,” I apologize, hoping that she will calm down and try to see where I’m coming from, “My mom is the most important person in my life so it’s a big deal for me to introduce you to her.”
Violet turns away from me, I can see that she’s shaking her head and she turns back to me, “That is completely unfair and selfish. This is a big step, Thomas. This isn’t something you should decide without me.”
“It’s my mother, not Jesus Christ.”
I’m annoyed that she’s reacting so terribly, but I see her point as well. If I had told her, she wouldn’t have been lying on my couch like a hooker, but I failed this crucial test and now the first impression between my mom and my girlfriend is ruined.
“I don’t want to meet your family, Thomas... It’s too quick and it’s scary,” Violet stares at me, her eyes are furious but her voice has become soft which confuses me more, “That is a big step. One that I hadn’t thought about because there’s so many other things we need to figure out first.”
I furrow my eyebrows, unsure what she means by that, “Like what? Everything has been going great. At least I thought they were, but please, correct me if I’m wrong.”
“Thomas... I am not Jade, okay? I get that you’re going at godspeed with this because you feel happy, but I’m also not stupid... You look at me and you feel closer to her, and that’s okay. But you and I can’t just pick up where you and Jade left off, okay? I’m not about to be someone’s replacement.”
Oh fuck. She’s been seeing what everyone else has been telling me. She never made it known to me that she’s feeling this way until now but it’s different defending our relationship to other people; defending it to her is completely different.
If Violet felt this way, maybe there had been some truth to it in the beginning. But I know who she is. I know she’s Violet and I have feeling for her. For Violet.
“Why didn’t you tell me that you felt this way?” I ask after a brief pause, “You seemed okay with everything. I thought we were okay and then you drop this bombshell on me.”
“We were doing okay,” She agrees, “But I want to make sure you know that this is what you really feel it is before introducing me to the important people in your life. I don’t want it to be some spur of the moment decision that you regret later once you realize I’m nothing like Jade.”
I won’t regret introducing her to my family, regardless of how different she is from Jade, Violet has become a really important person in my life, important enough to show her off to my family. I want them to know that I’m not a mess anymore and that I’m happy, I’ve just went about it the wrong way. Unknowingly, I threw Violet into the ring of fire unarmed and unprepared.
As I reach for Violet’s hands, I pull her closer to me slowly so I don’t overstep, “I’m sorry... I know you’re not Jade and if I’ve made you feel that way, I can’t apologize enough. I’m just so happy any time that I’m with you, sometimes I get caught up. It’s like being on a high, you know? After being miserable for so long, being with you is... amazing.”
“I don’t want you to think that I’m ungrateful for you, but I’m really guarded... I was reluctant to get attached to you, Thomas,” Her eyes are watering now and she quickly looks away so I can’t see her showing any signs of weakness, “But I am and... it’s something I wasn’t prepared for.”
“I’m attached to you, too.” I tell her, attempting to ease her mind a little if possible, “I don’t just introduce my mom to anyone, you know. It was wrong of me to do this without telling you, but nothing makes me happier than showing you off to people. Because I’m happy and I have a fucking gorgeous girlfriend, inside and out. You have a huge heart, Vi. You came into my life to give both of us closure and now look at us, taking on the world side by side. Building a scholarship fund for Jade... She may have brought us together but she didn’t force me to feel the way I feel about you.”
Violet says nothing. She continues to look at the window in silence and I quietly revise what I said, looking for anything that I could have said wrong, but I thought my speech was pretty fucking great. Maybe I’m seeming clingy of sorts, but I want to be honest with her and let her know that I’m not with her because of Jade.
When she turns back to me, she gulps and tucks her hair behind her ear, “This has gone on long enough, Thomas... There’s something I need to tell you and you’re probably going to hate me for it.”